I’ve known the insanely talented, John Epperson aka, Lypsinka for decades. On my way to the Club 57 show at MoMA this last Halloween, we emerged from the same subway train and talked like we just saw each other last Tuesday. (John’s idea for a downtown film retrospective at MoMA was the inception of the Club 57 show, btw. The double bill of Straight Jacket and Homicidal with Joan Crawford is playing tonight at 7PM!)
I never knew that John was filmed for a Halloween party scene for Jonathan Demme‘s groundbreaking, Oscar award-winning film, Philadelphia until he posted this the other day. A little personal backstory about Philadelphia…
My late friend, the spanish artist Juan Botas went to school with Demme’s wife, Joanne. When Juan was HIV positive and later contracted AIDS, his story became the inspiration for Philadelphia. His partner, Billy Cole‘s role got flipped and the main character Juan, became Tom Hanks and Billy became Antonia Bandaras. (Get it?)
This location for the song Lyppie does here, was also shot as the wake for Hank’s character and the last shot in the film is an altar with candles and Juan’s artwork.
Lyspsinka sets the scene…
“I filmed a musical number for the costume party scene in the Jonathan Demme/Tom Hanks movie Philadelphia. It got cut. Here’s the number. You’ll see Denzel Washington looking at me with some disgust, and I interact with Hanks and Antonio Banderas. You’ll also see Joe Dolce, David Drake, the late Georg Osterman… [and Quentin Crisp too.] I didn’t even know Denzel was in the room when this was filmed. Sorry I didn’t meet him.
Georg, who was cute as a button and talented and friendly, died 2 years later of AIDS in Bellevue Hospital. If he could have hung on a little longer maybe the drugs that came out in 1995 could have saved him.
(Have I ever mentioned my dislike of the Reagans?) As you’re looking at the screen, Georg is to the left of Tom in the white stylized crown.“