The idea of Mary Finds Love was to create an hour-long radio program combining early Girl Group music, educational shorts from the 50’s/60’s, saccharine instrumentals, and a huge dose of melodrama. Initially, story wise, I wanted to tell my own personal story of first love. The original accompanying music playlist was to feature random tunes and featured no Girl Group songs at all. But then I met a record store owner in San Francisco named Dick Vivian.
Last fall, I spent two days in Guerneville, a small town an hour outside of San Francisco known as a seasonal resort area for hedonistic gay men. Luckily, autumn was off-season and the only people around were locals… consisting mainly of grey haired hippie ladies and pockmarked meth addicts.
Guerneville sits right on the Russian River. It’s chock full of Northern California rural charm that includes looming red wood trees and a B&B on every corner. Main Street is all of two blocks packed full of antique boutiques, divey gay bars, and tackle/bait shops. Though it has the look and feel of a small conservative Norman Rockwell town, it’s actually a very liberal place with pot smoking skater punks and rusty Ford pickups sporting pro-choice bumper stickers. Also, those pick-up trucks are driven by Lesbians, lots of ‘em.
When it was decided that Flash Gordon would be screened for the 10th season of Midnight Mass, I was assigned to putting together the movie’s pre-show. I jumped at the opportunity as soon as it presented itself. When I was a wee lad, Flash showed on HBO frequently and I watched it enough times that its gaudy camp sensibilities became lodged in my brain for eternity. Dino de Laurentiis’ over-the-top production also introduced me to the flamboyant rock music of Queen.