Duane the Teenage Weirdo
He’s been called “the love child of Grace Jones and David Bowie” and, although he denies coining the phrase, lives in the tagline. Simon Cowell and Co. voted him off X-Factor (Duane performed “A Rolling Stone” by Grace Jones and Bowie’s “Jean Genie”), but Jack White is a fan, as is local label Beehive Recording Co., which just released his first EP. His local fanbase so far is small — he debuted live 15 months ago — but growing … exponentially.
Duane (born Michael Duane Gholston) is a hard kid to peg down; he’s an outsider, to be sure, but his élan is born of a kind of inner confidence, not inferiority, or some kind of crippling insecurity — though he is self-deprecating as all hell. Usually decked out in ripped jeans and customized shirts with clothespins in classic punk rock style, the spindly, soft-spoken 19-year-old is a sartorial headfuck, even while he’s strolling down some Detroit avenue, mid-afternoon. He likes it that way. His dyed-brown Afro explodes from his head, under which rests an array of scarves and jangling necklaces that’d rest easily on Steven Tyler. His face is colored ornately with shades of mascara and eyeliner, done with the skill of high school girl who’s beyond the point of luring in her first boy. Dude lives up to his full moniker.