Oh dear. Such sad news. Two of my old show-biz partners, Tabboo! and then Philly (notoriously famed for projectile vomiting in the Pyramid production of Attack of the Spider Crabs from Star Nebula), each called me yesterday to break the news about Dean. I'm so glad that someone here wrote about remembering his laughter in the Pyramid dressing room.
I remember that too, and his different laughs. He had a slow snickering laugh that could build into a bigger, volcanic eruption of laughter, sort of like laugh steam escaping from a place deep inside--where he did see the humor in just about everything.
I don't remember if he and I ever had a conversation about the topic or not, but it seems that we did share an understanding that nothing should be taken seriously for too long --- that everything was in life was easier to digest if we could find the funny side.
Dean always laughed at my jokes no matter how stale or how stolen they were. I always appreciated that about him, among many other things, his talents as a poet, a performer, a punk, a rocker, a fag, a porn star, a prostitute, an icon and a genuine and sincere person.
He and I were never close friends, but were both moths drawn to that flame that burned brightly for a magical period in NYC during the early 80s. (I think the flame still burns, though not so brightly, perhaps it's an ember just needing new fuel. One hopes . . .)
But, anyway From what I know about him, he seemed like many of us, some still here, others like Baby Gregor, Ethyl Eichelberger, Tanya Ransom, Larry Shox, Wendy Wild, John Sex, Craig Vandenberg, Ann Craig, David Crocker, Greer Lankton, et al, who are now gone; to have been raised with rules and regulations that did not suit the development of our inspirations and aspirations, and so one-by-one we shed those rules and regulations to create our own --or the bravest among us, to live without any whatsoever.
Amazingly this mass of people ho cherished their individuality and creativity migrated separately only to find each other and join forces, to experiment with our new rules or lack of rules . . . but to forge a society and, (dare I say it?) a movement.
I for one, was fueled by Dean's example to continue on with saying "fuck you" to conventions and rules of society and family that stifled my spirit and blinded my creative vision. Because many of us struggled with a dual citizenship of being partly the person we were born as and the person that we recreated for ourselves . . . we have lost one of our most glamorous generals in the battle for unique individuality. A loss that I deeply mourn.