Welcome to me, Alvin Orloff!
Here's a book trailer for Disasterama!
Here I am in 2018, photo: Daniel Nicoletta
Hey, come on down and see me in my first panel discussion!
Friday, Nov. 1, 12pm
The Commonwealth Club, 110 The Embarcadero, Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
The Year that Was: 1978 and the Making of Contemporary S.F.
Panel Discussion w/ Lincoln Mitchell, Art Agnos, Corey Busch, Louise Renne, Alvin Orloff
In 1978, three key events occurred that shaped the future of San Francisco: The Assassination of Mayor George Moscone and SF Supervisor Harvey Milk; the explosion of the SF punk rock scene, and a breakthrough season for San Francisco Giants. The panel will discuss the rifts that developed between the city’s pro-business and progressive-Left politicians, the increasing province of the LGBT community, punk’s reinvigoration of radical cultural politics, and the way that the Giants helped unify one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the nation. Panel at noon, followed by book signing at 1 pm. Tickets $20, available here.
This just in: my memoir, Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977 - 1997, releases on
Oct., 8th 2019!!!
Alvin Orloff’s memoir of San Francisco queers facing the mounting AIDS crisis and freaking, caring, denying, performing, and carrying on is a witty remembrance that avoids cheap sentiment or easy responses. Tackling a mass of contradictions with unflinching realness, this book both entertains and inspires.” —Michael Musto, columnist, author Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back
Disasterama! takes us deep into the 80s and the daily creative resistance that saved the culture’s soul during the plague years. With wit and flair, Orloff gives us a guided tour of the era’s vibrant subcultures and glittering, pointed reactions to a cold-hearted status quo. Heartbreaking and hilarious, sexed-up and political, Disasterama is a deeply personal coming-of-age story. —Michelle Tea, author Against Memoir, Valencia
A memoir, a eulogy and a love letter to San Francisco—set in those critical years between the death of disco and the first tech boom--Disasterama! offers up a chronicle of fags, dykes, punks, freaks, and club kids partying on the Best Coast and the impact of AIDS, art, and activism on the post-Baby Boomer/ pre-Millennial avant garde. SPOILER ALERT: the last three chapters will completely rip yr heart out. —Brontez Purnell, author Since I Laid My Burden Down
I’ve never read a better story of the true love of friendship.
—Bucky Sinister, author Black Hole
An irresistible and seminal work that gives us a glimpse into an explosive era of outspoken and unprecedented art, breathless interpersonal discourse and dysfunction, dug-in protest culture, and mind-bending fashion that put the word “flamboyant” to shame. —Richard Loranger, author Sudden Windows
download a press kit from
Peter Carlaftes, Co-Director, Three Rooms Press
(212) 731-0574 email@example.com
SAVE THE DATE!
Disasterama!'s Release Party will be @ 7pm, Fri., Oct. 18th at Dog Eared Books, 489 Castro St., San Francisco. In addition to reading, I'll be "in conversation" with Alia Volz, author of the upcoming memoir, Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco. Expect cocktails, canapés, and kooky performances!
Bio: Alvin Orloff began writing in 1977, while still a teenager, penning lyrics for The Blowdryers, an early San Francisco punk band. He spent the 1980s working as a telemarketer and exotic dancer while concurrently attending U.C. Berkeley and performing with The Popstitutes, a somewhat absurd performance art/homocore band. In 1990 he and his bandmates founded Klubstitute, a floating queer cabaret devoted to the ideal of cultural democracy that featured spoken word, theater, drag, and musical acts. In 1995 the club, whose staff and patrons had been ravaged by AIDS epidemic, closed its doors and Orloff suddenly remembered that all he’d ever wanted to be was a writer. He subsequently published three rather whimsical novels, I Married an Earthling, Gutter Boys, and Why Aren’t You Smiling? before producing his memoir of life in the queer underground during the height of the AIDS crisis, Disasterama! Orloff currently works as the manager of Dog Eared Books, a literary hot-spot in the heart of San Francisco’s Castro District. He lives in San Francisco.