Page 357 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                337














































              Poster. Robert Opel’s samizdat advertising, America Busted: A Satirical Revue, was his
              response to the May 21, 1979, “Twinkie Defense” that let Dan White, the assassin of
              Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, off with a slap on the wrist.
              “Robert Opel in association with Katos Rota, presents  American Busted: A Satiri-
              cal Revue” with “players Alexander Larsen and Howard Davis-McNeeley; Music by
              Sunshine; Masks by St. Bernard. $2.00 at the door.” In an earlier performance-art
              happening at San Francisco City Hall, Opel garbed himself as Gay Justice and with
              a prop gun “executed Dan White,” the former fireman and cop; in his other satires,
              he had also appeared as “Uncle Sam” and as gay enemy Anita Bryant. America Busted
              played twice (8:30 and 10:30), one night only, July 4, 1979. Four nights later, on July
              8, 1979, two men walked into Fey-Way Studios, forced Camille O’Grady to the floor,
              and shot Robert Opel to death. The turbulent week around July 4, 1979, and the
              murder of Opel at age 39, is dramatized in Some Dance to Remember: A Memoir-Novel
              of San Francisco 1970-1982, Reel 3, Sequence 9. Although someone was arrested and
              convicted, Fritscher’s Rashomon inquiry poses: Who Really Killed Robert Opel?

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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