In this exclusive playlist, Francesca Lia Block provides fans with insight into eight tracks that she feels perfectly compliment the story and character of Weetzie Bat, as well as songs that she personally connects with. Block’s debut novel Weetzie Bat was released in 1989 as the first in the Dangerous Angels series, which follows Weetzie and friends through a version of Los Angeles that includes genies, ghosts, witches and other things that go bump in the night.
The story of Weetzie Bat plays heavily on messages of love and acceptance, values that are also at the core of this very website. We are excited to celebrate the recent announcement that Weetzie Bat is becoming a motion picture film with this unique piece from Francesca. If this is the first you’ve heard of Weetzie Bat, you should check out this amazing read from Entertainment Weekly from a die-hard fan whose personal love for the story resonates loud and clear.
1. Dreaming – Blondie
I am obsessed with Debbie Harry. She represents the perfect blend of new wave/punk glamor. The talent! The style! The cheekbones, dimples, body and HAIR! I love that she was one of the few lead singers in bands at this time. She influenced so many other female performers. For these reasons, my character, Weetzie, also loves her and considers her a style icon. Dreaming is also what Weetzie does best, until she grows up and learns to make her dreams a reality.
2. Gidget Goes to Hell – Suburban Lawns
I saw The Suburban Lawns from Long Beach at the Whisky in 1981. At that time it was rare to see a female lead singer in the punk scene. Sue Tissue was surreal, weird, fierce, sexual and ethereal. The art punk vibe of this band was something I hadn’t seen before. Gidget represents the typical California surfer girl, which, in some ways, Weetzie is, but she’s also odd and different and punk rock. So the lyrics in “Gidget Goes to Hell” and the manic sound of the song are perfect.
3. Secret Agent Man – Devo
Weetzie loves a guy she calls My Secret Agent Lover Man. I got this name when I was in Berkeley in 1982. I saw some graffiti written between the tiles in the grout in the bathroom of the library. It said, “My Secret Agent Lover Man you will never read this,” in tiny letters. Who wrote it? I’ll never know. That’s how I named the character. I already knew the song by Devo. I loved how inventive and experimental they were. Once, a few years later, my friends and I hung out at the Silverlake street fair with one of the members of Devo. He was munching on a giant turkey leg. We rode on some rides.
4. Green Onions – Booker T and the MG’s
This slinky sound is what I imagine playing on the jukebox at Duke’s when Weetzie meets My Secret Agent Lover man. I like to imagine him walking out to the beat.
5. Electricity – OMD
This haunting song makes me feel nostalgic for hot summer nights in LA in the 80’s, driving down a freeway with “Dirk,” the top down, the city sparkling all around us. It sounds like possibility. It also makes me really sad. My father was dying of cancer during this time of my life.
6. Slave to Love – Roxy Music
This is the song playing in Hamburger Mary’s when Dirk searches for his love, Duck. It’s how I’ve felt a lot in my life.
7. Heroes – David Bowie
This is just such a great song. I think it just expresses the love between my characters, and the way love is so empowering that it makes us feel we can do anything.
8. Lust For Life – Iggy Pop
This song is mentioned at the end of Weetzie Bat when they’re all dancing at the party in the backyard. It’s one of my all time favorite songs. I’m a little frustrated about the fact that it’s been in two commercials, because I wanted it as part of my movie soundtrack. I’m completely obsessed with Iggy. I met him once at the store where I worked on Melrose in 1982. He was soft-spoken and adorable. He signed my autograph book “To Weetzie.” Then I saw him twice in concert in the late 80’s. My boyfriend had me up on his shoulders so I was level with Iggy when he jumped into the audience. He is one of the those people that can look at you and make you feel like you’re all he sees. When I die, please play this at my funeral.