Bourland and Hall: The Parade

June 10, 2007

flashpoint_stonewall_carneg.jpg

Today is Gay Pride Day in West Hollywood. We haven’t gone in years, not that we aren’t proud, it’s just, well, we don’t go any more.

Last night before I heard the premiere of Paul Chihara’s terrific new choral work, MAGNIFICAT, I went to Basix, a mostly gay and lesbian restaurant by myself. I got to watch all of the out-of-towners come in in 2s and 3s and 4s. Two gorgeous thin career lesbians. Two elderly heavy and not particularly pretty dkyes. Two very homely men who [thank god] have found each other, and two pretty boys, maybe 19, who look alike and are all over each other. And over at that table is a man in his 70s looking queenly, and his much younger lover of 58 slowly down their bottle of chardonnay. They don’t smile. Walking by on Santa Monica Boulevard are lots more of all shapes and sizes, coming to WeHo for Gay Pride Day.

John Hall wrote the lyrics to this next song showing the difference between a viewpoint from an old queen and one from a young disinterested queer, both watching the parade go by. Rick Garretson and Santo Regni sing the older and younger gay men in this song. Little did any of us know that a few months later, I would enter into an intergenerational relationship myself. [Coming on 13 years now by the way…]

“The Parade” was written by John Hall and me and is from the electro-acoustic cantata, FLASHPOINT/STONEWALL (1994), for 4 synthesizers, bass (me), drums, soloists, and men’s chorus, a commission celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The consortium of commissioning choruses were the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, the Seattle Men’s Chorus, the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. Each of the choruses performed the work in their own cities. I went to all of them except Seattle as I had to be in Chicago that night for a premiere my LETTERS TO THE FUTURE.

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[Picture © James Patrick Kelly; RB at Carnegie Hall premiere of Flashpoint/Stonewall, June 1994.]

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