Brad Gooch met Howard Brookner at a gay club in 1978. Howard was working on his film project about William S. Burroughs and Brad was a post-grad student at Columbia and writer. The heady swirl of the hedonistic 70’s was everywhere and they were firmly part of it. Burroughs, Mapplethorpe, Haring. It was all sex and drugs and art with a capital A and the possibilities were seemingly endless. Then the spectre of death in the form of AIDs transformed the landscape forever.
In between, Mr. Gooch wrote poetry and short stories, had a short stint in male modeling, wrote for magazines (sometimes reviewing porn) and wrote a novel based on his modeling experience, while Mr. Brookner made documentaries and short films, ultimately getting the big break he had been working toward: a full-blown Hollywood film based on his script using 4 Damon Runyon stories called Bloodhounds of Broadway, getting of-the-moment talents Madonna, Matt Dillon and Jennifer Grey to star. Sadly, he died before the film was released.
While the subject matter was interesting enough, I found the “smash cut” theme and style of the book distracting if not downright off-putting. For example,this is about trouble that Brad and Howard were having in their relationship:
The plot point that triggered the shift from Vivaldi major to Webern minor chords, from tonal to atonal, from Bruce Springsteen and Donna Summer to David Bowie’s “Berlin” albums, done with Brian Eno, like Low, playing on the stereo that season, was my pursuit of modeling. It was the snake in the Garden.
Just not my cup of tea, I guess.