Thursday, 16 May 2013


Peter Rauhofer in 1994 (Photo via Peter Rauhofer's official Facebook page)

Pioneering DJ, producer and remixer Peter Rauhofer died on May 7 after a long battle with brain cancer. The iconic blond was arguably best known for his very gay Star 69 record label, and his remix work for Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, Madonna, Mariah  Carey, Whitney Houston, Pet Shop Boys and even Yoko Ono. He also won (under the name Club 69) the Grammy Award for Remixer of the Year in 2000 for his reworking of Cher's Believe.

"It makes me sad, not only that I have lost a friend, but that the world has lost an amazing talent and that future generations will never get to understand the magic that Peter created night after night all over the world," Rauhofer's friend and manager Angelo Russo posted on Rauhofer's Facebook page. He added, "I ask that his true fans keep his legacy alive by sharing his music with anyone who may not have had the opportunity to experience it for themselves."

I interviewed Rauhofer just once, when he headlined Divers/Cité’s official closing party in Montreal back in 2005. He was pretty frank and honest, and told me that - unlike many other cities - he still loved spinning in Montreal.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


"There is this dumbing down of gay culture, and nobody reads or cares," says Edmund White.
Bugs' interview with Edmund White originally ran in Xtra
Literary lion Edmund White is well known to gay readers as a novelist, biographer, memoirist and charter member of the Violet Quill, the legendary New York City writers group whose members – White, Felice Picano, Andrew Holleran, Robert Ferro, Michael Grumley, Christopher Cox and George Whitmore – are widely considered to be the trailblazing gay-male literary nucleus of post-Stonewall 20th-century America.
But on the eve of his much-anticipated arrival at the 2013 edition of Montreal’s Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, White told me, “You can make too much of the Violet Quill. I mean, we only met seven or eight times. But I do think it was very useful at the time, in the late '70s and early '80s, because without even discussing it, we figured out who would have which turf. For instance, Andrew [Holleran] would write about Fire Island, I would write about childhood, and Felice [Picano] would often write about the dark side of things.”
White — who suffered a stroke last summer (he has fully recovered) — turned 73 in January. In the interview below he speaks about the evolution of gay life, literature, barebacking and equal marriage. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013


Brit punk alt-rock legend Billy Bragg is still fighting establishment “Tooth & Nail”

(Photo by Andy Whale, courtesy Rubin Fogel Productions)

Bugs' current interview with Billy Bragg originally ran in Xtra and Curtains Up 

British alt-rock musician and left-wing activist Billy Bragg formed the punk rock band Riff Raff in 1977 and was touring London’s pubs and clubs when one day, in the spring of 1978,  he joined 100,000 people in the first-ever Rock Against Racism march from Trafalgar Square to East London to see an outdoor concert at Victoria Park, organized to counteract rising racist attacks across Britain. 

Headliners that day included The Clash, Buzzcocks, Steel Pulse, Generation X and the Tom Robinson Band, who recorded the landmark song Glad to Be Gay. 

Today Glad to Be Gay sounds like a like lovely little song, but back then you could get your fuckin’ head kicked in for being gay,” says Bragg. “So Tom Robinson sang this song, and then all the guys that were standing around me and my mates, all these guys started kissing each other on the lips, and we turned around and saw we were standing under a banner that said ‘Gays Against the Nazis.’ They’d been marching behind us in the parade and we hadn’t realized it, and then I realized this wasn’t just about racism, it was about prejudice, bigotry – and that also means equal rights for gay, lesbian and trans people.”