Tuesday, 16 August 2016


Felipe Rose: "I’ve never done interviews for Out Magazine or The Advocate."

Bugs' interview with Felipe Rose originally ran in Three Dollar Bill on Dec. 2, 2004

I was a 12-year-old disco bunny when I saw the Village People perform live at the Montreal Forum back in 1978. The opening act was none other than Gloria Gaynor, who won the only disco Grammy ever awarded, in 1979, for her classic I Will Survive.

Last year, a full quarter-century later, I interviewed the Village People’s "Indian" character Felipe Rose – along with Thelma Houston, KC and the Sunshine Band, Martha Wash and others – for a cover story I wrote on the legacy and importance of disco. I was so taken by Felipe, and we got along so well, that we’ve met backstage each time our paths have crossed and have maintained contact ever since.

But back in 1978, when I was a disco bunny, Rose was having the time of his life as the Village People topped pop charts worldwide.

Thursday, 28 July 2016


Des Barres' infamous memoir I’m With the Band: Confessions of Groupie
was first published in 1987
Bugs' interview with Pamela Des Barres originally ran in Three Dollar Bill on Sept. 4, 2008
There was a time in 1950s America when pop stars called groupies Top 40 Fuckers."That’s what Dion’s wife told me," says author Pamela Des Barres, the 1960s beauty who found fame as the ultimate rock’n'roll groupie to the stars.
"I think groupies are misunderstood," says Des Barres. "They are judged as loose women. "Groupie" has become synonymous with "whore." But everybody is out having sex. It’s a double standard. You don’t even have to have sex. Some girls just want to hang out."
Des Barres is not finished. "I also think groupies are feminists of the highest order because we do what we want."
Des Barres says the term "groupie" wasn’t coined until 1967. That, of course, was the year of the Summer of Love, when an 18-year-old Des Barres got her first taste when she bumped into her friend’s Laurel Canyon next-door neighbour, Jim Morrison.

Saturday, 23 July 2016


Bugs' interview with Alan Carr originally ran in the July 2016 issue of Fugues magazine.

Out comedian Alan Carr has become one of the hottest comedy stars in Britain since winning the BBC New Comedy Award for Stand-up in 2001, and is probably best-known around the world for his hugely popular long-running television talk show Alan Carr: Chatty Man. In addition to being an LGBT fan favourite himself, Carr’s TV guests over the years include Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Adele, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Mariah Carey and Bette Midler. Clearly, Carr loves his divas.

Here’s my fun one-on-one with Carr on the eve of his Just For Laughs solo show Yap Yap Yap, which runs at Salle Claude-Léveillée at Place des Arts from July 25 to 30.

Thursday, 23 June 2016


Rufus Wainwright returns home to Montreal
(All photos courtesy Festival International de Jazz de Montréal)
Bugs' interview with Rufus Wainwright originally ran in the June 2016 issue of Fugues magazine.
Elton John once famously said Rufus Wainwright is the best songwriter alive. And for a while there, in the media, Rufus could do no wrong. His eponymously-titled 1998 debut album was named one of the best albums of the year by Rolling Stone, and he was the toast of the town everywhere he went, especially when he returned home to Montreal.
Elton John once famously said Rufus Wainwright is the best songwriter alive. And for a while there, in the media, Rufus could do no wrong. His eponymously-titled 1998 debut album was named one of the best albums of the year by Rolling Stone, and he was the toast of the town everywhere he went, especially when he returned home to Montreal.
But as fast as the media builds up celebrities, it is also quick to tear them down. So it was no surprise the claws were out when Wainwright’s first-ever opera Prima Donna debuted at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009. Wrote Warwick Thompson of Bloomberg, “There were tears of joy in Rufus Wainwright’s eyes when he took his bow after the world premiere of his opera… There were some in mine too, though the joy sprang more from relief that it was over.”
But Wainwright soldiered on. Prima Donna  made its North American debut at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre at the Luminato Festival and won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Musical/Opera in 2011, before being famously mounted the following year by the New York City Opera, with red-carpet friends Yoko Ono and Anjelica Houston in attendance – a fascinating turn of events since Prima Donna was originally commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera until a dispute over Wainwright’s decision to write the libretto in French led to an acrimonious split.

Most of all, Wainwright wanted Prima Donna  to play in Montreal. This summer, eight years after its debut in Manchester, Wainwright will get his wish when Prima Donna  will be performed at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.“It’s been a long and winding road to Montreal with Prima Donna ,” says Wainwright. “Having it performed in Montreal, especially at Salle Wilfred-Pelletier where I grew up going to the opera, is coming full circle in so many ways. I am also excited to be working with the great (Québécois) soprano Lyne Fortin, one of the first opera singers I ever saw perform, in La Bohème. I wish sometimes that Montreal had been more at the forefront with this project, but Montreal – and this is why I love this city – it is one of the great bohemian capitals and one of their traits is they like to be fashionably late. So this is exciting and it means a lot.”

Thursday, 2 June 2016


American comedy legend Kate Clinton

Bugs' interview with Kate Clinton originally ran in the May 2016 issue of Fugues magazine

Without out American comedy legend Kate Clinton, there is no Rachel Maddow, no out Lily Tomlin, no Rosie, Ellen, Gina Yashere or DeAnne Smith. Kate Clinton was our first out dyke stand-up comic – in my book she is still the queen, and this is my 11th annual Kate Clinton interview – and, if Kate has anything to do with it, her namesake Hillary Clinton (no relation) will become president of the U.S.A.

“I wish Bernie Sanders well, but in my lifetime I really would like to have a woman president,” Clinton, now 68, says unequivocally.

It’s no understatement to say neither Clinton is “feeling the Bern” but at least Kate acknowledges Sanders has been a welcome addition to the Democratic race, despite the fact many Sanders supporters say they will refuse to vote Hillary if she wins the nomination.

“Let me say I am no longer allowed at dinner parties with young people, and that if the arrow in Hillary’s logo was weaponized, I would be using it!” Kate cracks. “But it’s a free country. I think that Bernie is certainly moving Hillary to the left… I am thrilled by the excitement of the youth and the tenor of the whole Democratic debate. Whatever happens at the end of the primaries, this is a very dangerous time, and if you say you’re not going to vote, then you didn’t get the point.”

Wednesday, 1 June 2016


American television and Broadway star Kyle Dean Massey

American television and Broadway star Kyle Dean Massey co-stars on the hit ABC television series Nashville, but has also drawn rave reviews for his roles in Pippin, Wicked, Next to Normal and Xanadu on the Great White Way.

Three Dollar Bill sat down with Massey – an instructor at such organizations as Camp Broadway and Broadway Artists Alliance – to reflect on life on Broadway and what it’s like to be an openly-gay entertainer in Hollywood.

Monday, 30 May 2016


Showbiz legend Lainie Kazan

Bugs' interview with Lainie Kazan originally ran in Three Dollar Bill on October 22, 2009.

Broadway legend Lainie Kazan is a brassy broad but she says she really ain’t. Then Lainie, who chews up the scenery in the new Hollywood comedy Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!, tells me, "At first I thought people would be offended by the title of the movie, so I wanted the director to change it to ‘Oh Fuck! My Son’s a Shmuck!’"
Kazan inspired Jack Kirby's
comic book superheroine
Big Barda

Ladies and gentlemen, Lainie Kazan.

Most young people know Kazan as the in-your-face mom in the classic comedy My Favourite Year with Peter O’Toole, or the mom in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, or Bette Midler’s mom in Beaches, and now the mom of a Jewish gay son in Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!

But Broadway audiences first fell head over heels for Lainie back in 1964 when she was the understudy for Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl at NYC’s Winter Garden Theatre. Fifteen months passed before Lainie, then 24, got her first real shot at the big time and she remembers it like it happened yesterday.