14 Jun 2016 @ 5:41 PM 
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+Share

IMG_8454

 

I rounded up my partner, his niece, and as many of my friends as I could to answer the call to rally and hold a candlelight vigil at Los Angeles City Hall to protest and mourn the 49 people that were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando Florida, which is being called the deadliest mass shooting in United States history and the worst terrorist attack in U.S. soil since 9/11.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center hosted the vigil.

“Police are calling it ‘a domestic terror incident,'” stated the event’s Facebook page “Whatever it is called, it is all too familiar to the LGBT community. Last year nearly two dozen transgender women were murdered nationwide. In the most recent report in Los Angeles, the 2014 Los Angeles County Hate Crime Report, hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation grew by 14%, and their level of violence surpassed the last 13 years.”

“We cannot allow this hateful, murderous incident to silence us,” the statement continued. “Yes, we must express our grief and anger. But we must also make it clear that we will NOT be deterred by hate and violence, and that we celebrate in defiance of bigotry and fear. We stand for peace. We stand for community. We stand for Orlando.”

Lorri L. Jean, the CEO of L.A. LGBT Center spoke about being angry.

Lorri L. Jean - CEO L.A. LGBT Center

Lorri L. Jean – CEO L.A. LGBT Center

“We are angry because some of the people responsible are not being held accountable,” She told a crowd of over 2,000 people at the footsteps of the City Hall building. “Don’t be mislead. Yesterday’s attack was not done at the instigation of ISIS. It was carried out by an extremist who was born and bred in the U.S of A.”

“Where do Americans learn this kind of Anti LGBT bigotry and hate? she asked. “They learn it from fundamentalist Christian leadership in this country…who preach hate from their pulpits.”

Jean called out Republican Presidential candidates Trump, Cruz and Rubio for their divisive Anti LGBT rhetoric and lawmakers who pass discriminatory laws to demean LGBT people and permit U.S. citizens to discriminate against us. She also called for the impeachment of Texas Lieutenant Dan Patrick who quoted the Bible via a tweet to state that the people who were killed in Orlando deserved it. “He should be impeached,” Jean yelled. “He is not fit to hold public office in this country!”

“As long as politicians and religious leaders continue to slander LGBT people; as long as they continue to say that we do not deserve the same protections as other Americans; that we’re a danger to children, or that somehow our oppression is justified by their personal view of religion; it permits the kind of violence that happened yesterday in Orlando and it endangers all of us. These leaders have blood on their hands. They might not have pulled the trigger. But they certainly loaded the gun.”

“Tonight we issue a guarantee to the bigots,” Jean continued. “We will not allow this hateful, murderous incident to silence us. We will continue to express our grief and our anger, just as we will celebrate in defiance of fear and hatred and violence. We stand for freedom. We stand for peace and love. We stand for Orlando.”

IMG_3244

Other speakers included Oscar De La O: President, Bienestar Human Services, Vallerie Wagner: Chief Operating Officer, APLA Health & Wellness and former COO, Black AIDS Institute), Justine Gonzales: Los Angeles Transgender Advisory Council, API Equality-LA, Maria Roman: APAIT advocate and counselor, Ari Gutiérrez Arámbula: Latino Equality Alliance Co-Founder & Advisory Board Chair, Rabbi Denise L. Eger: Founding Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami and John Jude Duran, West Hollywood City Council.

People showed up from all corners of the greater Los Angeles area. Signage expressed love for Orlando, calls for peace and protests for gun control now.

Oh yeah, the mood took a weird yet pretty awesome turn from where I was standing when singer/actress/fashionista/superstar Lady Gaga’s name came up and she stepped up out of nowhere to say a few words. The crowd went from somber to frantic as they tried to rush the footsteps of City Hall to get a closer look. There was screaming and shoving and people being told to step back.

IMG_3372

IMG_3322 IMG_3332

IMG_3363

“This is an attack on everyone,” a tearful Gaga told the crowd. “Tonight, I gather humbly with you as a human being in solidarity to take a real moment and mourn the tragic loss of these innocent people. let’s all today pledge an allegiance of love to them and their families. They are sons and daughters, mothers and fathers…everyone here, we represent the compassion and the loyalty of millions of people around the world – you are not alone. Orlando, we are united with you and we are here to remember.”

It was amazing having the star-stature of Gaga’s caliber at the vigil in Los Angeles, specially after Nick Jonas made headlines for speaking at a vigil at Stonewall in New York City. But if people were excited by the presence of Gaga, they were pulled back into the harsh realities of this past weekend, and why she was really there, when the singer removed her hat and started reading some of the names of the murdered victims followed by their age. Most of them were in their early 20s. It was very emotional. A lot of people lost it.

These are the names and the ages of the human beings who were taken out by a military semi-automatic riffle–a riffle that was legally licensed and purchased by a suspected terrorist thanks to the efforts and Republican political influence of the NRA.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Stanley Manolo Almodovar III, 23
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Eric Ivan Rivera Ortiz, 36
Peter Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Kimberly Morris, 37
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Amanda Alvear, 25
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Pink, 35
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Oscar to aracena-Montero, 26
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Cory James Connell, 21
John p. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Luis Daniel Count, 39
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
Yilmary Rodriguez Sullivan, 24
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
Angel L. Candelario-Mast, 28
Frank Hernandez, 27
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Antonio Brown, 29 of them
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles closed the evening with the civil rights song “Singing for Our Lives.”

IMG_5777 IMG_8460

My brain is so fried right now, I can’t EVEN. My heart aches. I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m tired, but I felt a lot of love for my brethren last night. Life is a gift and a luxury.

Here are some photos I took at the event. Thank you all who were able to make it at such short notice. I tried to look for familiar faces in the crowd.

ORLANDO, WE ARE WITH YOU!!!

Luv,
Me

IMG_3417

IMG_3201 IMG_3192 IMG_3224 IMG_3248 IMG_3252 IMG_3190 IMG_3207 IMG_3175IMG_3298 IMG_3305 IMG_3095 IMG_3285  IMG_3402 IMG_3396 IMG_3398 IMG_3149 IMG_3167 IMG_3178 IMG_3215 IMG_3238 IMG_3247 IMG_3259 IMG_3282 IMG_3376 IMG_3386 IMG_3407 IMG_3181 IMG_3174  IMG_3443 IMG_8448

 

 

 


 15 Apr 2016 @ 9:49 PM 

 

 

 

Paulo Murillo White Party 2016

Mother Nature’s vexing warnings of heavy rain did not deter the gaggle of gays from attending White Party 2016 in Palm Springs this past weekend.

I read somewhere there was an attendance of 30,000 homos spreading themselves thin (literally) and doing a balancing act to try and hit up as many of the seven events that party promoter Jeffrey Sanker lined up all weekend long.

I also heard there was a human sacrifice at the top of San Jacinto Peak, which overlooks PS, to ward off the rain. Whatever the Powers That Be did to keep my coif set and dry for the weekend worked, because aside from a tiny sprinkle here and there, the heavy showers were a total dud.

I got caught in the rain one White Party weekend some time back in the late 90s. We had no choice but to skip the first pool party because there was thunder and lightning and heavy winds making them pretty palm trees lean back over the streets. We stayed at our cheap hotel miles and miles away from The Marquis and we crammed into a jacuzzi full of other thrifty/thirsty boys who were guests at our motel no-tell. We were lucky we didn’t get struck by lightning.

I remember the rain didn’t last. The sun kept poking its head in and out of some dark clouds when we attended the second pool party that Sunday morning. The sun would shine and queens would scream and go nuts and bust some dance moves from wherever they were standing. Then there was darkness upon the face of the earth and human groans filled the dark skies. It was wild. I loved it.

This year, I attended White Party with some fetish and kink royalty from the leather community, which included Mr. LA Bear 2014 and 1st runner up (meaning the 1st to lose) of the Mr. Los Angeles Leather 2014 contest, Gabriel Green, as well as the 1st and 2nd runner-ups (yes, 1st and 2nd to lose—just kidding–too soon, I know) for this year’s Mr. Los Angeles Leather contest, Mr. SoCal Leather Eric Slayton and Mr. Sister Leather Joe Gregory (he got a super cute one-of-kind leather crown that I was dying to snatch for a selfie).

IMG_0550

The so-so weather was good enough for some slipin’ and slidin’ at the Wet ‘N’ Wild water park, which was exclusive to WP guests not too far from the Renaissance Hotel. We didn’t really make it out of our luxurious La Residenza San Lorenzo flats (visit rslpalmsprings.com) until the last hour of partying at the water park on account of we didn’t want to get wet. The water park was pretty much closed, but the dancing was still in full swing when we got there, so we got the gist of how the shit went down and we could say that we did it.

Then there was the White Party: There was no up-and-coming or quasi famous headlining performer at this year’s main event, which has featured the likes of Lady Gaga, and J-Lo in the past and in more recent years, Ariana Grande, but no matter, the production was en punto (meaning on point). I mean, the screens were massive. It was like you were in a different planet, or inside a video game. There was thunder and lasers and lights and half men/half beasts on stage. The setup was incredible. The most impressive White Party scenery I have ever experienced.

I thought I was letting bitches HAVE IT with my 2-xist mesh tank top that I embellished with stencils and studs, but my see-through getup was conservative compared to the over-the-top creations that were meticulously planned that night. Bitches straight up gave you costume. You had white beasts and angels and drag queens and of course some guys walked out in their white underwear…because, well, they could. Oh and you had pretty buff boys wearing fanny packs to make a statement that they could make anything look cool, but that lesbian accessory looked like the opposite of cuteness or coolness–even on their perfectly sculpted bodies. I’m sowwy.

And speaking of cool: Was it me, or was the crowd younger this year? It used to be that only the grown folks could afford WP. There were moments when I felt like the old bitch at da club, but let’s be for real here, there is no such thing as one ever being THE old bitch at da club where the gay community is concerned. You can only be AN old bitch at da club amongst MANY old bitches at da club. That’s just how we roll.

Moving along.

IMG_6621

 

Then the moment we were waiting for was upon us. Offer Nissim finally happened. The entrance was pretty ferocious. The bitch rose from the ground like an extra terrestrial promising to let us have it with a set of dance music that was hell bent on making our backs hurt (and knees for those of us with more mileage), however the impression I got from the crowd was that they were not impressed. The buildup was so high for weeks that there were bound to be disappointments.

Honestly, I don’t claim to know what DJs do nowadays in their DJ booths. They don’t spin records anymore, do they? I imagine they have a bag full of tricks where they pull plugs, mix beats and sounds depending on the crowd’s response to the music that particular night, and if they get the mood right and keep the flow going, then that’s how they get their following and DJ star status and hefty paychecks. Or so I imagine. I’ve never been a DJ groupie, so I’m not certain.

I saw a guy make his fingers like a gun and pretend to blow his brains out after a good twenty minutes of Nissim. And people stopped dancing when the Pet Shop Boys came on singing about being Pop Kids.

However, the biggest complaint I heard regarding O-Nissim is that he basically popped in a mix-tape and waved his hands in the air to a pre-recorded set. He has himself to blame for this assessment, because well… his hands were in fact up in the air the entire time he was on that stage when he should’ve been spinning or pretending to scratch a needle on a record. I don’t know what the deal is, but if you’re gonna lip sync, then you should probably move your lips–especially on account of I hear his presence there did not come cheap.

Look! No hands!

Look! No hands!

He played Madonna’s Living for Love, the Offer Nissim mix we’re all familiar with, of course, so I wasn’t mad at him.

Let me leave White Party 2016 at this: It did not disappoint. It was a scene. There were all shapes and sizes and races and mixes and ages and a far cry from the cookie WeHo cutouts I used to stack myself up against many, many moons ago and walk away never feeling like I was enough. It’s a whole different ball game. I fucking loved it.

The next day I showed up starved and spray tanned at the pool party on Sunday with my leatheriti royalty in tow. There were enough sunny patches throughout the day to strip down to a Speedo. The music was jumping, but I kept my shorts over my bikini the entire time, because I was not in the mood to partake in the cocks-on-parade where poor penises get strangled, manhandled and forced to bloat into bulging proportions that only deflate when the cock-rings are removed. I let my huevos be and didn’t lose my shorts.

IMG_0779

If I had to pick one party out of the seven parties for White Party weekend, I’d definitely choose the T-Dance without a doubt. T-Dance has to be the most fun event of the entire weekend. You get your second wind. The drugs have either worn off or they are kicking in again. You get to wear whatever you want. The mood is casual. Shirts don’t stay on for very long. And then you add two ferris wheels a dance floor, great music and performances. I wedged myself up close to catch party legend Inaya Day sing Movin’ Up, one my ultimate favorite songs from when I loved to get high–“Take me high, take me high, take me higher. I take my problems to the dance floor and let the music make my spirit soar…”

T-dance was the best way to waive goodbye to WP in Palm Springs. I didn’t stick around to catch Erika Jayne of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills do her song and dance. I swore I was gonna do the Farewell party this year, but I know my limit. I know when I’m asking for it. I was supposed to stay an extra night at La Residenza San Lorenzo, but I decided to jet my ass out while my sobriety was still intact.

I told my leatherati royalty that it was nice meeting them and hanging out with them, but things would have to go back to normal once we went back to Los Angeles. “I’m West Hollywood and you’re Silverlake,” I informed them in the cuntiest tone I could muster. “The two worlds can’t co-exist. I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules.” I was just getting back at them for selfie-shaming me the entire weekend.

I told them not to get mad if I pretended like I didn’t know them when I saw them in WeHo, but I was kidding of course. I’ve known Gabriel for almost 15 years. Eric is part of The Fight magazine family, and Joe, I met that weekend and he was a lot of fun. His was the only live penis I saw that entire weekend on account of he shamelessly undressed in front of us facing forward, instead of modestly turning his back like a lady. Que puta, no?

Anyway, this blog was supposed to go up much sooner, but after I got home, I woke up the next morning with THE most massive cold/cough/flu symptoms ever. All that threat of rain, one moment it was hot, the next moment it was cold, and lack of sleep caught up to me. It was like the consequences of boozing and using without the pleasure of using and boozing. Ain’t that some shit. My entire body hurt. Like. Hell.

I’m glad I went to White Party 2016. I’m happy I can do it sober.

12963581_10154310512655934_1859464520997201237_n

Here are some pics I took this past weekend. Gabriel took a lot of these as well–mostly of me.

Enjoy.

Luv,
Me

IMG_059612932790_10154113726556103_856865220530926625_n IMG_0526 IMG_0567 IMG_0578 IMG_0600 IMG_0624 IMG_0632 IMG_6448 IMG_6957 IMG_654112932967_10154114339831103_2585197092806962557_n 12974367_10153575866771547_928025251195127507_n IMG_6548 IMG_6551 IMG_6558 IMG_6569 IMG_6581 IMG_6612 IMG_6634 IMG_6642 IMG_6675 IMG_6953 IMG_6955 IMG_6956IMG_6600 IMG_6601 IMG_6607IMG_6696IMG_0643 IMG_0662 IMG_0671 IMG_0680 IMG_0684 IMG_0688 IMG_0690 IMG_0703 IMG_0706 IMG_0711 IMG_0713 IMG_0722 IMG_0725 IMG_0745 IMG_0747 IMG_0748 IMG_0753 IMG_6748 IMG_6958 IMG_0758 IMG_0759 IMG_0761 IMG_0763 12966104_10154118864936103_1743698545_n IMG_0770 IMG_0789 IMG_0790 IMG_0807 IMG_0809 IMG_0812 IMG_0828 IMG_0833 IMG_0841 IMG_0845 IMG_0850 IMG_0883 IMG_6790 IMG_6818 IMG_6829 IMG_6843 IMG_6856 IMG_6914 IMG_6937

 

 


 07 Apr 2016 @ 9:26 PM 

Chi Chi LaRue by Paulo Murillo

And by off the chain, I mean Larry Paciotti–better known to common folks as porn director, DJ, and drag personality, Chi Chi LaRue–continues to lay off of the drugs and the booze.

Chi Chi made headlines last year when she found herself on girl interrupted status (more like girl intervened) after she posted a video on Facebook to let her friends know that she was on her way to rehab (ooohhh, I felt her pain). Evil queens salivated, but for the most part the public was supportive and sympathetic…that is until one of Chi Chi’s friends started a Go Fund Me account asking for money to help pay for the remainder of her rehab tab at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center in Minnesota. You best believe the evil queens judged and inventoried accordingly. The comments on social media were ferocious.

When you’re new in recovery and you’re in pain and you’re in rehab, you don’t know which end is your ass. It’s possible to have money and not have money. My guess is somebody like a business partner pulled the plug on her funds. It’s hard to say, because she will not say, but that’s all old news anyway. She lived to outlive another public scandal.

The having money, but having money reminded me of when I was in rehab and I had a friend smuggle me a hundred dollar bill so I wouldn’t have to panhandle for chump change at the meetings. I stashed that bill inside a hole in the bottom of the lamp by my nightstand and I felt like a mighty rich bitch—HOWEVER…the phones and the vending machines only took quarters, so that bill was useless to me. All I had to do was find some poor sucker to break my Benji, but then funny story: It turned out this guy named Miguel saw me stash that bill–I don’t know how. I came back from a meeting one night and my Benjamin and Miguel were long gone (you best believe I dismantled that lamp and put it back together all tweaker style).

There is no doubt in my mind that Benjamin Franklin got Miguel mighty high that week. To make matters worse, I couldn’t say a word to staff, because then they would ask me where the money came from, and I wasn’t about to unravel all my secrets, lies, and manipulations–at least not then, that came later in the show. So fade/flash to me asking random strangers if they could spare a dime…

But enough about me…

Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 7.34.32 AM

 

This past weekend marked 9 months of clean and sober time for Larry Paciotti a.k.a Chi Chi LaRue and I could not be happier. Larry has managed to keep Chi Chi in check and Chi Chi has managed to continue DJ-ing at bars and she is somehow making it work with her sobriety intact these past 9 months. We all have our own journey, our own experience and we’re all fighting our own fight. It took what it took and hopefully she’s had her take and will stick around for a long, long time…as in till the end of her time, because the goal here is to ride and die clean and sober.

Anyway, I wanted to interview Larry for The Fight magazine this past September for Recovery Month, but Chi Chi wouldn’t let me speak to Larry. So here is my Q&A with Chi Chi LaRue in case you missed it.

CONGRATULATIONS ON 9 MONTHS!!!

Every day we wake up sober is a fucking miracle. Keep fighting the good fight. Surrender to win. To keep it, you gotta give it away. And la-di-da-di.

Luv,
Me

===

Larry Paciotti, aka Chi Chi LaRue, recently out of rehab, on hitting rock bottom, lifelong commitments and being a better man.

BY PAULO MURILLO  |  PHOTO BY JOSE A GUZMAN COLON

In an exclusive interview with THE FIGHT, Larry Paciotti—widely known as gay porn director, drag personality, and DJ, Chi Chi LaRue—speaks out about his struggle with addiction, being a slip sister, the recent intervention that led to rehab where his journey in recovery began, and how it gets better sober.

How do you feel at this very moment?
Right at this moment I feel happy, joyous and free. That may be a little cliché, but it’s true.

How much sober time have you accrued as of this interview?
Today is 65 days.

Have you tried to get sober in the past?
I have tried everything from white knuckling it, to doing 90 [12-step] meetings in 90 days. I went to Florida and spent 30 days living in a hotel and immersing myself into the sober community. I thought I had it after a year, but when you stop working the program, the disease grabs hold. It’s always waiting, cunning, baffling, powerful and patient.

What happened during your previous attempts at sobriety and why is this time different?
I was lying to everybody, including my amazing sponsor Greg, all my sober family, my friends, my business partners and more importantly to myself. This time I had a horrific bottom and I was screaming for help silently on the inside and hurting myself on the outside. Thank God my higher power brought some much needed love my way in the form of an intervention.

Was your intervention anything like what you see in the television show?
Exactly like it. My friends and family had to go through a pre-intervention, which I’m sure was tough. They already had letters asking me if I would take this gift offered to me and my answer was yes-yes-yes to every letter. I was so ready and willing to go.

What was life like for you before you decided to get sober?
My life was complicated, or so I thought. I drank a lot and did drugs—mostly cocaine—before I had my gastric bypass surgery, but it didn’t hit me like it did after I had it. I came to find out after I had the surgery that it happens a lot where people compensate and replace food with other addictions like shopping, drinking, etc. I was diagnosed in treatment as cross-addicted, so really anything in my life can become an addiction, like my addiction to Starbucks.

I was and am a chronic relapser. I call myself a slip sister. Things would be going really great for a while and I guess I would self-sabotage. I screwed up a lot of gigs and spent and lost a lot of money. I was falling down and hurting myself and hurting other people more and more frequently. I broke my thumb, my nose, and hurt my legs and my face a lot.

Being a female impersonator a.k.a. a drag queen—hell, being a goddamn 55-year-old grown-ass man, you would think I would get a hint that the last thing I wanted to do was keep fucking up my face, body and health.

What is life like now that you’ve had some clarity?
The moments have been amazing. Going into treatment was the best thing that’s happened to me in a long, long time. This is a lifelong commitment and I plan on keeping that commitment.

Is there any conflict between Larry Paciotti the person and Chi Chi LaRue the persona?
That was a big problem, because the two started to become one. I was losing the best of both of those people even though they are just one person. I truly love being both of those crazies.

How do the two of you co-exist in the realm of recovery?
One day at a time.

What was the public response like after you announced you were going to rehab?
Mostly, the response was positive, with a lot of love and support from many. Of course I had the people that said nasty things because they can and that’s okay though, because everyone is entitled to their opinion. What other people think of me is none of my business.

What happened to you financially that made you decide to start a gofundme campaign to help pay for rehab?
I didn’t open that up; my friend Kevin from Minnesota did. There’s a very long story that I don’t want to go into, that involves other circumstances on why I didn’t have the funds to finish my rehab. I want to thank everyone who donated to the fund. It meant a lot and you helped me more than you’ll ever know.

What does the future hold for Larry Paciotti and Chi Chi LaRue now that Larry is sober?
I can say I’ll be a better man sober. I’ll be a better director, a better drag queen, a better friend, a better business partner, a better DJ: a better human being all around.

What would you tell someone who thinks they may have issues with substance abuse and wants help?
Anything is possible. Look at me, I tried so many times to get sober and I hope this time it sticks. If you want to get help, help is waiting for you. Go to a [12-step] meeting and try it out. It can be very scary, but you’re definitely not alone in this mixed-up world of addiction. I hope that anyone out there that’s struggling with addiction of any kind will seek help. If my story provides any comfort or help to even one person, then this journey I’ve taken was meant to be. I love a good God shot.

 

 

Posted By: Paulo
Last Edit: 07 Apr 2016 @ 09:26 PM

COMMENTSEmail
Tags

 27 Feb 2016 @ 11:42 PM 

IMG_0131

I gotz to admit that I dragged my ass to the pop-up free Elton John concert that took place today on the parking lot of the “historically significant” Tower Records building on the Rock-N-Roll side of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. I told myself I was there mostly as a reporter, because this event is an ideal item for The City page of the next issue of The Fight Magazine where I contribute.

I’m a fan of his music, don’t get me wrong, and I know that he gives back to the community with his Elton John AIDS Foundation, and he’s a legend and a husband and father and whatnot, but Sir Elton John the shit-talkin’ crab ass, I can do without. I’m talking about all the mad smack he’s shot at other people in the music biz–and by other people, I’m mostly concerned about the wretched things he’s said about my homegirl Madonna over the many years.

I know, I know, I read somewhere that he and Madonna buried the hatchet. He approached her at a restaurant recently, apologized for being a wretch and he bought her dinner, or so the story goes. Not that he needs it, but his peace offering made headlines during a time when he’s pushing a new album and he’s out on tour to back it up. I’m happy he apologized to M, but that just means he’ll aim his venom to other umm…singers… like… Janet Jackson. I read he recently said that he’d rather see a drag queen show than watch Janet Lipsinc. It’s like, seriously? What did drag queens ever do to Sir Elton for him to go there?

Anyway, I braved the heat to get my photo of Sir Elton singing for my City page. I wore my black mesh Madonna Rebel Heart Tour tank top to let everyone know what gang I was in, which got me clocked and called out by one of my friends who spotted me in the crowd.

IMG_4891

Getting my shot proved more challenging than I expected.

The street was packed with people. It was impossible to see over all the bobbing heads–not that there’s much to see at an Elton John concert, lets-be-for-real-here, but I wanted to get a picture of him. I thought I saw him standing on stage, so I aimed my zoom lens and started snapping away, only to realize the man was the umm…wrong size. There was that, and he was playing a guitar. Then I heard the distinguishable piano set and I knew I had the wrong guy.

Ugh! I couldn’t see him. I moved up Horn Avenue, off of Sunset Boulevard and wiggled my way towards the front of the side gate overlooking the Tower Records parking lot. People parted for me when they saw my professional camera, which I thought was funny.

And there he was. Facing me. Sitting behind a grand piano. Playing for free to a crowd of thousands.

Elton John by Paulo Murillo

IMG_0122

Sir Elton by Paulo Murillo

Elton John Concert WeHo by Paulo Murillo

IMG_0152

IMG_0159

IMG_0177

According to reports, those of us present owed this live musical treat to the City of West Hollywood for all their support of Sir Elton during his annual Academy Awards viewing party at the Pacific Design Center on San Vicente Boulevard, which raises funds for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The event takes place every year on Oscar night.

I don’t have to, but I’ll admit it: there is no arguing with the happiness that I witnessed on the street today. The crowd was very mixed, with children and dogs and grandmothers enjoying the music. It’s not the frisky gay scene one would’ve experienced back in the dayz when Elton used to shop at this very Tower Records store, but I have to give up, his music made the people come together (evil grin). The crowd and their response to his classics were something to behold. The sound was on point. He did not miss a beat or flub a note. I was impressed. It made my rebel heart melt. OK, so the mood was contagious. I was happy to be there.

I got my photo. I got several shots of the crowd and as I much as I enjoyed listening to the sounds of my generation and the generation before me, I decided to cut out a little early, because I had an article to post.

It was on my drive home that my phone started blowing up. Turns out I left right before Lady Gaga came on to do a duet of “Don’t Let the Sun Come Down on Me,” which is my favorite Elton John song (the one with George Michael, of course)–again, I’m not the biggest Gaga fan, but I wish I had been there to witness that.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 7.30.41 PM

Oh well.

It was an amazing show. People will be talking about this for at least another day. But you know what the very best part about this concert is? We got the Tower Records concert experience for possibly the very last time. I believe the building is scheduled to be demolished for retail in the bottom and condos on top, on account of this is still West Hollywood, like hello.

IMG_0136

Elton John has a new album called “Wonderful Crazy Nights.” In all honesty, I probably won’t buy it, but maybe you should. I’m sure it’s good.

***UPDATE***
A source tells me the Tower Records building is not being demolished. It has a new 15-year lease with Gibson Guitars. Not sure if they’ll keep the Tower Records logo on the building, but at least it has a lifeline for another 15 years. Thank you Jerome Cleary.

Luv,
Me

Posted By: Paulo
Last Edit: 29 Feb 2016 @ 10:50 AM

COMMENTSEmail
Tags





 Last 50 Posts
 Back
Change Theme...
  • Users » 14
  • Posts/Pages » 401
  • Comments » 128
Change Theme...
  • VoidVoid « Default
  • LifeLife
  • EarthEarth
  • WindWind
  • WaterWater
  • FireFire
  • LightLight