Stan would have loved this; or hated it, if he felt embarrassed by it. We got together on March 20, 1980, which happened to be John and Yoko’s anniversary. We were together, asleep, when It Happened. He got the call first, the next morning because I had the misfortune to hear about John Lennon’s assassination while at work that Tuesday morning.
Together, we walked to Piedmont Park from our apartment in midtown Atlanta for the Sunday Vigil called by Ono for the following Sunday. I swear I saw John’s face in the clouds, but I was so overwrought, I’d have seen that, anyway.
We were together, one cold wintery day in January (I believe), when we stopped at some random record store and I found my copy of WALKING ON THIN ICE.
I told him, once, that we were John and Yoko; we were artists trying to find our way together, and he reacted with such outrage, responding vehemently, “We’re nothing like John and Yoko. They’re rich.” But he was a lot like John, to me; he was a poet, and a musician, and a visionary. He both inspired me and intimidated me. We were cosmic clowns together, brought down prematurely by the plague of our age (Stan also passed away prematurely, at age 33, in 1988).
Stan wasn’t “gay”, in the sociological meaning of the word, he wasn’t militantly proud to be gay, he didn’t see it as a badge of honor, but at least he could live out his life not thinking of it as a badge of shame. We were pretty open, we were fairly out.
He wrote me a love song, once. It was after going to see Jefferson Starship at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. We didn’t decide to buy tickets until late, so all we had was “standing room” in the balcony; we were actually sitting along the edge of the balcony somehow that didn’t break the fire rules (?), and he’d never seen me so transfixed, so transformed, so transmogrified (I’m not sure what it means, but it sure looks good) as when I was watching Grace Slick perform live.
He called the song “Yesterday’s Girls” about watching me that night, about yearning to have been there in earlier times, in all the earlier times. I still have the sheet music here somewhere in the Archives.
And I’ve been without him for 23 years, 10 months and 18 days. Yoko’s been without John now for 31 years now. She and John were together for 13 years. Stan was taken from me after 8. He had a man who loved him, because one still loves him now.