On your marks get set go

Today is day 31 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 31:

It’s finished.  This is the 31st post.  I still have a bunch of people to write about.  There’s Spencer.  His funeral was the first open casket funeral I’d ever been too.  He was such a beautiful man.  I watched him lying there in that casket and thought “this is what it all comes down to”.   He was already very sick when I met him.  And all the make-up in the world can’t make that look go away.

There’s Paul.  He worked with us at Old Repulsive.  He had a bad limp that I think was from polio but I don’t remember.  I didn’t know for a long time that he was positive.  He worked as hard and as long as he could.  And then he couldn’t.  And then he died.

I wonder about a group of guys we used to refer to as “The Founder’s Queens”.  They were a group of young men back in 1984 that worked for Founder’s Title on Polk Street in San Francisco.  I know their recording clerk is gone.  I saw him about two years ago and he didn’t recognize me.  I didn’t change that much.  I have always thought that those boys didn’t make it.  They were young and fabulous and going out to the clubs every night.  Guys like that didn’t make it.

And there’s some famous people I left off.  Most notably Tony Richardson, Anthony Perkens and Isaac Asimov.  And Willi Smith and Tina Chow.  Brad Davis, Howard Rollins, Christian Haren, Peter Allen, Liberace,  Roy Cohn, Tom Waddell, Robert Wagenhoffer, Alan Wiggins, Perry Ellis, Robert Mapplethorpe, Randy Shilts.  This list goes on and on.

AIDS is now a pandemic affecting 33 million people worldwide.  It’s believed that the first diagnosed case of AIDS in the United States occured on 1969.  A 16 year old teenager who they refer to as Robert R died on May 16, 1969.  He had strange symptoms that no one understood.  His Dr. was wise enough to save tissue samples.  In 1984 Robert R was diagnosed with AIDS.

I’ve been on the field at Candlestick Park a couple of times.  I was part of the first “Until there’s a Cure” day.  We made a big AIDS ribbon on the field.  I remember back then a couple of the Giants were popping off about it, but today I can’t remember exactly who.  I know it was the so-called God squad.  I always thought those guys were missing the point, if that’s what they got out of their bible study, the time could have been better spent taking extra BP.

Today I ride, because the Ride ends when AIDS ends.

If everyone who came to PBE donated $10 towards my ride, I would be the top fundraiser for San Franscisco.  That’s how many folks come here.  I ask you all to look back on the last 31 posts.  I know at least one of them spoke to every single person in some way.  If you haven’t already, (or found more money) please sponsor my ride.  Thank you.

Satisfaction came in a chain reaction

Today is day 30 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 30:

Steve Rubell had a Master’s in finance.  On some levels he should have known better.  He originally worked on Wall Street, but quickly started to branch out.  He bought a couple of restaurants and then partnered with one of his college buddies to buy a chain called the Steak Loft.  He was very successful with his restaurants and decided to branch out into nightclubs.  He bought one in Boston and another in Queens.  He couldn’t lose.  In 1976 he and his partner bought a property at 254 54th Street in New York.  Begin Studio 54.

Rubell had a knack for promotion and sent private invitations and gifts to celebrities.  Then he stood out front and chose who got to come in.  It worked.  Through the late 70’s Studio 54 was the place to see and be seen.  The club was the benchmark for excess.  I couldn’t find a picture of the dance floor with the man in the moon snorting coke, but this’ll work.

That’s Bianca Jagger wearing Halston.  The horse is being led onto the dance floor by a painted albeit naked man.  No excess there.

Rampant drug use, sex and just plain hedonism was the order of the day at Studio 54.  The who’s who that passed through those doors included Cher, Salvador Dali, Brooke Shields, Michael Jackson, Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Liza Minelli, Halston, Donald Trump, Gina Lollobrigida, Madonna, the list was ridiculous.

But like other powerful men, Rubell thought he was above the law.  He boasted that Studio 54 made $7,000,000 in it’s first year and that only the mafia made more money.  It didn’t take long for the IRS to raid the club.  They found garbage bags of cash both hidden and laying around.   Cash and cocaine were found in the walls of the club once it closed.  His partner had kept meticulous records of every gift given out at the nightclub.  That did not help their case.  They were sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.  They cut a deal with the prosecutor reducing the sentence to 13 months.  They had one final party called “The end of Modern day Gomorrah”.    I don’t think that anyone has created anything like Studio 54 since.  It was one of those moments in time you just can’t duplicate.  Check out Life’s photos.

Rubell and his partner Schager went on to buy a couple of hotels and make them fabulous.  Studio 54 was sold to a partnership that included Rubell, but it was never the same.  It finally closed in 1986.  It’s been sold and reanimated, but it’s just not the same.

Rubell was supposedly closeted, but I really don’t know how that could have been.  I think it was more the press didn’t talk about it, but everyone knew.  In that era of extreme excess, he was doing a ton of drugs, I can’t believe he remained discretionate.  He was diagnosed in 1985 but did not curtail his partying.  He died in 1989 of complications of AIDS, hepititus and really generally being a very bad boy.  He might have made it if he just laid off.

Today, because nothing in this life is free, I ride for Steve Rubell and everything that is fabulous.

You can shoot me straight to the top

Today is day 29 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 29:

You know how they say if you remember the 60’s you weren’t there?  If you were in San Francisco in the 80’s and you don’t have a photograph of a dinner party where you’re the only survivor, you probably weren’t there.

I didn’t know Paul, he died before my time, but I knew his sister.  She lived in his apartment in a fabulous Art Deco building in Pacific Heights.  It was rent controlled  and her rent was dirt cheap.  And the apartment was fabulous.  She was paying about half of what it would rent for at the time.

The family was from New York, a large Italian family.  The father owned a trucking company.  There were two sons and I believe three sisters, possibly a fourth I can’t remember.  The eldest son, Stevie went to Vietnam and while he came home, a big piece of his soul was left on the battlefield.  My favorite Stevie story was him driving one of the company 18-wheelers up 5th Avenue.   She was walking down the street one day and heard this diesel coming up 5th Avenue.  She thought (because she was from a trucking family) what kind of jackass would roll up 5th Avenue?  As she looks up there goes the truck with the family name emblazoned on the cab and Stevie.  For those who don’t know, trucks aren’t allowed on 5th Avenue.  Stevie was afraid of Doctors, it was part of his battlefield damage.  He did not go to the Doctor with excruciating stomach pain.  He was found dead by his Mother, succumbed to an untreated bleeding ulcer.  The second son Paul, was gay.

Paul was ridiculously handsome.  He was Baccarat crystal, fabulous dinner parties, and all the excesses that were the 80’s.  It didn’t take long for those excesses to catch up to him.  He was one of the early cases of AIDS in San Francisco.  They didn’t know what it was and didn’t know how to treat it.  His mother and sister flew out from New York to care for him.  They had to wear gowns and masks when they came into his room and everything in the apartment had to be scrubbed down with bleach.  They had no idea what was the proper handling of his affliction back then.  They called it gay cancer.  Paul died in 1984.

In her apartment hung a painting of Paul sitting with two other men.  The other two were drag queens.  It looked like they were sitting and chatting at a party.  I loved the painting, at the time it was unframed.  One afternoon the wood that the canvas was stretched on cracked.  She rolled it up and put it in a closet.  I stole it briefly and had it framed for her as a gift.  But the truly amazing part of the painting is the story.  She was trained at the La Guardia Arts in New York.  The one that Fame is about.  Beyond the entertainment programs they have programs for all of the arts and she got classic training in painting, sculpture and all sorts of cool stuff.  After Paul died she found the picture of Paul and the two drag queens and began to paint it as she worked through her grief.  Later she found a letter to her from Paul that he had stashed away.  It was instructions for her to paint that picture.

Because AIDS devastates those left behind, today I ride for Paul.

Yeah, I just did that.

We move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy

Today is day 28 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 28:

We love our figure skaters.  We can file this one under local boy makes good.  Rudy Galindo never went to the Olympics, but everybody knows his name.  He has a slew of first place finishes starting with the U.S. National Novice Men’s Championship in 1982 and culminating with his win in 1996 of the U.S. National Men’s Championship in 1996.  He is the fourth oldest man to have ever won the whole thing.  He won two Pairs championships with his partner Kristi Yamaguchi, also a local girl in 1989 and 1990.

Yeah, like that.  I wonder what it feels like to get that close to perfection.  He did it.  He got that close.  The woman you see at the end of the video is his sister Laura, who was his coach.  He came out in 1996 during an interview with Christine Brennan for her book Inside Edge on figure skating.  He is to date the only openly gay athlete to have competed in any sport.  Later in 2000 he disclosed his HIV status in another interview with Brennan.  He wrote his own book in 1997 that was published in English and Spanish.  He battled substance abuse, came out on the other side a better man.  He had both hips replaced in 2003.  His sister Laura found a new procedure that had just been approved by the FDA using a ceramic on ceramic technique.  She found a Doctor in Reno who was experienced in the procedure and performed the new technique.  Both hips were done within six weeks of each other.

Currently Rudy coaches young skating athletes throughout Northern California and Nevada.  He is an AIDS activist and has been the Grand Marshal of several pride events.  He works tirelessly for a cure.

Because the road less traveled is sometimes the most interesting, today I ride for Rudy.

Underground like a wild potato

Today is day 27 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 27:

I was traveling in Greece in 1978.  I met a woman that was traveling with a band.  I will never forget it.  She said in a thick Georgian accent “They call’em the B-52’s because of their beehive hair-do’s”.  And so they did.  They were a little band from Athens Georgia who met over a Flaming Volcano at a Chinese restaurant.  They started jamming and played their first gig in 1977.  They didn’t have a bassist so Ricky Wilson downtuned his guitar and developed his own style of playing.

The B-52’s changed music.  They were on the crest of the New Wave.  They had four highly successful albums before Ricky’s illness became so severe he couldn’t hide it any more.  He didn’t want anyone to worry about him.  His sister and fellow bandmate Cindy Wilson, found out he had AIDS because an intern at the hospital called her and told her.  Ricky was in the hospital at the time and ended up dying three days later.

The band had just recorded Bouncing off the Satellites.  They didn’t tour to support the album and ended up going on a three year hiatus.  Cindy Wilson went into a deep depression during this time.  They considered disbanding but in the end they chose to honor Ricky’s hard work and stay together.  Keith Strickland, the band’s drummer switched to guitar and taught himself to play like Ricky did.

Because that kind of creativity rolls around once in a blue moon, I ride for Ricky.

Feel the crushing steel

Today is day 26 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 26: sort of

I first moved to San Francisco in 1984.  Actually on December 30th 1983.  I started 1984 in San Francisco.  In a great apartment at 1 1/2 Broderick Street.  I never should have left that place.  I’ve got stories about that house that go on all day long.

Actually, this post was originally supposed to be about one thing and while I was thinking about that apartment it reminded me of another guy who is gone.  Charlie.

Charlie was Bill’s friend.  There were three of them all from New Jersey.  Charlie, Bill and Robert.  Back then we knew him as Bobby.  He was a dance instructor and a very funny man.  And he was one hot mess.  Bobby stories are fun…there was a party at that apartment and Bobby was there with heart shaped rose colored shades.  And a boa.  Charlie told me he looked out the window of his place and could see the entire party dancing and bouncing up and down, so he came over.  Since then, Bobby got a really good job, got himself into a program and quit partying.  And became Robert, leaving all that behind him.  He is the only survivor.  He has become an amazing man.  Robert rode the AIDS ride several years ago.

But this isn’t about Robert, it’s about Charlie.  He lived diagonally from that apartment on Broderick Street.  We were the neighbors that would wander back and forth to each other’s place for coffee.  And of course there were cocktails.  And Bill would come and visit us on the way to see Charlie and vice versa.  Quite honestly that was the best time in San Francisco.  We were all young and just really starting out, finding our way in this world.

Charlie was ridiculously handsome.  Typical for the time he had a mustache.  And a New Jersey accent.  He was like a better looking Freddie Mercury.  He had a wonderful sense of humor and was genuinely a good guy.

I remember waking up one foggy morning and getting coffee.  I walked to the front window and there was Charlie standing in his window with a cup of coffee surveying the world.  He looked over and I flashed him.  So he flashed me back.  And that became our tradition.  Only once did we get caught.  There was this little black Queen that lived around the corner.  I did not know his name but he was woven into the fabric of that neighborhood.  He was walking down the street one morning and clapped.

Charlie didn’t last long.  He was the first one out.

Because nobody looked better in a feather boa, I ride today for Charlie.

And ransom captive Israel

I’m taking a break today and will get everything caught back up tomorrow.  I knew my clients would stop and they did on Thursday.  I assume they’ll be back in action on Monday and so will I.  In the interim, Merry Christmas.  Not because I’m one of those jerks who says that to be a pious ass, but because I’m Christian and that’s the holiday I celebrate.  Hanakuh was weeks ago and my Jewish friends have been wishing me a Merry Christmas.  I like that.  I wish my Hindu friends a happy holiday because they have one earlier in the month.  And I wish all of my readers a Merry Christmas because that’s what it is.  And this is my favorite Christmas hymn.

The December Project will resume tomorrow.  In the interim, feel free to sponsor my ride, I’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.

I feel that blood that pumps and beats

Today is day 25 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Day 25:

Here’s one that seemed like a good idea at the time.  Proposition 13, also known as the Jarvis-Gann initiative or the People’s Initiative to Limit Property Taxation was enacted in 1978.  At the time there were a lot of stories about property taxes working their way up to the point that older people who had been in their homes for years were losing their homes.  It still happens in a lot of other States in the union.  Taxes were decreased to their 1975 level and could only increase by 2% per year max.  Here we are over 30 years later and the property tax situation in this State is ridiculous.  Really like every thing else in California government.  And we’ve got now supplemental tax bills and currently negative inflation (in spite of what Glenn Beck says). We all know how I feel about taxes, if everyone paid their fair share and only took what they needed we’d be fine.  I am fine paying my fair share to not have my suspension destroyed by a pot hole.  Or if it meant that a cop showed up in four minutes and not eight.  I personally think Prop 13 hurt education in this State and is responsible for it’s nearly last place finish in the nation.

Suffice it to say, I wasn’t a Paul Gann fan.  And he did nothing in death to let me believe any other way.  Gann had emergency heart surgery in 1982.  He received 40 pints of blood during that surgery.  One or more pints was supposedly tainted.  While in 1982 the blood supply was not scrutinized like it is today, to have acquired the disease in Sacramento California in 1982 from a blood transfusion is curious to me.   No matter, the result was the same.

He was a vindictive man and felt that someone who knowingly transmitted the disease should be tried for murder.  He sponsored Proposition 102 which would amongst other things, would have required doctors to report to the State the names and addresses of anyone carrying the AIDS virus or anyone who they reasonably believed might be infected.  The voters of California rejected that Proposition.

”I don’t mind telling you I don’t understand homosexuals and that’s the truth,” he said in an interview in October. ”I can’t imagine a man going to bed with a man. That’s beyond my comprehension. But I don’t run around fighting gay people. I’m fighting AIDS. I would fight my own church choir if they were spreading a disease that would kill people.”

He came back with the Paul Gann Blood Safety Act which required physicians to discuss the dangers of blood transfusions with their patients.  It seems to me if a guy needed 40 pints during emergency heart surgery, he should quit being such a jackass and be thankful that they saved his life in 1982.  He could have been on a cold slab in 1982 or gotten another seven years out of this life.  But no matter.  I know people who have banked their own blood for surgery, although the blood supply today is pretty well scrutinized.  I’ve been giving blood since 1984 and I can attest that they do a lot of testing and verification to be sure it’s clean.

Because it takes all types, and AIDS is non-discriminatory, today I ride against ignorance.

Every junkie’s like a settin’ sun

Today is day 24 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

Did I say I was going to catch up?  I didn’t count on getting sick.  I’m catching up in the next day.

Day 24:

There are some famous trainwrecks in this world.  Her contemporaries included Cindy Crawford and Janice Dickinson.  But Gia was a runaway train destined to destruction.  Now known only by one name, she was then known as Gia Carangi.  Who knows for sure which demons tortured her, but we know the demon the consumed her.

Cosmo adjusted her eye color in her first cover.  She shot to the top of the modeling world quickly, arriving in New York at the age of 17 and having made it by the time she was 18.  She appeared on the cover of Cosmo, Vogue, Italian Vogue, American Vogue and Vogue Paris, earning $10,000 a day for her shoots.  She was a dark haired brown eyed beauty in a world full of blue-eyed blondes.  She became a regular at Studio 54 and we all know that wasn’t good for anyone.  She started using cocaine there but soon graduated to heroin.  Her addiction became so epic that she  was blackballed in New York.  Later she had to work in Brazil and Germany and essentially “second” markets”.  Francesco Scavullo gave her the cover of the April 1982 Vogue, she could not have gotten that on her own any more.  Her arms are strategically placed to hide the track marks.  He had hoped it would turn her career around.  She had beaten her addiction but the New York fashion world is unforgiving.  And she didn’t look the same.  And she relapsed.

The first two years of her career she made over $100,000, in her third year she was on track to make $500,000 before she got off track.  Jack Nicholson even gave her his hotel room key one night.  In retrospect I’m sure he’s happy that she was a lesbian and didn’t use it.  I don’t know that she was the first super model, but she was the original heroin chic.  It turned out to be not that chic.  She was late and erratic if she showed at all.  She fell asleep during shoots and looked terrible.  The track marks were so bad they couldn’t airbrush them out.  She was arrested for driving under the influence of narcotics in 1981.  Later that year she had surgery on her hand to repair an open wound from injecting heroin so many times into the same place in the same vein.  Naturally blacklisting followed.

By the end of 1984 she was broke.  In 1985 she checked herself into a rehab program that would not stick.  The following year she ended up in the hospital with what looked like pneumonia but wasn’t.  It was ARC. She was dead at 26.  She is said to be one of the first women to have died of AIDS.

For having such a short meteoric career she was the subject of three biographies.  A book, Thing of Beauty, the famous HOB biopic Gia, starring Angelina Jolie and The Self-Destruction of Gia, a documentary appearing in 2004.

Because we all have demons, I ride for the runaway trainwrecks.  I ride for Gia.

I pulled up in my 6-4 Impala

Today is day 23 in a series of 31 posts about how AIDS has affected my life.  On June 5, 2011 I will embark on the SF AIDS Lifecycle.  It is a seven day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to support the services provided to those affected by the disease in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Every day a different story about why I will be riding this ride.  Please click here to support my ride.  I have a $3000 fundraising minimum.  Every little bit helps.  If every PBE reader clicked through that link and donated just $10, I would be done fundraising by the end of this month.  I’ve got a long way to go, but not as far as anyone who is fighting this disease.

I’ll be caught up by sundown

Day 23:

Back in 1986 in Compton, California a hip hop group was forming.  They were recording under the name Panic Zone but would soon be known as N.W.A.  They are one of the main groups responsible for bringing gangsta rap into being.  I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing, but it’s a thing.  Personally, I think part of the problem in this country is the “prison culture”, but that’s another whole story and a big fat rant for another day.

Looking back N.W.A.’s line up was amazing.  Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, MC Ren and Easy E.  They proceeded to get themselves into all sorts of trouble that you would expect.  Actually, they had already been in trouble, Easy E dropped out of high school in his sophmore year and started selling drugs on the street to support himself.  He was a member of the Crips as a teenager.  While he had done well as a gang affiliated drug dealer, he saw the bloodshed in the streets and decided to get involved in hip hop.  His record company, Ruthless Records was funded with money from his drug profits.

N.W.A. crashed and burned pretty quickly.  Young men with no real business sense or skills are inclined to let bluster and ego get in the way of a greater good.  Dr. Dre was bailing out and very suspicious of Easy E’ s business dealings.  Enter Suge Knight, total thug.  Dre wanted out of his contract with Ruthless and Easy knew a good thing when he saw it.  He wasn’t letting Dre out of his contract.  Suge Knight eventually threatened Easy E telling him he knew where his mama lived.  Dre was released from the contract.  Dre spent the next several albums hammering on Easy.  Easy in turn fired back including the violent depiction of Dr. Dre’s murder on one album.

The funny thing is their fan base was white suburban males.  Stupid white boys.  The thing is, I have always thought that the fact that their fan base was stupid white boys actually helped temper racism in this country.  And yeah, I just called them stupid white boys three times.

Yeah, I just did that.  Easy E was one of the driving forces behind hip hop.  And then he went to the hospital thinking he had asthma.  It wasn’t.  While the gay rumors swirled, his infection had nothing to do with homosexuality.  He wasn’t.  It was the result of bad behavior.  He’d had seven children with six different women and that was only the tip of that iceberg.  AIDS was in the gangsta community.  It was no longer a gay disease.  Easy E’s legacy has to do with hip hop and really had no effect on the AIDS epidemic.  Nobody understood how it was in the community and how it would spread.  And spread it did.

Still, because he changed the airwaves and the culture in this country, I ride for Easy.