While living with Jim Archiquette on 14th Street in San Francisco, we were still hippies and like a lot of former male hippies, had now realized we were “gay” too. Most of us had long hair and used pot and psychedelics. The first time I saw the Cockettes at the old Palace theater at 1741 Broadway in San Francisco, I think I was on PCP. I was not a big fan of PCP but Jim loved it, as did our room mate and Jim’s former army buddy, Kenny.
I remember walking in the theater with PCP legs- it felt like it was a lot of effort to take each step. Upon arrival, there was a mob scene in front of the theater. It was like a great Hollywood movie premier. I believe they may have even had a klieg light shining into the sky. I also seem to remember some high end vehicles parked outside and I do know that Truman Capote and Rex Reed attended at least one performance. I remember bringing cheap champagne as well and sitting in the balcony. People passed joints down the row in which we were sitting. The show was supposed to start at midnight but always started much later than that. People would be applauding anything taking place on the main floor. There were times the whole theater was stomping their feet in anticipation for the show.
We attended Journey to the Center of Uranus and Pearls Over Shanghai. Years later, I would enjoy David Weissman’s film, “The Cockettes.”
The Cockettes had a falling out in 1971, when one of the main members, Hibiscus left to form another group called “The Angels of Light.”
Cockette videos on Youtube:
Thrillpeddlers Revival of Pearls Over Shanghai:
Youtube video of Sylvester at the Palace Theater Feb 1971- I attended one of these shows and The Pointer Sisters sang backup: