Before the disco! Check out these awesome rockin’ tracks from Sylvester And The Hot Band! Two Albums: 1973’s SYLVESTER AND THE HOT BAND & BAZAAR…

WIKIPEDIA: Returning to San Francisco, Sylvester was offered the opportunity to record a demo album by Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner. Financed by A&M Records, the album featured a cover of Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell’s song “Superstar,” which had been a recent hit single for The Carpenters; nevertheless, A&M felt that the work was not commercially viable and declined to release the album. For the album, Sylvester and his manager Dennis Lopez had assembled a group of heterosexual white males—Bobby Blood on trumpet, Chris Mostert on saxophone, James Q. Smith on guitar, Travis Fullerton on drums, and Kerry Hatch on bass—whom he named The Hot Band. After A&M’s initial rejection, the band provided two songs for Lights Out San Francisco, an album compiled by San Francisco’s KSAN radio and released on the Blue Thumb label. Gaining a number of local gigs, they were eventually asked to open for English glam rock star David Bowie at the Winterland Ballroom; the gig did not sell particularly well, and Bowie later commented that San Francisco did not need him, because “They’ve got Sylvester,” referring to their shared preference for androgyny.

In early 1973, Sylvester and The Hot Band were signed by Bob Krasnow to Blue Thumb. On this label, they produced their first album, in which they switched their sound from blues to the more commercially viable rock, while the Pointer Sisters were employed as backing singers. Sylvester named this first album Scratch My Flower due to a gardenia-shaped scratch-and-sniff sticker adhered to the cover, although it was instead released under the title of Sylvester and his Hot Band. The album consisted primarily of covers of songs by artists such as James Taylor, Ray Charles, Neil Young, and Leiber and Stoller. Described by one of Sylvester’s biographers as lacking in “the fire and focus of the live shows”,it sold poorly on release.



So sad to hear of Walt Cessna’s passing today. I really love his work and have had a few amusing Facebook conversations with him through the years. My favourite conversation was a couple of years back. Cessna messaged me saying that he wanted me to edit/curate his images for a book. I of course was very keen on doing this. I told him “yes” without knowing any details. Within two minutes he messaged me back to say “great” and that he’d like me to come over for dinner “tonight”. I told him sadly I couldn’t make it that night cus I lived in Toronto. That was the last I heard of the project. But we still kept in touch and he always appreciated when I posted his stuff on Sissydude.

We were part of the early queer Tumblr tribes that obsessively shared our love for sexy correctness. I adored his Tumblr photos… they reminded me of Carl Van Vechten’s photographs with a splash of Tiger Beat pin-ups by way of Drummer Magazine. Cessna’s photos mostly featured really cute boys as subjects. They were a little rough around the edges. They wore short shorts and eclectic accessories. And most importantly, the boys like to show skin. Walt’s images were vibrant, free, clever, dark, funny, sexy, sweet, sad, tough… and most of all, obsessive.

Since I’m an obsessive guy myself, I took a few hours and went through Cessna’s Tumblr archive and pulled the images that spoke to me today.
If you’d like to know more about Walt and see more of his work, I’ve added links here.

Correct Love to you Walter. XXXO John


Great QUEERTY 2012 interview HERE
archive list of Sissydude posts of Cessna’s photos





So I’m home with a flu/ cold that just lingers and won’t go away… and for some reason DRUMMER Magazine popped up in my head. Lately, I’ve been seeing images of vintage covers popping up on Instagram, Tumblr and such. The graphics and photos really look amazing to me. So here are some mind-blowing images that I found, mostly via some lovely soul named Vince who scanned a full 20 issues! LOVE… probably one of my fave Sissydude posts. Enjoy!

Images posted here via VINCE @ SCRIBD. You can look through Vince’s scans of a full 20 issues HERE.
So much great stuff to savour!

WIKIPEDIA: Drummer was an American magazine targeted at gay men with an interest in the leather subculture founded by John H. Embry and Jeanne Barney in Los Angeles, 1975. Because of police harassment, the magazine moved to San Francisco in 1977, with Jack Fritscher as new editor-in-chief (1977–1999). The last number of the magazine, issue 214, was published in April 1999.

Drummer was the most successful of the American leather magazines and was also sold overseas. The publication had a major impact of spreading gay leather as a lifestyle and masculinity as a gay ideal. The magazine was originally focused on quality writings about leather but gradually changed into more of a photo magazine. Among the published writers and artists were Phil Andros, Tim Barrus, Scott Masters, Tom of Finland, Robert Opel, Fred Halsted, David Hurles, Rex (artist), British artist Bill Ward and Larry Townsend. It featured comic strips starring buff gay secret agent Harry Chess by Al Shapiro (under the name “A. Jay”). The photographer Robert Mapplethorpe contributed a photograph for the cover of issue 24, September 1978.

The magazine arranged yearly International Mr. Drummer contests in San Francisco, 1981–1999 (ca).

(watch a bit of the 1985 contest at the end of this post)

Manga artist Gengoroh Tagame has pointed to the magazines illustrated strips as a major influence on his own work.

Also check out the 3 part interview with GLBT Historian Jack Fritscher (the founding San Francisco editor in chief of the legendary leather magazine Drummer
(1975-1999) at the end of this long obsessive post.


GAYBLEVISION (Canada’s first television program made “for gay people by gay people”)

VIVO MEDIA ARTS CENTRE: Gayblevision, Canada’s first television program made “for gay people by gay people”, was produced through Vancouver’s West End Cable 10 between 1980-1986. It documented the local LGBTQ community – the issues, people, events, businesses and organizations that defined the early 1980s. It includes rare interviews with community leaders and cultural icons, and provides insight into the formation of the Pride movement and the impact of AIDS.

Co-founder and first President, Don Durrell, donated the collection in 1993. It includes over eighty Gayblevision episodes and those of Pacific Wave, a series initiated December 1983 by Durrell and other Gayblevision producers. Co-founder Mary Anne McEwen donated additional Gayblevision videos including raw footage of their Tennessee Williams interview. Other videos include an AIDS Special, Pride tapes, promotional segments, audio tracks, and working cassettes. In 2014 a donation of production stills and other ephemera was made in honour of McEwen.

STONEWALL GAZETTE: This is historically important archival footage of activist Alan Hicox, from a segment produced for Gayblevision in 1983. Hicox died on Sept 26, 1984; he was only 21 years of age. Gayblevision was Canada’s first gay TV show and was produced in Vancouver. In this footage, Hicox shares his experience with AIDS and talks about how he is helping to educate the public. FULL 4:44 VERSION HERE. Video @ XTRA



above “Prozac Pill” by Karen Shapiro, 2016, Raku ceramic. 4 1/2 in diameter, 11.4 cm diameter
available for $500. US HERE

ELLE MAG: Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds–who died on December 27 and December 28, respectively–had a memorial service today in Hollywood Hills. Carrie, who chose to be cremated, had some of her ashes buried with her mother. The rest were carried in a Prozac pill-shaped urn by Fisher’s brother, Todd Fisher.

“Carrie’s favorite possession was a giant Prozac pill that she bought many years ago. A big pill. She loved it, and it was in her house, and Billie [Lourd, Fisher’s daughter] and I felt it was where she’d want to be. We couldn’t find anything appropriate. Carrie would like that. It was her favorite thing, and so that’s how you do it.” – Todd Fisher



photo above: chalxharn

Mario by Dick Mitchell for Summer Diary

The Summer Diary Project.  Follow us on Facebook + Instagram + Twitter

Felix D’EON

Vintage NEW YEARS/ PORN images via GOLDENFLEECING, 70s/ 80s AWESOME porn/camp images via POPULAR SIZES


R.I.P.SPECT: CARRIE FISHER (lots of pics and vids cus I love her so)



circa 1953: Hollywood film actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. Zsa Zsa is probably most famous for her marriages, her jewellery and her lifestyle and she has always courted publicity of any kind. (Photo by Baron/Getty Images)



















What price Hollywood? was the title of an early George Cukor film, but is a question every closeted movie star has probably asked himself. In 1930, the top box office star was a gay man. Billy Haines lived with his lover, Jimmie Shields, and never posed on the red carpet with a beard on his arm. By 1933, he was washed up in show business; and by 1936, he had become hugely successful in an entirely new line of work-interior decorator. Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: the Life of William Haines details the extraordinary life of Billy Haines, the only matinee idol who ever decided that Hollywood’s price was too high and walked away from film stardom.




















10th March 1965: British actor and singer Julie Andrews poses with other cast members of director Robert Wise's film, 'The Sound of Music,' at the film's premiere, Hollywood, California,. L-R: Heather Menzies, Angela Cartwright, Kym Karath, Nicholas Hammond, Debbie Turner, Charmian Carr. (Photo by Bruce Bailey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

10th March 1965: British actor and singer Julie Andrews poses with other cast members of director Robert Wise’s film, ‘The Sound of Music,’ at the film’s premiere, Hollywood, California,. L-R: Heather Menzies, Angela Cartwright, Kym Karath, Nicholas Hammond, Debbie Turner, Charmian Carr. (Photo by Bruce Bailey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)




Arquette’s siblings — David Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Patricia Arquette and Richmond Arquette — have released a statement on her passing, noting she was “surrounded by love” in her final moments.

“Our sister, Alexis Arquette, passed away this morning, September 11th, 2016.

“Alexis was a brilliant artist and painter, a singer, an entertainer and an actor. She starred in movies like ‘Last Exit to Brooklyn’, ‘Pulp Fiction’, ‘Jumpin’ at the Boneyard’, ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘The Wedding Singer’, and ‘The Bride of Chucky’. Her career was cut short, not by her passing, but by her decision to live her truth and her life as a transgender woman. Despite the fact that there are few parts for trans actors, she refused to play roles that were demeaning or stereotypical. She was a vanguard in the fight for understanding and acceptance for all trans people.

“She fiercely lived her reality in a world where it is dangerous to be a trans person — a world largely unready to accept differences among human beings, and where there is still the ugliness of violence and hostility towards people that we may not understand.

“Alexis was born as Robert, our brother. We loved him the moment he arrived. But he came in as more than a sibling — he came as our great teacher. As Alexis transitioned into being a woman, she taught us tolerance and acceptance. As she moved through her process, she became our sister, teaching us what real love is.


“We learned what real bravery is through watching her journey of living as a trans woman. We came to discover the one truth — that love is everything.

“In the days leading to her death, she told us she was already visiting the other side, and that where she was going, there was only one gender. That on the other side, we are free from all of the things that separate us in this life, and that we are all one.

“She passed away surrounded by love. We held her and sang her David Bowie’s ‘Starman’ as she punched through the veil to the other side. We washed her body in rose petals and surrounded her with flowers.

“Alexis always had to do everything first. She left before we were ready to let her go. We are all heartbroken that she is no longer with us, but we are grateful for the grace and kindness we were all shown during this difficult time. We are comforted by the fact that Alexis came into our family and was our brother and then our sister, and that she gave us so much love. We will love you always, Alexis. We know we were the lucky ones.

“The family asks that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations please be sent to organizations that support the LGBTQ community in honour of Alexis Arquette.

“Please respect our privacy during this time of grieving.”










"Medallion," by Gluck (August 13, 1895 – January 10, 1978), depicts the artist (right) and their lover, Nesta Obermer, 1937. Born into a wealthy British family as Hannah Gluckstein, Gluck rose to prominence in the 1920s and 1930s for portraits and floral prints. From the start of Gluck's career, they insisted on being referred to only as Gluck–"no prefix, suffix, or quotes"–and they resigned from an artists' cooperative that identified the artist as "Miss Gluck." Gluck showed their work only at solo exhibitions, refusing to identify with other artists, particular schools of art, or artistic movements. Gluck is best known for "Medallion" (1937) (pictured), a dual portrait with Nesta Obermer. According to biographer Diana Souhami, the artist was inspired after they attended a production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" with Obermer: "…they sat in the third row and [Gluck] felt the intensity of the music fused them into one person and matched their love." "Medallion" later was used as the cover of a popular edition of Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness." In the 1950s, fueled by dissatisfaction with the quality of available artist's paints, Gluck started a decades-long campaign to increase quality that led ultimately to the British Standards Institution adopting a new standard for oil paints. Gluck died on January 10, 1978, at the age of eighty-two. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #QueerHistoryMatters #HavePrideInHistory #Gluck

A photo posted by lgbt_history (@lgbt_history) on

Just came across @lgbt_history… it’s pretty AWESOME! Check out some of great these posts I chose to share. FOLLOW @lgbt_history!!!

"Gay is Good," pioneer Craig Rodwell, New York City, October 14, 1969. Photo by Fred W. McDarrah. On August 12, 1968, forty-eight years ago today, in the only unanimous vote of a contentious meeting of representatives of the twenty-six gay rights organizations that made up the North American Conference of Homophile Organizations (NACHO), delegates formally adopted pioneer Frank Kameny's phrase "Gay Is Good" as NACHO’s official slogan. The resolution, drafted by Kameny, provided that "because many individual homosexuals…suffer from diminished self-esteem, doubts and uncertainties as to their personal worth…; and…are in need of psychological sustenance to bolster and support a positive and affirmative attitude toward themselves and their homosexuality…; and because it would seem to be very much a function of [NACHO] to attempt to replace a wishy-washy negativism toward homosexuality with a firm no-nonsense positivism…; and because the Negro community has approached similar problems and goals with some success by the adoption of the slogan: 'Black Is Beautiful'…, it is hereby adopted as a motto for NACHO that GAY IS GOOD." Frank Kameny, who was responsible for a countless number of gay rights victories in his fifty-plus years of activism, later wrote that "if I'm remembered for only one thing, I would like it to be for having coined 'Gay is Good'"; the phrase is inscribed on Kameny's headstone. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #QueerHistoryMatters #HavePrideInHistory #GayIsGood #FrankKameny #CraigRodwell #FredWMcDarrah

A photo posted by lgbt_history (@lgbt_history) on

Gay Games swimmers (including Richard Hunter and Richard Boner, foreground), Gay Games I, San Francisco, August 1982. Photo c/o Gay Games Blog. The first Gay Games, held in 1982, saw 1,300 gay and lesbian athletes and nearly 10,000 spectators converge upon San Francisco for a celebration of sport, competition, and pride. Initially called the Gay Olympic Games, the United States Olympic Committee successfully sued to preclude the use of the word "Olympic." The same year, a number of other Olympic organizations–including the "Crab Cooking Olympics," the "Diaper Olympics," and the "Rat Olympics"–were allowed to use "Olympic" without liability. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #queerhistorymatters #haveprideinhistory #rio2016 #olympics #gaygames

A photo posted by lgbt_history (@lgbt_history) on

Radclyffe Hall (August 12, 1880 – October 7, 1943), c. 1920s. Marguerite Radclyffe-Hall, who was born one hundred and thirty-six years ago today, was an English poet and novelist; Hall's novel, "The Well of Loneliness" (1928), generally is considered the first modern novel to present lesbianism as natural and deserving of tolerance, if not understanding and acceptance. In 1907, Hall met and fell in love with Mabel Veronica Batten; as Hall explored her sexuality, she took on a more traditionally masculine appearance and went by the nickname "John." In 1908, she published a book of poems, "A Sheaf of Verses," that included "Ode to Sappho," the last verse of which read: "Beloved Lesbian! we would not dare claim/ By that same tear fond union with thy lot;/ Yet 'tis enough, if when we breathe thy name/ Thy soul but listens, and forgets us not." During World War I, Hall fell in love with Batten's cousin, Una Troubridge, and, upon Batten's death, the couple moved in together; the relationship lasted until Hall's death. After a series of lesser-known novels, "The Well of Loneliness" was published in 1924, sparking an international outcry over its lesbian themes–deemed "moral poison" by James Douglas, editor of London's Sunday Express. Radclyffe Hall died of colon cancer on October 7, 1943; she was sixty-three. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #queerhistorymatters #haveprideinhistory #radclyffehall

A photo posted by lgbt_history (@lgbt_history) on

"HOMOSEXUELEN ZIJN GEEN KRIMINELEN (HOMOSEXUALS ARE NOT CRIMINALS)," activists protest Anita Bryant, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 25, 1977. Photo by Hans Peters. According to historians Judith Schuyf and Andre Krouwel, "[r]emarkably, it was a foreign event, rather than domestic developments, that triggered the first large public manifestation of the Dutch gay and lesbian movement. In 1977, former beauty queen Anita Bryant forced the city of Miami, Florida, to hold a referendum on its antidiscrimination law. As a result, Miami's gay rights law was struck down by a seventy percent majority. In reaction to these events, gays and lesbians took to the streets of Amsterdam on 25 June 1977" (pictured). #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #queerhistorymatters #haveprideinhistory #europride2016 #iamsterdam

A photo posted by lgbt_history (@lgbt_history) on

"DISABILITY PRIDE" — "WE CAN'T PARK HERE BECAUSE YOU DID," Eric von Schmetterling representing ADAPT, March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights, Washington, D.C., April 25, 1993. Photo © Fred W. McDarrah. ADAPT (formerly Americans Disabled for Accessible Public Transit and Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today), established in the 1970s in Denver, is a grassroots organization within the disability rights movement that emphasizes direct action to bring greater visibility to the fight for the rights of Americans with disabilities. On July 26, 1990, twenty-six years ago today, as a result of the work of organizations like ADAPT, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). While disability rights advocates emphasize that much work remains, the ADA widely was considered a strong first step toward the ultimate goal of equal access for Americans with physical and mental impairments. #lgbthistory #lgbtherstory #lgbttheirstory #lgbtpride #queerhistorymatters #haveprideinhistory

A photo posted by lgbt_history (@lgbt_history) on

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3 - 13 Most B Performance- Screen Test, Billy Name, photo by Rob Long


WIKI P: William Linich, Jr. (February 22, 1940 – July 18, 2016), known professionally as Billy Name, was an American photographer, filmmaker, and lighting designer. He was the archivist of the Warhol Factory, from 1964 to 1970. His brief romance and subsequent friendship with Andy Warhol led to substantial collaboration on Warhol’s work, including his films, paintings, and sculptures. Linich became Billy Name among the coterie known as the Warhol Superstars. He was responsible for “silverizing” Warhol’s New York studio, the Factory, where he lived until 1970. His photographs of the scene at the Warhol Factory and of Warhol himself are important documents of the Pop art era.



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Name was responsible for taking still photographs at the Factory. Indeed, Name lived and worked at the Factory, having taken up residence in a closet at the back of the studio, at 231 East 47th Street. With the gift of Warhol’s 35 mm single-lens reflex Honeywell Pentax camera, along with its operating manual, Name taught himself the technical aspects of photography. He converted one of the Factory bathrooms into a darkroom, where he mastered methods of processing and developing film. These newly acquired skills, combined with his background in lighting and experimental approach to his work, resulted in a body of work which captured the “silver years” at the Factory (1963–70).

Name’s close friendship with Warhol – and his role in creating Warhol’s artistic environment – provided him with a unique perspective of the Factory, with a particular focus on a core group of “superstars”, who largely improvised before the camera. Name’s understanding of theatre and lighting was an important influence on the look and ambience of the Factory and of Warhol’s early films.





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NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 16:  Photographer Bill Cunningham attends the Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at SIR Stage 37 on February 16, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 16: Photographer Bill Cunningham attends the Narciso Rodriguez Fall 2016 fashion show during New York Fashion Week at SIR Stage 37 on February 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)



Man on the street
FUCK YEAH bill cunningham




“I am America,” he once declared. “I am the part you won’t recognize. But get used to me – black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own. Get used to me.”

FILE 1960-08-19 American boxer Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) is being weighed stark naked in the training room at the Olympic Games, Rome, Italy, August 19, 1960. Foto: Lars Nyberg / XP / SCANPIX / Kod: 34  LaPresse Only Italy

FILE 1960-08-19
American boxer Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) is being weighed stark naked in the training room at the Olympic Games, Rome, Italy, August 19, 1960.
Foto: Lars Nyberg / XP / SCANPIX / Kod: 34
Only Italy

This man! I was NEVER EVER a sports fan/ boxing fan as a kid… but I loved Ali. Every time he was on a talk show or some variety show he was always the most amusing & funny man. Even when he looked tough and mean, there was love in his eyes…
Beautiful Obama statement HERE







Muhammad Ali Painting by Andy Warhol; Muhammad Ali Art Print for sale

A selection of photographs of former three time world boxing champion MUHAMMAD ALI. The photographs were taken during the 1970's and early 1980's.

A selection of photographs of former three time world boxing champion MUHAMMAD ALI.
The photographs were taken during the 1970’s and early 1980’s.











UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 28: Photo of PRINCE; Prince performing on stage - Purple Rain tour (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)

UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 28: Photo of PRINCE; Prince performing on stage – Purple Rain tour (Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns)




Episode 1, February 16, 1983, Lesbian & Gay History

JEFFREY SCHWARZ: In 1983, Vito Russo produced and co-hosted “Our Time,” a television series focused on the gay community. The thirteen episodes that ran on public television station WNYC tackled important issues such as gay history, drag, alcoholism, race, and a famous episode at the dawn of the AIDS crisis featuring Larry Kramer. On-air guests included luminaries such as Harry Hay, Rita Mae Brown, Tennessee Williams, Harvey Fierstein, Quentin Crisp, Lily Tomlin and many other notable public figures.

30 years after “Our Time” originally aired, we are able to share this groundbreaking series with the world. With the exception of two missing episodes, we have posted each show in its entirety for scholars, historians, and a whole new generation who may not be familiar with Vito’s legacy.

This is the Final Episode, Episode 13, May 9, 1983 featuring Lily Tomlin (as Mrs. Judith Beasley) & Harvey Fierstein backstage at “Torch Song Trilogy”

For more information on Vito Russo and the documentary about his life “VITO” please visit the official website at:




My good friend Gordon just lost his lovely mother a few days ago. I had the great pleasure to meet her (and eat her delicious food) a few times. She was a real piece of work… in the BEST way possible. Gordon always entertains with stories about her youth and her eccentric parental ways. Big love to Gordon & Maurice.

Malay lady lay… in peace. XOXO

Please take a few minutes and read Gordon’s lovely obit…



JESS BOWNESS (née HANAM) March 17, 1926 – March 3, 2016 “What’s better than a single rose on a piano? Tulips on an organ.” In her 80s, our mother latched onto that joke and used it for a couple of years to accost wait staff, store clerks and strangers in elevators. She loved to make people laugh. Better yet, she loved to shock people, make them nervous and make them laugh. Frequently misunderstood, sometimes mistreated, ever mischievous, Jess Bowness died March 3 from complications arising from her decision to refuse insulin. She was 89. Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, quadruple bypass surgery, neuropathy, memory loss and the very recent discovery of undiagnosed stage four breast cancer… she’d had enough. There wasn’t enough laughter anymore. The family supported her gutsy decision to die on her own terms, at least on terms as best as she could negotiate given the legal and medical vacuum that still exists around the right to die. Her death took longer than it needed to; there was more discomfort and distress than needed to be. Changes to the law will come too late for Jess. Jess was born March 17, 1926 in Singapore, then a British colony, to Robert and Perimbee Hanam, two Indian converts to Christianity whose families had lived in what was then called Malaya for some time. Details are sketchy and contradictory. It is assumed that Robert had been born into a Hindu family in Penang and was orphaned at some point. Perimbee came from a well-off Muslim family in Taiping, in the Malay state of Perak. Robert became a schoolteacher, principal and lay preacher (Methodist / Plymouth Brethren). The couple married in Singapore in 1913, eventually spawning a large family of strong characters and over-achievers. Jess’s education was interrupted by the Second World War; she never completed high school.


The Japanese invasion of Singapore occurred on February 15, 1942, one month before Jess’s 16th birthday. She worked as a nurse in a Japanese-run civilian hospital during the three-and-a-half-year occupation. Her eldest sister died in 1945, just two days after the official Japanese surrender of Singapore. A ravishingly beautiful young woman, Jess made the most of the post-war years and, later, loved telling stories of her many suitors and glamorous exploits. She met Michael Bowness, a young university lecturer from England, in 1952; they were married December 19, 1953. Their first child, Gerald, died soon after birth. Then came Alun, David, Susan and Gordon. The family immigrated to Canada in 1965. Michael was a professor of biochemistry at the University of Manitoba. The family settled in the Winnipeg neighbourhood of Fort Rouge. Singapore to Winnipeg. Plus 30 degrees to minus 40. Cosmopolitan island state to land- locked provincial city (prior to this country’s embrace of multiculturalism). No extended family, no servants. Just the relentless labour of raising four kids in a strange country with a husband with whom she didn’t always see eye to eye. Jess was a generous, loving mother and grandmother… fun, hardworking, stubborn. She was a fantastic cook with surprising range: Malay, Indian, Chinese, Nonya and British. She even made two TV appearances on a cooking show (in actuality, a women’s history program), The Loving Spoonfuls. Jess was an avid gardener with a passion for wildflowers. She would often be found in highway ditches, woodlots or remote bogs, bucket and spade in hand, searching for her cherished Lady Slippers. She loved games and murder mysteries; she had an eye for hidden patterns and numbers. Who knows what she would have become raised in a different era? Her powers of argument were unparalleled. Jess was stylish to the point of eccentricity. One outfit suffices, early 1980s, worn to a social to raise money for a son’s terminally ill friend: silver knee-high platform leather boots, sparkly silver pants that tied at the knee, black-and-white striped blouse (the pants and blouse she had stitched herself) and lots of silver snake jewellery, bracelets and necklaces, some wrapped into her hair. She danced with every male in the place, except for her sons who cowered in awe. Her humour was unflagging, irreverent and, at times, off-kilter.


Any time her younger child had to complete a school form that asked for his mother’s occupation, she’d insist he write in “lady of leisure”. When she was bored, she’d often answer the phone with, “City morgue”. Family life in suburban Winnipeg never seemed quite the right fit for her, even though she loved her children to a fault. To a fault. Jess’s progeny run the gamut from scientists and educators to writers, from a wine expert to food supply and social justice activists. Their engaged and compassionate joie de vivre is part of Jess’s legacy. “Pshh, Canadians”, she might sometimes exclaim dismissively, but her contribution to her adopted country is undeniable, vibrant and ongoing. A gregarious soul, Jess drew relationships from all walks of life. She was a loyal but complicated friend to a special group of women who understood her strengths and deficits. Jess is survived by her sister Grace, brother Chaz and his wife Linda, sister-in-law Lillian, children Alun, David, Susan and Gordon and their spouses Sheila, Rita, Denis and Maurice, grandchildren Evan and Grace — and their mother Donnie — Avery, Damian, Camille, Chantelle, Miguel and Melanie, and nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews around the world. Husband Michael Bowness died in 1999. The family would like to thank the staff of the acute care ward in the Grace Hospital for their attentive care during Jess’s last days. There will be no service. The family will hold a private memorial at a later date. In lieu of flowers or donations, the family encourages friends and acquaintances to write their federal and provincial representatives and ministers to show support for broadly defined right-to-die legislation, and to urge legislators to act soon. Delay is causing unnecessary anxiety and pain. Help make right-to-die legislation another part of Jess Bowness’s Canadian legacy. And more laughs.

Here’s Why This Winnipeg Woman Chose To End Her Life By Not Taking Insulin via BUZZFEED

Two of Jess’ awesome recipes after the jump (via LOVING SPOONFULS)…


R.I.P.SPECT: VANITY/ Denise Katrina Matthews/ Denise Matthews-Smith/ D.D. Winters

Photo of VANITY

Photo of VANITY

Soul Singer Vanity



Ron Galella Archive - File Photos 2009


more pics & Vanity music videos & Joan Rivers interviews after the jump…


R.I.P.SPECT: DAVID BOWIE (pics & videos)






1976: David Bowie poses for an RCA publicity shot in 1976. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

1976: David Bowie poses for an RCA publicity shot in 1976. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)


Videos after the jump…



Natalie Cole - Capital Records. 1976 handout photo.

Natalie Cole – Capital Records. 1976 handout photo.





Photo of Nat King Cole


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