Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Homocore Healing Experience

One of the cool things about having a book in the stores is that people actually take me seriously when I tell them that I'm a writer now. Before, when I would tell that I wrote predominantly for the local gay rags, they were still pleasant and congratulatory, but you could just tell that underneath that fake smile lurked a bit of a skepticism, almost like I was writing for The National Enquirer or something.

Of course, now that my book, Homocore: The Loud and Raucous Rise of Queer Rock, is in book stores all over the country and I'm what other people now think of as a "published author" (no matter that the hundreds of stories I've had published in mags for the past four years denoted the same accomplishment on my part), people seem to regard me with a little more respect and reverence than before. Which I guess is kinda cool. I mean, we all wanna be liked and admired, right? And, baby, I am a royal SLUT for admiration. :)

But I realize that, in all this time talking about the finished product that is the book, I haven't actually really talked about what the experience of writing this book was like yet. For me, co-writing Homocore was not only a labor of love (my co-writer, David Ciminelli, and I would occasionally get into heated arguments over which bands to include), but an incredibly educational and healing experience. I'm not sure how many of you know the story, but Cim was my editor at Unzipped magazine at the time, and he had already started the book on his own.

Meanwhile, I had become immeresed in the underground gay rock scene of Silver Lake here in L.A. myself, having fatefully stumbled across a flyer for a $3 CD release party for the local queer punk band Best Revenge. (As it happened, I, in fact, only had exactly $3 to my name; I recall thinking to myself, "This is fate. I have to go see this show.") I attended the show, fell in lust with both Ryan Revenge (the lead singer) and Bilito (the drummer), and got to meet a lot of other local queer punkers who were in the audience that night. Later, when I started writing for Unzipped, I began pitching a lot of stories about these queer rockers to Cim, and he asked me if I would join him on the book.

Well, obviously, I did, and the process of writing the book was, for me, a true education in many ways. Not only did I have to finally sit myself down and commit to finishing a project (always a problem of mine in the past), but I got to immerse myself in a history that is rich and alive with diversity and self-pride. The people who were in these bands (Team Dresch, Pansy Division, Tribe 8, Fifth Column, and Extra Fancy) had been out there in the trenches doing something that nobody else had ever done--carving out their own community outside of the puritanical mainstream ideology and corporate fat-cat dealings and creating something that was unique and wholly inspirational to many.

Writing the book, for me, was a great way to re-discover a lot of that history (especially as I'd missed out on most of it, since I was in college at the time it was in full-swing), but it was also a great way to throw my energies into something that didn't have to do with which guy might want to date me or whose c#ck I might end up sucking at the sex club this Friday night. Homocore gave me a new purpose in life, and I should be extremely thankful that that purpose continues now that there are book release parties to plan and book signing gigs to line up. Plus, it's brought me closer to some of the people who are profiled in the book, like my now-great friend Daniel Cartier and these way-cool guys below. (This pic was taken after my recent book signing at A Different Light in West Hollywood.)

Another really neat thing about writing a book (or, more specifically, getting it published), is that you then get to read what other people have to say about it. There have been a few reviews published so, far. The way-cool Web site featured a great review written by N.A. Hayes, and The New York Blade ran a review by Van Gower that was equally favorable. Writer Chris S. Witwer has sold his treatise on our book to many publications, and you can read his synopsis of the book over at IN Los Angeles magazine has featured a story called "Smells Like Queer Music," and there are more to come.

Meanwhile, my friend (and former co-worker, the lovely photographer Wyoming Telford) has taken a series of publicity pics of me, and well, the pics are definitely getting me some notice. Whenever I've gone cruising around online, I've had a few guys Instant Message me say and say, "Hey, aren't you that guy that wrote the Homcore book? Didn't I just see a HOT picture of you in some magazine and read a story about you? We should meet and talk sometime about rock." Anyway, that's been kinda cool, but in the wake of F#ckhead Ryan, I think I'm gonna try to stay away from the boys for a little while, espeically the ones who see me in a picture and get excited, because, in my experience, as soon as you meet up in real life, everything changes, and really, who needs any more disappointment?

Anyway, I have some pretty cool things coming up. I think I'm going to be heading over to Phoenix to do a book signing there and participate in an event which will include several of the bands profiled in the book, and Cim and I are now planning our own book release party for Sat., Oct. 1, (plus I've already got my second book in the works), so looks like I will be keeping myself rather busy for the next few months. Which is quite fine with me. After all, who has time to sweat the small stuff in life anyhow, right? If a guy isn't smart enough to see what an incredibly thoughtful, kind, talented and attractive guy I am and how much I have to offer, and wants to go back to someone who already broke his heart once before, then who the hell needs him anyway, right?

RIGHT??? Oh, please, let me be able to keep thinking this way!!! :)

Hollywood Ken


At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

You are really handsome.


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