We know that we are exactly twenty years late on this one, but on the off chance that any of you have not yet read “And The Band Played On,” we wanted to take the opportunity to recommend it. We’re finishing it up right now. It’s the authoritative history on the beginning years of the AIDS epidemic – up until 1985. It’s told as a narrative timeline, with dozens of characters, set against the growing national drama.
We are not huge readers of non-fiction (we couldn’t get through “Fast Food Nation” and don't even get us started on "Tuesdays With Morrie") but “And The Band Played On” has sailed into our top ten favorite books of all time, a list that includes “Breakfast of Champtions” (RIP Kurt Vonnegut), “The Beautiful and the Damned,” “Middlemarch,” and “Catch-22.” Again, we know it’s a very old book, and most dutiful gays have probably already read it. But if you haven’t, check it out.
The other night we were so engrossed in reading it, that we stopped to lean against a pillar in the subway. Had our eyes not been so glued to the page, we would have probably noticed the “Wet Paint” sign, and probably could have prevented the left sleeve of our grey coat from turning permanently yellow.
Also, it might have helped if we weren’t completely wasted at the time. We had to re-read that entire chapter the next day, anyway.