Bottom Forty

Bottom Forty is a mirror ball in New York, a basement in Chicago, a cruise in L.A. and a night in the desert.

Mom, can I get this, please?

Written by
March 20, 2013

I was holding onto a vinyl copy of David Bowie’s Young Americans in 1975; the answer was “No.”
It wasn’t until Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours came out in 1977 did I get my own copy of something; I got an 8-track copy. We always had a turntable but that was for Doris Day and Tony Bennett.
But the greatness was between 1974 and 1977, which is when the sound crept into my heart. I say heart because it was that visceral feeling of sheer joy… kind of like the first time I heard Eddie Kendrick’s falsetto voice that sprang from my hand held transistor radio.

I remember hearing such gems as TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) – MFSB featuring The Three Degrees for the first time. Music changes us; it awakes something within us leaving us wanting more. I was also listening to things like Amateur Hour by Sparks and Bowie down the street at Jackie’s house, she was about 5 years older , I’m sure I was annoying to a certain degree but I couldn’t get enough. It was magical.

In 1977 I left home and moved to Portland, OR. I was 17. The Rafters was the over 21 crowd and Mildred’s Palace was the younger gay crowd. More here at Mildreds Palace.

Divine March 11
I found my queer family and never looked back. A couple years later I moved to Seattle and started working at Tugs on 1st Avenue, I was 19. I had to get a special entertainers license from the City of Seattle. The rule was I had to be at Tugs 15 minutes before my shift and had to be out at 15 minutes after my shift. No exceptions. I also helped out at Electric Canary Record Pool.” I definitely remember you in the office with Dana, because we’d all come and hang out and talk music for hours and hours, and Dana NEVER turned down free help.” It was grand, all those wonderful gay men embraced me and I got lessons in everything which is another story, N’est-ce pas?

Category: Lessons

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