Bobby and The Scorpio Club

This is my third post based on a Spoken Word performance with Harold Norse in 1986.

Click here for one and here for two.

This time Harold Norse Reads ‘I Am Not a Man’ and I read part of a monologue by ‘Bobby’ called The Scorpio Club.

Both pieces take up questions of masculinity.

‘I am not a man’ is 1970s gay liberation merged with the peace movement
and feminism.

The Scorpio Club is about a frustrated group of boys who want to be men in a culture that says they’re sick and deserve to die.

They turn their anger on Charleston’s formidable drag queens.

Art by Rob Goldstein
Portrait of Harold Norse by Jim Breeden

I Am Not a Man by Harold Norse

Digital photograph made in virtual reality to illustrate a teen aged boy named Bobby
El Club Escorpión

The Scorpio Club by Rob Goldstein

(C) Rob Goldstein 1986-2017 All Rights Reserved

Scan of the Cover of The Very Best of Cat Stevens
The Very Best of Cat Stevens

Oh Very Young Cat Stevens
Community Audio
Internet Archives

 

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Bobby and The Queen of Hearts

I had a rich friend named Mickey whose Mom lived in New York.

He’d go visit her every other month and come back to Charleston
with a copy of the Village Voice.

I read the fags in Greenwich Village was forming up an army to fight
fag bashers.

It suddenly hit me: if straight can bash queers, queers can bash straights.

I was still pissed about that guy trying to shoot me at Battery Park.

I told Mickey what I was thinking and he said. “Let’s do it!”

We each strapped wide spiked belts around our waists.

Then we drove out to a tore up old convent and loaded the trunk of Mickey’s  Impala with bricks.

That night we did a slow cruise around the Battery. 

We watched a couple of known fag bashers enter the park.

Mickey swished by himself into the darkest part of Battery Park and when they followed him I snuck up and BAM! They got it with bricks!

We did that every day for a week and that Summer the Battery was safe for faggots!

 Artist: Eclair Acuda Bandersnatch
Eclair Acuda Bandersnatch


There was only one gay bar in Charleston.

It was lost in a back ally behind the Old Slave Market.

At the Stardust gay folks got married.

An alcoholic ex-priest named Mother Rachel presided.

One guy wore a gown and the other wore a tux.

At the Stardust the Queen of Hearts Drag Pageant was a major event.

Drag Queens shopped for weeks and scandalized every dress shop on King Street.

On the big night the butch dykes wore three-piece suits and their wives wore gowns.

Mother Superior was always the emcee and he’d open every show with a report on where the vice cops were lurking that night:

“The Greyhound bus station is just hoppin’ with Vice! So ya’all be careful–OK?”

There was this one drag queen that always lip synced “My Life.”

At the end of the song he would defiantly sing in his real voice: “This is myiiiiiiiiii life!

Then he’d rip off his wig and fling it into the audience.

At the end Mother Rachel had everyone in the bar joined hands and sang, “There’s a Place for us.

RG (c) 1985-2017

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Bobby and the Vice Squad

At the Stardust
Bobby and the Vice Squad
There was only one queer bar in Charleston.
It was hidden on the darkest alley behind the Old Slave Market.
Guys had to kiss the doorman the first went to the Stardust to prove they was queer.
Some of us boys would dance on the big stage behind the bar when the drag queens wasn’t doing a show.
The first time I went to the Stardust I was 16. Momma brought me so I didn’t have to kiss no one.
She led me into the bar by the hand and ordered me a Pepsi.
Then she dropped some quarters into a jukebox and played Respect, and I said: “Hey Momma. Let’s dance!”
Well she hauled me up on the stage and we danced while the other queers gawked.
I was too young to get into the Stardust without Momma, so I had to sneak in if I wanted to go alone.
There was this one dyke named Roxie. She sometimes worked the door. She was so butch she could guys the kiss test.
Sometimes she’d let me in.
But if the vice cops came to do a bar check I’d have to hide in the lady’s room or get “discovered” and throwed out.
Sometimes the vice cops would come and not do a bar check; they’d take some money and leave.
Sometimes they’d come and watch the queers from the doorway.
Three straight white men with mean smiles.
One night I was out and dressed up for a party and this vice cop stops and orders me into his car.
“Whatcha doin’ out all gussied up?” he asked, “solicitin‘?”
What does that word mean, solicitin’?” I smiled. I had just finished reading The Little Prince.
“Sellin’ yer ass to the fags!” he replied.
“Oh that ain’t what I’m doin'” I said. “My Momma says I gotta dress right to set a good example for my sister!”
He drove me around town touching himself and asking me about dealers: “I bet you’d like to turn that little Sister of yours into a drug addict!”
“No sir!” I said, “I hope she turns out to be a drag queen just like me!”
I guess we wore each other out.
He pulled over and let me out.

He flipped his wrist at me and drove off.

(c)Rob Goldstein 1985-2017 All Rights Reserved

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