Giddle Me This: A Conversation with Giddle Partridge

Ms. Giddle Partridge: Actress, model, artist, fashion designer, singer, performer, psychic, bohemian, high priestess and enchantress. Photo by Tora Wessel (www.wesselmaniaphotgrpahy.com)

It’s hard to describe where Giddle Partridge fits in the pop culture scene.  Actress, model, artist, fashion designer, singer, performer, psychic, bohemian, writer, high priestess and enchantress, Giddle Partridge has done it all, and then a little bit more.  Perhaps it’s just fair to put it exactly the way that Giddle Partridge says it herself.  She is the one and only Giddle Partridge in this universe.

I first became aware of Giddle Partridge when a friend handed me a bootleg of Going Steady with Peggy Moffit, a six track EP that Giddle did with controversial musician Boyd Rice in 2008.  Although the album is an acquired taste, I was immediately hooked by the pair’s sound and the disk quickly became one of my favorites.  Giddle’s sweet yet dark girlish voice combined with Boyd’s monotone gloomy drone, combined beautifully with a backdrop of music which Boyd had lifted from The Shangri-Las, Lou Reed and Serge Gainsbourg, created a hodge podge of retro surrealness.  Upon looking for more information on the duo I discovered that the partnership between the two had ended badly and the full album was completed but never released.  However it lead me to discover the wit and wonder of the beautiful Giddle Partridge.  But was discovering Giddle pure serendipity?  As my contact pool grew in Los Angeles it became very apparent that nearly everyone that I met or worked with has had some sort of encounter or story to share about meeting Ms. Giddle Partridge.  Like a neon colored platinum blonde harlequin, Giddle Partridge has all of her fingers dipped in every tasty honey pot throughout Hollywood, and she knows how to make an impression.  Everybody that experiences Giddle seems to have a story to tell.

Giddle Partridge crossed my cultural radar via her musical collaboration with Boyd Rice, "Going Steady with Peggy Moffet." Their musical partnership broke up badly, just liked the snapped pink vinyl that Giddle holds in this photo, but Giddle's following continues to grow

Continually one degree of separation away from Giddle, reaching out to her proved to be so natural as if fate pushed us towards each other.  After one e-mail I was delighted to receive a phone call from the enigmatic Giddle Partridge, and after an hour conversation I found her to be simply delightful.  By the time I hung up the phone I knew that not only had she captured my heart, but gained my devotion.  Like so many other people she has touched, she had sprinkled her green and pink fairy dust upon me and captured a piece of my soul.

Giddle Partridge is a real trip.  I absolutely adore this woman.  Let me try to show you why.

CONFESSIONS OF A POP CULTURE ADDICT PRESENTS

GIDDLE ME THIS:

A CONVERSATION WITH GIDDLE PARTRIDGE

"I am the one and only Giddle Partridge in this universe"

Sam Tweedle:  You have done a little bit of everything: you are an actress, a singer, a fashion designer, a model, and have had your fingers in so many different honey pots.  If you were going to describe yourself, and exactly what you do, what would you say you are?  How do you describe the Giddle Partridge phenomenon?

Giddle Partridge:  I am the one and only Giddle Partridge in this universe.  I am the neon toy.  I am everything, and I do all kinds of psychedelic things.  I sing and dance.  I do comedy, voice-overs, modeling, and collect stuff.  I’m psychic: I have ESP.   I do many, many, many things.  I am a real life doll.  I am the only Little Giddle made by Mattel and you can tell I’m swell because I’m made by Mattel.  I am who I am.  I love to live life to the fullest.  I love helping people.  I love being creative at all times.

Sam:  You have become known for your very unique style of fashion, and have become somewhat of a fashion icon.  Where did your flair for unusual fashion originate?

Giddle:  In every picture, from when I was a little kid, I was always dressing up, and always doing groovy things, and altering my clothes.  When I was in the sixth grade, I dyed my hair purple and I haven’t seen my natural color ever since.  I’ve had my hair every single color, but I settled on platinum because blondes have more fun.  I love blonde bombshells.  Platinum is groovy.

Sam:  You and I are fairly non conventional people; do you feel people are born eccentric, or do you think we become so because of our conditioning?

"I believe in fate and destiny and that our lives are planned. I feel that you are who you are and a lot of people don’t live their lives to the fullest"

Giddle: :  I believe in fate and destiny and that our lives are planned.  I feel that you are who you are and a lot of people don’t live their lives to the fullest.  They don’t have fun.  They limit themselves to dressing up one day a year, on Hallowe’en.  I don’t celebrate Hallowe’en: every day for me is Hallowe’en.  I love having groovy Technicolor things around me everywhere, and I dress like a doll.  Some people say I dress insane.  I could care less because I am obviously of clear mind.

Sam:  You seem to display a strong sense of self-awareness.

Giddle:  I’ve always been comfortable with who I am.   Before I was born, my mother, who is also psychic, had a vision of me.  She saw me when I was six years old before she was even impregnated with me, and she said that I was a friend that came from a past life that came to visit her, and that I was stomping my foot and telling her that she needed to hurry up and bring me into this world.  So then my parents went on a “bang a gong, get it on” mission and then, lo and behold, popped out Giddle.  I didn’t cry when I was born.  The very first first thing I said was “La!”

Sam:  So you were singing from the moment you came out of the womb.

Giddle:  I was singing and dancing inside the womb.

Sam:  Where did the name “Giddle” come from?

"What is normal? I would love to know the definition of normal. All the “normal” people are the most hypocritical, judgmental creeps out there in this universe." Photo by Fernando Guerrero

Giddle: My mother knew I was going to be a little girl without getting an ultrasound or a sonogram, and she named me Desiree, after Napoleon’s mistress.  My mother saw the film when she was seventeen, with Marlon Brando, and she thought if she ever had a daughter she’d name her Desiree.  I dig that name, but when I was a little tiny munchkin my mother nicknamed me “Little Giddle.”  Some people think I made up that name to be weird but I say “No, I did not do that at all.”  I can [come up with] a lot better moniker than that, plus I’m not weird.  What is normal?  I would love to know the definition of normal.  All the “normal” people are the most hypocritical, judgmental creeps out there in this universe.

Sam:  One of your most unique titles is that you are the High Priestess of The Partridge Family Temple, which was founded by your brother, Shaun Partridge.  Can you explain what The Partridge Family Temple is, and explain how it all began, and how it has grown as a phenomenon?

The Partridge Family Shopping Bag LP: "A spoken Bible"

Giddle:  It started August 8th, 1988, with Adam Sleek.  We consider him the founder.  He’s no longer with us, sadly.  He turned on my brother and “The New Keith” to Partridge Family music.  It just became this intense thing where they [realized that the music] was very spiritual.  I always describe it as a spoken Bible: if you listen to the songs you really do hear Keith singing directly to you, and answering any question you have.  It all correlates into your world.  It’s magical.  Television is one of the biggest things, and God is TV.  Some people believe everything they see on TV.  Some people have minds of their own and some people don’t.  Some people are very gullible.  Anyway, the temple started, and then we started to get some followers, and I’ll be honest: people were just saying, “Ah, it’s just some goofy thing.”  And then my brother left the Shopping Bag album at my place, and I put it on, and kept listening to it over and over and over again, and I couldn’t believe it because I was totally a negater.  I [just thought], “This Partridge Family Temple stuff is just ridiculous.  Stop talking about Laurie Partridge.  I don’t understand.”  But I put the album on cassette tape and was listening to it in my car, but made sure to take it out of my car before my brother got in so he wouldn’t be on to it.  But one day I forgot, and he said, “I knew one day you’d be turned on to The Partridge Family.”  So he had me explain what I liked about it to him, and I said that it was like a spoken Bible.  Also, it’s pop culture:  it’s television; it’s a family.  The Partridge Family are all archetypes, like all deities and Gods.  Keith Partridge is not David Cassidy.  David Cassidy was just a mirror vessel which the old God Keith Partridge came into his body in 1970, when the Partridge Family was airing, and then it was cancelled for our sins in 1974.  With The Partridge Family Temple, I’m the High Priestess.  I’m also a legally ordained reverend, and I perform weddings and, sadly, my grandmother’s funeral.  Before they were banning gay marriages, I was asked to do commitment ceremonies.

Sam:  You have become an icon within certain underground circles.  Who do you consider to be your personal icons or role models?

Giddle:  Dolly Parton and Jayne Mansfield are my ultimate heroes.  Dolly Parton has always been asked “Why do you look that way” and she always says back “Well, why don’t you look that way?  Why don’t you wear make up?”  I don’t believe in natural beauty.  I think glamor for females, and males if that’s what they dig, is a really good thing to be in tune with.  You have to be in tune with your male side and your female side.  It’s fun getting all dolled up.  People would ask Dolly about that, and she’d say, “This is a country girl’s idea of glamor.”  I modeled my look after what inspired me.  I always liked bright neon colors.  I remember in the eighties when bright neon day- glo was popular.  I remember telling my Mom “If it ever happens that psychedelic day- glo colors go out of style I’m going to bring them back.”  I then told her that there is no such thing as style because style is what you make it.  I’ve never followed trends.  I’m so far out that I’m in.

Sam:  How did you start performing?

Giddle:  I was performing in tap, jazz, and ballet as a child.  I was in Trixie’s School of Dance for years.  I was always performing.  I always loved to perform.

Sam:  When did you first realize the spotlight was on you?

"I think bigotry and people with closed minds are the ones that give the human race a bad name. Things get misconstrued by the negative people who don’t understand that life is for the living. Life can be enjoyable." Photo by Sarah Morrison

Giddle:  Well, I think the spotlight is on everyone.  I think it’s on you.  I believe it’s on the person walking down the street.  I believe we’re all brothers and sisters on this planet.  I think bigotry and people with closed minds are the ones that give the human race a bad name.  Things get misconstrued by the negative people who don’t understand that life is for the living.  Life can be enjoyable.  Yes, it’s a rollercoaster ride:  there’s ups and downs just like there is love and hate, good and evil; the balance between.   Life is so uncertain, and honestly Sam, something could fall out of the sky and hit me, and I could die right now.  I’ve met people who say that they live life with no regrets; that’s impossible.  How can you live life without missing a real amazing TV special or something? I just don’t understand not hearing that music, or buying that really amazing collectable that you really liked.  It’s natural.  I guess that I believe that there is the other side.  I believe in reincarnation.  I’ve always known that I am an old soul.  There is a theory where people say that birthmarks can be reminiscencent of past lives that you’ve lead and that’s how you died.  I have this little birth mark on my left shoulder blade and, who knows?  Maybe I was shot in the back?  Who knows?  Really, the only one who knows is whoever created this large playground that we all live on and who knows if it’s the stars, the galaxies, aliens, Jesus, Buddha – any and every religion I’m fine with.

Sam:  One of the things that I think shocks people when they learn about you is your affiliation with the Church of Satan.  For some reason that seems to stand out for some people.

One of the more controversial elements of Giddle Partridge's mythos is her affliation with the Church of Satan: "You are your own god; you live your life to the fullest; you do what you want to do. There are no limits or restrictions"

Giddle:  I think it’s comical.  Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan is basically structured by the same belief system as the Partridge Family temple:  you are your own god; you live your life to the fullest; you do what you want to do.  There are no limits or restrictions.  It’s very similar.  The Church of Satan isn’t about worshiping the actual prince of darkness and sacrificing animals and killing people.  Some people believe that.  So be it.  That’s like people trying to blame bands for their music.  [They say] “Oh, Judas Priest.  You caused my son to commit suicide.”  Really?  How?  Your son probably suffered from depression, and you didn’t get him help, and that was probably his life’s plan, and it was time for him to move to the other side and be born again, and come back down to this planet.   I have many, many, many friends who are members [of the Church of Satan].  I have friends who are in the Council of Nine, which are the hierarchy of the Church of Satan.  Sadly, when Dr. LaVey passed away, at first I thought the Church was going to be gone, but the legacy never stops, thanks to the High Priest and High Priestesses: Blanche Barton, Peggy [Nadramia], and Peter Gilmore, because they never let that flame burn out when Anton passed.  They took his creation, and his theories, and kept his amazing religion alive.  I’ll be the first to admit also that there are a lot of odd balls that are members of the Church of Satan, but they don’t really understand what’s going on.  But Anton’s writings, like the book The Compleat Witch, you are your own god; you live your life to the fullest; you do what you want to do. There are no limits or restrictions.

Sam:  It’s been written that you and Anton LaVey had a strange connection prior to his death.

In the weeks prior to his death in 1997, Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey contacted Giddle Partridge via a dream

Giddle:  Yeah: Anton came to me in a dream before he passed away.  It’s in the official Church of Satan magazine, The Black Flame, in an interview with Boyd.  Anton came to me, and it was intense.  I fell asleep, and I found him walking around this old, weird, ancient cathedral.  It was cold and dark, and he was the only person there.  I saw him walk around a corner, and he was wearing a beautiful amazing cloak.  I said, “Anton, what are you doing here?” and he said, “I’m planning my funeral.”  I said “No no no no, you can’t plan your funeral.  What are you talking about? You can’t die!” and he kept saying to me, “Giddle, I understand but you have to do me a favour.”  I said, “Okay, what can I do?”  He said, “You have to tell Boyd that I’m planning my funeral.”  I said, “What does that mean?” and he said, “It’s very important that you tell him.”  I believe that some people are open to people channeling them and that some dreams are psychic, but some are just weird dreams.  I’ve had a few other dreams where people who have died, or are about to die, tell me where they are going, and what they are doing, but Anton kept telling me this over and over again.  So I woke up that day and I thought that I’ve got to call Boyd and tell him this, but I had things going on, and I thought it was just a weird dream.  But that night I was asleep, and you know how you don’t have a recurring dream normally?  But the next night when I fell asleep I had a second dream.  I was in the exact same spot, and Anton is standing there right in my face and he said, “Did you tell Boyd yet?”  I said “No,” and he said, “It’s very important.  You’re the only one I can reach.”  So when I woke up I called Boyd and told him that I had this dream, and Boyd was about to go on tour to Europe, and when he came back he was going to interview Anton LaVey for a magazine.  So Boyd squeezed in a trip to San Francisco, and went to the Black House, and he interviewed Anton, and he was going to tell Anton about my dream, but he said he was so vivacious and full of life that he didn’t think he was checking out anytime soon.  Well, that was Anton Levy’s last interview ever, and he had messages that he wanted to give people, and that’s why he channeled me.  Maybe Boyd cannot retrieve these dreams.  Sometimes it’s very terrifying.

Sam:  You apparently had your own experience with death yourself.

In 1992 Giddle had a near death experience that changed her life: "It gave me more willpower, and desire, and passion to do anything and everything" Photo by Mari Kono

Giddle:  Oh yeah.  I died on April 17th 1992, in a horrible car accident when I went head on into a mountain because of a drunk driver in Colorado.  I was pronounced dead on arrival, and I was above my body, and I could see the paramedics working on me.  I saw a white light, and it was very warm and soothing, and I wanted to go with it, but I kept fighting it and going, “No no no no.”  I kept trying to swim my way back into me.  All of a sudden I was back in my body.  Ever since, I’ve believed that that was another rebirth.  I believe I was born twice in my existence, and that made me aware to a lot of things, and made me fearful because I realized that tragic things do happen and are real.

Sam:  What is different between the life you were living before the accident compared to the life you live now?

Giddle:  I think that I evolved, and basically got to the point where I don’t give a fuck.  I’m going to do whatever I want to do.  It gave me more willpower, and desire, and passion to do anything and everything.  It also created this character, Giddle Partridge; this groovy psychedelic doll.  It’s very hard to explain.

Sam:  You have become very well known as a Hollywood fixture.  When did you first come to LA?

Giddle's personal icon Jayne Mansfield outside of her heart shaped pool

Giddle:  I came in 1994 on a trip with an ex-boyfriend, and I was just drawn to [Hollywood].  I remember that we were driving down Sunset Boulevard, and all of a sudden I screamed “You got to pull over right now!  There’s Jayne Mansfield’s pink palace!”  He said “There’s all kinds of pink houses in Hollywood” and I said “No no no no no.  Don’t argue me with this.  I know that house.”  So sure enough he gets some map of the stars homes and, boom, there it was.  I was right.  He was wrong.  I was wearing all pink, naturally.  Englebert Humperdink still owned it at that point, and it wasn’t demolished yet.  I am sad the way that he got rid of that house because that should have been a Hollywood landmark.  It was all pink with a heart shaped pool and heart shaped sinks and a heart shaped tub.  Sadly, they destroyed it, and that was like dying when I heard that.  I drove right there, and it was gone, and it was literally like a homicide scene.  They did it in the middle of the night, and all the neighbors were all sad.  I got a piece of Jayne Mansfield’s house that day in 1994.  I was looking at the gate where she would enter the house, which had her initials “JM” on it.  All of a sudden I looked, and there was a piece of wall coming off, and I put my hand on it, and it came off in a complete chunk.  There were all shades of pink behind it, from all through the years, so luckily I have that.  But when I moved here, I didn’t actually like Los Angeles at all for my first year.  I was really disappointed, because I believed that everybody would be glamorous.  I was time traveling like I always do.  But now I love Hollywood!  I love it, I love it, I love it!

Sam:  I understand what you say about Hollywood not being the town of everybody’s fantasies:  the Hollywood of yore is long gone.  I always feel like I’m walking amongst the ghosts of my icon when I’m there.

Giddle:  Yes!  It is!  It totally is that way.  It just took me time to adjust.  Even though it is such a gigantic city, it is really a small town.  One time at the grocery store I saw Denzel Washington, and I yelled “Hey!  How are you doing?” and I went and gave him a hug, and we started talking for ten minutes until he realized we didn’t know each other at all.   I had mistaken him from knowing his face on film. I love the history.  The Capital Records building is one of my favorites.

Sam:  Going to Grauman’s Chinese Theater is like a religious pilgrimage to me.

Giddle:  It is, and then the Roosevelt Hotel is across the street, where they held the first Academy Awards, and is haunted by Marilyn Monroe.

Sam:  Yeah, and apparently the ghost of Montgomery Clift haunts the fourteenth floor.

Giddle:  Very interesting!

Giddle Partridge accompanying Rodney Bingenheimer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame's 50th anniversary celebration in 2010: "(Rodney is) a totally unique individual. He’s comfortable with being himself twenty-four hours"

Sam:  You are also known for being a very close friend to Rodney Bingenheimer and part of his group…

Giddle:  The “In-Crowd.”  That’s what Rodney calls the happening people.

Sam:  How did you meet Rodney and what is your relationship with him?

Giddle:  I was always aware of him: he is the definition of music.  He’s an incredible, sweet human being.  He is totally honest; totally sincere.  Honestly, one of the best people I met in my life, and I am so happy that I know Rodney.  He was redoing the English Disco at a club, and I walked up to him and talked to him.  Then we actually became really good friends at the premiere of the documentary that the late George Hickenlooper did of Rodney, called The Mayor of Sunset Strip.  A lot of people found that film sad, but I didn’t.  I sat there on the edge of my seat thinking, “I have to hang out with this man every day for the rest of my life.”  We have so much stuff in common.  I could see all the happiness, but it was the director who didn’t understand music, and Rodney.  He painted a picture of a sad person who was obsessed with fame when in reality, Rodney is a star maker.  Well, George wouldn’t have David Bowie, and Cher, and Blondie, and all these amazing people in your documentary if it wasn’t for Rodney’s phone book and his amazing friends.

Sam:  But if he was really a sad and pathetic man as the documentary made him out to be, people like Cher and Debbie Harry wouldn’t want anything to do with him.

Giddle Partridge with The Electric Prune's Mark Tulin and fabled songwriter Kim Fowley at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater. Mark Tulin was prodcuer of Giddle's latest musical project, but tragically passed away in February 2011

Giddle:  Exactly.  He’s a totally unique individual.  He’s comfortable with being himself twenty-four hours.  I really dig people who are comfortable just being themselves, because a lot of people aren’t.  A lot of people care too much about what other people think.

Sam:  Well, you can’t live your life being scared of what other people think.

Giddle:  Yeah.  You can’t.  Sometimes I’m walking down the street, and some idiot or small-minded person yells out the car window, “Hallowe’en was last week,” or “Freak.”  I don’t understand that, because what is a freak?  What is normal?  What makes those people normal?  I think those people are bigots and small-minded.  Those people are the people who are the people who probably have a lot of dark secrets.  They probably want to be a cross-dresser or something, but he can’t admit it.

Sam:  You first came onto my radar through your music; I love your voice and your presentation.  There is both sweetness and darkness to what you do.  I know that you’ve been working on a solo project for a while now; can you talk at all about that?

Giddle Partridge in the recording studio

Giddle:  I have so many different people involved in that, from the writing process to the actual music, and the musicians, and producers, and groovy guest appearances.  My musical taste goes from groovy old country to bubblegum music, like the Archies and The Banana Splits, and psychedelic garage rock from the 60’s, like Electric Prunes and The Seeds.  There is a tribute coming out for my late friend Sky Saxon from The Seeds, and I’m going to be on there doing a song called March of the Flower Children.  When he was alive he told me that that was his favorite song that he ever wrote.  It is just phenomenal.  Hawkwind is on it, Davy Jones, Iggy Pop, The Strawberry Alarmclock, The Electric Prunes, my friend Kim Fowley…the list just goes on and on.

Sam:  You have a huge cult following out there by people who know who you are.  Has anybody ever written to you telling you that you are an inspiration to them by the way that you live your life?

"I am who I am, and I always will be and I will not change. I evolve. I believe in evolving. But evolving and keeping true to yourself is the key to having a groovy Technicolor fun life."

Giddle:  I do, and that’s what’s really cool.  Sometimes I can’t believe it, but I totally dig it.  I get all these sweet letters, and presents, and e-mails and stuff from all kinds of people all over the world, and it’s shocking to me:  I mean, how do they know who I am?  It’s just adorable.  This girl did a photo shoot inspired by a photo shoot I did, and it was so cute.  I just loved that.  I don’t consider these people fans, but I consider them friends.  Without people liking what you do…or even disliking what you do…  There is no such a thing as bad publicity.  I laugh when I see things on-line about myself.  There is this writer in Portland who wrote that me and my brother engaged in incest, and drank each other’s urine, which obviously never happened.  He didn’t even bother to interview me.  It’s just hilarious to read.  And then there was that American Idol controversy with my friend, Constantine Maroulis.  He invited me to attend an episode, and all of a sudden, boom, he’s voted off the next week because [viewers were asking], “Oh, who’s the blonde?   Her name’s Giddle Partridge.”  Then they found an article that my friend Clint Catalyst did with a quote that said “I used to be a Satanist but now I’m a Partridge.”  Like, what the hell does that mean?  That’s like saying I used to be a tambourine but now I’m a candy cane.  So you’re going to have a Salem Witch trial and vote him off, but look at Constantine: he is victorious.  He rules.  He just got voted best Broadway performer in New York last year.  His career took off more than the winner.  I actually can’t stand American Idol at all.  I’m not into reality shows.  I just currently was called in for a reality show that may or may not happen, and I have a call back.

Sam:  Are you thinking of doing it?

Giddle:  Yeah, I’ll do it if everything is correct, and my vision.  I’m not a product of management or a stylist, or someone telling me what to do.  I am who I am, and I always will be and I will not change.  I evolve.  I believe in evolving.  But evolving and keeping true to yourself is the key to having a groovy Technicolor fun life.

No single interview can ever begin to reveal all the many facets of Giddle Partridge’s life and adventures in the pop culture world.  This interview hasn’t even scratched the surface and we haven’t even begun to tell the full story of Giddle Partridge.  Giddle Partridge’s influence continues to stretch throughout the entire Hollywood experience, and her legend and cult of fans continue to grow each month.  Giddle Partridge is everything and everywhere.  Hopefully this isn’t the last that we’ll hear from Giddle Partridge.  There is so much more to tell.

But the most important thing to take away from Giddle Partridge is that she is not just completely original, but she is completely honest about who she is and how she lives her life.  Giddle Partridge walks a fine line along the edgier existence of Hollywood’s underground, but she lives her life by her rules instead of that of a repressed status quo.  Some people might call that dangerous.  I call that inspiring.   Perhaps we should all live life like Giddle Partridge.  Keep our minds and eyes open to everything around us, shed our inhibitions and live life the way we want and be what we want to be. By living by her own rules, and embracing the journey as it comes, Giddle Partridge has had more adventures then most of us have in a single lifetime, and her story has just barely begun.

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