When Lady Red Couture passed away earlier this summer, it left our community with one less incredible advocate & trailblazer, but it also left the family at Hey Qween and its host Jonny McGovern without a creative partner and co-host. Playing the fiercest Ed McMahon you’d ever see to McGovern’s Johnny Carson, Couture offered razor sharp retorts and looks for days, playing off McGovern perfectly. With Hey Qween premiering their eighth season today, McGovern remains bereft at the loss of his dear friend, but is paying tribute to her in ways that the countless fans of this drag icon will find to be absolutely perfect.
Flowers:Songs To Lady Red is an EP McGovern has crafted with fellow Hey Qween collaborator Adam Joseph, who also worked with Lady Red on her own 2018 album Stunt Queen. The songs on the EP are direct messages to Lady Red, offering warm words to her and those that love her. ‘Flowers’ offers a wistful message to Lady Red directly on her passing, while ‘Smokin’ Blunts Ain’t The Same Without You’ is a piano laden ballad. The final track on the EP is ‘Gone’, a mid-tempo track that showcases McGovern coming to terms with the passing of the woman he shared the screen with for eight seasons.
The team at Hey Qween also paid homage to Lady Red Couture in their own beautiful way, premiering The Lady Red Memorial Special last week, The special featured queens such as Erikatoure, Honey Davenport, Jackie Beat, and Sherry Vine (among many others) recalling their fondest memories and sharing special words about this larger than life, brash and bold force of nature that Lady Red was. Davenport told a story of Lady Red asking to be her “LA Mom” when Davenport moved to Los Angeles, while Sherry Vine told a story of how she and Jackie Beat now officially use one of Red’s signature phrases every time they prepare to get in drag.
I spoke with Jonny McGovern exclusively for this piece and he told me “These 3 songs are very different than any other music I’ve ever recorded. After Red passed there was so much I wanted to say but found hard to put into words. I’ve never publicly been so vulnerable, in the past I’ve just put on a happy face and kept moving through multiple big personal losses but because my friendship with Lady Red and our history was so public I felt I needed to find a way to let people in-in a way I had never done before. I hope people will FEEL ME. I wanted people to understand what we shared and creating these songs helped me express all the different emotions I was going through in a way that I couldn’t through an interview or a social media post. I’m speaking directly to Lady Red on this EP and the songs encompass the different layers of loss as I came to terms with the sudden death of my best friend and creative partner; it’s a mood. Meant to be heard all the way through. If you’ve ever lost someone close to you I think you’ll relate.”
Hey Qween Season 8 premiere’s this morning & is streaming on Amazon Prime
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