Last Night a DJ Saved My Life...
Happy Birthday, Bob Braucci!
11 April 1961 – 16 January 1990
The original Freddie Mercury "porn-stache!"
Bob wore that mustache as much as he never wore his t-shirt.
Always tucked in his right back pocket, he was a blast to go out with. Many MANY weekend nights, we'd end up at BACKSTREET (Hartford CT) with Bob and I standing there, neither of us wearing shirts (and I daring not to, but back in the day, I was scrawny, so you "could" call it "lean and mean") and more often than not, as we stood at the end of the bar towards the back patio door, someone would send two drinks over...one for the guy with the great chest, and his friend. Somehow, I always knew I was "the friend." When we had our time together, we were a great pair, from THE CLUB straight through to BACKSTREET. I was nailed to the dancefloor, and Bob always found his way into the (DJ) booth.
The best memories are the foggiest memories. Bob ALWAYS guest-listed me when he worked at THE SAINT. It was wild. Everyone was lining up as it was a "members and their guests only" club, and I managed to sneak into the far left black door. I was wild-eyed with amazement. A plain black door, a long hallway, and the counter on the left. "Good evening, sir" was always the greeting. I'd let them know I was on the guest list, and then it became "have a good evening, Mr L." Bob and I would cross paths at some point, or points, during the evening|morning, and I'd have enough time to thank him for sliding me in, and he'd have enough time to ask me if I was having fun. Unreal.
Here's the receipt from the infamous Hallowe'en party I went to some 26 years ago.
Somewhere in the flotsam and jetsam of my life, I have a cassette tape Bob mixed, entitled "Holiday Hoopla." I remember it had a flawless mix containing Depeche Mode's NEVER LET ME DOWN back when you just "didn't" play DM in the gay clubs.
I last saw Bob in Hartford, typically, in the booth at Backstreet. Somewhere, in some box, in some dated envelope, I have a file on Bob, with great photos, and some b/w photos of him in the booth at BIRDS (Waterbury CT).
I remember hearing of Bob's death via a telephone call from my mom. I was in Miami, and Bob was in Hollywood. The next morning, I was fired from my job as a photographer's assistant, a Monday. "I hired an assistant, not a personality." I didn't care. I was glad to be more than an assistant, and even happier to think I had a strong personality.
Guess what? The music never died, and, to me, neither did Bob.
I'm taking a ride with my best friend...
Descanse en pace, Robert!