Brad Gooch's new memoir Smash Cut chronicles 12 years in New York City as one of its brightest cultural eras becomes one of its darkest with the arrival of AIDS, taking an entire generation of gay men with it.
"There is no way for me to separate out the story of the fabulousness and horror of the years from 1978 to 1989, and a little before and a little after, from Howard—my lover, or my boyfriend, or Friend, or whatever we were to each other," Gooch writes in the memoir, referring to Howard Brookner, the film director he met at the West Village gay bar the Ninth Circle and began.
The memoir includes his early years as a model and struggling writer during which he came into contact with NYC icons like Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, and Madonna, as well as Tina Brown, Keith Haring, Virgil Thompson, and Anna Wintour.
Gooch spoke of looking back at that decade in an interview recently with HuffPost Live: "It was colorful and it was our youth, but then there was a point in the middle where Howard becomes HIV positive, we're moving into the '80s, where I realize, 'Oh, I've gotten myself into the situation of going back into these memories which I haven't really dealt with in decades.'"
Gooch has recorded two excerpts from the book for our TowleREAD series.
In the first excerpt, Gooch offers a "smash cut" of reminiscences about meeting Howard at the gay bar in the late '70s, an observation of Howard's nephew as he makes a documentary about their life together, and the reflection of the Chelsea Hotel in his current apartment as it jogs his memories about how his life was 30 years ago.
The second excerpt concerns a moment at the doctor's office as Howard's diagnosis worsens, and an encounter with Mapplethorpe in the waiting room.
Listen to Gooch read two excerpts from the memoir, below:
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