Welcome to me, Alvin Orloff!
Here's a book trailer for Disasterama!
Here's an interview I did for Perfectly Queer with Wayne Goodman!
Here I am in 2018, photo: Daniel Nicoletta
My new memoir, Disasterama! Adventures in the Queer Underground 1977 - 1997, is available from Dog Eared Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and maybe even your fave local bookstore. To buy one RIGHT NOW, just click below!!!
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, legendary NYC nightlife columnist
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
I’ve never read a better story of the true love of friendship.
—Bucky Sinister, author Black Hole
If you really want to relive the retro-camp glories, thrift store marathons, punk-rock Tupperware parties, illicit Castro ice-cream parlor after-hours, New Wave hooker adventures, and amphetamine-fueled art projects of a hallucinatory period equally split between AIDS tragedy and in-your-face, nothing-to-lose queer rebellion, than snag a copy of Alvin Orloff‘s new Disasterama! ―Marke BIeschke, 48 Hills
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Peter Carlaftes, Co-Director, Three Rooms Press
(212) 731-0574 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 lives in San Francisco and works as the manager of Dog Eared Books, a literary hot-spot in the heart of the Castro District .
Bambi Lake, popular nightclub singer and legendary SF party girl, has gone to her greater reward. For half a century Bambi entertained, perplexed, amused, seduced, surprised, and occasionally terrorized San Francisco. Whip smart, hilariously funny, and crazily stylish, Bambi was one of those rare people who brought The Party with her wherever she went. Deliriously fun off stage, on stage she was pure magic, serving up brilliant and original interpretations of songs by everyone from Cole Porter to Jane's Addiction to Bobbie Gentry. She was also a fabulous raconteur, and in the early 1990s I was privileged to co-author her memoir, "The Unsinkable Bambi Lake." Polk street hustlers, genderf*ck drag troupes, decadent European cabarets, stadium rock, a brief inexplicable interlude as a German hausfrau... oh Lordy what a crazy life! Jen Joseph of Manic D Press put out the book and it's still in print if you care to read it. After its publication Bambi did some time battling inner demons (I think that's the polite term), but she won out over them in the end because of her aforementioned intelligence and a heart of gold. Her comeback (accomplished with the aid of the fab Birde Bob Watt) was glorious and glamorous, a series of shows in which she (nearly seventy-years-old!) sang and danced and wowed a whole new generation of San Franciscans. Ironically enough, the most marvelous thing our fun and funny Miss Bambi ever did was penning a deliciously melancholy ballad: "The Golden Age of Hustlers." If you haven't heard Justin Vivian Bond's version, head over to YouTube and bring a hankie.
Fare thee well, Miss Bambi, we will love you forever!
Buy "The Unsinkable Bambi Lake: A Fairy Tale Containing the Dish on Cockettes, Punks, and Angels" using the button below.
You might also want to check out my three earlier books!