Tag Archives: David Bowie

Gay History – February 14: Forgotten Gay Hero Don Slater and David Bowie Snubs The Gay Liberation Front

Don Slater: Forgotten Gay Hero (1923–1997)

Frustrated and impatient with the way the Mattachine Society was getting the message for gay civil rights out in 1951–53, Don Slater insisted that we needed a better way.

In November, 1952, Don helped found ONE, America’s first openly distributed homosexual magazine.

A social movement has to have a voice beyond its own members,” he said. For the first time, ONE gave a voice to the “love that dare not speak its name.” Nobody had ever done that. The magazine was the beginning of the movement.”

As the magazine’s editor, Slater began one of his most significant contributions to free expression in 1954, when FBI and postal officials charged that ONE could not be sent through the U.S. mail because it contained obscene material. To a modern-day reader, the material is barely titillating. But FBI officials concluded that the magazine was obscene because it was lustfully stimulating to the average homosexual reader.”

Along with other staff members, Slater hired a lawyer and fought the charges. After losing in lower courts, they took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, despite having to pay legal expenses of more than $2,000 out of their own pockets.

In January 1958, the editors triumphed when the highest court in the land unanimously reversed the decision of the lower courts. Although the justices did not issue a written opinion, the landmark decision established that the subject of homosexuality is not, per se, obscene. LGBT publications could legally be distributed through the mail.

Despite its historical significance, the magazine was not a moneymaker. ONE never paid for itself, Slater recalled after its demise.

“It wouldn’t have survived if we editors hadn’t put our own money into it continually. We wanted it to work. So we all just pitched in.”

Don Slater also  helped launch the National Conference of Homophile Organizations and the Western Regional Conferences [in] 1966. He worked to reverse the anti-gay bias of the American Civil Liberties Union. That same year he led a motorcade through the streets of Los Angeles, protesting exclusion of gay men  in the armed forces.

Don died in Los Angeles on February 14, 1997 from an infected heart valve implant.

Don was survived by Tony Reyes, his partner of 51 years.

A true hero of the LGBT movement and one that must always be remembered.

You can check out the ONE Archives Foundation HERE

FEBRUARY 14th GAY TRIVIA: On this day in 1974 Rolling Stone magazine reported that David Bowie who was going through his Ziggy Stardust phase turned down the Gay Liberation Front when asked him to compose the world’s first Gay National Anthem.

Bet you didn’t know that!

Image result for one magazine 1958

Image result for one magazine 1958

Image result for one magazine 1958
David Bowie

LISTEN: David Bowie’s Previously Unreleased 1982 “Lets Dance” Demo Shared With The Public

Two year ago today on January 10, 2016 legendary music superstar David Bowie passed away from cancer.

This week Nile Rodgers and Parlophone have released a never before heard demo of his 1983 hit “Let’s Dance.”

Recorded in Montreux, Switzerland in 1982 by a makeshift band including Rodgers, Turkish-born guitarist Erdal Kizilcay, and an unidentified local guitarist and drummer, the track has been mixed and mastered for the first time.

 Speaking of those early Let’s Dance sessions, Rodgers says:

I’ve been blessed with a wonderful career but my creative partnership with David Bowie ranks very very very high on the list of my most important and rewarding collaborations. This demo gives you, the fans, a bird’s eye view of the very start of it! I woke up on my first morning in Montreux with David peering over me. He had an acoustic guitar in his hands and exclaimed, “Nile, darling, I think this is a HIT!”

This recording was the first indication of what we could do together as I took his “folk song” and arranged it into something that the entire world would soon be dancing to and seemingly has not stopped dancing to for the last 35 years! It became the blue print not only for Let’s Dance the song but for the entire album as well.

If you played 2nd guitar or drums let us know who you are! The time we spent mixing it just before Christmas was full of tears as it felt like David was in the room with us. 


David Bowie

Legendary Singer David Bowie Dies at Age 69 After Battling Cancer – January 10, 2016

David Bowie passes away

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief,” read a statement posted on the artist’s official social media accounts.

The influential singer-songwriter and producer dabbled in glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica during his eclectic 40-plus-year career. He just released his 25th album, Blackstar, Jan. 8, which was his birthday.

Bowie’s artistic breakthrough came with 1972’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, an album that fostered the notion of rock star as space alien. Fusing British mod with Japanese kabuki styles and rock with theater, Bowie created the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust.

In an attempt to stir interest in Ziggy Stardust, Bowie revealed in a January 1972 magazine interview that he was gay — though that might have been a publicity stunt — dyed his hair orange and began wearing women’s garb. The album became a sensation.

Three years later, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the No. 1 single “Fame” off the top 10 album Young Americans, then followed with the 1976 avant-garde art rock LP Station to Station, which made it to No. 3 on the charts and featured top 10 hit “Golden Years.”

With his different-colored eyes (the result of a schoolyard fight) and needlelike frame, Bowie was a natural to segue from music into curious movie roles, and he starred as an alien seeking help for his dying planet in Nicolas Roeg’s surreal The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976). Critics later applauded his three-month Broadway stint as the misshapen lead in 1980’s The Elephant Man.

Bowie also starred in Marlene Dietrich’s last film, Just a Gigolo (1978), portrayed a World War II prisoner of war in Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983), and played Pontius Pilate in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). And in another groundbreaking move, Bowie, who always embraced technology, became the first rock star to morph into an Internet Service Provider with the launch in September

Another Starman has gone to the sky.

Rest in Peace David Bowie