But here is the spookiest thing of all: The transplanted-to-Tucson (via somewhere in Eastern Europe, though we'll get to that in a minute) sibling entertainment revue known as the Zsa Zsas (formerly known as the Zsa-Zsa's before their knowledge of English grammar and punctuation got the better of them) all have dopplegängers living right here in Tucson. And get this: All five of the musical brothers' dopplegängers--sister Zsa Zsa Ramlow serves as the band's onstage bartender--play in local bands, too! How weird is that?
Having seen my share of local performers over the years, I can firmly attest to the following: Zsa Zsas lead singer Milos Sucrose bears an uncanny resemblance to Sand Rubies singer/guitarist Dave Slutes; same goes for bassist Miercoles Sucrose and Creosote's Jason Steed, guitarist Lalo Sucrose and local six-string god Gene Ruley, keyboardist Phallos Sucrose and Topless Opry's Phil Stevens, and drummer "Hot" Carlo Sucrose and Greyhound Soul frontman Joey Peña. And yet, as diverse as all of the dopplegängers' bands are, and as good as they all are, there is no doubt that the sheer talent and showmanship of the Zsa Zsas puts the lot of them to shame. Just ask the Sucrose brothers.
I was lucky enough to recently sit down with Milos and Miercoles for cocktails as they were "preparing" for their upcoming Nasty Show, their final performance of the 20th century. Though they were characteristically tight-lipped as to details of the show, I did manage to wrest a few choice tidbits, as well as peek into the lives of two of the finest showmen to ever grace a stage.
Tucson Weekly: I have a hard time placing where you're from based on your accents. Where exactly are you from?
Milos Sucrose: Well, the accents aren't really consistent because Mom was from a different place than Pop.
Miercoles Sucrose: And mostly because we've been so Americanized. Mostly. If we were to go home now they'd send us off to a freaking gulag.
Milos: Yes, a goulash. But you know. You know where we're from.
TW: No, actually I don't. That's why I asked the question.
Milos: You know where Czechoslovakia is?
Milos and Miercoles (in unison): It's nowhere near there!
Milos: It's south of there, Lotsaslavia ... (interrupted as cocktail waitress approaches and the table orders another round).
Cocktail waitress: Did you have a tab or are you paying cash?
Milos: I am paying in American dollars for this.
TW: How long ago did you move to America?
Milos: About 10 years ago. It was very troubled time.
Miercoles (muttering under his breath): It was 10 months.
Milos (ignoring him): It's one of those things where you're trying to express your "art" (rubs his fingers together to signify "money," as he does every time he uses the word "art" for the rest of the interview) in very repressive country, and, eh ... things go wrong. You know this is those days when they had that Iron Curtain all folded up and you couldn't see a damn thing through it. Not a damn thing at all. So we decided to come to America to express our "art" and to avoid a couple ...
Miercoles: Bad debts.
Milos: Some misguided women. The Eastern European Hacky Sack Association wasn't very happy with us either.
TW: How did you start playing music?
Milos: You don't understand. We come from a family of musicians. They passed it down and beat this shit into us.
Miercoles: We been playing thousands of years. Or 10 months.
Milos: We come to this country to play the classical, traditional stuff--that's what we try to bring to America--but we come here, and all these stupid kids want this bullshit, so that's become a part of our "art."
Miercoles: But we are not selling out!
TW: So you're saying that you don't actually like the music you play?
Milos: Can't stand any of it! It's the worst pieces of shit you've ever heard!
Miercoles: I'd say that of all the shit that we play, eleven-tenths of it is shit.
Milos: Maybe more.
TW: Do you do this full-time or do you have day jobs?
Milos: No, this is full-time. We work and play together as one big happy family. You must understand: The Zsa Zsas know every song ever written (pounds table for emphasis)!! OK, that's not entirely true; Lalo doesn't know the ending of this one Gregorian chant, and then there's this B-side to Huey Lewis' "I Want a New Drug" that I don't know the third verse to, but we know all of the rest of them.
TW: Were you exposed to American culture in your homeland?
Miercoles: McDonald's. Everybody has it.
Milos: And that's where we got a lot of the music from, too. We understood that there was a very good music scene there. That Irish guy.
Milos and Miercoles: (both start singing "Send In the Clowns")
TW: What prompted the idea to exclusively perform medleys, and have you ever played a song in its entirety?
Milos: Think about it: If you know every song ever written, it gets pretty fucking boring just playing a song. We see songs as themes. We understand the inner child of each song, and these child like to mingle with one another. Sometimes they fight with one another, sometimes they pull the hair of one another, but they all like to play. Or something.
TW: The upcoming show is called the Nasty Show. What's so nasty about it?
Milos: It's a very ribald review. Think about it: What do all the kids do? What do they all talk about? Think about little gerbils up your butt, think about whatever you want; we're gonna do it Friday night.
TW: Where did you get your fine sense of fashion?
Milos: Miercoles' wife, Kimtchatka Katscanna Sucrose, designs all of our clothes.
Miercoles: Wife, sister, whatever.
Milos: She is soon to give birth to their love child.
Miercoles: We will call her Oopscht Sucrose.
TW: What's your ultimate goal for the band?
Milos: To get to Las Vegas like every great band. One day ...
Miercoles: We had to come all the way from our country to bring Las Vegas-style entertainment to America.
Milos: And all-you-can-eat falafel.
Miercoles: You see it all over town now, but that was us, goddammit!
Milos: It's a tough gig. We've lost a few members ...
0Miercoles (interrupting): In 1985 where could you get all-you-can-eat falafel!?! I'll tell you goddamn where! Zsa Zsa show! Now these joints are popping up all over town!
TW: I've read that your parents had 75 children. How many of them have played in The Zsa Zsas over the years?
Milos: Almost 84 of them, but there are a few more coming.
TW: So your parents are still having kids?
Miercoles: I can't even think about that.
Milos: It's disgusting.
Miercoles: But he fucks her pretty hard.
Milos: In the buttocks.
TW: From what I understand, though, that doesn't produce offspring.
Milos: You haven't seen some of our brothers. But forget about that. Listen here, pipsqueak, what we need from you is to sell our show.
TW: Then why don't you tell the people out there what to expect when they come to see you on Friday?
Milos: They're going to get a digitally manifested laser light show ...
Miercoles: ... and multi-quadraphonic sound systems ...
Milos: ... and pyroglyphics ...
Miercoles: ... and tostesterone (sic). What is more original than taking other people's songs and playing them accurately?
Milos: We are going to perform 50 songs of the nastiest nature that man has ever heard. We will be taking requests from the audience, and we will spin the Nasty wheel, because we know every song ever written (pounds table for emphasis)! We will have props. Our new manager, Tony Caligula--not a nice guy--tells us that if we are going to make any ... "art" on this show, we're going to have to do it right. There's one number where our penises come out and sing for us.
TW: That's gotta be worth five bucks right there.
Milos: Actually I've seen the boys and it's worth around $2.25. Then there's this segment that we don't want to do, but we have to--it's part of the deal--about animal sex. You know of this? Sure! There's this wonderful Al Stewart song we're going to do: "In the Rear of the Cat."
TW: Um, I believe that's "Year of the Cat."
Milos: No, no! I'm talking about that Al Stewart song from the '70s, (sings) "In the rear of the cat ..." You know, Al Stewart!
TW: Yeah, the same guy who did that song "Time Passages."
Miercoles: Yes, yes. "Passages." Yes, "Tiny Passages." We're doing that one in our tribute to pedophiles.
Milos: That Al Stewart, he was a ...
Miercoles (interrupting): He's a sick bastard, is what he is.
Milos: And a visionary.
Miercoles: We've really learned a lot about the darker side from Al. It's really helped my marriage to Kimtchatka.
Milos: They put on an Al Stewart record, next thing you know, 75 more little Sucrose babies runnin' around.