For the occasion of my upcoming birthday (that I celebrate this weekend), I was interviewed by Kevin Scott Hall so I can talk about me, me, me! Kevin is a cabaret critic, Bistro Awards committee member, reviewer and interviewer for Edge NY, the author of a novel (Off the Charts) and a recently published memoir, A Quarter Inch from My Heart. I will be interviewing him about the memoir very soon, prior to his book launch.
Dj Buddy Beaverhausen: All right, Mr. Hall, I'm ready for my close-up.
Kevin Scott Hall: All right! You
seem to have equal love for music, film and books. What are your earliest
memories of things you heard, saw or read that have influenced your artistic
DBB: Well, I was a media
fanatic from the time I was born. Even crawling around on all fours (which I
still do at times, by the way), I recall drooling and watching the tv set,
bathed in the cathode ray, watching black-and-white things like Your Hit
Parade and Perry Como, not really comprehending but fascinated by
the songs and personalities. The earliest film to really grip me on tv was
something called King Dinosaur. It was about astronauts (male and
female) who went to a prehistoric planet. The dinosaurs were played by your
typical iguanas and other lizards. My literary interests developed about the
same time. I insisted to be taught to read so I could read the Sunday funnies
to myself. My Mom and grandparents painstakingly catered to my whim. Voila, I
entered kindergarten already knowing the alphabet and how to even read some! As
a result, I ultimately skipped second grade.
My grandparents, my mother
and her whole side of the family loved pop music and constantly played 75 rpms
and 45s in the house. My uncle Pat was just a teenager then and would come home
with his high school friends (including girls in poodle skirts and boys in
varsity jackets). They'd pop open the Pepsi and put the radio on, playing
rock'n'roll. I was the star at their after-school event, scooped up and put on
the table, seated. The girls would lift me up and dance around the kitchen with
me. This was when I was two and three years old. The spinning around made me
giddy and I associated music and dancing with fun.
might be surprised to learn that you haven't owned a television for several
DBB: Yeah, the
tv that I purchased in '84 died in '99. And it felt like a relief, really. I
rarely watched but did love having IFC and TCM! And HBO, frankly. Of course,
today, you can stream and instantly view so much on-line. And thank God for friends
that have tvs for special occasions like the Oscars. I might buy a big-screen
tv someday soon, with DVD, VCR & Blu-Ray hooked up.
KSH: Why do you
think gay culture is so obsessed with the diva, the powerful female figure?
DBB: I expect a
shrink might say it has something to do with our mothers in the long run. And,
with Mother's Day around the corner, I think we should also have a Diva's Day
to celebrate annually.
probably hard for you to pick a favorite diva, right?
DBB: Right. [Laughs.]
I have to say that of the dance-music divas I've interviewed -- and that would
include Martha Wash, Inaya Day, France Joli, Janice Robinson; rock & roll divas like La
La Brooks of The Crystals to Martha Redbone -- I couldn't say any single one of
them was my favorite because each is unique and brought something fresh to the
interview I conducted with her.
KSH: What do
you uniquely bring to your role as a correspondent for Queens Our City Radio?
my role there is officially Dance Music Promoter. Many of my blog articles are
syndicated there and now, as well, at Dance World Radio and Sobel Nation Radio.
I think my possible uniqueness would just be in my flippant style and subject
choices. I know everyone loves my weekly Diva Dish.
KSH: In your
blogging, has anything surprised you about what has been a hit with readers?
DBB: It's all
been surprising! Sometimes I write something I think is really terrific, really
clever, you know? I spend a lot of time on it. And it just does ok. But
sometimes, I just toss something off on a lark and it goes viral. Case in
point: my "Advising Kelly Clarkson" article. You just never know
what's going to be a hit and that's just as well. It keeps you on your toes.
There's no formula for a successful blog piece as far as I can tell. I just try
to be true to myself, have a little edge, be a little snarky, add some humor,
make it fun, maybe a little outrageous. It must be working. Last month, once
more, I had over 13,000 blog hits. And the international viewership of Leave It
to Beaverhausen is the biggest surprise of all. I'm read just about everywhere.
In fact, I'm huge in the Ukraine!
KSH: From the
interviews you have done, did you get any startling revelations from anyone
that stand out?
DBB: Oh, for
sure! Karin Nagi's life story was amazing. It blew me away. Marilyn Michaels
was candid and a real hoot! Like Bob Esty, she doesn't hold back. And I'm
always surprised by the very different paths people have taken to become
successful. I'm always so engaged by hearing about people's lives; I really
consider interviewing a real privilege and a joy. Debby Holiday, Carol Hahn,
Amber Dirks... They've all been fascinating. And so sweet! I can honestly say I
never met a diva I didn't like! So far.
would you describe the state of dance music today, and what the future holds
DBB: There is
distinctly a burgeoning embrace of '70s disco, '80s New Wave, Hi-NRG and '90s
classic House styles. I think this is a backlash against the trend of recent
predictable, even monotonous, dance mixes of radio pop hits, especially in the
USA. Big labels put a lot of money into promoting their products on the
dancefloor. It used to be club music crossed over to the radio. But there's new
interest in club music especially made for clubs again, and most of this comes
with love of the music from indie labels. So, I'm hopeful about the future and
the type of dance music my blog promotes and supports.
KSH: Who would
be your dream interview?
DBB: Oh, Lord,
there are so many people I admire in the world of entertainment whom I'd love
to have the opportunity to talk to and dish the dirt. I think it's fair to say
I could die happy if I interviewed Bette Midler. I think she's been on her
guard sometimes during mainstream interviews, especially on tv, but I'd like to
think I could get her "In the Mood" to let loose a little with the
right questions and, of course, a little Beaverhausen attitude. She knows her
core fan base after all. As do I.