Movie "And the Band Played On" : LUSENET : San Francisco History : One Thread

HBO had a movie on in the mid-to-late 90's called "And the Band Played On" with Alan Alda regarding the history of aids. There was a Choreographer played by Richard Gere who was famous in the Castro District of San Francisco. Does anyone know if this person was real or a made-up character for the movie? If he was real, does anyone know his true name and what works he was famous for?

-- Marilyn Harris (, December 26, 2002


The character was part real and part made up. He was a combination of several characters based on some of the people that Randy Shilts knew. He never told me who these people were and who knows, I might even be in that book. I don't know because I never read it. I know all of this because I knew Randy Shilts but not that well or I'd be dead like he is from AIDS. He was just a young kid like no more than about 35 or so when he died. I also knew his literary agent on I think it was Union Street though I have completely forgotten his name. Randy made it real big you know. He became a millionaire. Didn't have too many years to enjoy it though. Too bad. He was a nice guy. Thousands of young guys have died in this city from AIDS. I knew quite a few who died. But funny thing is that none of us have really noticed it much. You certainly don't notice any lack of men or population. It's very sad and makes me sing.

Where have all the young men gone? Long time passing Where have all the young men gone? Long time ago Where have all the young men gone? Gone for AIDS every one When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?

-- Harry Murphy (, January 26, 2003.

Do you remember when Randy Shilts was on KQED's news hour? That was back in the early 70s around the time Patricia Hearst was kidnapped. He was such a sharp interviewer, I really looked forward to him every evening.

My strongest memory of Randy Shilts was meeting him while doing some copyright work for "The Mayor of Castro Street." He is exactly the same in person as he is on TV. Insightful and only slightly less alarming than Gore Vidal. I really wish he was still around. He was a lot of fun.

-- Rosa (, January 27, 2003.

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