22 HOUSTON VOICE / JUNE 21. 1996
On YourNext Yisitto Houston...
What you get at the motel on the highway & what you get at
the Montrose Inn
Motel: Heterosexuals with kids fighting next door.
Montrose Inn: Gay men next door. Only gay men. Nothing but gay men.
Motel: Several miles to the gay bars.
Montrose Inn: 5 tiny blocks to the gay bars.
Motel: Drive to the gay bars &pay $5 lo park, if you can find parking. Or take a
Montrose Inn: Walk to the gay bars. Or take a $3 cab.
Mote): Drive back from the gay bars and risk the cops making you walk the
straight line. Or lake a $15 cab.
Montrose Inn: Walk back from the gay bars. Or lake a $3 cab.
Motel: Pay $35 to $95 a night for a room.
Montrose Inn: Pay $41 to $79 a night for a room.
Motel: Eal in their restaurant. Food for the masses. Pay plenty. $1 soft drink
Montrose Inn: Complimentary late night sandwiches & full breakfast the
next day. Free soft drinks, juices, coffee 24 hours.
Motel: Cruise the parking lot and get threatened.
Montrose Inn: Cruise the hallways. Please!
Motel: The receptionist sneers at you.
Montrose Inn: The receptionist winks at you.
Motel: Washing machine? Ironing board? Hairdryer? Refrigerator? Stove?
Microwave? VCR & gay movies? Are you kidding?
Montrose Inn: All of the above. Free to use.
Motel: Full size bed, everything else is plastic.
Monlrose Inn: Queen size bed, hardwood floors, hardly any plastic.
Motel: Maid knocking 8 a.n
, you moan but she's coming in anyway. Checkout
Monlrose Inn: Handsome man next door knocking II a.m. to join him for
breakfast. Checkout I p.m.
Reservations requested. 1-800-357-1228. The house at 408
The Montrose Inn is NOT a motel. We're NOT a hotel. We're a Bed & Breakfast.
(And we're Basic & Butch. We're the B&B that's B&B.) We're completely
Channel 13 KTRK
Town & Country
Mosolutefu Jaoufous Lfoofwear of- the Jamous
Celebration and Auction benefitting
The Names Project, Milam House, The Gay & Lesbian Switchboard,
The Texas Lesbian Conference, & The Pride Committee of Houston
Friday, June 21, 1996 • 7 pm to 10 pm
DronneUancci, Jl lll( »«0Hliv((tlltlof HlMSIOl '^''/■'""/ /7«*»W
5120 Woodway • $20 Donation Requested
SILENT AND LIVE AUCTION OF CELEBRITY FOOTWEAR
PUMP ART DESIGNED BY LOCAL ARTISTS
Special Guest Speaker: Candace Gingrich
Janis Ian's Revenge
By JON ANTHONY
Grammy Award winner Janis Ian's career
has spanned decades, four to be exact. That
is not an easy .feat in such a highly competitive industry. Revenge , her newest
album, demonstrates why this talented
singer/songwriter has lasted in the frantic business known as the music industry.
The album is one of Ian's best and that is
quite an accomplishment. Known for her
acoustic ability, Ian departs from the
norm and offers a compelling compilation of harder edged tunes that flow with
depths of emotion lhat Ian masterfully
In a recent interview with the Houston
Voice , Ian elaborated on her status in the
industry and how coming out as a Lesbian
personally transformed her inner self.
Currently embarking on a continental
U.S. tour, Ian is on the road promoting the
album. "It's about survival." says Ian.
"'It's about outlasting the enemy." Ian
says she wanted to do something different from her last album, 1992's Breaking
Silence . Although she thought it was a good
album, she felt that it focused on the songs,
not the music. Having worked previously with co-producer John Jennings.
Ian and Jennings were in accord when
selecting a band for the album. '(Revenge)
took a different direction. There's a
point where you choose the songs and after
thai the album takes on its own life, ideally,' says Ian.
Ian is going to change musical directions
again on her next project tentatively
slated io begin in October. She doesn'l feel
that her style of music is harder for ihe
younger generation of today to accept
than that of previous generations. "It
mighl be a little different for me because
I'm ten to twelve years younger than some of
the people I started with because I started
when I was 14... bul the audience lhat I gel is
a real cross-section between 16 lo the mid
50's and I find thai the real young ones are
pirating their parents albums and have
been for years. It's a cool thing to be hiiting
ihree generations of people." said Ian.
Asked if she ever tires of singing her staple of hits such as Al Seventeen, Jesse and
Stars. Ian replied: "They've started to get
a little old the last couple of years. Bui this
year I'm out solo which I haven't done since I
was 15 and everything has taken on a whole
other cast because of it, so no. As corny as it
sounds, I think it's a real privilege to be
able lo write those kinds of songs."
Ian has shown that she is adept at writing in
general and not just a singer/songwriter, she is also a columnist for The Advocate magazine. "The Advocate managing editor, Judy Wieder, came to me two
years ago and asked me if I'd be interested
in writing a guest column and I said no,"
Ian recalls, Wieder did not relent and continued to pursue Ian in an attempt to persuade her to consider a regular column.
"Finally, I literally went to lunch with
her and my partner. They figured it all out.
They had a list of due dates for me and some
ideas for columns. I don'l know why she
thought I could write, she doesn't know
either she says, but apparently she was
Having been coerced into a career sideline as a columnist, Ian admits she has succumbed and that she enjoys the task. "It's
real different. As a journalist you can
appreciate the difference to know that
you've got a limit—al The Advocate it's a
thousand words—and you've got to get
everything you need to say into that,"
says Ian. "I tread that thin line between
really being rude about being Gay and also
have some sense about it. I try to write ii in a
way where someone who is not Gay can
understand it but where a gay person will
feel like it's adding some dimension to
their life." reasoned Ian.
Ian is one of many lesbian singers who has
come out in recent years, k.d. lang, Melissa
Etheridge, Chastity Bono, etc. Asked if
she encompassed any backlash as a result
of her fortitude. Ian replied: "Just here
and there. We've had silly things, like one
label said they had too many lesbians
already. I think the backlash happens
more when you're dealing with all the people who are not out. Because once you're
out, people lose a lot of their fear. But so
long as you stay closeted or maintain (he
altitude that it's no one's business. So
long as you're passing, in effect, there are
going to be repercussions, because people know," she opines.
"It's funny because when Melissa, k.d.
and I came out, we all thought that there
would be this huge rush because we did it all
within a month of each olher and there
wasn't. Really, it's kind of stayed there.
Only English male artists have came out
besides us. There are no English female
artists that have and no American male
artists. It's a strange phenomenon."
Ian contends that coming oul for her was
not ihe catharsis that some would like to
bill it as. "1 was oul to my family and business. It certainly changes peoples perception of you. I don't know that il changes
your perception of yourself. I never fell
particularly closeted so it had less of an
affect on me," says Ian.
Ian has no desire to add acting to her
career. She is perfectly comfortable
being a writer and considering her
impressive success through the last 30
years, it is apparent she made the right
career choice. In addition to her writing.
Ian has studied theater, ballet and
interpretation with some of the most
prestigious mentors in the business.
Her musical compositions have been
recorded by some of the industry's biggest stars across musical spectrums. Joan
Baez, Cher, Bette Midler, Kathy Mattea.
Mel Torme, Nanci Griffith, Amy Grant,
John Mellencamp, Diane Shcuur, Etta
James, Lee Greenwood, Chet Atkins and
Glen Campbell have at one time or anolher
recorded an Ian tune in the last thirty years.
Ian's resume of songwriting credits
speak volumes and are a testament to her
uncanny ability as a wordsmith and her
incomparable talents as a musician.
Despite all of her accomplishments, Ian
has not done all she has set out to do. She
would love to perform wilh John Mellencamp again and sees that as a good possibility. An avid fan of Ani DeFranco, Ian
believes that she has been an influence on
her and vice versa. Ian would also like to
work with Bruce Springsteen and Paul
Simon. If precedence is any indication,
she most certainly will have that opporlu-
Ian lives with her partner Pal, a law student, and her two dogs, a dohie and a lea cup
poodle—yes they get along "great" with
each other. Janis Ian will perform live at
Rockefellers this Saturday, June 22.
Nancy Ford is the special opening guest.
Ian encourages her fans to bring any memorabilia they wish to have her sign after
the show. She will be selling copies of
Revenge and have an autograph session
following her performance. For concert information, call 869-T1CS.