Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Joe Lynn Memorial at The Disco Tomb

The overdesigned, overpriced, useless and architecturally absurd Gay, Etc. Center on Market Street started off on the wrong foot and is aging terribly, transforming into a strange, hollow shell within a decade.

I haven't ventured into the place for years but stopped in Saturday afternoon for a memorial for Joe Lynn, the former San Francisco Ethics Commissioner, lawyer, gay activist, and all-around empathetic genius.

Unfortunately, the memorial was being held at the newly branded "The Center" whose only saving grace is that it is called the "Charles M. Holmes Campus," referring to the pioneering San Francisco gay pornographer Chuck Holmes of Falcon Films who happened to die of AIDS just when the capital campaign for the new building was at its most intense, and whose estate decided to donate a huge chunk of money in exchange for naming rights.

The people at the memorial were a wonderful bunch, friends and allies, such as Dance Theater's Krissy Keefer above...

...and Oliver Luby...

...and a boatload of leftist politicians who went out of their way to pay their respects and pontificate into a microphone.

As something of a connoisseur of memorial services, however, I'd rate the event as something of a disaster. The people were fine, and so were the food and drink, but the ugly Gay Center building and particularly the hideous second floor theater room defeated any real conjuring of Joe Lynn's spirit.

The nicest moment was when the speakers stopped blabbing at the microphone for a second and the singer Garrin Benfield above serenaded us for a moment.

The true presiding spirit of the affair was h. brown, above, who had announced in an earlier email to all his friends that he was already shitfaced drunk hours before the memorial began. Since he has some serious experience being in that condition, he was paradoxically one of the most clear-eyed observers of the entire event, hanging on the fringe of the ugly room nursing more booze and offering hugs and jabs in equal measure. For his charming account of the afternoon along with Luke Thomas' photos of all the political celebrities who showed up, click here.

1 comment:

janinsanfran said...

Thanks for the preview of that unknown "center" -- only been in once that I can remember. Intend to go on Monday for a showing of something called SWITCH, highly recommended to me by a former boss.