Pride TBT

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Nunzio's Cafe 1984 Chicago

“I have a friend dying of AIDS. Before I was leaving for a trip, we were talking. He said, “I didn’t want this, and I hated this, and I was terrified of this. But it turns out that this illness has been my greatest gift.” He said, “Now every moment is so precious to me. All the people in my life are so precious to me. My whole life means so much to me.” Something had really changed, and he felt ready for his death. Something that was horrifying and scary had turned into a gift. Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

A little TBT and a nod to Pride Month. This is me having a little lunch cooked by my friend Bruce Fortner at Nunzio’s Chicago 1984…

Red Hot Chili Peppers t shirt… they played live at Medusa’s that year… as did Violent Femmes , ESG, Ministry, and Front 242.. I helped a friend open an after hours club in 83 and we were all surfing a big one.

This photo popped up on Facebook from a friend and it took me by surprise.I think mostly because this was just before the tsunami hit. It felt like the Renaissance here. 84 seemed golden.

I was 26 that year. Nunzio (owned the cafe) was still healthy and tickling his muse. Bruce (who posted the pic) was still living with his partner Joey well before Joey was snatched into oblivion. The next year all sorts of hell broke loose. My best friend withered throughout the year. I tested positive for HIV in October. My friend died on Thanksgiving. Nunzio disclosed that he was frantically and maniacally injecting himself with vitamins to combat the virus. Many of us dabbled with macrobiotic diets (see george kushi). louse hay’s los angeles hay ride was making history and a cultural and generational trauma happened at our doors.

I knew so many brave warriors at that time in my life. Many of them helped me survive. LGBT Pride doesn’t just exist because people come out of the closet. It also is real because people endure and make sacrifices without losing their will to be true to themselves. Just as our LGBT predecessors, many paid incredible prices for the choices they made. They danced to their own music and they followed the muses that are theirs. And our world and our collective culture is richer and more beautiful because of them.

front 242 shirt

Please take a moment to celebrate LGBT Pride Month. So many have gone before us to make it possible. They would demand that you find joy. They demanded nothing less of themselves.

It was certainly a time…… you can read about some of our little enclaves experiences at this resident advisor article…. interview with me begins just after Ministry ad if you click here.. https://lnkd.in/b8pG4Ke


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It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is your's. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is your’s. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.

as i often reminisce about chicago in the 1980’s, this thursday lands me on the nyc band made up of sisters that called themselves esg. they played at medusa’s music hall in 1984 or so. ed bahlman was the executive director of 99 records at the time and was really promoting a funk punk mashup style that included liquid liquid, bush tetras, and the sweet, sensorial, and very sassy esg.

as an acting emissary for the club, one of the perks was to entertain the artists the evening before their late night performance. i took the girls to dinner. we chatted and giggled and they shared some of their lives with me for a coupla hours as our ships passed in the night. one detail i have never forgotten is how they named their band- emerald, sapphire, and gold. the show immediately became one of my golden memories from medusa’s. and i now know that all those days were a good training ground for the work i do today. i learned so much about working with so many different types of people. and it helped open my heart to cultures i didn’t know first hand.

another kooky memory from that evening involved one of my mother’s best friends from central illinois had driven up in her gold caddy and came by to say hello. i’m pretty sure she had never been in any sort of atmoshphere like medusas. it was early on saturday morning- just barely having closed the prior night’s doors. ed bahlman needed some to get to a different part of town and so jackie drove him in her caddy. here he was being chauffered by a sweet and colorful and simple hairdresser from peoria illinois. i’m sure it was a trip for him (and her).

anyway- esg’s recording of “moody” still gets my heart going and brings a smile to my heart. and i continue to find myself feelin moody yeah yeah yeah.