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Editor & Art Director

Cole Johnston • Editorial staff

Derek Bedry John Britton Tommy D Cole Johnston Jeff Lawrence Pierre Simard

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If you're reading this, it means we all survived 2012! And what a year for V-Rag! From our fantastic 3 Year Anniversary Party to the CeCe Peniston live show during Pride, this has been a year to remember. Let's take a look back at some of our more memorable interviews from the last 12 months.

Pierre Simard

Copy deadline for the February issue is Jan. 22. Ad space is available until Jan. 25 and can be booked by calling 604831-8179 or emailing Our rates are available upon request. V-Rag welcomes submissions but accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials. V-Rag Magazine 1535 West Broadway, PO Box 29141 Vancouver B.C. V6J 1W6 V-Rag is printed monthly by Cole Johnston Design. No part of this may be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written consent from the publisher. All content Š 2013 Cole Johnston Design.

pam ann the maverick men kylie minogue sharon needles cece peniston rupaul jennifer saunders dan savage dita von teese patrick wolf

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best of 2012

by Cole Johnston


ack in June, we had the pleasure of chatting with comedy's head person, the outrageous Pam Ann. The international jetsetter and Aussie comedienne has been honing her bitch from hell air stewardess routine for years, garnering celebrity fans like Cher and Madonna. But we've been fans since the first landing. For those who missed your last layover in Vancouver, who is Pam Ann and why do Cher and Madonna keep bothering you? Pam Ann is your air hostess from hell. She says everything that real flight attendants would like to say. "Sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, don’t press the call button or I’ll nail your hands to the armrest". Cher always calls Pam Ann because she wants to turn back time and Madonna wants Pam to traffic more children in from Malawi for her. Pam’s phone never stops ringing!  Let's get all political now. There's been a lot of controversy about the new security x-ray scanners, which supposedly "invades privacy" by generating a "naked" image of a passenger. What is your take on all this? I love a virtual fisting through a scanner! It


turns me on to be honest, knowing there are people looking at my insides... Plastic surgeons should we waiting airside to give you their business cards. Air Canada employees were recently forced back to work after a proposed strike. Do you think air travel is an essential service, and what is this "forced work" going to do to the moral of the flight crew? The crew are obviously far too nice and don’t know the value of their power. Stay strong and refuse to work period until they are respected and get what they deserve. I back the cabin crew 120%. Listen to your crew and airline staff, they are the ones who know. To me, the big knobs are foolish, greedy and clueless to treat people like that. Come work with Pam Ann Airlines. We lick our cabin crew to sleep at night. Speaking of Canadian airline companies… Is WestJet on your radar? Hell yeah WestJet has always been on my radar. Are they flying over water yet and serving a hot meal? Do they still board by a rope? V

v-rag magazine #42 best of 2012

by Cole Johnston


ole and Hunter Maverick are hardly your typical porn stars. They aren't a studio creation, but rather a reallife couple filming everything on their site themselves, and have even written a book about their exploits in the biz! So if you're interested in a day in the life of the Maverick Men, just check out the July edition for more! is one of the most wellknown gay adult sites on the web. How did you come up with the idea and turn an Xtube profile into a successful porn franchise? Cole: We got started on Xtube, just goofing around and posting some clips of us having sex together. Soon, the number of video views got so huge that the administrators at Xtube told us we were crazy not to create an amateur page where we could sell our videos. We gave it a shot and it was a big hit. Both pages, “Maverickman222” (pay-perview) and “Maverickman22” (free clips) have close to 100 million video views. Now our focus is, that’s our baby. You get more bang for your buck there since it’s mainly a free blog with lots of freebie videos and more frequent updates.

I'm sure a lot of fans find the clear love and passion the two of you have one of the most fascinating aspects of your videos. Has playing with others or on camera always been part of your relationship? Hunter: We’ve been together for about 12 years. A few years into our relationship, we both came to the realization that we love to top, and doing it together is a blast, so it was a natural progression for us to include a third bottom guy. Our relationship had to be this way. We decided to be open and honest and it’s the best thing to ever happen to us. I can say with 100% certainty that we love each other more deeply now than ever before. Is now a facet of your relationship that's become inherent? Or do you ever separate this as a business venture removed from your personal lives? Cole: is us. It’s not just about hot sex, it’s about sharing our lives with our community to show that you can be gay and open and a happy couple. The porn is just part of our site and who we are. We do keep some things private, naturally. V

best of 2012

by Cole Johnston


-Rag has always been unapologetically Team Kylie, having interviewed the pint-sized pop princess two times in as many years. Most recently, December saw Kylie Minogue taking time out to chat about her latest studio effort, The Abbey Road Sessions, a collection of reworkings of some of her biggest hits. With a staggering 51 singles, 11 albums and 25 years of work, what's the process like for deciding which songs make it on the album The Abbey Road Sessions? We had a period where we rehearsed and we literally just tried things out, that's how we discovered which songs would work. Some songs there were two versions of, some we tried and they weren't different enough. It was really a process of elimination. Speaking of the 25 years (K25), that's almost unheard of for a pop star to have that kind of staying power. Do you find your fan base is changing in terms of demographics? Well, I don't feel that old, and it doesn't seem like it should make a difference at all, but in the last year I've had to consider my age more. I mean, if you look at pop


radio now, the audience target is a different generation to me. More of my fans are in a different age group, although I do have fans in all age groups. With The Abbey Road Sessions, I think I'm really showing a more mature, classy side. Don't get me wrong, as I said I love the dance floor and that's a very relevant part of me too. 2012 saw you in roles in two films, Jack And Diane and Holy Motors. Is acting something you're hoping to get back into? Throughout my career I've loved to be able to do something different. When I saw the script for Jack And Diane, I loved it. Wish I could have been in more of the film (haha), but obviously if you're promoting an album full-on, and doing a six-month tour around the world, there is no space to do anything else. But the very small part I have in Jack And Diane, and then as you mentioned, the role in Holy Motors, they've just reignited something that's always been hanging around. It was so rewarding to do Holy Motors, and the response around the world has just been overwhelming. Of course I'd love to do more. V

v-rag magazine #42 best of 2012

by Tommy D

What's your favourite horror film?

ith three interviews under her belt, Sharon Needles is the celebrity we've interviewed the most in 2012. And it's no wonder, the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 is fascinating, funny and furiously entertaining. We caught up with her in March, June and October!

It would have to be Return of the Living Dead. I think it's the best zombie movie of all time. It's scary, it's campy, it's '80s, it's got full-frontal nudity… It had the best one-liners ever. My personal favourite being "What, you think this is a fucking costume? This is a way of life". It's a quote I use a lot.

What made you want to audition for season 4 of Drag Race?

What's your strategy for when a zombie apocalypse strikes?

It's my favourite television show… Ever! I sat in the same chair in the same living room for the last 3 years at 9:00. And I just found it riveting television; it's campy, it's serious, it has a lot of heart and it gives America a backstage pass to a drag queen's dressing room… Which is something I don't think anyone outside of the drag world has ever seen. I mean, you see a drag queen on stage and you think of them as this strong example of femininity, and you don't see the vulnerability or the male side and the pain and the hurt and the laughs that go behind drag. And I wanted to be on it because I'm vain and I wanted to see myself on television. It's an American disease, I don't know if you have it in Canada because all you get is Degrassi High. Which I love.

Oh I'd just say "fuck it, turn me into a zombie". And then I'd only eat alcoholics.


Did you think going into the show that you would have this much of an impact in terms of becoming a role model? No! I thought I would get through a couple of episodes with some underground fashion and some witty punk sensibility. I thought maybe the hippies and the punks and the goths and the hipsters might attach to my character. I never thought I would have this broad spectrum of fan-base, especially amongst bullied youth. I didn't go into Rupaul's Drag Race trying to be a role model. But ta-dah! V

best of 2012

by Cole Johnston


inally! One of our favourite memories of 2012 has to be the V-Rag and Chocolate Milk Pride party which brought dancefloor diva CeCe Peniston to Vancouver. July was a great month and CeCe turned it out for V-Rag and Pride! What's your favourite thing about a live performance? I challenge myself to perform songs totally different from what I normally sing in the studio. The best part is that majority of the time I’m able to act out some of the lyrics during a performance. You often do Pride gigs and have a huge gay and lesbian fan base all over the world. Why do you think your music speaks so much to the GLBTQ community?

charities, so I was wondering is this a cause that's close to your heart? HIV/AIDS is such a huge epidemic across the world, it’s extremely important to raise awareness. I’m extremely compassionate about diseases and epidemics that effect the community, I try to give back as much as I possibly can. How do you think your music has changed from the first days of "Finally" to where you are now? When I first came out with "Finally" I was naïve. Now I’m a woman, my experiences are endless – my music derives from experience, it comes from a special place. With this much success, what's left to conquer? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

My music is full of love and is geared toward universal relationships. Love is pure, love does not discriminate based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. I really appreciate the love and support from the GLBTQ community!

There is so much more to I need to conquer both professionally and personally. In 5 years, I’ll continue to do what I love. I don’t know what the future holds, I know that God is full of surprises! I like not knowing, but knowing that whatever it is – it’ll be great. V

Over the years, we've seen some amazing work on your part for several HIV/AIDS


best of 2012

by John Britton


n the eve of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4 premiere in February, we settled in for a cozy chat with King of Queens RuPaul. Amazingly, the show that many thought would be a one-hit wonder would have its most successful and entertaining season, spawning star Sharon Needles and affirming RuPaul's place in TV royalty! The last time we chatted you had just launched your book, – ‘Workin’ It! RuPaul’s Guide to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Style’. How has that gone? It’s been amazing. I love this book and I am so proud of it. I’ve been in the business for 30 years this month and now it’s about creating a legacy that really represents who I am. More money, more fame – who cares? This book, this TV show… there are elements of me in this TV show that I have never shown before, things that only my friends really ever get to see. When I’m in drag, I’m still Ru but my energy is different, so to get to show my other self, the mentor of the girls, the truly intimate side… it’s amazing and I’m so grateful I have these venues to show that about myself. I’m in the best place I’ve ever been in both my life and my career. It’s a shame in a

way that it takes so long for us humans to get around to realizing what’s important. I spent so much time and energy in my 20s trying to please everyone else and not focusing on myself… it wasn’t a waste of time, that’s not what I’m saying, but maturing and realizing what’s important… it’s a gift that unfortunately only comes with time. Who is your icon, Ru? My all-time female icon is Judge Judy. REALLY??!! Really! So smart, so gorgeous, so on-point. I think she is just… just… she is everything to me (laughs). She knows it. In fact, there’s a restraining order in place… How is life for RuPaul at this moment in time? Right now is the best time of my life. The old adage of ‘know thyself’ couldn’t resonate more right now. I wish that for everyone. Unfortunately the natural trajectory of the human experience on this planet… it takes a long time to grow into yourself and to realize what’s important. But I’m 30 years in the business and still going strong. V

best of 2012

by Cole Johnston


It's hard to believe that the much-loved BBC hit Absolutely Fabulous has been doing its thing for 20 years, but the characters that Jennifer Saunders created have become cult television icons around the world. V-Rag got the immense privilege of interviewing one of the biggest stars not only in the UK, but the world over (there have even been spin-offs in France), and she was as sweet as she is hilarious. Check it out in our August issue. It's been 20 years since the first episode of Ab Fab aired. You must have your pick of guest stars, so how do you decide who you want to have appear in the new specials? You know, not everyone says yes actually. Also, it's tough to find big celebrities that we want to poke fun of, there are schedules to keep in mind, and in the end it's just not worth it. Even Madonna? I've heard you've tried to get her for a special appearance?


Oh yes, Madonna always said no. For years. It became a sort of joke, that, actually. If she ever did say yes, we'd probably say no. She's been aware of the show, and once sent a

very nice note, but I think the person that we were talking to had no influence on Madonna's PR. Although she kept telling us "Oh yes, Madonna would love to do it." Haha! You've gone on record to say that you're currently writing the first draft of an Ab Fab movie. Any teasers that you can let us in on in terms of plot? Eddy and Patsy are, of course, searching for what a glamorous life should be. You, know, what they deserve after all this hard work. They decide to take Lola off of Saffy – Lola is Saffy's daughter, although her real name is Jane, keep up, sweetie – but then they lose her. It's all very awardwinning gritty material so far, what you've come to expect. Who have been some of your biggest inspirations in comedy? I love Victoria Wood of course, but my ultimate heroine is Lucille Ball. She invented the multi-camera sitcom. She was glamorous while being a clown and making a fool of herself. She was a big influence, certainly. V

v-rag magazine #42 best of 2012

by Derek Bedry


napologetic pundit Dan Savage has become a kind of iconoclastic celebrity, a household name, his acerbic commentary sought across popular media on all manner of civil rights issues, especially what he calls the eternal battle of same-sex social equality. Our March edition featured some of his trademark biting wit and political musings. Remember the day everybody thought gay marriages performed in Canada were dissolved? The whole thing blew over eventually, but do you still believe Prime Minister Harper wants to put holes in the validity of Canadian same-sex marriages? Anyone who doesn't think the outcry was responsible for the quick reversal – the lightening quick reversal – is fatally naive. I don't know if the Harper government intentionally kicked the hornet's nest, but they kicked it, and they had no idea how many hornets were inside. I think Harper wants to stay away from this issue. It might interfere with his plot to pollute the world with dirty, sandy oil. Justin Trudeau recently said "if at a certain point I believe that Canada was really the

Canada of Stephen Harper – maybe I would think about making Quebec a country". What is your view on the current climate of Stephen Harper's Canada? Well, I just spent a week in Canada, visiting some of my favorite places. And it seems fine, very normal, still Canada. I hope that one day Canada's long national nightmare ends and Harper is shown the exit, along with his conservative cronies. In the meantime, everyone in Canada should react to any attempt by the Harper government to roll back civil rights or reproductive freedoms the same way folks reacted to the sudden invalidation of same-sex marriages performed in Canada for foreigners: like a bunch of angry, motherfucking hornets. Did you notice anything glaringly different about a post-riot, post-Occupy Vancouver? Nope. Things seemed to have returned to normal—Granville is still Granville. My mom had a framed "God Bless This Mess" needlepoint hanging on the wall in her (neat-as-apin) kitchen. I always think of that needlepoint when I'm walking down Granville. V

best of 2012

by Cole Johnston


ita Von Teese made a name for herself in the '90s, recreating the looks of 1950s pinup girls and old Hollywood glamour. She now reigns supreme as the most famous burlesque performer in the business. We got to chat with the busy brunette in our April edition. How did you get your start in burlesque? For me it was a hobby for about a decade. I had another job for the first half of my career, and I did it because I loved it. I think I'm lucky that I started in the early '90s before there was this big pinup/burlesque boom, and so you know, on one hand, it was harder for me because people didn't get what I was doing, or would make fun of me, and of course, it took twenty years for me to get where I am with it now. On the other hand, it was great because I got to set the rules for my career, and I was in demand because I was different and didn't have any competition for a long time. So I guess the moral of the story is to think about what you can bring that no one else has, and do it with integrity and honesty and focus on just being the best you can be rather than looking at what everyone else is doing.  


How did you come up with the name Dita Von Teese? Well, when I originally chose to use the name "Dita", I was actually just choosing a silly pseudonym for what I thought was a brief stint as a pinup model and stripper... I had no idea that I was going be using it to this extent... If I had known, I might have calculated it more carefully, perhaps. But it was all accidental, really. Even the "Von Teese" is a typographical error from when I first appeared in Playboy Magazine in the early 1990s. It's like a silly joke that turned into something real. I quite like having two names though. First of all, it's so classic Hollywood. You'd be hard pressed to find a movie star from the 1930s and '40s that actually used her real name! I love the concept of a glamour makeover that takes the name into consideration. Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall... all fabricated names. It's chic, and it's a valid consideration. And in my life, it's nice to just be Heather Sweet sometimes to a very intimate circle of friends and family... V

best of 2012

by Jeff Lawrence


atrick Wolf recently added to his treasury of albums with Sundark and Riverlight, a retrospective double album of his music from the past decade. It’s still all distinctly Wolf’s dreamy folk-rock sound, and as he proudly points out, none of it is top 40 material. We had the pleasure of catching up with him in our November issue. It’s the 10th anniversary of the release of Lycanthropy, your first album. Looking back, what do you think of the journey that’s brought you to where you are now? I think the one thing that connects every album and every experience is this non-compromising attitude that has lost me a lot of record deals, but it has got me to a place where I have an audience that’s still with me and I hope will be with me for the next 60 or 70 years… I kind of made my own little steady path through music and now I feel in the moment. I’m reminding myself of the intimate and solo aspect of what I do. I’ve built up a big touring band over the last six years and now I’m sort of back to basics — I just thought I need to remind myself what it is to be a solo artist and to pick up an instrument and sing without any backing.

You’ve worked with so many Canadian groups and legends like Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Are you influenced by Canadian music? When I grew up the only CDs my mom would play were Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. Earlier on in my career, through meeting Joel Gibb from The Hidden Cameras in a nightclub, I had my viola with me and he asked me to come and play. I just created some sort of really weird connection overseas straight with Toronto. It was really nice to meet people so supportive and creative that early. I still don’t have many friends in the music industry in Britain but I’ve got, like, a whole family in Canada. There’s a very healthy underground scene, it’s very self-sufficient, and I find that really inspiring. If you could work with any Canadian artist of any era, who would it be? It would be Joni Mitchell, of course. I think that’s an ongoing teenage dream. I guess for some people they’ve got their Michael Jackson or something like that but for me it’s Joni Mitchell. V

best of 2012

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V-Rag Magazine #42 - Best of 2012