My Gay Life: Thomas Lauderdale

To celebrate the triumphant UK return of the sensational “suave salon orchestra” Pink Martini, we invited founder, bandleader and pianist Thomas Lauderdale to tell us all about his gay life.

Make sure you check out Pink Martini’s tour details at pinkmartini.com

When I first knew… Still not sure, very confused still thinking about it, waffling at times and confused at others.

My coming out moment… I have vivid memores of being five or six, some man came to stay at our house and asked if I would like to take a shower with him and all I remember was that I was very embarrassed by the situation.

The campest thing I’ve ever done… I went to our high school Christmas pageant and said I would accompany the choir and put on a Betsey Johnson dress with a pink faux fur scarf. I sauntered towards the piano down this aisle in this slinky cocktail dress meeting the eyes of the conductor who looked at me with daggers. I have since made peace with the conductor but he wasn’t very happy with me.

My first gay club/pub… I went with my first love Seth Hampton to a bar and went to a hotel and and met another person called Rob Mazzarella, after cocktails and cigarettes he seduced us both, I lost part to him and to Seth.

Favourite drink… Hello Goodbye – Hello Goodbye which is a drink we can get in Portland. What’s in it? Bacardi Silver Rum/ roasted coconut water/ lime.

When I lost my virginity Not sure if I have, how does it work?

The gay film you must watch is… North Sea Texas, directed by Bavo Defurn, it’s about an emotionally abandoned affection-starved young gay son of a small seaside town’s and grows up dreaming intensely of a loving father who will someday come for him, but never does. Bavo has just done another movie called Souvenir which I have just written the score for.

On a Sunday Afternoon you’ll find me… Building a fort at the beech at Rooster Rock. Rooster Rock is a nude beech where the Columbia River meets the Gorge. It has an appeal of the ocean beaches, less distance to drive, but a feel of a regular picnic ground around you…

What advise i’d give my teenage self… Take it off.

My thoughts on love and marriage… They go together like a horse and carriage.

The TV show that changed my gay world… I don’t have a TV, so I don’t watch TV.

My gay record would be, because… Any Pink Martini album; Sympathique, Hey Eugene, Hang On Little Tomato; Splendor in the Grass and the new one Je Dis Oui.

My gay hero is… Ned Rorem who one of America’s most honoured composer and of course Quentin Crisp who was from a very suburban background and as a youth enjoyed wearing make-up and painting his nails on top of this he worked as a rent-boy in his teens. He then spent thirty years as a professional model for life- a classes in art colleges – quite inspirational for that era

You can see the superb Pink Martini at the following dates and locations:

21 October – Bristol Colton Hall
0844 887 1500 colstonhall.org

22 October – London Royal Albert Hall
0207 589 8212 royalalberthall.com

23 October – Oxford New Theatre
0844 871 3020 atgtickets.com 

24 October – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
0151 709 3789 liverpoolphil.com 

26 October – Gateshead Sage
0191 443 4661 sagegatehead.com 

27 October – Glasgow Concert Hall
0141 353 8000 glasgowconcerthalls.com

29 October – York Barbican
0844 854 2757 yorkbarbican.co.uk

31 October – Manchester Bridgewater Hall
0161 907 9000 bridgewater-hall.co.uk

You can also book through 0844 888 9991 or www.ticketline.co.uk

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