I am a child of the 70's. I'm proud of that.
Homo children of the 80's and 90's think that Streisand's first bad perm was that "Phil Spector on Trial" thing she sported a few years ago . They don't know what we know.
They didn't live through Streisand's first perm. Those tragic years when Babs looked like she was wearing a "Mike Brady Perm Wig." Oh, the humanity...
But unlike most younger (and older) gay men, I have a very limited knowledge of 70's pop music.
Actually, I have a very limited knowledge of ANY pop music.
Truth be told, if a song isn't featured on "Judy at Carnegie," "Liza with a Z" or the soundtrack to "Grease 2" (...poor Lorna...), I probably don't know it.
And odds are, I probably could give a damn about it.
That's what I need help with. The knowing. Not the giving a damn. Necessarily.
I've been asked to sing once again at About Face Theatre's annual summer benefit to support their gay and lesbian youth theatre program, "Flip Flop."
Basically, "Flip Flop" is concert cabaret where men sing women's songs and women sing men's songs, focusing on songs that reference gender.
Something you would never hear anywhere else, like a man singing "I'm a Woman."
Or something that actually exists, like Carol Channing singing "If I Were a Rich Man."
(Yes, Carol actually sang that. Yes, it's on dvd. Yes, it's one of the 7 signs.)
In years past, the concert has flipped showtunes and songs from movies, but this year, "Flip Flop's" theme is pop music from the 70's. I have to pick a song by this Friday and I'm a little lost.
Any suggestions on what I should sing?
A little part of me wants to sing "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar" because I love Helen Reddy. And also because of a little memory I have of high school.
One day, as I walked into drama class, some of my friends/classmates dedicated that song to me over the intercom. Hilarious, huh? Dedicating "I Am Woman" to the fag in drama class! So fresh.
Sure, it was just a joke, a lame attempt to make fun of the small town sissy boy, but I was deep in the closet, with half the school screaming the word "Faggot!" at me in the hallways every hour on the hour. Drama class was one of only two places in the school where I could almost relax and be myself.
But then, it's...
"Steve! This song's just for you! You're theme song, right?"
...and that song starts playing and everyone starts laughing. Not laughing with me like they usually did in that class, but at me. The real me that I had been slowly showing them.
So much for being myself in high school.
Geez, how much of a drama queen can I be? All that sturm und drang because somebody played a Helen Reddy song. Oy...
But you know, if I sang that song in a gay bar during a concert raising money for a gay youth theatre program, I just might let go of that memory.
Then, I'll be able to watch "Pete's Dragon" again. Just "Candle in the Water," that is.
What do you guys think? Any ideas of what I should sing at "Flip Flop."
I would love any and all suggestions.