March 18, 2015

Happy 70th, Susu...

Today - March 18, 2015 - is my friend Susan Tyrrell's 70th birthday. A milestone that I'm sure would have made her absolutely crazy.

Here is a snapshot of some of my correspondence with her. I started writing to her in 1998 and we continued to talk on the phone and email for over ten years. 

As I've stated over and over, she was an amazing person and I think of her every single day.

Happy Birthday, Susu, wherever you are. You will never be forgotten.

March 7, 2015

Missing Divine (1945-1988)

Today - March 7, 2015 - is the 26th anniversary of Divine's passing.

As all my close friends know, Divine was (and is) the biggest influence and inspiration in my life. 
 
Pictured is a tiny detail of my large collection of memorabilia. 

I am beyond flattered and honored to have played a part in the production of the I Am Divine documentary where I was an associate producer and researcher. Just being associated with Divine's legacy, albeit a tiny one, is something I will treasure my whole life.

Divine, we miss you.

February 22, 2015

HBOnly!

I found a terrific Twitter feed called Classic HBO Guide that inspired me to go through a small collection of old HBO booklets that I bought on eBay several years ago. I was fascinated by those guides as a kid growing up in the 1980s.

I loved to pore over the schedules and identify all of the gems that would soon be airing on my TV. I was definitely part of the generation that grew up in front of the television at every waking moment.

I can recall being curled up on our dark green living room recliner, staring goggle-eyed at all of the stuff that popped up on HBO: Fraggles, Braingames, occasional nudity, Video Jukebox, some totally boring dramas (that I would somehow still sit through), "graphic violence" (seeing that listed in the guide would send shivers down my spine...what was I in store for?). Little did I realize how my tastes and personality were being sculpted by all of the weird and wonderful things that were going on in cable television.

Here are a few images I scanned in from the June 1983 issue. I'll most likely do more scans from the other issues.





Endless Love followed by Wolfen? That's an interesting double feature.

Poltergeist at 9 AM?

The HBO specials like Vanished: Missing Children would scare me beyond belief. It was an eye-opener to realize the world wasn't all fun and games...it was much more than Atari games, birthday parties and The Goonies!










I was absolutely forbidden to watch Poltergeist. This made the film an enticing mystery and, obviously, made me want to see it even more.

I didn't see the film until I was junior high school age and, even then, was appropriately shocked and horrified.

I've never looked at a piece of steak the same again.













One particular detail about the HBO guides that always intrigued me was the italicized descriptors of questionable content. I was suddenly being faced with words I had never really contemplated or understood: graphic violence, gore, nudity....rape?

As I mentioned above, seeing those words would deeply disturb me and really make me wonder what was going on in some of these movies. I imagined that some of these films must be the gnarliest, grossest, filthiest things in the world and I would somehow be permanently scarred emotionally by seeing them.