Friday, January 23, 2009

Speaking of patriotism: Leo Stella sings "All-American Boy"

The common wisdom is that you can find out about anyone on the Internet, particularly those who were in the public spotlight for any amount of time. Well, that ain’t true for those who’ve toiled on public access. A lot of the legends of access here in Manhattan can’t be tracked down via the Net, and their stuff doesn't even show up on the glutted YouTube unless they themselves choose to post their clips. Sometimes, every so often, you get something that turns viral because of its comic appeal — as with the tape of access fix-it host Ken Sander being pranked on a call-in show, or the amazing “Preacher X” from California doing one of his “I’m God, beeyotch” raps.

In that spirit, I offer up another tidbit of the great Leo Stella, a lounge performer who seemed to have had a pretty solid resume in summer stock and other kinds of theater and cabaret when he took on his “Seems Like Old Times” program in the early Nineties on Manhattan cable-access. As the show went on, Leo started opening up to us and showed us his different sides: the show-biz pro would turn into the local neighborhood gesticulating Italian, who would then become a bookish dude reading his favorite poems, who would then give way to the horny Leo who discussed his “cherubs” — the young boys he loved so dearly, and would occasionally provide “candy” for. It was a helluva show, and it is well-remembered by those who saw it back when. In honor of the inauguration of the swelling feeling of patriotism (had to) this week, I offer up an excerpt of Leo crooning his own composition, “All-American Boy.”

No comments: