Ricky Martin Rules The Stage, Sam Smith Quits Twitter: BRIEFS

Plus MSNBC is in turmoil.
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Birthday shoutouts! Daniel Craig (above) is 48, Bryce Dallas Howard is 35, Jon Bon Jovi is 54, Rebel Wilson is 36, Chris Martin is 39, and Laraine Newman is 64.

ICYMI

Rob Lowe makes Colton Haynes’ daddy dreams come true.

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Why a longtime gay activist is supporting Trump: “He knows how to run things.”


Elton John tells Janet Jackson to “F*ck Off,” says he’s “rather see a drag queen.”


Icelandic airline christens one of its planes “TF-Gay” in honor of gay rights.


Crossfit champion Khan Porter dominates Instagram.

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IN OTHER NEWS

The clown car is about to lose another passenger. And then there were four.


Out actor Ben Daniels and Alfonso Herrara (who played the gay character of Hernando in Sense8) will star in the FOX pilot The Exorcist, a “modern reinvention” of the book.

“Herrera’s Father Tomas is the warm, selfless and compassionate leader of a small but hearty little church. Daniels’ Father Marcus is the intense holy warrior carrying out an occupation that the church no longer acknowledges in public.” Two Father Hotties!


I guess this was inevitable.


Melissa Harris-Perry speaks out about her very public split with MSNBC. Ugh, what has happened to my favorite news network? It’s all Trump Trump Trump, and the only shows I can stand watching are Rachel and that hot little nerd before her. And thankfully, Thomas Roberts and Steve Kornacki are still around, too.


Here’s the trailer for Finding Dory, which Ellen premiered on her show today.
 


Ricky Martin performs at the Puerto Rico Coliseum in San Juan.

Ricky Martin performs his last concert at the Puerto Rico Coliseum in San Juan. Pictured: Ricky Martin Ref: SPL1227893  140216   Picture by: Photopress PR Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles:	310-821-2666 New York:	212-619-2666 London:	870-934-2666 photodesk@splashnews.com
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Ricky Martin performs his last concert at the Puerto Rico Coliseum in San Juan. Pictured: Ricky Martin Ref: SPL1227893  140216   Picture by: Photopress PR Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles:	310-821-2666 New York:	212-619-2666 London:	870-934-2666 photodesk@splashnews.com

And here’s The Weekly ShoutOUT™. Each week we’re going to focus on one out athlete/performer and feature a daily pic and career timeline. We’ll be showcasing the big names, but also the lesser-known gay and bisexual celebs who deserve more recognition.

This week our 155th ShoutOUT™ is to … Howard Ashman

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Let’s spend the next two days with Howard’s crowning success.

Howard and Alan Menken were approached to help save the production of Beauty And The Beast, which Disney was having a hard time developing as a non-musical. Becoming increasingly ill, Howard agreed, but would not live to see the finished product.
 

 
“During the making of Beauty and the Beast, the Disney animators were told to go work with Ashman at his home in Fishkill, New York, but nobody told them why they were being flown out there. A lot of the animators thought it was because he was a big shot, but then it became clear to them that he was seriously ill. He grew weaker, but he remained productive and continued to write songs. On March 10, 1991, the Disney animators had their first screening for Beauty and the Beast and it was an enormous success. Afterward, they visited Howard in the hospital. He weighed 80 pounds, had lost all of his sight, and could barely speak.

His mother showed the animators that he was wearing a Beauty and the Beast sweatshirt. The animators told him that the film was incredibly well received by the press and described to him in detail how it had gone. He nodded appreciatively to the news. As everyone said their goodbyes, producer Don Hahn leaned over to Howard and said, “Beauty and the Beast is going to be a great success. Who’d have thought it?”, to which Ashman replied with “I would have.” Four days later, on March 14, Ashman, age 40, died from complications from AIDS, in New York City. Beauty And The Beast is dedicated to him.”

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The film would be a watershed moment in Disney animation, and the songs would become classics. Tomorrow we’ll remember a historic moment at the Academy Awards.


On Friday I asked what list we should attempt next, and you have spoken! Sit back, and over the next few weeks we’ll have a lot of fun looking at 20 Songs Everyone Knows That Didn’t Hit The Top 40! These are all songs that have become a part of pop culture history, but failed on the chart when they were originally released. Songs that, through inclusion in films, TV, or other medium have managed to withstand the test of time.

Note – We’ll also include a couple of songs that were never actually released a singles, but have also become classics.

At #18 is “Surrender” by Cheap Trick.

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We need to discuss Cheap Trick! One of the most underrated bands of the 70’s and 80’s, they’ve never gotten their due, even with such classic rock radio staples as “Dream Police,” “Voices,” and “I Want You To Want Me.” (although they did hit #1 in 1988 with the glossy Heart-esque ballad “The Flame”.)

And of course, there was their first entry on the Hot 100 in 1978, “Surrender,” which flopped, peaking at #62. Since then it’s become an iconic rock song, heard in countless movies and TV shows, and let’s face it, “Mommy’s alright, daddy’s alright, they just seem a little weird” is a perfect lyric.

 


Congrats to zoso, who guessed that yesterday’s Pixuzzle™ © ® was Dukes Of Hazzard.

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Here’s today’s Pixuzzle™ © ®. Here are characters from a FAMOUS TV SHOW. Can you name it?

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And today’s Briefs are brought to you by … Cortland

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Rikke Photography

And now something special in the Briefs. I’m happy to present a new undertaking by reader Lion King. His new list will appear at the end of the Briefs. Take it away LK!

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In 1979, Tom Robinson Band broke up and Tom became involved in solo projects: he wrote songs with Elton John and toured small venues, playing mainly gay-themed songs. His concert at the Collegiate Theatre, London, in June 1979 was recorded. It was released in 1982 as Cabaret 79. It was reissued in 1997 as Cabaret 79: Glad To Be Gay, with the addition of a few more recent live recordings. This is the album that will take up our time today.

“So, a bit of history. 1979 was a cusp year for gay people in the UK: the liberation movement that had started with the Stonewall Riots in America in 1969 – and Gay Liberation Front in Britain soon after – had snowballed to the extent that it had built up its own momentum without having actually achieved any significant reforms. By 1979 our paper, Gay News, was selling 25,000 copies a fortnight; we were shortly to have our very own (and wonderful) ITV magazine series, Gay Life; and Greater London Arts had given £1,000 for a gay arts festival.” (from tomrobinson.bandcamp.com: Peter Scott – Presland).

The album begins with “Pub Hassle,” a funny music hall piece written by Barbara Norden, concerning a redneck homophobe trying to pick up a lesbian in a pub.
 

 

“Truce” is a very touching song: it brings up the historical truce that occurred between French and German soldiers fighting in the trenches of the Great War, (without orders from above), in order to celebrate Xmas 1914 in peace. It then compares it to a hypothetical truce, between LGBTQI and our enemies. Here’s how it ends;

“There’s a couple of days when the bashers of gays
Who oppress, arrest and charge us
All leave us alone to return back home
For a truce…
With our mothers and our fathers
But the very next day it’s back to the fray
And setting our homes in order
Bashing Lesbian mothers
And underage lovers
Disowning gay sons and daughters
Well it’s quaint to pretend
We could all live as friends
With the Christmas angels calling
But the dream turns sour
In a matter of hours
And they make it all up in the morning”

Or You can listen to it here.

There is a slightly different version of “Glad To Be Gay” in the 1982 LP, updating some of the song’s facts. Then, in the 1997 CD reissue there is this version, along with an even newer one, called “Glad To Be Gay ’97”. In the latter he touches on the heat that he received from the gay purists, when he married a woman, even though he was perfectly clear in his interviews: “I won’t even call myself bisexual: I’m a gay man who happens to be in love with a woman.”

Also on the CD version is a newer song, “Last Rites” by Carlton Edwards, performed in 1987 at Glasgow University. Its conclusion:

“Man could not have been created without flaws
Sure we expected to lose a few wars
Yes I know that I’m crying
Well I’m shit scared of dying
When we ourselves opened the door
And yes I really mind the pain
My strength for loneliness is getting lower
It may never rain – for personally
The search seems to be…
Getting slower.

There were also two interesting cover versions in Cabaret 79: a song by Canadian Lewis Furey (who will be introduced the day after tomorrow). It’s a sort of gay version of Dylan’s Just Like A Woman. Sort of… Here’s the last verse and chorus:

“Twenty lovers in a week
You can get ’em
Sure you can
There’s lot’s of geeks
And every mother one of them
Wants to get lucky
Or maybe you need
More than one man
Probably a legion
Every one a fan
I’m trying to find it in me
To hope you’re happy
So when you go
I feel you oughta know
You’re closing a door
Behind you
And when we meet again
Promise not to pretend
We lost anything
Of value”

Then, there’s the reappropriation of Noel Coward’s “Mad About The Boy.” Ever since Dinah Washington’s excellent and very successful version, the song had been given the heterosexual stamp of approval. But Noel Coward (if you don’t know who he is, do look him up), was as gay as they come and the song is too. Tom camps it up and the end result is outrageously entertaining. Here are the last verses and chorus:

“Mad about the boy
I know it’s stupid but I’m
Mad about the boy
He has a gay appeal that makes me feel
There may be something
Sad about the boy
Walking down the street
His eyes look out at me
From people that I meet
I know that quite sincerely
Housman really wrote
“The Shropshire Lad” about the boy
I’m hardly sentimental
Love isn’t so sublime
I have to pay my rental
And I can’t afford to waste much time
How I should enjoy –
For him to treat me
As a plaything or a toy
I’d give my all to him
And crawl to him
So help me God I’m
Mad about the boy”

80's Pop Culture Expert, Shooting At The Walls Of Heartache.
@therealsnicks