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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2020-08-05

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"Jane was just so cute and sweet and bubbly and her little voice. We both had crushes on each other; I guess you could say, but we were girlfriends for a while. She was the boss in the relationship. I was the new kid in town and it made me feel comfortable. Jane broke up with me. It wasn't like either one of us were heartbroken or anything. You think something like that's going to fuck with the band? No way." Gina Schock recounts the early days of her relationship with Jane Wiedlin in the new documentary The Go-Go's.

Get ready for a BIG announcement about Billy Masters—the man and the column. Back in August 1995, I wrote my very first installment of this column. Now, I'm no math whiz, but I believe that's almost a quarter of a century ago. I know what you're thinking ... and it's true: I really do look incredible!

In that very first column was a story about The Go-Go's doing one of their reunion tours: "What most people didn't know, however, was that their most loyal fan was none other than Roseanne's little girl, Sara Gilbert, who traveled with them city to city and did not miss one performance. Her connection to the group? All we will say is that she was spotted accompanying the mother of Gina Schock, The Go-Go's fab drummer." Here we are, 25 years later, and Gina's finally doling out details of her heretofore shrouded life—courtesy of the new documentary The Go-Go's, which is currently playing on Showtime. That Gina and Jane once dated ( see the opening quote ) is a detail glossed over. However, it is the first time Schock has ever talked about dating a woman. The doc is a perfect overview to solidify the band's place in history. However, it's not nearly as comprehensive as director Alison Ellwood's previous two-part documentary about the Eagles.

Former staffers have been tattling tales of nasty behavior at The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Worse, many of the reports specifically cite DeGeneres as less than exemplary. It started bubbling over when the show shut down due to the coronavirus. When Ellen resumed duties from home, longtime crew members complained that they were left out of the loop ... to say nothing of salary and benefits. Producers addressed many of those complaints, but it was too late. Anecdotes of racism and intimidation ran rampant—a major problem for someone who ends each show extolling people to "be kind to each other." WarnerMedia, the umbrella production company, got involved and ordered an internal investigation into what is being described as "a toxic work environment."

You know what show has no problems? Billy Masters LIVE. And do you know why? Because we have no staff! If something goes wrong, it's all my fault. But when something goes right, I get to take all of the credit—like with last week's show saluting "Broadway Bares." The annual burlesque sex-travaganza is a major fundraiser for Broadway Cares, and was initially cancelled in light of the pandemic. When they figured out how to go forward as a virtual event, I decided to devote a show to them. With founder Jerry Mitchell as the centerpiece, I assembled some of the hottest men to ever grace the stage—and each of them has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the charity. Christopher Sieber, Spencer Liff, Patrick Boyd, Reed Kelly and Mark MacKillop joined me for almost two hours of joyous walks down memory lane. I even showed a clip of Sieber and me talking about "Bares"on my 2004 talk-show pilot that has never aired. You should definitely check it out—on BillyMasters.com/TV or on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV.

By the way, the ripped Reed Kelly came to us from Australia—and woke up at 3 a.m. to do a tech with me. ( The idea of Reed Kelly waking up in the middle of the night to do anything with me is a dream come true. ) On Tuesday, we had Branden and James—Branden is a Yank, while James is from Down Under. The idea of Branden Yanking James Down Under should get you to watch that show. If you want to see them live, the twosome is in residence at the Front Porch in Ogunquit all summer. And on Aug. 11-15, they'll be in Provincetown at the Pilgrim House. Check out TheFrontPorch.com or PilgrimHousePtown.com or their full schedule at BrandenJames.com .

We've got two pretty specials shows this week on #BMLive. On Tuesday, Wilson Cruz joins me for a long-overdue visit ... with some special guests. And on Thursday, Edmund Bagnell, who you may know from the singing string quartet Well-Strung, will talk to us about his solo show, "He Plays the Violin." Varla Jean Merman will also be there to discuss performing in Provincetown this summer. They'll be joined by producer/manager Mark Cortale and Rick Murray, owner of The Crown and Anchor, who will fill us in on how these shows have been going ( which, by the way, have all been selling out ). You can check out the full schedule at OnlyAtTheCrown.com . And you can watch our show on BillyMasters.com .

Could it be that a certain baller has been playing with someone else's? So say people in the know, who claim that the youth's carefully constructed house of cards could come crashing down around him. Allegedly, his most notable ex is gonna sing for her supper and let the chips fall where they may. Of course, none of this will come as news to anyone close to him—certainly not to that former teammate who knows how to keep a secret in the family.

When our blind item's swag is making tongues wag, it's definitely time to end another column. And what dish we had—why, I needed to put on a condom for that last item. All in a day's work ... or, rather, 25 years of work. While you're stuck at home, check out BillyMasters.com—the site that doesn't look its age. And if you'd like to join in the fun, send your question to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before our centennial! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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