Are you related to Danny?
The grande dame of drag and I have no connection. I know this because she chose LaRue for the stage and in spite of the fact that my name sounds extraordinarily fake, it’s really quite real. I am fairly certain that DC LaRue and I share no relation, either. My sister, of course, claims that my father once told her that noted tv cowboy Lash LaRue was a great uncle but this remains unconfirmed. What can be confirmed is that the first time I heard my surname in entertainment was via the 1997 Nathan Lane vehicle ‘Mouse Trap’.
Detroit’s having a renaissance right now. Tell us about the queer music scene there.
Detroit doesn’t really have a queer music scene in the traditional sense (gay bars) but I don’t really see that as a bad thing because what we have instead is a music scene filled with passionate heads who all lead very different kinds of lives and treat each other with warmth and respect as they go about their journey. This is a historic music town and the music is why we go out. There are many, many wonderful queer performers/producers/promoters and the level of diversity and inclusivity at many of the parties I attend transcend gender, race, and sexuality in a way that feels very special.
It’s not always perfect, but it sure does feel like a step in the right direction towards the kind of future queer people and their allies have spent generations fighting for.
That said, everyone who’s anyone will tell you that the UFO Factory is the place to be on any given night. The programming is thoughtful, the popcorn is plentiful, and they make a really mean banh-mi in the style of a vegan hot dog.
One night might be drag and the next might be a rock show or a rap battle or an art opening. You never know! The best is walking inside during the dead of winter to find the sounds transporting you to the Balearic islands in a way that makes you forget about the blizzard outside. On occasion, there’s nobody there so you hijack the jukebox to tango to show tunes about bathroom fixtures like a madwoman drunk on elizaritas!
It’s an extremely cool space that’s laid out very well and has a really super sound system but it is also where I hold a monthly cabaret featuring live music and underground disco called Suck It so...y’know...I might be a little biased.
I also enjoy what happens at Macho City and The Salon, but those are somewhat erratically scheduled. I wish they happened more often. The art direction at The Salon, especially, is really something else and watching it develop has been such a joy. You just have to come see it for yourself.
You’re something of a polymath and design your own line. How did that come about?
Although I’ve been known to design my own looks and do occasionally gift creations to friends, I would not say that I have a line. I dropped out of a fancy New York fashion school (the arty one) and commercializing my aesthetic is something I’ve considered but have been wary about because oh my god…what if there was a who wore it better moment and I lost? That would be horrific. I am also interested in painting, stage design, and cinema. My aesthetics are best described as a run-down kids show helmed by a Douglas Sirk wannabe who’s way over his head and I don't know what the means either. For what it’s worth, I’ve spent quite some time trying to figure it out. I do know that I want to film an italo-disco musical about a sunscreen model and that I want to be the next David Hockney too but I could also use a nap.
What’s the history behind you getting behind the decks?
I lived behind a slaughterhouse near a record store and my roommate turned the kitchen into a club. It was bound to happen.
In one sentence describe a Geoffrey LaRue set.
Be there or don’t.
How do you know the Horse Meat boys?
My English pen-pal put me in touch with them last summer and then I did their radio show. It was fine.
Your most memorable ‘fuck me is this happening’ moment in life. Having John Waters sign a bottle of Valium I found in the garbage.
Tell us a secret.
There’s a witch I like in Berlin who makes all her potions behind a curtain and has a photo gallery dedicated to her past in the basement.
Geoffrey’s 5 desert island disco tracks.
Dalida - Gigi In Paradisco. A life-changing track about an Italian woman who dies, finds out heaven is a disco, and winds up getting in after her friend talks to the door.
O’Gar - Playback Fantasy. A quintessential Italo track that is available in multiple languages so you can never get bored of it.
Eyes - Black Caravan. Mystic melodies that take you to the most beautiful version of hell.
Gilberto Gil - Palco. End of the night make-out jam.
Hot RS - Slow Blow. Probably the best sleaze track ever made.
Geoffrey LaRue plays Horse Meat Disco at The Eagle on Sunday 14th July.