Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wish you were here

There's a lot of talk about old New York—as in, 1980s New York—these days, what with the unstoppable mushrooming of "luxury condos" and $2,500/month studios, the family-friendly Times Square, and brokers making multimillion bonuses (not salaries: bonuses).

Learning about the death of Dean Johnson was sad in many ways. He was a tireless advocate of out gays playing rock via his bands Dean and the Weenies then the Velvet Mafia, and his Rock & Roll Fag Bar and HomoCorps nights—this at a time when gay men were assumed to like only show tunes and disco. I can't say his own music ever did much for me, but I love that he represented a certain idea of queerness whose ideals were reflected in the aggro aesthetics of Bimbox zine rather than in getting same-sex vows published in the New York Times. For a look back at Johnson's days in New York, check out his brief diary.

And speaking of HomoCorps, Tom Jennings, coeditor of the historically significant zine Homocore, has painstakingly scanned and posted classic issues here.

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