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MP3 Jason Holliday - An Audio Portrait of Jason

Bon vivant, raconteur, street hustler. houseboy, homosexual, addict, whore, social icon, hipster, movie star--and Queen of all he surveyed. There was only one Jason Holliday. After him they broke the mold and then they buried the pieces.

15 MP3 Songs


"As a performer in his own Portrait, Jason Holiday is prodigious, altogether tireless. Despite his ironic refrain of “I''ll never tell,” the only limits on what he’s willing to recount are fixed on how much anyone wants to listen. There’s his years playing Houseboy to wealthy, dysfunctional white couples on Nob Hill in San Francisco, for instance. Or his other, more durable vocation as a male trollop, a “stone whore,” in his words, “balling my way from Maine to Mexico, and I ain’t gotta dollar to show for it,” There''s his turbulent childhood as Aaron Payne, an almost militant sissy living in the same house with a father who was anything but. And, of course, there’s that nightclub act. All of it is baseline raw material, and he knows it."
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"The more you watch Holliday gesture and grimace in front of a whiteliving-room wall, the more he starts to resemble a butterfly pinned toa slide. The hazy focus-pulls which start and end most shots turnJason''s howling laugh into a rictus of pain, dissolving his face intoundifferentiated blotches. And the ubiquitous drinks in his hands, notto mention the off-camera prompts for favorite stories, gives theexercise the queasy feeling of a cross between a minstrel show andachicken dancing on a hot plate. In a 1983 interview, Clarke admitted,"I started out that evening with hatred, and there was a part of methat was out to do him in, get back at him, kill him," a sentimentevidently shared by her boyfriend Carl Lee (the son of the actor CanadaLee), who lashes out at Jason during the movie''s climacticconfrontation, calling him a rotten queen."
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"A counter-culture classic that delivers just what it says on its shinynew 35mm cans. The portraitist is Shirley Clarke, one of the underratedgodmothers of American independent film, who came to the picture on theback of her Cassavetes-esque ghetto fictions, The Cool World and The Connection,and here adopts a more minimalist black-and-white Warholiancamera-stare. Posing, and adding all the necessary colour with hisprototype rent-boy rap, is one Jason Holliday, a now-ageing blackhomosexual hustler who recounts his life and times with an increasinglystrained sense of self-starring street-theatre. In part hilarious andin total compelling, this flamboyant, self-mocking confessional is yetnot all comfortable viewing and listening - Jason is no Huggy Bear; andthe sheer insistent rigour of a single-camera set-up may seem alien (ifbracing) to viewers brought up on cut-away-strewn ''interview'' https://www.tradebit.com for lovers of the transgressive - in either sex-pol orfilm-historical terms - this admirable restoration from the FilmDepartment of New York''s Museum of Modern Art is unmissable."
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Of course, you can listen to samples from the CD.


A black, homosexual street-hustler and a female film director walk into a hotel room. Sounds like the start of a joke, right?

Not hardly! In fact, that night in NYC''s famed Chelsea Hotel, some serious stuff took place. At dawn, Shirley Clarke left the hotel room with 15 cans of 16 mm film. That footage became the groundbreaking documentary, "Portrait Of Jason", about which famed director Ingmar Bergman said, "...the most fascinating film I''ve ever seen."

Jason craved attention, deserved attention and got attention. That is why Holliday (born Aaron Payne in 1924) became the subject of a milestone motion picture which has been debated and dissected since Clarke''s film was released in 1967.

When the Clarke film was released, it was seen by fledgling recording engineer/record producer, Michael Rashkow. Captivated by the character, Rashkow set out to present Jason in a different persona---warm, fuzzy, funny and loveable--in a free wheeling comedy format on vinyl.

In those days, audio was edited with razor blades and splicing tape---with segments hung on the wall, coiled into boxes, or hand-spooled onto reels. It took months to construct and when the finished master was delivered to the record label which had agreed to release the LP, they walked away from the project. They wanted something dark and disturbing--like the film.

For the next 40 years that recording sat in a box. Nobody heard it and nobody cared. Rashkow retired in 2002 (and had long ago lost touch with Jason); but when he learned that Jason died in 1998 he felt determined to resurrect the project---and keep alive a legacy of Jason Holliday that the film didn''t show.

So, the deteriorated 1/4 inch tapes from the 1960s were transferred to digital format; restored, re-edited, and enhanced by Rashkow on his home computer.

This CD is that finished recording. A labor of love and a piece of history. Jason lives--again. Dig him! -

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