Heroes of the Revolution: Patrick Cowley

Art by Rob Goldstein
The Rainbow Flag

Patrick Cowley was a gay liberationist who died as his brilliance was reaching its peak.

He is sometimes called the father of electronic dance music.

His influence is still clear in contemporary house music and techno.

Cowley played synthesizer on Sylvester’s 1978 hits “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dance (Disco Heat)” and he collaborated with Sylvester on his 1982 hit, “Do Ya Wanna Funk”

At 32, Patrick Cowley was among the first to die from the AIDS Epidemic.

Going Home is on the last track of Mind Warp, Cowley’s last album.
Cowley released Mind Warp in October of 1982, a month before he died from AIDS, which was still called GRID.

Cowley’s music embodies the energy and defiance that sparked and sustained the early Gay Liberation Movement.

“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”
John F. Kennedy

Liberating the human mind and human sexuality from the constraints of fear, bigotry, hate, and superstition is what gay liberation was about.

The revolution is never over!

Happy Pride Month!

‘The City” (c) Rob Goldstein 2016

PATRICK COWLEY
Going Home 1982
by DISCOS BOLICHEROS
Internet Archive

Sylvester
“Do You Wanna Funk” 1982
by DISCOS BOLICHEROS
Internet Archive

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New Year’s Resolution / 1986

to be good and help everyone; like help the handicapped and low rent peoples; help ‘em out on everything.

stop smoking weed and be OK like, you know? Start believing more in the Lord, go to Church, and be perfect.

stop drinking and screwing so much ‘cause after 20 yrs the heart gives out.

stay cool now with the Valium an’ them other drug my docs got me on.

remember, they really helping alot!

 

Bobby Goldstein, January 01, 1986

Pet Shop Boys

Words and Image (C) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part One Section Two: The Pain of Becoming Literate

I moved in with Norse in 1984 and spent my days writing and studying
film and literature.

Norse was drafting his memoirs.

We lived in a creative stew under the strain of the most devastating years
of the AIDS epidemic.

We both had good reason to think our lives would soon be over.

The pressure I placed on myself brought on the symptoms of florid DID.

My alternates were coming out and writing and Harold was responding
to them as ‘characters’.

A written critique of a collection of poems.
Norse gives me a rundown of what he liked or hated about a collection of poems I left for him one week in February 1985. He calls me ‘Bobby’ in the note and uses. ‘Bobby’s’ accent in the opening. Seems I also wrote a poem called ‘Jew-Boy’ that Norse thought was sick. I have no memory of ‘Jew-Boy’. One definitely had to be strong to ask Norse to critique one’s writing. What I loved about Norse was that I always knew I was getting the truth. He signs the note, ‘Your loving dementor’

In the 1992 interview, I describe the emotional pain of becoming
fully literate.

I asked Norse if that was difficult for him.

“Every day was difficult.” he said, “It was the most difficult period
of my life.”

“Why did you do it?”

“What a question! “ Norse laughed and paused, “I almost never
question that.”

“I think it’s a fascinating question.”

“It is,” Norse replied. “It is. It’s one of the few that’s ever
stopped me cold.”

Part two of the interview picks up where part one ends.

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part Two: The Pain of Becoming Literate

An Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1, Section 3– Saints and Self-Destruction

Photo of Rog Goldstein cropped from the original photo
by Nina Glaser taken May of 1985. I have no idea who
those other people are. I’m the guy in the middle.

Interview with Harold Norse (c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

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Harold Norse and Rob Goldstein: The Jewish Community Center, 1986

In 1986 I had theatrical monologue named Bobby
in local production.

I didn’t know then that Bobby is a dissociative  alternate.

I recall when I performed sections of the monologue Bobby took
over but I considered it getting in character.

In 1986, I gave a joint reading with Harold Norse at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center in San Francisco.

The reading was Harold’s way of validating my work as a student.

That night Harold had a touch of laryngitis.

He brought a tape of his reading his translations of Gioachino Belli and used it when his  voice tired.

That part of Harold’s taped reading of Belli and my performance of section seven of  ‘Bobby’ are in this post.

I’ve also included my opening which was a reading from OttoKernberg’s Borderline Conditions  and Pathological Narcissism which I used to
illustrate  the way academic language is used to oppress gay men.

To provide context, in 1986 being a gay identified writer was still a radical act, more so because  the AIDS epidemic had caused a backlash and had not yet peaked.

Harold Norse reads from his translations of Gioachino Belli

Rob Goldstein reads from Otto Kernberg’s Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism.

Rob Goldstein reads section seven of Bobby, The Summerville Lights

A scan of the slyer and announcement for a 1986 joint reading of Harold Norse and Rob Goldstein

Rob Goldstein 1986-2016 (c) Rob Goldstein 2016 All Rights Reserved