Photo: © Robert Altman, 2001
It was one of those nights to remember...totally San Francisco...David Weissman and Bill Weber put together a one night only preview of their hot new film "The Cockettes"-The rise and fall of the legendary San Francisco theatrical troupe, 1969-1972.
I was fortunate to have been there oh so long ago and was delighted to contribute to the project.⇒ Here's a cool new page of my vintage Cockette photos, 13 of them to amuse you.
Oh yes, the irrepressible film maker John Waters, the king of droll, celebrated the night with us. He too was a huge Cockette fan.
A Short Cockette Memoir
During The Sixties I lived in a metropolis sporting straights, longhairs, anti-war activists and parading hippies. Marvelous mayhem amid the tumult and the turbid. I thought I had seen everything. I mean, hadn't we gone as far as we could go?
No, no, no, no, NO!
Enter..."The Cockettes!" What a jaw dropper that first sighting was. I was on assignment and spent 4 days living with them in their communal household; sweated dress rehearsals and finally gussied up for their opulent opening night at The Palace Theatre.
It seemed that a new, inflamed and colorful species metamorphosed. They knew they were torrid and they knew there was nothing else on earth like them. Their magnetism was white hot and I basked in their glow while recording some of the most colorful images ever.
I must admit that I was most touched, indeed drawn to Hibiscus, their guiding light and founder. There was that certain 'something' about him. Gentle, graceful, winsome, fey. I could add a hundred more positive adjectives that would never capture this sprite's nature. I'll say this though...I am straight...but if ever there was someone who I'd let take me through that lavender garden it would have been Hibiscus.
© Robert Altman - 2002