A slip of a girly boy

Kevin Leonard

It’s likely that most of you are familiar with Hedwig Robinson—unless, of course, you’ve been living under a rock since 2001, when actor/director John Cameron Mitchell released the celluloid musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an ode to the glam-rock goddess from East Berlin. If you’re not in the know, let me give you brief history: Born a boy, Hedwig underwent a sex change (which was botched, leaving him with an “angry inch”) and went on to become an “internationally ignored rock singer.” SN&R had a chance to sit down with Hedwig (Sacramentan Kevin Leonard), who will be making an appearance—along with Yitzhak, Jacek, Skszp and Schlatko, a.k.a. the Angry Inch—at the Crest Theatre on Saturday, October 7.

Do you regret sacrificing your manhood for freedom?

Holy Christ, lady! You get right down to the nitty-gritty, don’t you? Regrets? I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention. I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption. No, but seriously, I have no regrets. Let’s face it: Without my ex-husband, Luther, I would not be where I am today: divorced, penniless, a woman and an internationally ignored song stylist. I just love him.

Will you ever forgive Tommy Gnosis for his betrayal?

You’ve got to be joking. That David Bowie wannabe stole my life, my love and my trust. He took advantage of me just like every other man in the world. Ironically, he will be performing at Arco Arena the same night I am at the Crest, so Phyllis and I are going to stop by and set up a little meeting.

What is the worst gig you’ve ever played?

I was the opening act for a Bikers and Babes festival in Cokeville, Wyo. It’s a real city. Look it up. Anyway, the lawnmower race had just completed. Apparently, the Babes had a little too much “coke” and ran over my stage with the lawnmowers. I was forced to perform in the fields with the cow dung you call “pie.” It was humiliating. I got a better response from the bovine.

You seem to have a love-hate relationship with Yitzhak. Will anything ever become of that?

I’m not sure I understand your question. He’s a man. He’s my husband. He’s Yitzhak. We all love and hate men, husbands and Yitzhak. Bottom line: The sooner he stops thinking of himself and how much he misses his ridiculous Barbra Streisand act he used to do, the better we will all be.

Do you think you’ll ever find your other half?

I truly thought I had. Apparently not. But yes. Yes, I do believe I will find my other half. I long for the feeling of completion. Of wholeness. He, or she, is out there somewhere. And I will search under every cow pie, coffee shop or biker festival until I find them.

Are you working on any new material?

Why? Are you saying you are bored with my current material? Yes, I have written a few new songs. We have yet to play them, however. We are saving them for a crowd that is truly worthy. A crowd that just can’t seem to get enough of Hedwig. Then and only then will they hear my new music.

Do you feel like an “internationally ignored” rock singer? You seem to have made quite a name for yourself.

You mean my Cokeville story did not answer this question? Non-ignored rock stars make albums. Non-ignored rock stars do not perform standing on poo. Non-ignored rock stars do not have to wash their own bra. I must say, however, that the fans I do have are the best fans anyone could have. They are the only loyal people in my life. I love them all. Both of them.

Do blondes really have more fun?

I’m not sure. I think that is just a myth that was started by those bimbos back in the day, although I’d have to admit that I get a lot of attention wherever I go. But that’s probably more because of my inch and less about the color of my hair.

What songs do you sing while warming up for a show?

It varies. Debby Boone has some really good material. I’m quite musically diverse, really. Some days I’ll warm up to Debby. Some days I’ll warm up to Toni Tennille. And other days I’ll just drink.

If you were to audition for American Idol, how far do you think you’d make it?

I could answer this question like every other person out there and say, “I’m the next American Idol.” But let’s think about this seriously for a moment, shall we? I can hardly get coffee-shop gigs. You honestly think that a dingbat woman, a man with no couth and a man in a dog pound would appreciate the likes of me? Um, now that I say that out loud, those are my kind of peeps. Yes, I would make it all the way for sure.