Most of our readers will know why I haven’t posted here for two months. In preparing for Portrait of Rudy Perez 2: Remain in Light in June, my musical partner Rob Berg and I dusted off music we hadn’t visited in decades. We found audiocassettes of all three sections of what we’d created for Rudy and his company’s performance. As I wrote in that post:
Digitizing the score for Made in L.A. has spurred us to begin to fulfill a languishing musical quest: to post all of the our collaborations for Bachelors Anonymous and beyond.
Easier said than done.
Bachelors Anonymous was the band we created in 1984, having met in a Roman Catholic choir practice that February. We took the name from gay civil rights pioneer Harry Hay’s name for a prospective self-help organization, International Bachelors’ Fraternal Order for Peace & Social Dignity, Sometimes Referred to as Bachelors Anonymous. And so: no, it’s not taken from the 1973 P. G. Wodehouse novel of the same name. Nor from the 1957 pulp title by Irish author and playwright Vivian Connell (pictured above).
For eight years we performed and recorded our music in various configurations. Rob has the B.A. archives, including many reel-to-reel tapes. I have nearly nothing: a radio interview on cassette and but a single slender manila folder with little more than a set list. For our new website Rob scanned the many photos, articles, flyers, and bios in his files while I searched the pages of L.A. newspapers for any mention of Bachelors Anonymous. The result is a fairly comprehensive timeline of our activities, providing context and detail. For instance, anyone who remembers seeing us live may not know how much music we did for theater before working with Rudy Perez. Even we didn’t remember all of it.
Regarding our dusted-off music, Rob suggested we remaster and rethink the songs in terms of momentum. Those of you who keep everything—Nancy!—will notice differences in sonics and spread. We simply tightened things up.
One of our two dozen tracks caught Rob off guard (in his car, which has become a key listening station for detecting low-end distortion). So appropriate is it to our time, we both agreed it should be our lead reissue:
See what you think. And read the backstory here.
by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative
1942, NPG x10912
© National Portrait Gallery
London • Creative Commons