|Tish and Snooky (born Patrice and Eileen) were born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx and raised by their mother, Estelle, a wonderful artist who sold many of her enchanting drawings to publishers of children's books, greeting cards, and the like. This talented woman dedicated her life to her art and the upbringing of her two daughters. She taught them strong values and gave them lots of encouragement to express themselves freely and believe in themselves
.believe that they could do anything they desired. No wonder she wound up with such creative girls! The sisters had big dreams and were not afraid to follow them.
Tish and Snooky began performing when they were kids. Their first paying gig was singing and dancing at the local Butcher Shop for a slice og bologna. (now they are vegetarians and work for tofu!). They didn't have much money so they had to design and sew their own costumes. The sisters fell in love with dance and "show business" and began to develop a unique flair for fashion and style.
As teenagers the girls became impassioned rock 'n' rollers, singing and dancing to their (well informed) record collection. Rock was really happening and it was exciting! Tish and Snooky would create their own glam rock looks with trim, tinsel, and glitter that they had used in their dance costumes. As soon as they could muster up fake IDs they went downtown to the clubs Club 82! Max's Kansas City!
They met a group of super decadent ambi-sexual performers and were invited to sing and dance in the historic Palm Casino Revue. Here they fell in with some legendary characters who had invented new outrageous looks and whose lifestyles defined the underground culture of the time. Performers like Tomato Du Plenty,Gorilla Rose, Jayne County, the rock band NY Dolls were among the individuals who all inspired them. The shows were over-the-top, the after-parties went on all night long, the clothes were wild and the make up was heavy.
In 1973 the sisters took their first trip to the UK with Captain Beefheart and his Magic band. Rock 'n' roll had completely taken hold of their souls and when they returned to the states they began adding a little leather to their look and joined their first punk band, Blondie. At this time the girls were out and about in the NYC club scene dressed in their fashions that noone had ever seen before, as the sisters had created their clothes and accessories themselves. "Where can we buy that?" people would ask. An idea was born. With a $250 loan from their Aunt Harriet and another $250 of Snooky's savings, Tish and Snooky gathered up a bunch of designs out of their closet and opened America's very first punk boutique. Their mother coined the name: MANIC PANIC.
The Grand Opening of the MANIC PANIC shop opened in NYC on St. Mark's Place was 7/7/77 It was the only store of its kind. You could buy punk T shirts (created by Tish and Snooky) , spike heeled stiletto shoes, go-go boots, fishnet stockings, vintage 50's clothes, leather jackets, tight black pants, theatrical cosmetics, and (now world famous) MANIC PANIC Hair Color.
The shop became a stomping ground for all members of the current counter culture: performers, artists, drag queens, and punk rockers came from all over the world . Tish and Snooky staffed the store with punk rockers like bassist/DJ/writer Howie Pyro and photographer Mariah Aguiar. In the summer of '77 Tish created the infamous "Son of Sam" T shirts that were worn by the Dead Boys. Local bands like The Ramones, Television, and the Dictators were regulars who visited and came to promote their shows.
Tish and Snooky had developed their voices backing up Debbie Harry in Blondie with signature harmonies and dance moves. CBGB's became the hot punk night spot and the band played there frequently. Originally CBGB's was a biker bar with barely a stage, some Hell's Angels shooting pool, and a handful of what would later become known as punks. The club evolved as the nucleus for the emerging new music scene.
After Blondie, Tish and Snooky went in a more extreme direction forming an outrageous punk band with their friend from the Bronx, Russell Wolinsky: SIC F*CKS The name alone was enough to raise eyebrows and push envelopes. But people were not prepared for the Bellomo sisters new stage attire: ripped up Nun's outfits, habits cut to mid thigh, complete with rosaries, bottles of holy water, shreded black silk stockings with garter belts in full view, and Tish's "Pussy Galore" button. The musicians in the band, all boys, had similar
more to come. stay tuned!
(written by Gyda Gash)