Teddy Pendergrass, Heterosexualizer: For Ladies Only tour, 1978
Not that his one-nighters haven’t been enjoyable! Teddy relates that one in particular was a stand-out – when he played to a 100% female audience at Chino Women’s Prison during the summer.
"Now that was really something! It was a trip because naturally, a lot of women in prison find themselves becoming involved with other women – bisexuality and homosexuality develop in prisons – and I’d say that it was the first time a lot of those ladies had put on a dress since they’d been in there. And then some of those girls who were sitting on other girls’ laps got up and sat in their own seats during the performance and I think that 90% of the women in their really looked very feminine – like they’d gotten ready for the occasion. It just made me ask some of them what good-looking ladies like them were doing in a place like that!"
The performance came during Teddy’s season on “For Ladies Only” concerts which he says were attended “by 80% women. I don’t know if it turned any of my male fans off but then I didn’t consider that! I do know that I ended up with quite a collection of ladies’ underwear after the shows!”
Now, before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, let’s quickly emphasise that Teddy – whose image as a sex-symbol has been somewhat cast – was the recipient of same from members of his audience obviously moved to give him souvenirs and momentos of his performance! “What did I do with the underwear?” he laughs. “Donated it to a museum, of course!”
From “Teddy Pendergrass: The Sex Symbol of 1979,” by David Nathan, Blues & Soul Magazine