Kool Kitten of the Week: A Pinup Girl And Her Pups: Brook Bolen and the F’n Heartbreaks Rock Out for Pitbulls

Brook Bolen poses as Miss April in the Pinups for Pitbulls 2011 calendar. Photo courtesy of Pinups for Pitbulls.

There oughta be a song about it. Guy dumps girl. Girl gets dog, starts a rock band called the F’n Heartbreaks, poses with her dogs as Miss April in the Pinup for Pitbulls 2011 Calendar to help more dogs, and performs at DOG DAYS OF SUMMER, Pin-Ups for Pitbulls’ latest fundraiser this Friday night (Aug. 12) at The Basement beneath Graveyard Tavern in East Atlanta.

While that fairy tale could be Brook Bolen’s life story, this fun fundraiser is for anyone of either sex who loves dogs, especially pitbulls, and righteous Retro entertainment. In addition to The F’n Heartbreaks, there’s the Hot Rod Walt Trio, an offshoot of rockabilly daredevils Psycho DeVilles (read ATLRetro’s recent Kool Kat interview with Hot Rod Walt here), and plenty of burlesque goodness from the tantalizing Talloollah Love, the sexy Sadie Hawkins and Barbilicious of Blast-Off Burlesque, and Little Darling from Pennsylvania, who also is the charity’s founder. Plus merchandise for sale, a raffle and silent auction to support the cause, and pinup girls aplenty!

ATLRetro caught up with Brook to find out the full scoop on Friday’s festivities, as well as a little bit about the F’n Heartbreaks, her passion for pitbulls and how you can become a Pinup for Pitbulls calendar girl, too.

Pitbulls often get a bad rap. How did you get involved with Pinups for Pitbulls and why does supporting this charity and pitbulls mean so much to you?

I discovered Pinups for Pitbulls about four years ago and was immediately drawn to them because they fit me effortlessly. I have two pitbulls, love pinup style and was literally heartbroken from working in a high-kill animal shelter where I saw countless pits die needlessly. This charity is the perfect way for me to effect some positive change in a way that is authentic to me. Our work is fundamental to me not only because of my own pitbull babies but because of the tens of thousands I met working in Animal Control who were also wonderful, loving companion animals.

How did the idea for Pinups for Pitbulls get started? Wasn’t it founded by a burlesque performer?

It was founded by an amazing pinup model and burlesque performer, Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin. Her lifelong love of animals led her to volunteer in an animal shelter, where she fell in love with a pitbull but was prohibited from adopting it. She learned that many shelters employ similar policies—so going to shelters is essentially a death sentence. She decided to use her pinup/burlesque fan base to start educating and advocating for the breed.

How did you become Miss Pinups for Pitbulls April 2011, and how can other aspiring pin-up girls get into next year’s calendar?

I went through the application and submission process and was thrilled when I discovered I was Miss April 2011. Prior to ever applying, I worked as a volunteer for several local events and, since then, have hosted numerous fundraisers in Atlanta to benefit the organization. Other aspiring pinup girls can get their feet in the door by volunteering at events and/or being part of the street team to help promote events, etc. We always need help!

Can you tell us a little bit about the F’n Heartbreaks. How’d the band get together and why garage rock?

The F’n Heartbreaks are the brainchild of my BFF Stephanie Hudson, who grew up watching Doris Day films and sighing at the impossibly romantic, chiffon-draped songs of the early ‘60s. Being a can-do Scorpio, she wrangled some musicians and singers together and formed our band. Garage rock fits us because our lyrics and vocals are very Motown, but because our band is comprised of mostly punk rockers, there’s a real British invasion feel to the music. We are like the Shirelles if they were backed by the Clash.

The F'n Heartbreaks. L-R: Brook Bolen, Stephanie Hudson, Carrie Manuel. Photo courtesy of the F'n Heartbreaks.

That Cinco de Mayo story on the F’n Heartbreaks’ Facebook page got us all tearful. Is it true?

Lord, honey, I wish it wasn’t, but it is. I can laugh about it now, but imagine my f’n heartbreaking shock when I came home to the house I shared with my love, romantic dinner-fixins in tow and discovered our house was empty and naked as a jaybird. All I had was a four-page letter on the coffee table telling me it was over. It liked to killed me—hence, our name and many of our songs.

Who influenced your sound? Any Retro musical heroes?

We’re influenced by the “Wall of Sound” created by Phil Specter and all the great girl groups: the Ronettes, the Chiffons, the Shirelles, the Supremes…and many, many obscure others. We’ve added a dash of rockabilly and dirty rock and roll and turned it into something all our f’n own.

What else do you do for work or artistic pleasure?

When I’m not making out with my dogs or at the pound loving some homeless babies up, I garden, whip up fabulous veg treats, and do freelance writing. I write on any and every topic. Some of my pitbull centric writing can be found at www.pitbullpatriarchy.com.

Hot Rod Walt and the Psycho-Devilles. Photo courtesy of Hot Rod Walt.

Can you tell us a little bit about your pitbulls and what makes them such great dogs?

I am the proud mama to the two greatest pitbulls on Earth—Bianca Bell Blanco and Rufus Butterscotch Jackson. These two rescue dogs were abandoned and left for dead—now they sleep under the covers with me! They are the funniest, goofiest, gentlest, kindest spirits, and I’d be literally be lost without them. Advocating for them, and other dogs like them, has given my life a meaning it lacked before.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Only that if people are unable to attend the event, they can still support our cause through donations on the Pinups for Pitbulls Website.

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