EXCLUSIVE: New Video for Patrick Cowley's 'Mockingbird Dream'

10.21.2013

By Jerry Portwood

'School Daze,' a retrospective double LP, revives the disco pioneer's 'masculine music' for a new generation

Image of Patrick Cowley via Megatronman.com

Patrick Cowley may not be known to many these days—but most likely you know his signature sound. An early victim of the AIDS epidemic, he passed away at 32 in San Francisco, while he was creating music that would shape a generation, including Sylvester's "Do You Wanna Funk" and "Stars." It was his own brand of Hi-NRG dance music, that he coined "The San Francisco Sound." It also happened to be the sound of the bathhouses and sex clubs of pre-AIDS San Francisco.

As NPR recently wrote: He's "the disco equivalent of a Jimi Hendrix or a Janis Joplin — an electronic-music trailblazer who died while his records were packing dance floors and setting trends." (You can currently stream the entire album at NPR.)

Now that Daft Punk and others have made disco cool again, a new generation has an opportunity to discover the disco pioneer's sound. School Daze was released on October 19 by Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem, what would have been Cowley's 63rd birthday. Spanning nearly 90 minutes, the 11 tracks of these "Lost Tapes" (originally recorded between 1973 and 1981), "epitomize Cowley's forward thinking and his affinity for mixing elements of varying styles of music," according to those who worked on it. Luckily, we have an exclusive video created for the track "Mockinbird Dream" to share with everyone.

Watch the sexy, trippy video for "Mockingbird Dream" below:

The LP features a compilation of restored Cowley productions unearthed in the garage of vintage gay porn company Fox Studio. It turns out "Mocking Bird" was originally a longer piece in a suite of three songs composed by Cowley that were edited by Fox Studio to fit a particular scene in the porn film School Daze. The music video features original footage from movie School Daze (1980-82) and "homemade artistic interludes between scenes." And as Dark Entries and Honey Soundsystem have explained: "The listener enters a world of dark forbidden vices, introspective and reflective of Patrick's time spent in the bathhouses of San Francisco. "

All proceeds from the release will go to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Be sure to check out the Patrick Cowley website to read more about this amazing man. Also: check out these links to scans of the  pages on Cowley in Tribal Rites: The San Francisco Dance Music Phenomenon by David Diebold, whose biography on Cowley can be read here

Since it's all about '70/'80s vintage fetish, check out this scan of the tape from which the "Lost Tapes" were recovered:

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