Rough Trade: The Art Rock Musical




The 80s. Punk, New Wave, Fashion, Glamor, Sexual Awakenings and a whole lot of Attitude. My band Rough Trade had a lot of it and our music was at the center of it. We were about fusing music with art and activism. We were about lifting up the hearts and minds of our crazy diverse audiences with rock' n' roll. We were queer. We were androgynous. We were glamor pusses. And we loved being a part of the world when attitudes were changing towards gay people and women and the other pandemic, AIDS. My brother Howie, who was also a musician (in some pretty 'out there' 80s bands) died of AIDS in the early 90s. He wasn't one of the lucky ones. But he was one of the beautiful unsung heroes of the time, marching for equal rights, advocating for AIDS research, getting into what John Lewis called "Good Trouble." This musical is about him, about the 80s, about daring to live your truth.  Through the songs of Rough Trade and some of my more recent solo work, we create a wild, provocative New Wave theatrical experience for today's audience.

I'm asking for donations to help support  virtual workshops.  The book is by comedy rock diva Kate Rigg . On board already are the insanely talented  director Robert McQueen and music director Elizabeth Baird.  We need money to pay actors, musicians, video artists and designers to rehearse and prepare virtually till we can go live in 2022.   If you are interested in perks, seeing early rehearsals, and cool swag please check the updates!

ABOUT THE MUSICAL:
Rough Trade's  attitude was their calling card; and it oozed from boldly literate lyrics and activist swagger, particularly focused on sexual freedom, androgyny, the rejection of gender norms and questioning of all authority: social, cultural and political. The heyday of the band coincided the rise of queer activist group ACT UP who battled the government for access to new and better HIV treatments. ACT UP’s army of citizens fought for the lives of people who were on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic. One of those people was Howard Pope, my brother. “Attitude” is a full length rock musical set in the late 80s / early 90s with flash forwards to today. ” it teases out shifting attitudes on sexuality and queer activism, the glamor of the music and club scene. All as seen through the eyes of our hero, Howie, an every man navigating the seas of politics and art activism surrounding his own sexuality, all narrated by Rough Trade's  lead singer (“Carole”). Celebrating art and resistance with ground-breaking music, it mirrors the turbulent times we live in.
  • Anonymous 
    • $650 
    • 3 mos
  • John Whynot 
    • $200 
    • 3 mos
  • Lauren Munn 
    • $1,580 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $800 
    • 12 mos
  • Dave Bennett 
    • $100 
    • 12 mos
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Carole Pope 
Organizer
Raised $1,250 from 9 donations
New York, NY
Allyson Smith 
Team member
Raised $70 from 2 donations
Kate Rigg 
Team member
Kate Rigg 
Team member