The Fabulous Sylvester The Legend, the Music, the Seventies in San Francisco

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-03-01
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
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"Our story begins in the mid-sixties with Sylvester, a boy whose dreams were as big as his voice, a child whose family didn't quite understand the special difficulties of raising a potential superstar. Joshua Gamson follows this young diva-to-be from his church choir days (as the child wonder of gospel), through his adventures with a crazed gang of glamour-seeking L.A. gay kids called the Disquotays, and on to his move up north to San Francisco, where the hills were alive and where Sylvester began his rise in the notorious theatrical troop known as the Cockettes. When he links up with two amazingly gifted, but never slender, backup singers called Two Tons o' Fun (Martha Wash and the late Izora Rhodes Armstead), Sylvester suddenly shoots to stardom. But he discovers, as the burgeoning gay liberation movement begins to provoke violent reactions and powerful enemies, that he stands for much more than he ever realized - a truth that is underscored when the tragedy of AIDS begins to rob him of the people he loves." "Set against the beat of a magical time, this is the story of Sylvester's life, his quest for stardom against all odds, and the legacy he created by standing up for everybody who was just a little different. Josh Gamson uses Sylvester to lead us through the world of San Francisco in the seventies, when a new kind of music helped usher in an era of change that liberated us from conformity, boredom, and the Carpenters. Through Sylvester's journey, Gamson captures the exuberant life, feeling, and fun of a generation's wonderful awakening - the parties, the dancing, and most of all, the music."--BOOK JACKET.

Author Biography

Joshua Gamson is a professor of sociology at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity and Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America. He formerly taught at Yale. He lives in Oakland, California.

Table of Contents

1. Get Ready for Me
2. Like on Angel Come Down, Honey
3. Sequins at Noon
4. Jaded Lody
5. Big City Blues
6. Scratch My Flower
7. Sundays of the Elephant Walk
8. I Feel Real
9. Flame (On the Dance Floor)
10. Everybody Is One 168(16)
11. Sell My Soul 184(18)
12. Living on the Legend 202(19)
13. What's a Queen to Do? 221(20)
14. Why Don't You Take Me 241(20)
15. The Red Kimono 261(12)
Notes 273(18)
Acknowledgments 291(4)
Index 295

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