A few weeks ago I got an email from Tam Martin, “Kathy, I have something I would like to give you…if you want it.” Now who can resist an intriguing message like that?
Tam is an old friend, a mentor and a booking agent to the stars. She works with Suzanne Westenhoefer, Kate Clinton, Holly Near and many of the greats of women’s music. Back when I was a baby dyke, Tam gave me advice on producing concerts and booking tours. She hired me to work at her festivals and even gave Lipstick & I advice about hiring an agent for booking speaking gigs. She is a treasure to the lesbian community.
I called Tam to see what she wanted to give me, having no idea what she had in mind. Well, it turns out, she and her partner are moving to a smaller house and she’s got a lot of women’s music memorabilia she needs to find a good home for. She thought (rightly so!) that I would like her autographed copy of the Laughing Matters poster.
When I showed up to collect the poster, she had an even bigger surprise for me. She asked if I had any way to play LPs. Sadly, I do not. I don’t even own a CD player any more. Tam is looking for a home for her collection of Women’s Music albums.
Even though I don’t have a record player, I have been searching for one particular lesbian album for years. Back in 1977 Olivia records released Lesbian Concentrate, in response to an anti-gay rights campaign in Florida, spearheaded by orange juice spokeswoman Anita Bryant. Tam had it and offered it to me. Although I don't have the means to play it, just owning this piece of lesbian history makes me smile.
The poster is hanging in my office. The album cover, I'm going to get that framed.