About Jayne/Wayne County
Initially making his name as a prominent scenester during the heady days of the early-'70s New York punk club scene, Wayne County later gained additional renown as rock's first prominent transsexual performer, billing herself as Jayne County following her return to the U.S. from Berlin in 1980. Born Wayne Rogers in Dallas, Georgia (near Atlanta) sometime in 1947, Wayne County assumed his stage name for a production of the Jackie Curtis play Femme Fatale. County acted in several Andy Warhol-associated theater pieces and from there became the regular DJ at the legendary club Max's Kansas City. Starting in 1972, County performed (in drag) at the club as well, eventually writing and recording a celebratory theme song titled "Max's Kansas City" in 1976 with a backing group called the Back Street Boys. However, County found it difficult to find American labels interested in his trashy, campy, New York Dolls-influenced brand of rock & roll, so he relocated to London just as that city's punk movement was beginning to gather momentum.
County found a home on the Safari label with a new band, the Electric Chairs, and issued his debut album -- also called The Electric Chairs -- in 1978. Further albums included Storm the Gates of Heaven and Things Your Mother Never Told You, both from 1979; afterwards, County retired to Berlin and emerged as Jayne County, returning to North America in 1980. A 1981 live album, Rock 'n' Roll Resurrection, was the first billed to Jayne County, and found her fronting a mostly new version of the Electric Chairs.
County was quiet for a while as a recording artist, returning only in 1986 with a self-produced album called Private Oyster (a similar, unauthorized version was later issued under the title Amerikan Cleopatra; in 2017, the two albums were reissued in a two-fer edition). Periodic releases followed in the '90s, some featuring new songs, some featuring reworked versions of past material. In 1996, County published her autobiography, Man Enough to Be a Woman; in 1999, she issued a newly recorded version of her song "Fuck Off," retitled "Fuck Off 2000." 2002's Wash Me in the Blood of Rock & Roll was a live album that featured a duet between County and Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators. 2006's Wayne County at the Trucks featured material from a 1974 recording project that was long believed to be lost. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi