Sunday, July 09, 2006

A Half-Nelson Turns Full

Those that have followed along in my posts are aware of Nelson Sullivan. Nelson was a friend that took it upon himself to document the ever-growing underground scence of life below 14th Street in NYC.

It began in 1982 and Nelson took his portible videocam with him everywhere and created a unique style by figuring out hot to look on the lens of the camera, rather than through the lens - to create these sweeping flowing shots of New York City.

He never edited his tapes later, but would edit in-camera as he went along. He would accompany his filming with commentary, and was never too self-conscious to turn the camera on himself.

Nelson was with all the Club Kids of NYC from the very start - and it's all documented on videotape. He went to just about every party and he and I would cross paths constantly while out and about in Manhattan. Sadly, he died of a heart attack on the 4th of July in 1989 at the age of 41.

Though this memoirs blog project was to help me remember, it seems to have developed a life of its own. I have connected with other players from that time - people I never knew but always saw. I've also connected with people who regret having been born too late - and appreciate a first-hand tour of the past. One person I've met via this project is Robert - Nelson's archivist.

Just this weekend, Robert wrote to comment on my post from Friday - he then went on to say:
I think about all the dead too and it really upsets me that the generation after me(I'm 36) has no clue of the devastation that occurred because of AIDS.

I started a site on YouTube and I thought I would use it to show the odd assortment of clips in my collection. I uploaded Tom Rubnitz's PICKLE SURPRISE and people responded to the short. Unfortunately, no one knows who Tom is, er- was. And that's when I happened onto your site again.

I've decided to use the youtube account as a repository of what we have lost as a culture due to the all the people who aren't with us. I'm not going to spell it out to the public as I just did, but that's where I am heading.

And I would not of thought of it so quickly if you had not brought up Nelson in your blog.

No - thank you Robert, for keeping the memories alive and preserved. And, as for you my dear reader - take the time and explore Robert's YouTube site - see the freshness of the faces, the creative juices literally ooze from your screen while watching performers like RuPaul, Bunny etc. before fame had found them. This was my history and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Also - check out

1 comment:

Liz said...

I love Nelson's stuff! He was the best. You really felt like you were hanging with the cool people when you watch his footage. I wish he were still here.