Rockin’ at the Plaza

Featured here among the street denizens hanging out at Harvey Milk Plaza are Pow, Nathan, and Peace. Pow is a unique musician and songwriter, who plays his own self-composed, gay rights music and lyrics. Nathan is his new amour, who rocks like nobody’s business on the guitar. Peace is a very brave, homeless man who watches over and protects his LGBT brothers and sisters who are most vulnerable. He has also become a most beloved friend of mine. Other musicians and denizens are secondary, albeit most relevant.

After all these years of street musicians in the Castro playing hetero-themed music (such as “When a Man Loves a Woman,” et al), isn’t it a refreshing change to hear truly pro-gay songs? Heck, even all the gay bars are inundated with breeder music pumping out the loudspeakers! Who cares if they’re gay icons (such as Madonna), when all they sing are lyrics celebrating the hetero myth?

Unfortunately, my mini-camcorder was stolen, so what videos I show, are without audio, *sigh*. Suffice it to say, such gay-prominent songs would greatly benefit gay tourism, if only the local residents and business folks would catch on to the significance of this remarkable gathering. They are also peace-loving, hence make the neighborhood much safer.

There has since arose a rather obnoxious group of speed freaks and homophobes who threaten this unique display of queer talent. For which reason Pow, Nathan, and some others have decided to depart to other locales. Unless, of course, a miracle happens.

Unless the Castro can somehow reclaim this group of excellent souls of pacifism and gay celebration, I recommend the removal of these benches, due to a new, and far less savory, crowd. Please read “Ess Oh Ess” and “Down with the Benches!” to learn more.

14 pics and 22 videos. Click on any image below, for a larger view:


Left to right: Roxie, Pow, Nathan.


Left to right: Derrick, Pow, Peace.


Left to right: Pow, Nathan, (unknown), Matt (playing keyboard), Derrick.


Nathan (in sunglasses w/guitar).


Left to right: Nathan, Pow, Matt, Derrick, (unknown).


Left to right: Pow, Derrick, Matt, Nathan.


Left to right: Roxie, Carl, Nathan, Pow, Derrick, Matt, (unknown).


Luke (resting, obviously). I have the hots for him! I gave him that lovely jacket now covering his torso. (Ripped or flabby, I have no idea…yet. Stay tuned, Dear Reader!)


This is not what it seems…the older man in silver hair is bent over to pet his lovely dog. Left to right: (unkown), Matt, Derrick, Pow, old man w/dog, Nathan, Carl.


Again, not what it seems. The dog appears in two of the videos below.


Foreground: Pow, Nathan, Carl.


Pow on his new washboard (generously donated by local resident, Paul).


You already know their names.


Left to right: Mural, plus feathered fans on plaza’s opposite (south) side.


And now, the marvelous videos! (BTW the man with the raggy mop of dirty blond hair who rocks like crazy on his guitar, is a great singer, and certainly is imbued with the Soul of Music like there’s no tomorrow. Unfortunately, I do not know his name at this time.)

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8 Responses to Rockin’ at the Plaza

  1. johnofphilly says:

    I don’t know how the accoustics are in open air. Musicians downtown often find the right after hour storefront alcoves that give the best echo resonance, usually near Union Square. What used to be Hibernia at Castro & 18th’s southeast corner had that audio dynamic.

    • ZekeBlog says:

      The acoustics are just fine, w/o an amplifier. What burns me is whenever some “God’s blessing to mankind” sets up an amp on the corner of Castro & Market, and drowns out the music coming from the plaza. Loud music which has /nothing/ to do with gay themed lyrics. The hetero bastards.

  2. johnofphilly says:

    It’s 2 a.m. and tomorrow has junk I’ve gotta do. I was able to view the pictures. Tomorrow night late I’ll check out the videos.

    • ZekeBlog says:

      Much appreciated if you check out the videos, John. I can’t, because my live DVD will not play multimedia. So I can only go by what others tell me. I /can/ play the videos locally (from my hard drive), but not offa Youtube or any other web-based source.

  3. ZekeBlog says:

    From: Zeke Krahlin
    Date: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 3:32 PM
    Subject: Live, gay music at Harvey Milk Plaza
    To: kgotv.desk@abc.com

    Dear KGO News:

    For some months now, a homeless denizen named “Pow” has been composing ORIGINAL gay-themed lyrics and songs at HM Plaza. Uses a washboard with bells. He is part of a larger group of street musicians who’ve made the plaza a pleasure to hang out in. I’ll make this easy for ya, ’cause I did a blog entry about Pow and others:

    http://tinyurl.com/hmplaza

    I am a gay street activist myself, who’s been in the Castro since 1973. I use my blog (among other things) to report the pros and cons of living here…and the interesting (sometimes dangerous) homeless scene.

    Thanks!

    From: Zeke Krahlin
    Date: Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 3:37 PM
    Subject: Live, gay music at Harvey Milk Plaza (addendum)
    To: kgotv.desk@abc.com

    Pow is also very informed regarding gay rights, and problems here in the Castro. A brilliant, and most eloquent speaker…he really deserves San Francisco’s (and the world’s) ear. Does have a cell phone, but I don’t have the number, sorry.

    You should also interview Peace (birthname “Brent”), who is another fantastic asset to our local community.

    • ZekeBlog says:

      Besides KGO, other local news sources I’ve contacted today (via e-mail):

      Karel (LGBT talk show host)
      Bay Area Reporter (LGBT)
      Castro Courier (LGBT)
      S.F. Bay Times (LGBT)
      S.F. Bay Guardian
      KOFY Channel 20
      S.F. Chronicle
      S.F. Examiner

  4. johnofphilly says:

    Carl H., that other “Carl” was actually a Charles M. (Michael) Betza, a schizophrenic whose mood swings turned on everyone sooner or later. I’m sure he appreciates your blessing and perhaps destiny will work better for him than winding up in 16th & Market’s northwest wedge.

    • ZekeBlog says:

      {{ I’m sure he appreciates your blessing and perhaps destiny will work better for him than winding up in 16th & Market’s northwest wedge. }}

      John, thank you for your kind comment. But I’m a bit confused: are you sure you didn’t mean to say “you” instead of “him”…in that you are addressing the current “Carl”?

      Who is, by the way, a Southern Boy, hailing from (I think) North Carolina. It’s so much fun embarassing Southern Boys! Perhaps I went a little too far in my bold confession of his beauty, as he has yet to respond to my overtures. 0_o

      But when you have such a gorgeous man like Larkin as your platonic amour, there is no limit to one’s confidence in the boudoir. I don’t even know if Carl and Austin are lovers or just best friends. If the former, I’ve really put my foot in my mouth!

      Speaking of Southern Boys, Zack will drop over a coupla hours this morning, around 6-7 am (w/his shopping cart). The Gothic lettering tattooed on his arm, BTW, spells “Louisiana” (thank you, Eleanor, for figuring this out). He is very romantic, sweet and appreciative of my friendship. What an incredible turn my life has taken!

      It would be so much fun to treat Carl (or both him and Austin) to a rib-sticking breakfast at Howard’s! I do hope he follows up on this. He’s a really nice guy, and a doll to boot! Austin’s not too shabby, either.

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