The watch-listed Danny Hurley sends the sad news: Joe Christ -- filmmaker, musician, provocateur, parent and all-'round hell-raiser -- died on Father's Day. According to the Facebook memorial page to which the faithful have been posting fond memories and farewells, he passed away in his sleep -- heart attack, three days after he'd turned 52.
For those who don't recall Joe, or didn't live in Dallas when he did (throughout most of the 1980s), he was John Waters turned up to 11 -- don't watch this at work, seriously. Shannon Sutlief nailed it in the paper version of Unfair Park in 2005, when she wrote about one of his many frequent trips back to Dallas: "a sultan of sick humor." And speaking of Waters, this is Joe in 1999, talking about perhaps his most infamous moment in Dallas:
As I understand it, John Waters has seen my movies, and considers them "bad" bad taste, as opposed to his concept of "good" bad taste. But when my band pulled a big publicity stunt -- on the 20th anniversary of his assassination, we rode in a limo through the JFK memorial services in Dallas in costumes resembling JFK and company -- John Waters personally congratulated us over the phone on our immensely bad taste.
As for the music, well, "Acid is Groovy ... Kill the Pigs" remains an unheralded surfabilly classic. What you see above is Joe and his late, great band, the Healing Faith, on a Dallas cable access show called Hi-Res Diner hosted by Paul Quigg; it dates back to August 17, 1987, a million years ago.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.