Wednesday, July 20, 2011
"What book is Dj Buddy B reading now?" If this, possibly, is a question on your minds that you've been afraid to ask, fortuitously it's one I'm prepared to answer.
As my friends know, I love trashy celeb bios. The more salacious and scandal-infested, the better. Gone, virtually, is the high-minded literature of my days as an English major as I make my way through a morass of purple prose. It was my doctor (Frank Spinelli, author of the very well-received The Advocate Guide to Gay Men's Health and Wellness) who recommended Not the Girl Next Door by Charlotte Chandler, catering to my rather unhealthy and not-quite-well, I'm certain, pre-occupation with all things Joan Crawford. (I recently purchased a "Joan Crawford: America's Sweetheart" button off ebay if that clues you in to my obsession!)
While a breezy, well-written recount of the star's life, NtGND unfortunately comes a cropper (as Judith Crist used to say) when it comes to airing dirty laundry, something I steadfastly demand. (I have standards after all!) In fact, the bio is gushingly protective of JC, quoting from Ms Chandler's first-hand interviews with Crawford and taking Joan's often phoney, image-perpetuating spins on her life unquestioningly at face value. It's a virtual sin, as far as I'm concerned, for which there is no penance. According to this account, Joan arrived in Hollywood as a pillar of moral virtue without a silent blue movie or casting couch in sight!
The book, still being read, languishes on my night stand near my bed while, on the little, goldfish-patterned table, sits the magnificently large, "coffee table"-formatted DISCO: The Music/ The Times/ The Era by Johnny Morgan, published by Sterling (NY/London/Canada). The book is lavishly illustrated with amazing, drop-dead-gorgeous photos of legendary disco divas like Labelle (Patti, Nona & Sarah), Gloria Gaynor (who wrote the foreward) and Donna Summer (posing with the author in '78). This book was recommended to me by my friend, Steven Spiro, owner of Rainbows & Triangles on 8th Avenue in NYC (19th/20th Sts.), which is where fellow New Yorkers can snap it up. Otherwise, check out Amazon or order through your bookstore. (R&T has a large book section catering to the gay community; so, if visiting New York, stop in and peruse it along with the dance-music cd section.)
The book is a true treasure and Mr Morgan is a genius on the subject of disco music; his knowledge is encyclopedic. DISCO is nothing less than an absolutely definitive story of the rise and fall of an era beginning with its start in the go-go clubs of the 1960s (London's Ad Lib Club, New York's Peppermint Lounge) from the music's Soul and Girl Group origins. This isn't the kind of book you can Kindle. Largely because of the photos and design, you really have to experience it in book form.
From the marketing notes on the back of its jacket: "These are the stories of excess, success and duress; myths are exploded and dance steps decoded. Every night was a party. And you can relive it here." In this instance, believe the hype. Brilliant! I love this book and highly recommend it!
Gloria Gaynor writes beautifully, in her foreward, of the infamous 1979 Disco Demolition Night in Comiskey Park: "[I]f these people hated disco, why did they have disco records to begin with?" Good point! Go, Glo! And she does goes on: "I happen to know that disco has never died though;... It has simply changed to protect the innocent."
ps: On the current dance music front, as I predicted back in May, Ricky Martin's "Freak of Nature" is on the rise to number 13 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, after 4 weeks, up from #21 last week. It is included on my Gay Pride 2011 promo. Kylie Minogue's "Put Your Hands Up" is at #16, strongly after only 3 weeks. It can be found on my "Fagtastic" cd, still popular since distributed for dj-promo-purposes-only in April. Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" holds on at #48 after 16 weeks with Lady Gaga's "Judas" at #30 after 11 (both on the Pride '11 promo). Beth Ditto's "I Wrote the Book" (on my recent "Fire Island House Party" promo) is now at #26 with Gaga's "Edge of Glory" up at 8 (on same promo). And Yoko Ono bursts onto the scene once more with her current "Talking to the Universe". And she was actually at Peppermint Lounge!
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who has viewed my blog thus far, I hope you enjoy my posts or promos, and a special thanks to viewers in Thailand, the Ukraine, India and Iran. (I do check my stats, you know!) Dance music pulls us together. Make love, not war or, as I always say: Why fight? Dance! Fuck Disco Demolition Night and all the haters of the world!
Love, peace, happiness and disco! :)