Before I chat about one of the greatest good times you can have in SF this weekend, let me point out one of the big fails in gay men’s general efforts to have a good time these days. Let’s call it the “Want Ads” factor, in honor of the 1971 #1 hit by the rollicking R&B trio, Edna Wright & The Honey Cone, which also scored big with the similarly sassy, sing-along worthy singles “Stick Up,” One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show” and “Girls, It Ain’t Easy.”
The “Want Ads” factor works like this: You post an ad featuring a flattering photograph taken of yourself, oh 5, 10, 20 (?!?) years ago and are shocked—shocked!—when your OKCupid date or Grindr hook-up is disgruntled upon meeting today’s version of you. Gentlemen, what’s disgruntling is not just that we look different—or, if you insist,”worse”—these days; it’s that:
- We’re bait-and-switching
- We’re suggesting that we don’t like ourselves as we are (So why should anyone else?)
- We’re mutually disrespecting the value of each others’ personalities, life experiences, and talents as we bow to the altar of superficial aesthetics
As an (admittedly tangential) example, let’s look at the photo that the Rrazz Room has been using to promote Edna Wright & the Honey Cone’s shows this Friday and Saturday night (top), followed by a photo of Edna as she actually appeared last year (bottom):
As far as a good time goes, yeah, in her ingenue days, Edna Wright may have been sleek and polished. But admit it, today’s Edna looks like waaaaay more fun.
And let me tell you—it’s the truth. Now in her mid-60s, the sparkplug sister of Darlene Love puts on a fierce, fabulous show. She’s Tina Turner without the Euro-pretensions. Along with her own hits—originally released on Hot Wax records by Holland-Dozier-Holland after the superstar songwriting/production trio left Motown—Wright plays some classic R&B covers, flirts madly with the audience, and generally has everyone in the crowd on their feet, letting their hair down (if they haven’t lost it all yet), clapping, and shaking their maybe-not-so-tight-anymore tuchuses.
When you get together with fellow grown-ups for an evening of live music like this, it reminds you that there’s much to celebrate in getting older, wiser, and more experienced. Embrace yourselves and boogie!
Want Ads video, after the jump