E-mail from Billy - The Advocate's version of who's worthwhile in west Hollywood

From William A. Percy
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AJ (Aristide Joseph) is/was, indeed P.Nutz when he began with the Advocate. Dick Michaels wanted me to add some humor to the paper so I did a column named "Mariposa de la Noche" ... as I said in my recent Advocate 40th Birthday review: When I read them now I cringe at what a flaming young queen I was!!! Alas, with age comes wisdom ... and leather ... or something like that.

Then, when I wrote something in the non-humorous vein (like "Terror in the Tubs," a first hand account of the bath raid on Melrose Ave when the LAPD came looking for the owner who had shot his partner), I wrote under the pseudonym "Jay Laurence" -- since it was only one letter off from my real name LAURENT, you might say that I was being liberated one letter at a time.

I can't recall exactly when I finally reached the point where I used my real name. It might be interesting to note that, as far as I know, neither Dick Mitch nor Bill Rau ever used their real names in the paper. Sam Allen (who wrote under the pseudonym Sam Winston) sold his interest in the publication to Bill & Dick and then moved to San Francisco. Sam (whose camp name was "Samantha Jane") and I were very close friends and his influence was a major turning point in my life. Just yesterday I found an old address book which had his name & address in it. Apparently, I never throw anything away ... unless it turns out to be a winning lottery ticket.

I'm honored that you remembered "one of my quotes about Bill Rand" but, then, I've said so many nasty things about him (whose camp name was "Evelyn Brown" ... I have NO idea why. I do recall that his boss at ABC-TV gave him that nick name and it stuck like Crazy Glue -- which, of course, not yet been invented at that time). I think it had something to do with a time that he went to a party in drag ... probably dressed as a matronly librarian! or a parochial school teacher!! Poor thing was so white one could see his veins. I can still close my eyes and see him prancing about, slumped over (he was always slumped over for some weird reason), shuffling impatiently like some Victorian school marm, fussing and fidgeting over something that upset him. Were he alive today I would expect him to be head of some condo association, fussing because some tenant painted her bed room an unapproved of color. Evelyn Brown was most certainly not known for her sense of humor. Sorry ... mustn't dish the dead. Love him. Mean it. One quote I said to him that I still recall came during one of those monthly benny-infused weekends when we would work all night to put the paper together and send to the printer bright and early Monday morning. Bill had just moved into an apartment on Curson Ave (pre he & Dick moving in together on Oxford) in what is now eastern West Hollywood. I told him he should open a school for drag there and write it off to taxes. I said he should name it "Curson U." It was one of the few times I recall ever seeing him laugh himself into tears. Must've been the drugs.

It might also be interesting to note that another soon-to-become-semi-famous person who worked in the "Mimeo Dept" at ABC was Don Amador. He had just gotten out of the Navy and Henry Ortiz, our boss, hired him and threw him into that den of queens. Talk about a "coming out" party. He eventually left ABC and got involved in different gay ventures and, last I heard, ran for city council. Lost of course, bless his heart. Another was Dino Williams (whose real name was Jesse something-or-other) who was involved with former optometrist to the too faboo, Scott Forbes and Dino/Jesse [allegedly] was one of the owners of Studio One on LaPeer (I think that was the name of the place ... Lordie, it was sooooo long ago).

My god, I've become that old person in the tribe who passes along history to the children of the tribe.

P.Nutz/Jay Laurence/Aristide de Bitterbitch

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