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Poll

What period of gay history would you like to discuss first?

The fifties and sixties - before Stonewall
9 (50%)
Early Gay Liberation 1969 - 1975
2 (11.1%)
Political awakening 1975 - 1981
0 (0%)
The onset of AIDS 1981 - 1996
6 (33.3%)
Post Protease Inhibitors 1996 - Present
1 (5.6%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Voting closed: February 24, 2007, 01:59:08 AM

Author Topic: Gay History -- How We Got Here  (Read 383156 times)

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1650 on: January 05, 2021, 09:34:56 PM »
Here is my latest for the Bay Area Reporter on the concerts that Marlene Dietrich did in the bay area and the way that they were received by the gay community there. It's quite the story (her daughter was a dresser for a Female Impersonator at Finocchio's in San Francisco):

https://www.ebar.com/bartab/barchive/300492
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline fritzkep

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1651 on: January 05, 2021, 09:40:50 PM »
Hervorragend! Danke, Michael!

Werd ich zum Augenblicke sagen, "Verweile doch! Du bist so schön..."

Offline michaelflanagansf

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1652 on: January 05, 2021, 10:11:45 PM »
Hervorragend! Danke, Michael!

Thanks Fritz! She was an amazing person!
I do my thing, & you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other - it is beautiful. If not it can't be helped.

Fritz Perls - A Gestalt Prayer

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1653 on: January 07, 2021, 01:57:32 PM »

Oh no!

Opened in 1968...

Another Gay Bar Bites the Dust — Oil Can Harry’s in Studio City Announces It’s Closing
Wednesday - January 6, 2021
https://www.wehoville.com/2021/01/06/another-gay-bar-bites-the-dust-oil-can-harrys-in-studio-city-announces-its-closing/



When I lived in Studio City when I first came to CA this place was in walking distance and I used to spend many a Sunday evening there when the troupe The Campers performed there. One night they introduced Liberace who was in attendance!

On Saturday afternoons, this was before home video, in the second floor bar, they showed some films (on the wall). I recall seeing, or trying to see, heh, Funny Lady one time.


Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1654 on: January 07, 2021, 02:07:44 PM »
Before it became Oil Can Harry's, in the 1950's it was The Zomba Café -- dining, dancing, burlesque...



From an interview with the owner on celebrating it's 50th Anniversary in 2018:

Tommy: Oil Can Harry's started as a burlesque club called The Zomba Room … I think in the 50`s ... I'M NOT THAT OLD!

Interviewer: How/where would the patrons hide during police raids?

Tommy: There really was no hiding place … there was, and still is, a spy hole in the door where patrons would be looked at before entering. As the gay community was Illegal. When men were dancing with men, or women dancing with women, if the police came to the door they would look out the spy hole and if it was the police there was, and still is, a siren that would be set-off. The couples would just switch partners from man to man, or woman to woman, to woman to man, and woman to man.

Article about the 50th Anniversary:
https://www.oilcanharrysla.com/our-history/50th-anniversary

Posted on Oil Can Harry's Website:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: 01/04/2021

Happy New Year to All!

2021 has not brought great news to OIL CAN HARRY’S: The property sold in December, thanks to Monty and Jon just needing to shut down another establishment. It was purchased on December 9th by a new buyer, who wants to have their own venue with jazz music.

So, at this time I have to vacate the property--nothing bad or ugly, just something I have to do.

I fought hard to keep it, but just had to give up... Not sure where it will lead down the road.

Thank you all for this beautiful gift that we shared for 52 years.

Please, no negative posts on social media! It only hurts. Only positive would help!

Any help would be wonderful...  :'( :'( :'(

The website has other info and history about Oil Can Harry's:
https://www.oilcanharrysla.com

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1655 on: January 07, 2021, 02:09:59 PM »

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1656 on: January 07, 2021, 02:12:47 PM »

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1657 on: January 07, 2021, 02:24:51 PM »
Sad...gay bar closures...
Gold Coast in West Hollywood closed in September.
Rage nightclub closed in September.
Cuties in East Hollywood, L.A.’s only queer focused coffee shop, went out of business in August.
Gym Sportsbar closed in July.
Flaming Saddles closed in August.
Club Cobra in North Hollywood, one of the last Latino gay clubs in the region, said in May that they would not be re-opening.

These two gay bars have opened GoFundMe pages to try and remain open:
--In December, the owners of Akbar in Silverlake launched a GoFundMe page.
--The owners of The New Jalisco Bar, one of the longest running Latino
  gay bars in downtown Los Angeles, setup a GoFundMe in late December.


Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1658 on: January 08, 2021, 06:40:03 AM »
Sad news. I guess what the Internet couldn't kill, Covid can.

Offline gattaca

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1659 on: January 08, 2021, 08:53:15 AM »
Lyle.. did you see the notice I posted about Twin Peaks? -> https://ultimatebrokebackforum.com/index.php?topic=20158.msg2937159#msg2937159

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1660 on: January 08, 2021, 11:07:12 AM »
^^^

Oh, yes, I did Vincent.  They're in the GoFundMe stage right now, right?
History's being wiped out for a whole lot of things. Thanks GoS.



Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Gay History -- How We Got Here
« Reply #1661 on: January 08, 2021, 11:51:53 AM »
A little amusement about Oil Can Harry's...

When I lived in Studio City (late 70's/early 80's) one night while eating dinner I had the Richard Dawson version of Family Feud on. He was introducing and talking to one of the families who had come in to L.A. to appear on the program. Part of the conversation went something like this.

Dawson: So, you've never been in Hollywood before? What have you been doing? Have you visited any of the attractions here.

Family: Not really. Not yet anyway.

Dawson: Not even Disneyland?

Family: No...

Dawson: Universal Studios?

Family. No...

Dawson: Oil Can Harry's?

There then was a scant few people in the audience (or studio) who laughed. Richard, enjoying his private joke laughed as well as the mother of the family tentatively said..."I don't know what that is."  Richard, composing himself said, "Oh it's a nightclub here in the valley"...and then proceeded on.

This occurred around the time that a born and bred Angeleno, a gay man named Christopher Wooley, that I worked with...we'd been talking something about if he knew any celebrities that were gay and one thing he said was that he thought Richard Dawson could be from a lot of things he'd heard him say...little coded inside things that most people wouldn't know, and I probably wouldn't even had remembered that if this Richard Dawson conversation hadn't occurred in my purview only a short time later.

Was he? Who knows. I think my generation of gay guys was quite familiar with an older generation of gay men who we knew were gay, but they still talked in code and worried about direct conversation or whatever...and even wouldn't say they were out loud. I mean, it was understandable, they'd grown up and learned to be so careful. Like that paragraph I posted above about the place with the siren that would inform you to, in actuality, hide who you are NOW, if you heard it in the establishment. And many gay men for whatever reason, linked themselves to women. Famous cases are those who partnered up with Martha Raye and Vivian Vance, among dozens of others. GSN and Buzzr show old game shows and if you watch Match Game, it's hard to not think about this when you hear some of the things that Richard Dawson says. I mean, Gene Rayburn, Brett Sommers, Dawson and Charles Nelson Reilly often were saying things we really didn't know what they were talking about. Making references and inside jokes that you wonder what they were talking about. And Brett Sommers kept making inside jokes about Betty White and her husband Allen Ludden, which many believe was a marriage of convenience and that both Betty & Allen were LGBT.

SIDEBAR 1: Christopher Wooley that I mentioned was almost a decade older than I, which at that time meant he was 30!  He had done a stint in the Air Force and while he was there a lesbian woman was under investigation (for that) and he arranged to marry her to thwart the investigation so she wouldn't get in more trouble and they'd drop the investigation. I don't think they ever got divorced, though they went their separate ways later on.

SIDEBAR 2: Scotty Bowers, at a Q&A for the documentary based on his book Full Service, told a story about going to Allen Ludden's place to trick with him one time while Betty White was out. She returned early and said to Allen: "What is Scotty doing here?" Allen said to her: "He's here to do some landscaping and tree trimming." Bowers said that Betty replied, "Well there aren't any trees in the bedroom."

In the video establishment I worked in, Charles Nelson Reilly was a customer for quite a long time and I never thought then to ask him anything. Would it have been rude to ask him if Richard Dawson was gay or even Gene Rayburn or something? Would he have answered truthfully. I mean, showbiz is another barrier to truth and/or misinformation about gay celebrities. Their jobs could depend on it.

Since I'd heard that Oil Can Harry's remark from Dawson way back when and mentioned it to others on occasion, over the years I kept wondering if I'd been exaggerating or altering what I remembered. It doesn't seem that long ago, but it could be longer than I think, but not so long ago (!) I was house/pet sitting for my friend Mark T. and I had a retro game show network on and Family Feud reruns were on and lo & behold to my utter surprise, it was that same episode and I wished I could have recorded it. And, no, it was quite exactly as I had remembered it! Only this time I was seeing it in color.  ;D