I found this question on my Statcounter statistic sheet where someone asked this on a Google search that landed them on the ‘Remembering Andy’ website. It reminded me of the time a few years ago when I purchased the “Love Bone Earth Affair” on VHS and played it for a friend. The friend was a bassist for a punk band in the 80’s yet – had never heard of Mother Love Bone. I was telling him some of the stories I shared with Andy when we were roommates.
San Francisco, where the flowers bloom in spring
I said, fade to winter – and see what disease brings
Augustino, with his eyes once a shining sea
I said he’s half a shadow – God don’t let that be me
I’m a Stardog Champion
Maybe it was a sublime reference but my friend asked the same question. “Was he gay?” I just laughed. I told him, “He had a girlfriend back in Seattle he talked about all the time.”
Recalling this brought to mind some of the topics Andy and I discussed – one of them being AIDS. So – I was suprised to find this sly reference in the Stardog video.
Prior to meeting Andy in 1986 – I had worked in an undercover capacity as an ‘intelligence officer’ gathering statistics and facts for a government survey from 1980 to 1985. My target was the ‘gay community.’ I was chosen for this task for several reasons. One of them being that at the age of 20 – I looked and acted 15. My target was High School students who were finding a trail into the ‘gay club scene.’ My objective was to find out the ‘reasons’ people chose that lifestyle. I started getting ‘wore torn’ and battle weary after the onstart of the AIDS epidemic. I couldn’t function in a stealth manner because during the onstart of the crisis – no one really knew how he diesease was being spread. Someone sneezed on me once and I lost my cool. So this effected my statistic gather operation. But I spent a great deal of time getting to know ‘gay people.’ This was all in response to the fact that my girlfriend (and guitarist) for my own band had been gunned down by a 15 year old gay teenager. (The lyrics to Chloe Dancer were inspired by the stories I shared with Andy about her.) See: See Ya Later Kiddo
Going into the operation – it was an effort to seek justice for my slain girlfriend – more so than anything else. So when I met Andy – I had ‘escaped’ or fled from that scene and was getting back into a normal mindset again. This was what led me to ask Andy to find me a musican in Seattle associated with his brigade of minstrels who was ‘gay friendly.’ Andy was shocked and said,
“I have a reputation to consider. What are my friends going to think if I go asking them to find a songwriter and lyricist who is ‘gay friendly. They are going to think there are ulterior motives involved. What do I tell them the reason for this search is about?”
I told Andy that I had met a young man in my ‘undercover operation’ who was straight and hung out with a ‘gay friend.’ I felt I was doing a job and I had a motive to find the root cause that led to my girlfriends murder and death. This young man didn’t have that same motive. When I spoke to him about his intentions – he said,
“If people have a problem who I choose to hang out with – that is their problem. I am not in the habit of allowing other people’s opinions and problems interfere with my own life.”
I admired the young man for the courage it took to stand up in a homophobic world of prejudice and stand his ground and allow his heart to lead and guide him to his friends. I told Andy,
“Tell your friends I am looking for some one with guts to stand up against a crowd and do things by the rule of his heart – rather than by the rule of a mob mentality.”
That is how I was introduced to Kurt Cobain on the telephone. He had a reputation for befriending a young gay student in High School back in 1986.
Even Kurt was surprised when we were introduced. He didn’t know Andy all that well and he didn’t hang out with his crowd. When I told Kurt the reason for my search for a ‘gay-friendly’ artist – he assumed their was an ulterior motive involved and became sort of offended. When I told him I admired anyone who had the courage to go against public opinion and befriend a gay student in High School – and that all I was looking for in him – was the courage to follow his own heart – he loosened up and opened up to me.
Was Andy gay?
Does it really matter?