I was Sterling's friend for most of the time he lived in Texas. The
standard obituary states that he was married to the same woman for 24
years. That is true. He and Martha never divorced even though they only
lived together for four years. They remained affectionate close friends
and had two children over the years.
Sterling's great love was Gail Gant. They met in Austin in the late 70s
and remained devoted lovers until Sterling's lymphoma diagnosis in 1995.
They shared a beautiful house in the Montrose section of Houston (where
Gail still lives). He worked on tugboats in the Houston ship channel.
Gail accompanied Sterling on the VU reunion tour in europe. He spent much
of his adult life with Gail in Texas. He managed to hide the fact that he
was a married father from us for several years. What he never hid, was
the fact that he simply idolized Gail and was totally devoted to her.
At the time of his death, he was still married to Martha and she became
the legal executor of his estate. She stood in for him at the
Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and as far as I can tell,
has tried to erase the essential facts of Sterling life and great love,
Gail Gant, in Texas from the public record. Poor Martha.
At the end of the following obituary, there are several suggested
charities and one of them is GMHC which stands for: the Gay Men's Health
Crisis in New York City. Gay Men's Health Crisis is the prototype for AIDS
resource centers and has been widely imitated worldwide. At the last
Republican National Convention (at the Astrodome in Houston) Gail and
Sterling accompanied me and our friend Ellen Gibbs in formally protesting
the Bush administrations AIDS policies along with ACT-UP (The AIDS
Coalition to Unleash Power) and Queer Nation. The legal protest ended up
in chaos with the HPD charging the crowd and beating and arresting
protestors (ACLU observers, among them)to our collective horror. We had
to run like our lives depended on it and literally, barely escaped being
beaten by the HoustonPolice. Later I Sterling and I talked at length
about our friends who had died of AIDS, particularly my closest friend
David Guzman. I'd like to believe that this inclusion of GMHC was due, in
part to me and David.
Sterling admired my Queer Nation tee shirt and asked me to get one for
him. "After all," he lectured me, "This is a queer nation, isn't it?"
On 22 Feb 1996, SHADOW1966 wrote:
> The song Lou, Moe and John wrote for Sterling is called "Last Night I Said
> Goodbye To My Friend".
> STERLING MORRISON
> Sterling Morrison died on Wednesday, August 30 at his home in
> Poughkeepsie, New York after a lengthy battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
> He was 53 years old.
> Morrison was a founding member of the Velvet Underground, the seminal rock
> band of the Sixties largely credited with spawning a generation of New
> Wave and Punk Rock musicians. After the group disbanded in 1971, Morrison
> resumed his studies and earned a doctorate in Medieval Studies from the
> University of Texas at Austin. While attending graduate school, he
> supported himself and his family by piloting tugboats in the Houston Ship
> Channel, eventually earning his captain's license.
> Morrison maintained his musical relationships during this period and by
> the end of the Eighties was touring with Maureen Tucker's band. Soon to
> follow was a Velvet Underground reunion tour of Europe during the summer
> of 1993. He collaborated with John Cale on a score for the film
> "Antarctica" and was a guest on other rock recordings, most notably Luna's
> "Bewitched". Additionally, he was a featured
> performer with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in 1994.
> Morrison rgan Morrison, his wife of 24 years, and their two children, Mary
> Anne, 19 and Thomas, 10, both of Poughkeepsie. He also leaves behind his
> parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Hardern of Jensen Beach, Florida, as well as
> four brothers and sisters. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that
> contributions in Sterling Morrison's name be given to one of the
> following: the Ronald McDonald House of Albany, New York, Planned
> Parenthood or GMHC.
> photo: Dave Palmer/On Location Studios, Inc.
> The Velvet Underground The Records PEEL SLOWLY AND SEE