Okay, gang! Good evening!!
Peitor’s birthday is in a few days, and I went looking through all my storage boxes for a photo he took of us at a rooftop party in the East Village in June 1986 for his birthday that year.
It was a beautiful photo and I remember we both looked so genuinely happy in it. That year, he and I were both dating guys who had the very same name — first and last name. Totally different guys. But so weird, right?
Anyway. I know for sure I still have the photo stored away somewhere but I could not find it. Instead, though, I found a ton of stuff to share with you here on the blog!!
Quite an eclectic bunch of memories, but here we go.
Me with my date, Michael, getting ready to go to my first prom. May 1977. (It was his senior prom.) We’re in my driveway, getting ready to get into his car. I’m 16 here.
Here is the cork from a bottle of Moët Chandon champagne from my first wedding anniversary to my first husband (in NYC). April 1982.
Here is one of the very first publicity-type photos taken of me when I was a folksinger in Greenwich Village, in NYC. This was an advertisement for a special gig, but I don’t recall now why it was special. I am in a broken TV set with Frank Mazzetti — an older, more established folk singer, who “discovered” me at an open mic night at Gerdes Folk City. I am 21 here.
This is an ad from the Village Voice newspaper, where my really good friends (called here The Brunette Farmers, but that was not the name of their usual band) were opening for The Fleshtones at the Peppermint Lounge, in NYC. This is probably 1982 or 1983.
This is the (very rusty now) brass ring from the merry-go-round on Coney Island. I had spent a wildly intense and amazingly debauched day/evening there with the drummer from The Fleshtones (this was when they were famous — long after the gig at The Peppermint Lounge.) Bill (the drummer) grabbed the brass ring and gave it to me. I’ve kept it all these years, but I no longer remember when it happened.
Here is my best friend Paul who’s been dead now since 1999, when he was visiting me in NYC. I was already married to my first husband. Paul is fooling around with my electric typewriter. This was probably winter 1981. I still have this very same desk!! It was a wedding gift to me from my first husband. At this point in time, Paul was a set designer for an opera company but I don’t recall which one. He went on to become the set designer for the Woolly Mammoth in Washington DC (a famous theater company there), then for Hollywood movies.
Here , I have already separated from my first husband even though we remained married for a long time afterward (he moved to Honolulu to get a Masters Degree and I wanted to stay in NYC to pursue my singer/songwriting stuff). Paul was visiting for Thanksgiving and had bought me a Polaroid camera as a gift. This is the hellhole apartment in the tenement in the East Village. The bathtub was in the kitchen, but a previous tenant had built a makeshift privacy wall so that the bathtub wasn’t right next to the kitchen table. Here is Paul trying to take a bath in the really small, old, iron bathtub. I’m using my new Polaroid camera!! (Paul was very tall — about 6 foot 4 inches.) This is November 1984.
Here he has taken a Polaroid of me!! Same day. I’m 23 here. Paul was 24. (He was gay, by the way, and died from AIDS.) I am tall, too, so I never fit in the bathtub, either!!
Here is that action figure of Keanu as “Neo” in the first Matrix movie. Remember how I was searching for this a couple weeks ago? I finally found it!
A really close friend of mine was at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan once and saw Papa John Phillips and got his autograph for me. It’s the only autograph of a famous person that I have. (Papa John was the main guy in The Mamas & the Papas, and wrote all those amazing songs. He’s dead now.) This is fall 1988. At one point, I had made an art project out of this. I made a collage where the autograph (which says “Good Luck”) was surrounded by every little paper fortune I’d ever gotten from a fortune cookie (those cookies that come with Chinese take-out food).
The first postcard I received from the Southern writer/ poet, Rosemary Daniell. I had written her a letter after reading her poetry collection, A Sexual Tour of the Deep South, and she wrote me back and I was so thrilled!! I loved that book so much and still have it (I have all her books). She and I actually eventually became friends. She lived in Savannah, Georgia. This was November 1984.
Here is the back. She talks about some of her other books.
Here is a photo of me in the recording studio, back when Marilyn’s Room, Inc. had launched. One of the partners in Marilyn’s Room was a 24-track recording studio in Midtown Manhattan, and this is where we recorded all the interviews with filmmakers, artists, poets, writers, and publishers who were featured on MarilynsRoom.com. And we taped the readings of the poets and writers here, too. I was the Executive Producer on all of that stuff. Even though I have a degree in audio engineering, I was not the engineer on any of it. I was, instead, the person who went insane trying to stay on top of everything. This is sometime in 1998. (I cannot believe how huge my glasses are!)
And here is something I’ve never shared anywhere. It is the first letter I received from the writer Hubert Selby, Jr (called “Cubby” by his friends). His famous book, Last Exit to Brooklyn, was the inspiration for my first book, Neptune & Surf, so when my book was published in spring of 1999, I sent him a copy, along with a letter telling him how much his book had inspired me. When I received this letter from him, it made my day!! Or week. Or year! He and I eventually became friends, too, and I had lunch with him at House of Pies once in Los Angeles. He has been dead now for a long time. But I have a whole collection of the letters he wrote to me. (He was a lot older than me — married, loved cats!). I’m letting you read the entire letter here. This is the first time anyone else has ever seen it. I’m always very private with my correspondences. But since he’s been dead over 15 years now, I guess it’s okay.
Okay, gang. I hope you’ve had fun! Have a wonderful night. I love you guys. See ya.