Entries in R.I.P. (12)
Flamboyant flamer Alan Sues, who once delighted 60s audiences playing a fey sportscaster who talked about his "tinkle," died at age 85 on Thursday at his home in West Hollywood. Some of you born in the 60s might remember a certain (still hilarious) Peter Pan Peanut Butter ad featuring a swishy Peter Pan who comes crashing into a kitchen to give some kids some peanut butter (watch it below)... that was him too. He was also famous on 'Laugh In' for playing 'Uncle Al the Kiddies Pal,' a comically hungover children's entertainer. Ruth Buzzi says he was "the funniest person that I ever worked with." As his "longtime friend" Michael Gregg Michaud tells the LA Times, despite never really coming out of the closet for fear of destroying his career, Sues appreciated his gay fans. "They all said he was one of the very few gay sort of characters that they saw on television at that time. They identified with him, and they were thankful. As he got older, it meant more to him and he was appreciative of that." [LAT, NYT]
We've lost another great voice, gentlemen. Phoebe Snow died of complications from a brain hemmorhage that she suffered last year. She was 58. She kind of dropped off the music scene after making it big in the 70s in order to care for her severely brain-damaged daughter Valerie (who died in 2007 at the age of 31), who she always claimed was the center of her life. She had one of the smoothest, roundest contralto voices around, with a timbre that defined the decade of the 70s -- in particular that certain brand of warm, folksy, California mellowness. But despite everyone assuming she was black (we still sorta did), Snow was born to Jewish parents in New Jersey and never claimed any African-American heritage. 'Poetry Man' was arguably her biggest hit and most signature song. She returned with an album in 1989 that had one of our favorite songs on it, 'Something Real.'
You're looking at a legend, gentlemen, once one of the great beauties of her day, staring down middle age in 1974, and taking eye makeup application very, very seriously. This clip comes from a movie we'd never heard of called The Driver's Seat, an Italian film about a disurbed spinster in Rome which co-starred Andy Warhol as an English lord. Clearly: high art. And anyway, we're still sad about Liz. [via SFist]
An icon of American cinema, the high priestess at the Hollywood star worship altar, pioneering AIDS activist, and in her later years, a bit of a batshit joke, Elizabeth Taylor, died this morning of congestive heart failure. She was 79. Please accept these videos in tribute. It's the best we can do, really... and forgive us for the last one.
Most of you will probably know the big belt of Ms. Loleatta Holloway from the early 90s hit "Good Vibrations" from Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. Sadly, she has just died at the age of 64. Below, we've got a video of some dance remix of the song called "Love Sensation," which features a) a really got guy touching himself, b) some queens vogueing, c) footage of Holloway singing. Plus, we've the song "Dreaming," from her earlier days as a disco diva.
The recently departed Lynn Redgrave once starred in The Happy Hooker, the 1975 film based on one of the most popular autobiographical novels of the early 70s by Xaviera Hollander. Hollander later went on to record an album, open a bed and breakfast in Amsterdam, go gay in 1997 with a chick named Dia, and ultimately marry a man three years ago. Above, see Redgrave's portrayal, courtesy of WOW.
Legendary NYC club promoter Marc Berkley, co-founder of HX magazine and a driving force behind gay nightlife throughout the 1990s, died two weekends ago on Fire Island after complaining of chest pains. He was 56. In 1993 he was quoted as saying, "A few years ago, there were maybe 500 fabulous people in this city. Now everyone thinks they're fabulous."
His parties at Club USA, Tunnel, Roxy, and Limelight all rank high in the memories of gays who lived through the era, and it's sad to hear of his passing at such a young age -- but lord knows that heart of his probably took a beating over the decades. The closing of Roxy in 2007 was heralded by many as the end of an era.
Friend and frequent HX photographer Aaron Cobbett compiled a few of his greatest hits during the hey-day of the free mag. We share a few here, including the one of pre-tranny Alexis Arquette, and this photo below from a biography of Marc by Tony Brooks. [Rose et Ride]
The fashion world lost one of its great living geniuses today. Alexander (Lee) McQueen was found dead of an apparent suicide today. He told a friend recently that he visited a psychic recently to inquire about his friend Isabella Blow, who killed herself three years ago, and was told she was doing just fine in the afterlife. Last week, McQueen lost his mother. We're really fucking sad about this, because not many people have pushed the envelope of haute couture in the last decade like he has. We're mad at him, actually. Why should he get to leave this shit planet before we can even afford some of his clothes or see one of his shows! Anyway, sorry. It's not about us.
We by no means really endorse this single, but we suppose it's not half bad. Poor, deceased Brittany Murphy might have had a sideline as a dance music diva, but we don't think this 2006 track, "Faster Pussycat Kill," really took off. Anyway, it's definitely far better than this Astoria, Queens drag queen's ode to the new year, which we considered posting for half a second.
Mr. Marcus Hernandez, a one-time columnist on the leather scene for The Advocate and a longtime fixture in the community in San Francisco, has passed away. Herewith, we give you some footage of Mr. Marcus performing in semi-drag at a benefit with some 90s-era leather queens. R.I.P.