Harry Tafoya sent us this conversation recorded with the late great Frederick Weston and we cut it with some of Weston's music (deep cuts provided by ➚Gordon Raubichaux who manage his estate, and just closed a great ➚exhibition of his). Weston (1946–2020) was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he participated in the club scene before moving to New York City in the mid-1970s and worked at concession stands in porno theaters in a very different Times Square (He was once interviewed by ➚Samuel Delany on the subject). Weston was a self-taught, interdisciplinary artist who developed a vast encyclopedic archive of images and ephemera related to fashion, the body, advertising, AIDS (which he contracted in 1996), race, and queer subjects.
This interview was recorded in 2019 while Harry was still in journalism school, two years before Weston's passing. When he was asked to write about the club scene, naturally he went to Frederick. It is a record of a life lived to the fullest. ➚ Listen to the whole two hours here:
Frederick Weston's obituary by Alex Vadukal in the New York Times is beautifully written, and if you're curious to hear more about the art, craft, and trade secrets of NYT obit writing in general, Kaitlin Phillips, Alex Traub, and Alex Vadukul (City Correspondent and former Obit desk at the NYT) did a whole episode on just that which you can ➚listen to here: