Back to June 2011 Show


Steven Grossman
Tribute Show

June 2011 Script

Richard Dworkin: Well, "Buena Vista's" totally gay, it's about looking for sex and having sex in Buena Vista Park. I don't know that you can get gayer than that, and it's just so evocative of San Francisco in the 70's.

Steven Grossman - Buena Vista (1991)

That was Steven Grossman singing "Buena Vista," recorded in 1991, and it starts off a very special edition of Queer Music Heritage. This is JD Doyle and I've been waiting to do this show for years. The show is about the release of a CD of material recorded by Steven Grossman in early May of 1991, about six weeks before his death, on June 23rd. Grossman is one of my gay music heroes and here's one of the reasons why.

Not only was he one of the earliest artists to record lyrically gay material, but he was the first to have an album released on a major label. The label was Mercury and the album was called "Caravan Tonight," released in April of 1974. By the way, Parts 2 and 3 of this show are devoted entirely to that first album, and will include some special interviews.

To put things in perspective, it was only the year before Grossman's album that the first privately released lesbian album came out, by Alix Dobkin, and Olivia records started their long run of releases also in 1974. So, an openly gay album on a major label was a big deal. Now, unfortunately it did not open any floodgates, as it apparently did not sell as the label had hoped, so another release was not done. But it gave hope and an example to other gay and lesbian artists, and to their fans. It was a bit of gay visibility long overdue.

Before we get into more music from the new album, I want to share perhaps the most known song from the 1974 "Caravan Tonight" album, and it's my favorite. The song is called "Out," and the version I'm sharing is a live one, from a radio concert from 1975, so even if you know his work, it's likely you've never heard it done live. Steven Grossman, and "Out."

Steven Grossman - Out (live, 1975)

That track was from a radio show called "Fruit Punch," hosted by Steve O'Neal, on KPFA in Berkeley, and it is courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, and is the first of three live tracks you'll hear during this hour.

When no follow-up to the "Caravan Tonight" album happened, Steven Grossman did continue writing, though not prolifically, and he performed often in San Francisco where he lived in those years, and that included several radio performances. Steven's life was cut short by AIDS, and it was only through efforts of his close friends that recordings of a number of his unreleased songs were done, and this is that story.

The album, released twenty years after his death, is called "Something In the Moonlight," and the opening song, "Buena Vista," was actually the only song to be released earlier. It appeared on a 1998 various artists compilation called "Fruit Cocktail," and you heard the voice of Richard Dworkin intro-ing it at the start of the show. Richard will tell much of this story, but I don't want to get too far without sharing with you more music from the new Steven Grossman CD, so here's an early song written by Steven when he still lived in New York City, about missing a boyfriend named Chris, who had moved to San Francisco. Here's the song "California Now."

Steven Grossman - California Now (1991)

Richard Dworkin Interview

Richard Dworkin was Assistant Producer of the new Steven Grossman album, and I'm pleased to say that I've known him for a number of years. He's an active session drummer and was a member of the jazz ensemble Microscopic Septet, and played on a number of albums in my collection, including those of Doug Stevens & the Outband, David Clement, Blackberri, and he played on and produced the albums of another hero of mine, Michael Callen, both as a solo artist and with The Flirtations. And Richard was also in the popular San Francisco very gay band Buena Vista. But this interview's focus was on Steven Grossman, so I started by asking how they met.

Richard Dworkin: While I was working with Buena Vista and after I worked with Buena Vista, I worked briefly with Steven Grossman. I met Steven shortly after he moved to San Francisco, in about 1975; would run into him socially. Eventually we came to play a few gigs together. Steven wasn't performing very much by then and I was always encouraging him to do so, and encouraging him to write more songs and record more. I remember playing with him at a place called The City, in San Francisco, which was in fact a disco. It was the place where Buena Vista was filmed for the movie "Word Is Out," actually.

Actually Steven was my last roommate in San Francisco. He was looking for a place to live and I had a spare room, in my flat in the Castro, and Steven moved into that room.

JD: How long did you room together?

RD: A year or two, and then I moved to New York.

JD: So, you were probably pretty involved with his music.

RD: To the extent that he was making music, which was not a large extent, I was very involved with it, yes. Steven was not a prolific songwriter. As far as I know there is less than three dozen tunes of his that exist, but basically Steven sort of gave up on music, yeah, he sort of gave up on it. It was after the Mercury album, and he and he had toured with that, and he had moved to San Francisco, and he'd come back to New York in 1976, to meet with his producers to talk about making a new album. And basically, the impression I got was they said, "well, it's sort of too gay, and that's not going to fly now." Which was kind of ironic because his producers signed him on the basis of that he was gay. But in the commercial atmosphere of music in 1976, they felt that he shouldn't be so explicit. Steven wrote about this in the song "The Last Pioneers," about that trip to New York.

JD: So, he didn't write much after that?

RD: I don't think he wrote much after that. He didn't perform much after that. I don't know that he had two dozen public performances the rest of his life.

JD: So, they solicited him as a gay artist.

RD: Correct.

JD: Do you remember the time leading up to that with him?

RD: Oh, on the Mercury record, I didn't know him then. Steven's album "Caravan Tonight" was released in 1974. We can talk about that to the extent that I know about that if you want. Here's how Steven came to make "Caravan Tonight," as far as I know, and recall, is that he read a classified ad in the "Village Voice," that was soliciting a gay singer/songwriter to make a record, and it said "tapes only" and he didn't have a tape. Steven was pretty young then. I think he was twenty-two, twenty-three years old. But he called the number and said, "Look I don't have a tape, but give me five minutes, just give me five minutes." And he said he heard the guy saying, "hold on," conferring with somebody else, and he said, okay, be as such-and-such a place at such-and-such a time. And he went and auditioned and got the gig. This was in New York City. Steven was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.

I don't like to go too long without hearing some music, so could you please tell us about the song "Mostly Like Children"?

RD: "Mostly Like Children." Mostly like children in grown-up clothes is sort of about dressing up to go out, and it might sort of be dressing up and putting on make-up to cover your KS legions, too.

Steven Grossman - Mostly Like Children (1991)

JD: How did you come to get the material for the new CD?

RD: What happened was…well, I should back up and preface that by saying Steven had the good fortune of going to high school in Brooklyn with Judith Casselberry and Jacque Dupree, of the musical group Casselberry & Dupree, and they were his life-long friends. And it was Judith Casselberry who encouraged Steven to record more of his songs, in the early 90's. Steven was ill with AIDS, he had Kaposi's Sarcoma, and Judith encouraged him to come to New York and do some recording with me and some other people. And Steven came here and we had some meetings about the project, and Steven had his last birthday party, at which he performed.

The last time I saw Steven was on 13th Street, near the Gay Community Center in here New York and it was the Fall and he said, "it's just too cold, I have to go home." Sort of implicit in that was the idea that we would never make this recording. However, Judith Casselberry came to his house one day [in San Francisco], and said, "Steven, we're going to the recording studio." I mean, he was very, very sick. He was not even dressing and going outside, as I understand. And so he said, "it's totally impossible, I couldn't possibly, I'm too sick, no way, I'm not getting dressed." And she said, "yes, get your clothes on, we are going." And I think she's probably the only person who could get away with that, and whom he would obey, in that situation, or trust enough to go with. And so he went with her to a recording studio and they recorded with guitar accompaniment an album's worth of material. It was about a month or two before he died in June of 1991. I believe he was 39, so it would have been 1991.

JD: And what happened to the tapes after that?

RD: Well, in 1993 we worked on it a lot. There was some money to work on it, and Judith was the producer of this project and I was sort of the concert master, in terms of finding musicians to play on it, in some cases, arrangers. So we did a lot of work on it in terms of putting backup tracks on it in 1993, but the money ran out and Judith moved on to other things in her life, and I got very busy doing Michael Callen's "Legacy" album, and it sort of sat there for a long time, until recently when we scared up a little money to finish it.

JD: And what's the name of the project?

RD: Steven's new album, "Something in the Moonlight."

JD: Is that one of the songs?

RD: It is indeed one of the songs. It's one of the last, or perhaps the last song that Steven wrote. It's sort of pondering the possibility of an after-life, which I'm sure Steven was pondering at that point in his life, "Something in the Moonlight."

Steven Grossman - Something in the Moonlight (1991)

JD: Can you talk about some of the other songs?

RD: Well, my favorite two cuts on the album are my favorite Steven Grossman songs, post "Caravan Tonight," which are: "A Greasy Griddle and a Short-Order Cook," or "Greasy Griddle," as I've been calling it for 25 years, and the song "Buena Vista," which actually has appeared on Mitch Gallop's "Fruit Cocktail" compilation. "Greasy Griddle" I had always envisioned as sort of a Big Band arrangement.

One of the things we had to consider in producing this record, which I think Judith Casselberry did a really good job of working with, is the nature of Steven's vocal performances, which are…well, first there's his register, which is sort of low, certainly for a pop singer of this era, and they're sort of subdued. He didn't have a lot of energy at that point in his life, not that they're lacking energy, but they're just not like shout-outs or anything. He was projecting enough, but it's not the kind of thing that you could put a big band behind, and have the big band not overwhelm it.

So what we came up with was an a cappella arrangement. I paired Steven with one of my favorite a cappela groups, The Bobs, who originated in San Francisco, so that seemed appropriate as well. And so that's what you'll hear, Steven singing in front of The Bobs, on the song "Greasy Griddle," "Greasy Griddle and a Short-Order Cook," which is about sort of flirting with a guy, with a short-order cook, and I always envisaged that occurring at a place called "Andy's Donuts," which was a late-night hang-out on Castro Street in the 70's.

Steven Grossman - Greasy Griddle & a Short Order Cook (1991)

Can you please talk about the song "Winter Story"?

RD: Well, "Winter Story" is a song about Steven missing Austin, and Austin is the boyfriend Steven wrote about in the title tune from his album "Caravan Tonight." The first line of course of the first song on Steven's record is "Austin, you've got that gypsy in your eye."

Steven Grossman - Winter Story (1991)

You heard Richard talk about Steven's boyfriend at that time, Austin, and here's something you may not expect, I've got some comments from that very same person. He's Austin Noto, and while they were not a couple long they remained friends until Steven's death. Before those interview comments I think I'll first let you hear the song that talks about Austin, the title track from "Caravan Tonight." But instead of the album version, here's a live track, from a radio performance, complete with Steven introducing it.

Steven Grossman: Thank you kindly. I was raised in New York and California was always a place for me where I would come for refuge, whenever I was freaking out, or whenever I had just smashed up with somebody, or whatever, I'd get on, or find the easiest transportation I could and just get out here as quick as I can. And the first time I was here this song came, about two days after I got here, on a piano, which I don't play too well, but suddenly it just happened. It's called "Caravan Tonight."

Steven Grossman - Caravan Tonight (live, 1975)

That was another track was from the radio show "Fruit Punch," from August of 1975 and courtesy of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.

And, I thank Austin Noto for these comments about Steven.

Austin Noto Interview

The song "Caravan Tonight" was directed to you, starting with the lyrics, "Austin, you've got that gypsy in your eye." Can you tell me about the inspiration for that song"

Austin Noto: Well, the best I could put it as is I was 17 years old and very young and naïve and not really knowing if the first person I met was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

And, were you a couple or boyfriends, or what?

AN: Yes, we were a couple, and as the song says, for four months, cause he says in the song "we have four good months behind us."

Did you know about the song before it appeared on the album?

AN: He told me when they were recording it, and I actually went to the studio while they were recording the album and got to watch them making it. It's funny cause he wrote a song to me when we first got together and I asked him to take my name out cause I was basically 17 and still in the closet, and I guess once we broke up he felt all bets were off. And I'm actually glad he did use my name.

Can you talk a little bit about Steven as a person?

AN: He's probably one of the smartest people I've ever met. He was, I don't know, just always trying to do the right thing, and had a great sense of humor, very funny, and I was honored to have known him.

I've gotten the impression he was kind of, if you will, a quiet performer, kind of mellow and soft-spoken…

AN: Yes, you're right. He just had the ability to make people cry. He just knew how to get to those places that get people right to the core.

Did you happen to be around when the album came out to know his reaction to how it was received and so forth?

AN: Yes, he played lots of places. I think he was hoping it would have sold better, but, you know, he had the opportunity to come back and make more music, but his producers wanted him to change all the nouns to make the whole thing heterosexual, and he said no, and they said, "then we're not doing it." So that's actually why he only recorded one album.

The album got pretty good promotion at first. I found large ads for it in magazines, but it doesn't look like Mercury followed up on it much.

AN: No, I think once that they saw the sales weren't what they thought it was going to be they just decided to cut their losses. That's my guess.

I think the market at that time…maybe Mercury thought they would tap into the glam market…

AN: Exactly, and that couldn't be further from…you know, he was more like a gay Cat Stevens than a gay…

David Bowie…

AN: Right

Did you know that Twiggy recorded "Caravan Tonight"?

AN: Yes, I did and actually Steven loved it because he said he really didn't like her version, but he did enjoy the royalty checks. Yeah, we got a big laugh…I actually have it on my iPod.

Is there anything else I should ask you about Steven, or any comments you want to make?

AN: Well, like I said, it was definitely an honor to know him and I'm very glad I did, and he just meant more than you could ever know to me. Thank you again for all you've done for Steven.

I'm glad to spread the word.

And, you hear that music in the background? I thought this would be a good time to slip in just a bit of the version of the song "Caravan Tonight," you heard Austin Noto and I just talk about, as done by 70's supermodel Twiggy. It's from her self-titled debut album from 1976.

Twiggy - Caravan Tonight (1976)

And, I've got another special treat. From that same 1975 concert including the live version you heard of the song "Caravan Tonight," was an unreleased song, and as it's not on the new album, it's still unreleased; and I'm delighted to be likely the only person to play the song on the radio in the last 36 years. I am again grateful to my source for this and am including their intro, to Steven Grossman and the song "Siamese Twins."

Steven Grossman: This is a real popular syndrome that I see going round. It's probably been going on for a long time, and…how best can I explain this…it has to do a lot with just feeling yourself incomplete, feeling you're only half until you find mister or miss whatever everything, you know, and then when you find that person you become one, and all that, and isolate yourself from everybody else, and it just progresses, into sometimes madness, and this song is about kind of some of those symptoms you'll find in an ailing relationship. I call it "Siamese Twins."

Steven Grossman - Siamese Twins (live, 1975)

Here's a very special surprise. The GLBT Historical Society has also provided me with a video of that concert, with Steven singing five songs. You'll find a link to that on my website, where I've got an extensive Steven Grossman Tribute section.

This is JD Doyle and again I'm very pleased to be honoring the music of Steven Grossman on Queer Music Heritage this month. Part 2 of the show will include an interview with Judith Casselberry, Steven's good friend and the Executive Producer of the new CD. And there's more, Part 2 will also include Steven singing three songs from another live radio performance, from 1976.

I want to close with my favorite song from the new album, and it really captures the spirit of why I love his music. In his history it was when Steven met again with his producers at Mercury Records to discuss a follow up album. He was essentially told, not unless he drop the gay stuff, to which he would not agree. I'm going back to Richard Dworkin to let him introduce it.

RD: Oh, "Last Pioneers," well, that's a song about Steven coming to New York, in 1976, when Bicentennial celebrations were happening in New York, sort of juxtaposing a bird's-eye view of New York harbor and the Stature of Liberty against the image of…oh, what does Steven say…"from the brothers who can't disguise it, even in men's clothing, and the sisters who just do not pass, comes the spirit of my people, of courage over fear…the last pioneers."

Steven Grossman - Last Pioneers (1991)

Casselberry & Dupree - Last Pioneers (1994)

I closed Part 1 of this Steven Grossman tribute show with a song from a new album of his music. The song was "Last Pioneers," and I opened this segment with the song as done in 1994 by the duo Casselberry & DuPree, his lifelong friends. This is JD Doyle and welcome back to Queer Music Heritage. There's a special interview for this segment also, but before I get to it I want to share another early Steven Grossman song, perhaps his best known one, the song "Out" from his 1974 album "Caravan Tonight." This song has affected many people over the years and it inspired one of them, the very talented artist Mark Weigle, to record sort of a duet with the voice of Steven on that song. It appeared on his 2002 CD, called "Out of the Loop," and I got him to talk about it.

Mark Weigle: Well, doing the song "Out" is sort of one of the things in my career that keeps me satisfied when it's all said and done and when I'm 80 I can look back and say, you know, that was really cool. My story with that song…when I was like 20 and just coming out and not out to my parents yet, my first ever lover had this song on a cassette, and there was no label on it, he didn't know who it was. And I was already into singer/songwriters, Fogelberg, Lightfoot and all these guys, and here was this great singer and this great well-written song, and it was speaking to exactly to where I was at in my life then about coming out, and I was just blown away. It was really an important song for me.

And then years later I was writing songs myself and met Blackberri, himself a gay musical pioneer, and the first night we hung out together he said, "oh, have you heard Steven Grossman?" And I said, no, and he put this LP on and I was just floored that that was the song, and it was called "Out," and it was by Steven Grossman. And Steven was on Mercury Records doing this incredibly out, lyrically out gay music. So he's definitely a pioneer, so it's a real honor to do this song and I think a lot of folks that knew his music will be hopefully pleased to hear this.

Mark Weigle & Steven Grossman - Out (2002 & 1974)

Very nice. Mark Weigle, joining Steven on his song "Out."

Judith Casselberry Interview

Now, from listening to Part 1 of the show, you heard Richard Dworkin talk about Steven and the genesis of the new album. He was the Associate Producer, and the Executive Producer was Judith Casselberry. I'm very pleased to also be able to share with you her perspective on the project, and on her friendship with Steven. I started with the obvious question, asking about the new CD.

Judith Casselberry: Well, it's been a long time coming. We did the initial tracks in '91 and that was in California. Steven and Mimi Fox and I and Christopher Bergman went into Paul Dresher's home studio, in the East Bay, in California, and laid down vocals and guitar. And then we, after Steven passed, I was in New York and started working with Richard and some other musicians, actually putting the tracks together, putting the instrumentation to the vocals. It's a bit of a backward process, in terms of how recordings are normally done, but we had a lot of really skilled people on hand. I do feel like the final arrangements and instrumentation are true to how he heard the songs, and I think the end result…I think people will be pleased, I'm pleased.

For our listeners, what is your connection to Steven Grossman?

JC: Steven and I go way back. I refer to him as my best friend, we were really close. He's actually the person that taught me how to play guitar, he gave me my first guitar. There were a small group of us, Jacque DuPree and some other folks, that actually were doing music together. We didn't always live in the same cities, but we always stayed in touch.

People talk about Steven the artist, but could you talk about Steven the person?

JC: (laughs) Oh, he was a nut, he was great, he was a really great guy. He was crazy, he was a lot of fun, he was a control freak. What I appreciated about him was for the most part he was brutally honest, at least with me, so that was something that we appreciated about each other. We could always really tell each other the truth, and it's a good think when you have friends like that. He was very…he had a big heart, he had a big heart. And he understood what it was like for people to live on the margins and have the hard way to go. And that was before he really understood himself to be gay. And so it's something that always infused his perspective and his politics and he was a good guy, he was a good guy, but really, really nuts (laughs), he was really fun, he was a lot of fun.

I have a side question, how much did Steven perform in New York, before he moved to California?

JC: He performed a good bit, once he did the recording with Mercury Records and did "Caravan Tonight," they actually put him on tour, to promote the recording, but he did a good amount of performing in New York. He played at places like Max's Kansas City and kind of mainstream clubs. And also he was from New York and he was integrated into the New York gay community, and so he had a good audience base.

Regarding the actual recording of the songs, I understand…he was very sick and almost was reluctant to even do it.

JC: Yes, he was actually really ill when we actually got to recording him. He had KS on his lungs. He had intravenous feeding tubes. He was pretty ill. He passed about maybe six weeks or so after we completed the recordings, so that's the stage that he was in. And he worked so hard, you know, it was hard for him, he had KS on his body, so he was in a lot of pain, his breathing was labored, so it was a lot going on with him physically. But his spirit, once we actually determined that we were going to make this happen, his spirit was really very strong, and I think that his spirit actually took him through. And in many ways I think that his vocal performance on this recording is actually really, really wonderful, because he had to actually compensate for not having the vocal power that he was used to having, and so I think what he wound up doing was actually being much more deliberate in his storytelling…he was always a good storyteller, so I think in the end it actually in an odd way served her performance well, or I should say, he utilized it in a really positive way.

I suspect the answers are probably time and money, but some may wonder why it took twenty years for the CD.

JC: Time and money and I don't know if people can appreciate how emotional of a journey it actually is to work on something of someone who you're very close to, who has passed away. It's definitely time and money and emotion and life. We did the initial work and then we left it alone for a couple of years, and I think those first few years were just the difficulty of actually really dealing with it. And then we were able to get a good chunk of it done, and then we ran out of money. And then we were able to get more money and finish it up.

The other thing that we were trying to do, which we were not successful at doing was we were trying to get "Caravan Tonight" from Mercury to actually release a double, to release his first and to release this together. And so we were working on that for quite a while, because it seemed close, and then it slipped away, and then it seemed close again. So we a couple of times held off, because we thought that we thought we actually would be able to get "Caravan Tonight" and "Something in the Moonlight" out at the same time.

JD: To what do you attribute…whoever owns "Caravan Tonight"…their reluctance?

JC: I think it's just the way corporations understand themselves. And it has no kind of emotional or economic logic to it, because the masters don't do Mercury any good. It's not like they're going to sell it. It's not like he's all of a sudden become a major figure and blow up and there's going to be a big demand. At this point it's archival, really. So I think it's just more of "this is how we do things, we don't let go of our masters." That that's pretty much where it is with most major labels.

I want break away from the interview so that you can hear another track from the new Steven Grossman album. It's a rather reflective song, called "Step."

Steven Grossman - Step (1991)

Do you have a favorite song from the album?

JC: Oh, wow, let's see…I actually really love "Buena Vista," and I really love "Something in the Moonlight," and "California Now" I think "California Now" came out really just wonderful. Steve Sandberg, who played piano and keyboards on this recording just did a beautiful, beautiful job. In addition to how things turned out, part of the reasons why I like some of the tracks have to do with my memories of the recording sessions as well.

Let me ask it a different way. Is there a song with particular personal meaning to you?

JC: Wow. Maybe, maybe "Something in the Moonlight" just because I think it's really poignant that he's able to tell the story of being in that space of losing someone and also understanding his own mortality, and I think that that's a really poignant piece.

Being the gay music activist that I am, my favorite's "Last Pioneers."

JC: That's a song that means an awful lot to me and that's also a song that Casselbury-DuPree recorded as well. We were actually together when he wrote that song, and we had come back to New York for the Bicentennial and it was a very intense time, because everything was red, white and blue and we of course had an ambivalent relationship with the whole, the whole intensely American, particular brand of American patriotism that was 1976. And one of the reasons he came to New York was to try to revive his career and he went and talked to producers and they basically told him that "no one's interested in what you're doing, and if you want to change your pronouns then maybe we can talk." They told him straight people don't want to hear about gay people, and gay people don't want to hear about gay people.

So he wrote that song, pretty quickly as I recall. The song itself…it tells that story and it also tells the story of us, of kind of our conversations about those circumstances at the same time. It came out of the long history, the long history of marginalized people in American society, marginalized by sexuality, and in my case race and gender and class. You know, all those things that that's how we had always known each other and understood each other and were able to communicate on that level. And it's a great song, it's a really great song.

This project must be like achieving a long-time dream, can you tell me your feelings about it?

JC: It's kind of unbelievable because it's taken so long…like, when we actually got the CDs in our hands it was like I can't even hardly believe it. But it's really gratifying. It's gratifying to know that we actually got finished. We actually finished it and came all the way through to this side, and it means a lot to a lot of us, for a number of reasons, I mean, in terms of the thinking about LGBTQ history and archiving, being able to archive what people have done. It's very important on that level. And it's also very important personally to be able to have his work and to be able to hear him, which was the impetus for doing it in the first place.

JC: I really do hope that it generates, you know, another level of conversation for the gay community in terms of thinking about and understanding much more of history and what work people have done, and what it took for them to do it. In this case we're actually able to see how Steven as a groundbreaker in terms of his work being out and open in the 70's and what it meant then. And then also how he was able to carry it forward in his life even though he had to, you know, become an accountant and make a living, and the creative desire never left him.

Again, I thank Judith Casselberry for the interview. In this segment I have more rare live music by Steven Grossman. I definitely need to credit and thank the Pacifica Archives in Los Angeles for providing me with this next material. It was a radio broadcast done on KPFA in Berkeley, in September of 1976, from a regular show called "Fruit Punch Collective," and the particular show was called "Gay Music for a Spring Night." It also featured two other artists I love, Gwen Avery and Blackberri, and you'll hear Steven's segment, singing "Caravan Tonight," "5 O'clock Song," and "Song to That M&M Man."

Steven Grossman - Caravan Tonight / 5 O'clock Song / Song to That M&M Man (live, 1976)

Steven Grossman, from the KPFA radio broadcast, from 1976. This is JD Doyle with Queer Music Heritage. That was Part 2 of my tribute, and please continue listening and check out Part 3, for a rare interview with Steven himself. Closing out this segment is another song from the album "Something in the Moonlight." It's called "Out to Play."

Steven Grossman - Out to Play (1991)

Welcome to Part 3 of Queer Music Heritage and I'm JD Doyle, bringing you this special edition honoring the work of Steven Grossman. In this segment I'm doing something I've never done before. I'm airing an interview done by someone else. But the interview is about 36 years old, and is so rare and so extraordinary that I'm excited to share it. As my QMH show airs on the show Queer Voices on KPFT, and that's a Pacifica Station, I have occasional access to the Pacifica Archives, in L.A., and I got them to send me this interview from their library, and to give me permission to air it, so I very much appreciate this opportunity. This is history.

The interview was produced by the "Fruit Punch Collective," on KPFA, in Berkeley, in 1975. The interviewer unfortunately was not identified, but I like the approach he takes, of getting an artist to talk about his songs, and then playing the songs. So the music is from Steven's then fairly new LP, rather than him playing and singing in the studio. And after the opening piece, "Five O'Clock Song," they will talk about six songs from the album, in order, "Caravan Tonight," "Out," "Song to Bonnie," "Christopher's Blues," "You Don't Have To Be Ashamed," and "Dry Dock Dreaming." The interview is about 51 minutes and I am sharing all of it with you. Here's the Fruit Punch Collective interview with Steven Grossman.

Fruit Punch Interview with Steven Grossman (1977)

This is JD Doyle putting the closing notes on the show, and, as I think I've amply conveyed, Steven is one of my gay heroes, and I'm been waiting for his new CD for many years, so this show has been one of my dreams. I thank you for letting me share it with you.