630 posts categorized "ME"

Nov 05 2014
Light Reading Comments (0)

Tomorrow is my 9-year blogiversary, but other than that and I'm sure some posts here and there, I have to focus on a book project in the near future. Posting may be light. As always, I very much appreciate links on social media.

Thanks! Keep coming back; I will, too, just not as obsessively for a stretch.

 
Nov 03 2014
#dead: Songs To Play At My Funeral Comments (0)

Gay-funeral-1Come and get it come and get it come and get it...actual journal pages of mind from my teen years.

When you're as obsessive a journal-writer as I was—I wrote in one every day for probably 12 or more years—you eventually hit the need for filler. On one particularly morbid day in the life of a morbidly obese teenager, I decided to write down all the songs I wanted played at my funeral.

I'm not sure what gloomy thoughts I was having to make me feel so ready to...go into the light...but the songs are pretty hysterical. Was it my intention to force “Need a Man Blues” on my grieving extended family as a way of rubbing their noses in who the real Matthew was? (Horny, vindictive.)

And just imagine the people glancing at their watches during “Paninaro”.

Gay-funeral-2I'm sure that Goonies soundtrack song would've provided great solace.

Not to mention the sheer timing of it all...there are about 80 songs (and many, many more), so that would have mourners seated for well over two hours, just listening to, you know, Grace Jones, Gene Loves Jezebel and the more traditional Madonna-and-Cyndi-Lauper combo.

 
Nov 02 2014
John Hancock-Tease Comments (0)

Autograph-Roddy-McDowall

In truth, I thought Roddy McDowall's photographs of Elizabeth Taylor were pedestrian, but I told him I thought he'd taken some of the best shots ever of his good friend because I knew he would love to hear that. He looked up from signing my book—his book—to thank me, and seemed pleased that I was a cute college kid. 

I'd come to see him in Chicago because I knew, had heard, he was gay. That was the attraction, not his movies, his sexual orientation. He was someone I knew to be secretly gay. I was also secretly gay, at least, I was secretly gay in Chicago. A bunch of my Michigan friends knew, but my Chicago friends hadn't gotten an official press release just yet.

Well, I got him to sign that book and he signed a postcard of one of his Elizabeth Taylor portraits (to my mom because I'd mentioned we used to say she looked like La Liz), but I didn't have the courage to engage him further. Wish I had. He died less than 10 years later.

 
Oct 31 2014
You Have Placed A Chiller In My Heart: A Return Trip To Old Jersey Comments (0)
  Then-now-Jeremy-Jackson 19-Jeremy Then-now-Joyce-Randolph 1-Dawn Then-now-Dawn-Wells 18-Jimmie Then-now-Good-Times 10-Marion-Ross Then-now-Marion-Ross 3-Cindy Then-now-Cindy-Williams 4-David Then-now-David-Chokachi 11-Sally Then-now-Sally-Kellerman 12-Tatum Then-now-Tatum-O'Neal 13-Teri Then-now-Teri-Garr 17-Jimmy-Kristy Then-now-Jimmy-Kristy-McNichol 2-Ann Then-now-ann-cusack 5-Debby Then-now-Debby-Boone 6-Diana Then-now-Diana-Canova 7-Jaason Then-now-Jaason-Simmons 8-John Then-now-John-Amos 9-Zacherle Then-now-John-Zacherle 14-Traci Then-now-Traci-Lords 15-Tracy Then-now-Tracy-Reiner 16-Martin Then-now-Village-of-the-Damned

Above, check out a gallery of 20+ stars, then and now!

Twice a year, I get on a train to New Jersey in the early morning hours, spend a day hustling to get autographs and pic-withs from celebrities who sell those things at an event called Chiller Theatre, then attempt to make it home in one piece. I've had two disastrous experiences—a crippling snowstorm and the time I was overwhelmed by a virus. This time, the worst thing that happened to me was spending hours waiting for a signed picture with Honeymooners star Joyce Randolph, who most people I told the story to thought was long dead. (SPOILER ALERT: She's not.)

Chiller-Theatre

For the second time, I arm-twisted my friend John to be my starfucking wingman. How I got him to meet me at 7AM and carry my bag and take all my pic-withs, I'll never know. But I think he has a couple more in him before he refuses the job, which he will...eventually.

MusclesHe was assisting—and upstaging?—the Baywatch boys.

Our first roadblock was when we arrived and no shuttle from the Sheraton was there to greet us at the station. A serious-faced young nerd took it upon himself to call the place and, in an almost alarmingly professional tone, inquire as to the fucking whereabouts of our transporation, only to be told they weren't supposed to have shuttles until after 10AM (an hour after the early-bird tickets we held went into effect), but would send one ASAP. Long minutes passed until he called back, only to be told the hotel wouldn't send its first shuttle until 10:50AM! It was beyond stupid for them to leave people at the station like that, though they passively blamed Chiller.

We paid $20 for a town car (the driver was dozing near the train tracks), but the kid rode free since he'd been our mouthpiece.

Keep reading for my take on the stars I encountered...

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Oct 29 2014
Stalking In L.A.: Another Hollywood Show Starf*ck Comments (0)
  1 Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 11.01.32 PM 2 2a 3 3a 4 4a 5 5a 6 6a 7 7a 8 8a 9 9a 10 10a 11 11a 12 12a 13 13a 14 14a 15 15a 16 16a 17 17a 18 18a 19 19a 20 20a 21 21a 22 22a 23

Above, check out more than 20 then-and-now split-screen images of stars!

Christopher-Riordan-1Last weekend was my third of four celeb-soaked encounters in the space of a month—first I hit up the Courts Celebrities Fan Fest, then New York Comic Con, then another edition of the Hollywood Show in L.A. (KEEP READING) and finally this past weekend's Chiller Theatre.

More on Chiller very soon.

First up, the L.A. Hollywood Show was quieter this time, leading some attendees to wonder if this type of non-genre autograph show might be dying off quicker than Old Hollywood. But it wasn't nearly as dead as the Courts version, so there was still a good flow of starfuckers to keep most of the celebs busy—at least on Saturday. (Sunday was a graveyard—never go if you can only go on a Sunday, when a chunk of the celebs will have decided to suddenly get a bad cold and not show.)

Above, in the gallery, check out juicy then-and-now photos. After the jump, my impressions of each star I met...

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Oct 26 2014
The Man Who Encouraged Me To Be Me Comments (0)

Sheli-Walling-MartinImage by Sheli Walling Martin (1988)

I found out from a fellow classmate that my high school art teacher, Mr. Wolfgang, has passed away. Mr. Wolfgang was a person who encouraged my creativity in an aggressive way, praising me for my technical abilities when I would draw realistic (-ish) images of popstars like Tina Turner and Sade, but who then also told me (and us) to be daring, to try new things. I took that to heart and embraced a totally new style, which consisted of intricate abstractions and surreal, often overtly sexual or genderfuck drawings, which gave me a sense of freedom.

I was never the same after his class, and was honored to be chosen as one of his top students my senior year.

He also used to let each of us, on a rotating basis, choose an album to play during class. When I chose Debbie Harry's Rockbird, he noted that as a singer she made a great model.

Look, he had great taste but he wasn't perfect!

I'll miss knowing he's around. Great guy and artist, and wonderful teacher.

 
Oct 24 2014
Cover To Cover Comments (0)

When I moved to NYC 22 years ago, I came to work as an editorial assistant at St. Martin's Press. I worked for Gordon Van Gelder (who edited science fiction and pop culture books) and the late MichaelDennenyLinda O'Brien (who was a manager of the “grid,” the list of all the company's hundreds of titles). Linda was close to SMP's longtime gay-interest editor Michael Denneny, whose Stonewall Inn Editions imprint published many of the most popular and respected gay books of the '70s and '80s, so I was able to speak with him and even attended a party at his apartment. (As a young gay guy, I will never forget that he proudly had a picture of porn actor Steve Fox on his fridge.)

Michael was someone we looked up to as a pioneer and as a cerebral man whose taste was both literary and commercial. He had to fight to publish books he knew would sell a few thousand copies, and would balance that with books he knew would sell many times that—yet he usually had to fight to publish those as well.

I was so disappointed when, while still working at SMP, my gay novel Boy Culture was not deemed fit to be a part of Stonewall Inn (not by Michael). I still own a lot of the free books that came from Michael's office, a den of literacy and iniquity, not to mention my Divine paper doll book that he published.

Denneny just granted the Lambda Literary Review a long interview. In it, he talks about the state of gay writing today by noting its past:

“[T]he assimilationist wave has been dominant for the last decade, balancing the first decade (the ’70s) dominated by the liberationists–the middle two decades essentially devoted to the fight against AIDS. I suspect these two poles of the culture will always be with us. Which is the right strategy depends on the historical moment. We’ll see what emerges.”

Check out this fascinating interview for more.

 
Oct 22 2014
She Put A Spell On Me: Meeting Annie Lennox Comments (0)
  Annie-Lennox-1 Annie-Lennox-2 Annie-Lennox-4 IMG_9800 IMG_9817 IMG_9836

 Dazzling Annie at B&N in the gallery above!

I've met some of my most intensely beloved '80s idols, but Annie Lennox was a hold-out...until tonight! Appearing at a Barnes & Noble Union Square chat with Rolling Stone's Anthony DeCurtis, she was promoting her new CD Nostalgia, a covers collection.

ANNIE-LENNOX-NOSTALGIA

Full tracklisting of Nostalgia:

“Memphis in June”

“Georgia on My Mind”

“I Put a Spell on You”

“Summertime”

“I Cover the Waterfront”

“Strange Fruit”

“God Bless the Child”

“You Belong to Me”

“September in the Rain”

“I Can Dream, Can't I?

“The Nearness of You”

“Mood Indigo”

IMG_9814I was able to snap some shots of Annie when she first arrived—all smiles, dutifully holding her CD up—and then snagged a front-row seat for the talk.

Annie looks great, and more importantly, she is an almost singularly cerebral popstar, one who spoke eloquently about the AIDS pandemic, the backstories she creates when singing a song and also about her #1 favorite gig ever—which just so happens to be the David Bowie duet I posted quite recently!

IMG_9807It was such a warm gathering, one that started with her thanking us for coming:

“I just to thank everybody that came here this morning...I want to tell you that I'm so grateful to you for taking time out of your busy lives to come to hear and wait to see me. That's touched me deeply, so thank you.”

Lennox spoke of how timeless the songs on her new album really are (many written in the '30s), admitted she adores “the down-the-rabbit-hole experience” of YouTube and confessed that she in fact used the site to help her in her song selection.

Annie-Lennox-Matthew-RettenmundI need a woman!

Boy-Culture-logo1I was lucky enough to have photographer Bruce Glikas on hand to take my photo with Annie (I was one of the first to go, so she hadn't figured out to lean into the photo more just yet). When I had my moment with her, I told her that her early genderfuck presentation with Eurythmics, while not my issue, made me a better person by opening my mind to other possibilities at an early age. She listened intently and thanked me for sharing that. Probably the most substantive gush I've had toward a star I've encountered, but her intellectual conversation just prior was inspirational.

Annie-Lennox-fan-3

Annie-Lennox-fan

Annie-Lennox-fan-2Greeting longtime fans Jeannie & Danny

Check out the full video after the jump and all my photos in the gallery at the top of this post...

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