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Q Lazzarus is a retired American singer, known as a one-hit wonder for her 1988 song "Goodbye Horses", written by William Garvey, which was featured in the films Married to the Mob and The Silence of the Lambs, both of which were directed by Jonathan Demme.
Q Lazzarus is known for having a deep, husky contralto voice. She was born in New Jersey, married young, fled a marriage of domestic abuse which later would inspire her to write her song "Tears of Fear". After she fled her marriage, Q moved to New York City and became a nanny for an English man named Swan who did not encourage her musical gifts, trying to steer her towards a "practical occupation". Q decided to drive a taxi instead and continued making music independently with her band The Resurrection. She was discovered as a singer when she worked as a taxi driver in New York City. She picked up famous director Jonathan Demme, who heard her demo playing in the taxi. Demme took her to Hollywood, where despite his encouragement, record companies refused to sign her because they believed she couldn't be marketed. Q replied, "I market myself, I'm an African American woman who wears locks and sings American rock and roll."
Q Lazzarus' music was featured in the films Twisted, Something Wild, and Married to the Mob, where "Goodbye Horses" originally debuted. Q Lazzarus recorded a cover of the Talking Heads song "Heaven" for the 1993 film Philadelphia. "Goodbye Horses", written by William Garvey, is most remembered from The Silence of the Lambs as the song playing during the famous scene in which Buffalo Bill performs his macabre crossdressing monologue. This garnered it the popular nickname "The Buffalo Bill Song". It was re-released as a single in 1991 with a longer duration after its appearance in The Silence of the Lambs. The song has since been featured and parodied in film, television, and video games, including Clerks II, Fully Flared, Maniac, Grand Theft Auto IV, Skate 3, Family Guy, The Last Man on Earth, and Nip Tuck.
Q Lazzarus' band was called Q Lazzarus and the Resurrection. The members included Mark Barrett, Garvey, Glorianna Galicia, Janice Bernstein, and backup singers Denise, Liz and Yvette W., Howie Feldman and Ron Resigno. Q Lazzarus and the Resurrection appeared at SoHo gallery parties and often performed at Boy Bar on Saint Mark's Place and the Pyramid Club. The band disbanded sometime before 1996, and Q Lazzarus dropped from the public eye.
- Sawdey, Evan (July 17, 2013). "The Mysterious Legacy of Q Lazzarus". PopMatters.
- Helman, Peter (August 11, 2018). "Mysterious "Goodbye Horses" Singer Q Lazzarus Breaks Her Silence 30 Years Later". Stereogum. Retrieved August 11, 2018.