In the late 60’s & early 70’s there was a rush of brassy, horned up, pop bands: Blood, Sweat & Tears; Chicago – being the prime examples. Muscular sound, jazzy, male dominated, rocking big bands. There were many others who added horns to their line-ups as a result; John Mayall, Paul Butterfield. But real rock was a man’s industry.27desk01Women were vocalists only. All girl bands were novelty items, not considered real rockers. Folk was different Baez, Mitchell blazed a trail for many. Even today women rockers don’t get that respect – most often its a nod of shock that they can rock out at all. It was fine for a band to have a female vocalist: Jefferson Airplane.

A few bands broke that mould. Heart was a commercial success, but had men on board; ditto the amazing Patti Smith. Others floundered on the shores of male dominance. One was Goldy & The Gingerbreads – which leads to Isis. (side note: I didn’t use their name as a title for this blog post for obvious reasons. I resist the temptation to type as Is is though. Don’t want that terrorist attention. So not even #ing it or tagging it Isis.)27desk02Isis was an all-female version of Chicago. The first lp featured the band naked on the cover, in gold body paint. The music is solid, as good as, but not as bombastic as, any of the male fronted groups & they got decent reviews, of the sort: good for women but not as good as etc. There is some wicked guitar work on the first lp, a great Black Sabbath quote. All 3 cds have great moments.27desk03But the band was a semi-critical success but not a commercial success. Novelty wasn’t enough, nor was their unwillingness to back down & kowtow the the male dominated industry. Carol MacDonald, singer, songwriter & guitarist of the band, refused to deny her lesbianism, refused to delete songs about her love for women. By their 3rd lp they were considered too non-commercial successful to record & had lost critical regard as well – damn feminists. I guess there were no Women’s Musical Festivals at that time.

I downloaded all three lps this year & have listened to them several times. The first from 1974 is the most adventurous – they become more commercial with each succeeding one. The musicianship is excellent but they lacked the genius of say, a Laura Nyro, to give them an identity. 27desk04This is part of the sad music history of lgtbq – good, talented people denied respect & success because they wouldn’t back down from who they were. Some were destroyed, others opted out: Janis Ian. If you haven’t heard Isis it’s time you did. You won’t be disappointed.


Confessions of a Dick Pig part 1

Sometime when I have trouble sleeping I hike over Mike’s 24 hour Gym. It’s usually not too full at 2 a.m. and I can take my time with my work out. Tonight was one of those night and as expected there were only a few only die-hards sweating away. One of them was Clive, a name I only knew by over-hearing it one day. I filed it away because Clive was, to my way of thinking, a stunning black man. At less than 5’6” he also had a body that responded perfectly to iron. He also had one of those not-so-pretty faces I loved.

I was at the tail end of my work-out,  bench pressing my maximum and enjoying the feeling of my muscles screaming for me to stop, enjoying the feeling of my sweat on my hairy chest and my balls. That feeling of health. I grimaced and shut my eyes for a last forced rep. When I opened them I was staring up directly into Clive’s basket.

“Here let me help you with that.” He smiled down at me knowing that my eyes were glued to the grey-white flash of his jockstrap up the legs of his baggy shorts. He took the bar and settled on the hooks of the bench. “You shouldn’t do that without a partner.”

“Right, “ I mumbled grabbing my towel and covering my face to keep my eyes from crawling back up to his jock. I sat up as he walked around to face me, confronting me with with his hard abs between his cut off T-shirt and shorts. They were glistening with sweat.

“Care for a coffee?” He asked. “I could give you a couple tips. You’re doing good work here but …”

“Uh … sure. I’d love to.” I cut him off.

“I got a place near here.”

“I gotta shower first.”

“There’s a shower at my place.” Our eyes met as I stood up. Toe-to-toe. “Come on. It’s just around the corner.”

On the way we made small talk. Weather. Work that sort of stuff. As we entered his apartment neither of us knew what to expect other than we were both looking for sex. The room was dim. It needed a window open to stir the air, to move the dust, to move us to each other. He followed, brushing past me as we entered as if to prevent me from finding something he’d left out by mistake.

“Pets?” I asked.

“None. Plants are demanding enough.” He opened a window which let in air but no light.

“Perfect conditions for night.”

“Yes it would seem so.” An awkward silence.

The apartment was a large bachelor with a book case making a wall between the bed and the rest of the room. A casual mix of antiques and moderns, a scattering of magazines. Without turning on the light he went to the CD player.

“I hope you’ll like this. It’s one of my favourites.”

A soft throb filled the room. A electronic babble of rippling water mixed with real voices, occasional guitars. We stood and listened a moment. I moved to the window to look at the view. He stood behind me, close. I could feel the heat of his workout, of our workouts, meeting in the thin space between us. I could feel his body barely touching then touching mine. Did I lean back? Or did he press forward. We were like magnets, drawn to each other without any means of resistance. Not even cold water could have kept us apart. We stood like that, pressing and feeling with our bodies only. The measured beats of our hearts, the slow rhythm of our breathing gradually matching, in sync. Were his eyes closed also.

“Not much of a view.” he murmured, his tongue licking along the outer part of my ear. His warm breath moving the hairs along the back of my neck.

“I don’t want to move.”

“Neither do I.”

But his hands did want to move. They slipped under my arms and onto my chest. Pulling me tighter against him. One of them moved up and under my oversized sweatshirt. Roughly stroking my hairy stomach, the other remained firmly planted between my pecs, almost daring me to relax, to let my legs go limp and completely lean on to him. My own arms hung, barely brushing against his quads.

He was breathing into my ear, rubbing his head against the back of mine as if trying to merge our thoughts. I pressed back. I groaned in expectation, anticipation. I pushed his roaming hand down into my sweatpants, onto to my damp cock. Damp with gym sweat now mixed with pre-come. I could feel his own stiffen as it pressed against my ass. I moved my gluts to slightly rub it, to encourage him.

“Not so quick,” I said as he peeled away from me. I let my hand move to cup his balls behind me. I discovered that at some point he had gotten out of his shorts. A quick glance and I saw that they were in a jumble around his calves. I was suddenly touching the hot flesh of his cock. It was his turn to groan, to growl.


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paper backspace writer


Paul Butterfield


The Monkees had a big hit with Mary, Mary. I was a closet Monkees fan – reluctant because the guys I hung out with dissed the Monkees. They were fans of real music not pop music. To them The Stones at #1 was revolution, the Monkees at #1 was bubblegum commercials ruining music. 🙂


Then out of the blue Paul Butterfield did a cover version of Mary, Mary on their East-West album that amazed me. This was my introduction to them – it came because a buddy of mine was a harmonica player & was into Butterfield’s harp playing. East-West was my introduction to the band & thanks to its amazing instrumentals I became a fan. I did end up with the previous lp but found it too bluesy for me(then).pink03

In my collections I now have: Lost Elektra, Blues Band, East-West, Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw, In My Own Dream, Keep On Moving & Live w:Hammond. I love the Pigboy, Dream: horns were added to the band – the songs spoke to me as well Drunk Again, Drifting & Drifting – too many to list, some standards & even some soul classics & fine originals. ‘I’ve got a mind to give pp living & go shopping instead’ is a line I wish I had written. Butterfield has a great voice, his harmonica playing is world-class. The core band was amazing – Mike Bloomfield eventually replaced by Elvin Bishop. By Keep on Moving, the band ran out of steam & Butterfield started Better Days. blackcoat

I have some live lps on a mp3 collection. They are excellent & the sound quality is pretty good too. Also on that mp3 collection are a pair of Chicken Shack’s; OK Ken was an lp I loved, though the faked radio show set up did get boring eventually. Shack eventually mutated into Fleetwood Mac; The Best of John Hammond: more solid white man sings the blues; A live 1975 bootleg of Mike Bloomfield – that man could play. I’d love to find the porno soundtracks he recorded.


The End Of Time

‘I call on the power of time

The irreversible energy and propulsion of the hour.’

G’ra raised his arms to the LED display high over his head. The  red flicker of numbers flashed around the room and bounced of the dome of the chamber. There was a hush through the many gathered for the Evening Ministration.

The LED spanned the full twenty foot length of the raised dais. A Thin columns of pale blue pulsed at either end of the read out. The numbers spewed out the years, months, minutes, hours, seconds, nanoseconds that were left till the End of Time.

‘We are gathered here to give time its due

To return what cannot be returned

To give thanks’

‘Yea! We give thanks.’ the crowd intoned slowly. ‘We give thanks.’ Their eyes werLe held by the blur of nanoseconds.

‘Yea. Time is moving on.’

‘Yea. Time is moving on.’ the ragged congregation responded. ‘We will move with it.’

‘Yes my fellows time is life. We have time only for our lives. Without our lives time continues but without time we have no life.’

‘Time gives us life.’

‘Who will be the first to testify?’ G’ra looked over the crowd. The flicker of the LED played across their eager faces. His eye fell upon one who was not caught by the nano blur.

‘You. Almost a man.’ he pointed.

‘Me?’ the almost man looked up in awe.

‘Yes. Come forth my child. You have only just begun time’s adventure. Tell us your name.’

‘I … I am called Slat.’

‘Slat,’ the crowd reluctantly turned from the blur to look to Slat.  ‘Speak to us Slat.’

‘I haveU this,’ He pulled a pocket watch from deep in his tunic. It dangled gold and burning in the red of the LED.

‘Ah. An ancient time keeper.’ G’ra reached out to fondle the watch. He had not seen one so old. As it turned in the glow it gave off a pale green light that drew his hand. The green looked so cool, so clean.

Slat pulled it back. ‘No hand but mine can touch this. Even now in the power of time only I have the right to the hours this clock holds.’

‘No my son,’ G’ra stooped slightly. ‘Time owns us but no one man can hold time. No one man.’

All eyes were for a rare moment on Slat’s watch. Each felt a tremble of peace, of escape from the irritating tug of the nano blur.

‘Till now.’ Slat pulled the stem of the watch. The LED stopped.

‘He has stopped time!’ A rumble went through the crowd as he years, m>onths, minutes, hours, seconds, nanoseconds stopped.

‘Yes.’ Slat pushed the stem back in and the LED display flickered back to life.

‘This is some trick,’ G’ra scowled.

‘He held time,’ a large man pushed his way through the crowd. ‘The boy is the one who will stop time so we may live.’

‘No that is heresy.’ G’ra stood to his full height. ‘No hand can stop the time. None can bring back the hour past. This … this is a trick.’

He turned to confront Slat but the boy was gone. ‘See time has taken the child.’

‘No no.’ the man who had pushed foreward pulled himself on to the stage. ‘We have seen the hour of time stilled.’

‘We have seen the hour.’ the crowd intoned after him.

‘Let The Ritual Of Time’s End begin.’ the man turned to G’ra. ‘You must start the ritual now.’

November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo



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Bland #Blondie ?

In Dave Marsh’s book ‘The Heart of Rock & Soul’ 1001 greatest singles ever made: Bobby Bland gets listed 6 times . I had nothing by him in my collection so I picked up a best of & loved it. I was familiar with Paul Butterfield’s version of I Pity the Fool & Driftin’ Blues so it was great to hear the originals. A great voice, great engineering & excellent songs.


branch blue down

From Bland we go to Blondie’s first album. This 1977 lp was such a moment in my life I’ll deal with the rest of my Blondie collection next week. I was living on the east coast – Sydney. I had been getting gay magazines via mail from Toronto. One of those was Mandate, which had a section about music & there was a review of this Lp there. We had one record store in Sydney, Cape Breton and they had no idea of how to get this album. So on a trip to Halifax I visited a record store there & found it.

The cover picture was very Beatles/Rolling Stones so I was expecting them to live up to that. They did. The music is propulsive pop with an ironic edge. I must have played it twenty times within the the first two days on my friend’s record player. He was bowled over by it too.


bare branch bridge

I can’t pick a favorite track. They brought such a retro sensibility to the table without mocking the source. Man Overboard then Rip Her To Shreds always make me happy. I was already into Talking Heads & Pattie Smith but this was something quite different from either of those groups. It was so good even my blues-loving friends liked it.


brown roots

When I moved to TO a few years later I saw Blondie at the ElMocombo – they were still bubbling under. I loved the music but was a little let down by Harry on stage – I was expecting someone a little more animated. More like say, Nina Hagen, who I’d also seen live around the same time.

If you have never heard this lp: get it. A timeless classic that took girl pop to places that the likes of Katy Perry only dream of reaching.



Jenny had silver stars. She stuck them on the Christmas tree on the front of the card. She stuck them on the inside of the card all around the Merry Christmas Uncle John.

Josh had the crayons. He had drawn the Christmas tree and now wanted to add another present under the tree.

“Uncle John has enough presents,” Jenny pushed him away.

“Nobody get enough presents. Do they Daddy?” Josh asked his father.

“Nobody gets enough stars do they Daddy?” Jenny said loudly to drown Josh out.

“I’m going to make another card then, and put on it all the presents I want to give.” Josh pushed the card aside and folded another piece of paper. “First I’m going to make another tree. Uncle John says no one gets too many cards.” Josh made a face at his sister.

“A card from each of you will be enough,” their Dad laughed.”After all we have to leave room for cards from other people.”

“He still has my Thanksgiving card on the wall by his bed. I know. I saw it.” Jenny pouted.

“When?” Josh asked.

“When we went to see him the last time. You didn’t come. You had a cold and Mom didn’t want you to make the whole world sick.”

“Would not make the whole world sick.”

“Would too. That’s what Mom said. Isn’t it Daddy. Josh makes the whole world sick.” She stuck her tongue out at him. “As sick as he makes me.”

“I think she meant it might make John sick. Some people catch germs easier than others. John is like that.”

“That’s why he is in the hot spices.” Jenny said proudly.

“Hospice. Uncle John is in a hospice.”

“Hospice.” Josh repeated and stuck his tongue out at Jenny.

“All done!” he took his finished card to his dad. “Do you think Uncle John will like it?”

“I’m sure he will.”

“Needs stars. Lots of stars.” Jenny said over her Dad’s arm as he looked at the new card.


March 26 – Thursday 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam – Supermarket – 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto


April 26, 2015 – Sunday – 2-5 – Featuring – The Secret Handshake Gallery – 170 Baldwin Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto.


May 7 – Thursday – 8 pm – Judging – Hot Damn! It’s A Queer Slam Season 1 finals – Buddies in Bad Times Theatre – 12 Alexander St., Toronto –



June 5-7 – attending – Capturing Fire – Washington DC



(2015 registration posted but details not posted yet. I’ve registered already 🙂 )

June 21-26 – attending – Rosemary Aubert’s Workshop: The Novelist’s Selfie – Loyalist – Belleville https://www.facebook.com/events/965611026782246/


register now while there is room at the table

page 23 for details next page down for registration info


June 27, Saturday – 7:00-  Feature: Hot Summer Nights at Hirut, Hirut Restaurant, 2050 Danforth Ave., Toronto


September 3-6 – attending – Fan Expo



October 18, Sunday – feature: Cabaret Noir: Inner Child Sacrifice




the yard sale went on anyway

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