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Stonewall and The Church of The Beloved Disciple

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Saturday, 6/20/2009 11:02 AM
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I knew little of the Stonewall Rebellion and even less of The Church of The Beloved Disciple when I took up residence in Greenwich Village in 1970. Just turning 18, I arrived completely void of self-esteem, if not yet depleted of youthful exuberance. Always blatantly true to my queer nature, I was branded early on as "a problem child" (a reputation I strive to maintain). My innately androgynous behavior absolutely horrified my already conflicted parents, who had conceived me to reinforce their somewhat shaky image as the ideal heterosexual couple. My complete refusal to do so landed me a small monetary allowance in exchange for staying as far away as possible from their Midwest suburban home.

I came to New York City (as opposed to innately homophobic Hollywood) instinctively knowing that there were others here who also saw nothing wrong with their sexual preference, and lived their lives openly- and with ... Read More


Benign Detachment

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Sunday, 1/11/2009 1:07 PM
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In my research for the Patrick McMullan Institute of Sociological Studies, I am exposed to the most celebrated soirees and exclusive events on the planet. Having already served way too much of my time in VIP Rooms, my reaction at this point is, at best, an existential Kim Novak detachment. This was not the case when I heard that Liza (and I don’t mean Todd) was making a comeback - or at least a step-up from the disco bat mitzvahs she’s had to play lately – at Broadway’s legendary Palace Theatre.

What made this a must to even my jaded psyche was Cindy Adam’s Post reportage that this Palace gig would include a tribute to Liza’s godmother Kay Thompson, who, among many other things, played the fashion editor Maggie Prescott in Stanley Donen’s film musical masterpiece “Funny Face”. When I initially saw ... Read More


August 7, 2007

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Tuesday, 8/7/2007 12:00 AM
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While I have no recollection of my former Horatio Street neighbor "Patricia Fieldsteel", I do vividly recall another, who lived up the street for the time I resided there. Kathleen Widdowes was a relatively successful actress with distinctive, not quite beautiful looks, and a certain detached quality that I found fascinating when she played the asexual Helena, in Sidney Lumet's constantly aforementioned film version of Mary McCarthy's sociological masterpiece "The Group". As I have said previously, "The Group" is one of my favorite films, in particular because of the presciently post-modern visual patina it applied to the past, which is rare to this day, as most period films, then and now, look like the era they were made far more than the eras they represent.*

The Group** is also of note for it's casting, which features an amazing array of actresses in early roles, including two ... Read More


July 29, 2007

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Sunday, 7/29/2007 12:00 AM
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My absence from this page can best be summed up by quoting Geraldine Page as Miss Alma, in the film version of Tennessee William’s “Summer and Smoke.” When her exasperated preacher father asks her what he’s to tell the town as to why she refuses to get dressed or leave the parsonage, she answers profoundly (as only Ms. Page could) - “Tell them I have changed, and I am waiting to see in what way...”

While I wait, my friend Paul, aka the legendary Mrs. Mouth (Thursdays at Midnight, CH.67), brought to my attention a letter published in something called The Villager, that claimed in 1969 I was running around in dresses while living on Horatio Street. Since even in my willowy youth I looked crappy in couture, much less ready-to-wear (which I’m STILL not ready for), I read on to ... Read More


OXYMORONS

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Monday, 7/17/2006 12:00 AM
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Pride day is never a particular destination. I usually walk up Fifth Avenue with Franklin as the parade is coming down. By the time we get to our usual destination, Madison Square Park, he has been much admired as I have hopefully retained my aforementioned faux look of fatuous affability. This year it was going on 6 p.m. before I could drag myself out of bed, and the steamy, gray, mostly deserted Avenue was filled with flying garbage, as the heavens spit hot rain on the few remaining stragglers.

I winced at the creepy cover of Cheney tonguing Bush, as Franklin peed on an already soaked Village Voice laying in the gutter. Years ago, in a "Gay Pride Issue," the Voice included musings by walk-in closet case Fran Leibowitz. When I took gay issue with this, some oxymoronic editor there said the Voice would never dream ... Read More


June 8, 2006

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Thursday, 6/8/2006 12:00 AM
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DISCLAIMER: As always, let me state that these rants were originally concocted at the 20th Century Fox Publicity Department in the 1960's, and bear no relation to reality in any way. If you don't believe me, ask my agent - Swifty Lazar.

Despite being busted big time, Page Six continues unabated it's alleged disingenuous, at times amusing/ at times tedious agendas, along with constant self-congratulation. I peruse Page Six not because, as they claim, it is a beloved destination for all New Yorkers, but simply to sigh with relief that I no longer have to deal with many of the perfectly dreadful denizens they promote. It is also a great way to keep up with friends. If I see one singled out for something besides a pointless plug, it's an excuse to call them up and find out what really happened.

Page Six's lack of credibility (constant ... Read More


DEAD PEOPLE

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Friday, 4/14/2006 12:00 AM
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April 2006

Lest that definitive drag queen Oprah take offense, let me state yet again that these musings are the fabricated ravings of a bitter harridan. They are not to be taken in any way seriously, or as objective truth. I will try to use the term "alleged" * as often as possible, so as to protect the guilty, not to mention the all too suspecting public, from my dangerous delusions...

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders called me one afternoon, awakening me from my usual unsound sleep. "Beauregard, before I tell you who died, I want you to remember that we should only speak good of the dead.." That statement sent me reeling into the distant past, completely distracting my usual, pre-coffee dread. Wondering just where I had heard Timothy say that, I was relieved when he told me the deceased was Rhonda Carlyle, and not, say, Elizabeth Taylor, ... Read More


Untitled

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Wednesday, 12/21/2005 12:00 AM
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"Beauregard, you have to pay closer attention to what I'm telling you; people will think I'm giving you the wrong information. If you have a question and can't ask me, then look it up on the internet." Suggested the patient Ms. Miles, after I placed the Hotel Diplomat (site of 70's nightlife mecca Le Jardin) at 8th Avenue, instead of its actual location at 6th Avenue and 43rd Street, in my last blog.

Google-ing "Le Jardin", I discovered an incredible site - disco-disco.com - that juicily identifies every seminal Manhattan nightlife establishment over the last 40 years; from "The Cock Ring" to "Studio 54." I learned that Le Jardin, which was in both the basement and the penthouse of the Hotel Diplomat, was originally called L'Oubliette, Gloria Gaynor was crowned  "Queen of Disco" there on March 3, 1975, and Abbie Hoffman was busted for cocaine at the ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Thursday, 7/14/2005 12:00 AM
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 JULY 2005

As I am too busy making up facts to check them, it took Ms. Miles to remind me that 70's disco Le Jardin is not in fact now Supper Club, but was located nearby at a now demolished hotel on 43rd Street near 8th Avenue. Geography never being my strong point, Sylvia also patiently pointed out that she was born in Greenwich Village, and not the Lower East Side. I can say definitely that she used to write a terrific column for the now legendary SoHo News, and how great would it be to read her memoirs, not to mention her own social history of Manhattan which I could use as a reference guide!

One would be in trouble using either of the tabloids I'm left with reading for any kind of reference guide. The Examiner remains the most dimensional and entertaining, because my favorite ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Tuesday, 6/7/2005 12:00 AM
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June 7, 2005

My fact checker, Mrs. Fatatateeta Crabapple, returned from one of her all too brief absences to have an attack over my sloppy spelling and muddled continuity, reminding me that in my last blog I drew a Sebastian Blanc over Isca Greenfield-Sanders, re-christened David Maysles "Alan", and god help Renee Zellweger-Chesney-Paisley-Winston!*

Tata also patiently reminded me that Ms. Miles (who luckily doesn't read blogs) was squired around by Mr. Dallesandro, among others, during her "Heat" period. In any case she could have only been any of her dates' mother in a trailer park in Alabama, and I'm certain Sylvia was born on the Lower East Side.

Promising to never mix my "Cowboy" and "Heat" periods again, I move on to the pile of tabloids that has grown since my gallivanting. What a dismal pile it is. The prices keep going up as ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Thursday, 5/12/2005 12:00 AM
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MAY 12, 2005

Since my last blog blubbering I have gone from living to kvetching about the tabloids to tabloid living, starting with a mention in my impossibly glamorous friend Cindy Adam's "New York Post" Column related to my appearance in Liliana Greenfield-Sanders' Tribeca Film Festival entry, "Ghosts of Grey Gardens." A documentary about the documentary "Grey Gardens", it's a delicious paean to one of my favorite designers (among other things), Edie Bouvier Beale. Thank god I was sober enough to remember her performance at Reno Sweeney's in the 1970's. Albert Maysles, who directed "Grey Gardens" with his late brother Alan, loves 24-year-old Liliana's homage so much he has commissioned her to re-edit all the unused footage from the original!

I love being in Cindy Adam's column. She has an astounding ability to combine a cacophony of names, Sweetie; names that impart surprising scoops and mounds of ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Wednesday, 4/13/2005 12:00 AM
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April 13, 2005

The passing of Prince Rainier (and the Pope) seemed but a build-up for what the Daily Show, whose spin I'm always in, called the "Bride of Chuckie" spectacle. This long dreaded culmination of the very Grimmest fairy tale, wherein the Prince, having disposed of the dazzling Princess, marries the Queen of the Trolls, came off like a Robert Altman directed episode of AbFab, with the principals dressed in a 1980's Dynasty-style tribute to Sir Cecil Beaton. Those huge hats, pragmatically covering all those dour, bitter, intoxicated faces, turned a fetid lot into Sid and Marty Kroft's "Lidsville". Throw in delightfully off-the-wall guests like Joanna Lumley (looking just like Patsy Stone) and Joan Rivers (looking just like Madame the Puppet), not to mention one fashionable young royal who sported a version of Camilla's feather headpiece on her bum, and you have a hit (in the face ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Thursday, 3/31/2005 12:00 AM
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March 31, 2005

The tabloids have been piling up with but an occasional peek as I have been awash in a tsunami of irony. Whoever said it was dead was WAY off base. First it was fashion week, where the aforementioned emperor’s new clothes were anything but. Much as I love the pouf dress (or anything called pouf), it was perfected in 1957 - and not improved upon since. This was followed by The Oscars, that uptight corporate event which can be absent-mindedly perused while downloading internet porn. (Unlike The Golden Globe Awards, where everybody is drinking at, and sometimes under, tables and have to be watched as intently as one might, say, the inevitably mentioned movie of "Valley of the Dolls"...)

The red carpet was crawling with irony, as tired old closet queens who I have seen cruising the West Village and Chelsea for decades hid ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Tuesday, 2/8/2005 12:00 AM
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February 8, 2005

Western civilization (such as it is) is based on marketing, and celebrities fortify and shill those markets by personifying whatever image that market represents. Tabloids are all about enforcing market images, and glorify those celebrities who fit the latest mold. On glorious occasion one of those celebs will actually break the mold, upon which the tabloids go into a frenzy of screaming headlines which catapult said celeb into the stratosphere of archtypical superstardom and inevitable destruction of self (see Valley of the Dolls). This is not to be confused with self-destruction, which can happen to anyone. Not about to self-destruct Oprah Winfrey is the ultimate tabloid drag queen, seamlessly shapeshifting into an astonishing variety of molds. Obligatorily androgynous Oprah can go from black to white, female to male, rich to poor, thin to fat with the flick of a wig, a fad diet, and ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Saturday, 2/5/2005 12:00 AM
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February 5, 2005

Pulp tabloids jumpstart me daily into the curious duplicities of life on this planet. Terrified, but somehow satisfied, I study the denizens of the "New York Post", "the "Globe", the "Enquirer", and their nice old auntie the "Examiner" like Margaret Mead might aborigines, all the while trying to discover some objective truth in the various and decidedly subjective accounts each publication features. Of the glossies I pay neither attention nor money. They are edited by people with the mentalities of merchants, and, too often, by former or actual publicists. Pulps cut much closer to the truth, if not the glossier status quo, but only so far as they feel the public can handle. Pulp editors give the public what they want to hear, which is not necessarily the truth, as opposed to the glossies, who simply make ... Read More


TABLOID TALK

By Beauregard Houston-Montgomery
Tuesday, 2/1/2005 12:00 AM
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Feb 1, 2005

The Tsunami has been relegated to last week's Sun cover proclaiming that a UFO had been found among the debris on some remote beach. I didn't actually buy it, deciding instead to wait for the inevitable Learning Channel special... I immediately bought the latest Examiner with the beyond Diane Arbus cover and dreaded headline "Liz plans her own funeral", which is at least not yet "The Sad Last Days of Liz". While she is only 70 something, Ms. Taylor etc has lived through enough pharmaceutical epochs to qualify for at least 400 something. It is amazing the "old trampoline" as she was referred to last year by her butler (at least in the pages of the Examiner) is even conscious, much less still applying eyeshadow. I long for lavish longevity for both Ms. Taylor and her polar counterpart, Doris Day, who is also going ... Read More


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