Adele Bertei is a poet, writer, actor, performer, singer, songwriter, and filmmaker. She entered the downtown New York scene of the late 1970s as organist for musical insurrectionists, the Contortions. Bertei appeared in lead roles in several indie films, notably Lizzie Borden’s Born in Flames, and has toured with, written songs for, and recorded as a vocalist for artists as diverse as Tears for Fears, Sandra Bernhard, Culture Club, Scritti Politti, Whitney Houston, and Lydia Lunch. Bertei’s first solo recording “Build Me a Bridge” on Geffen Records was a dance hit, as were singles “Just a Mirage” and Thomas Dolby’s “Hyperactive!”. She debuted new material in 2017-18 at MoMA, Club Salo Paris, and in Florence at La Compagnia Cinema. Adele has facilitated songwriting workshops for homeless youth at My Friend’s Place in Hollywood, and volunteered with Wayne Kramer’s Jail Guitar Doors. Bertei’s book Why Labelle Matters will be published in 2021 by the University of Texas Press.
Adele’s memoir, Peter and the Wolves, recounts her friendship with the late great Peter Laughner, Cleveland’s answer to all things underground and punk in the 1970s. Adele and Peter’s collaborations appear in Smog Veil’s groundbreaking 2019 box set. The book is Bertei's intimate recounting of the musical education she received from Laughner; of their complex artistic kinship, and the vivid trajectory of the ‘live fast die young’ ethos that extinguished the light of a radiant rock and roll heart.
This first paperback edition contains newly discovered photos, a new forward, and an epilogue penned by original Pere Ubu bassist Tim Wright all contained in 93 pages.