We’re Michael Biello & Dan Martin and we’ve been creating as well as living and loving together since we met in 1975 when we were both in our early twenties. We’ve written hundreds of original songs which have been performed in theaters, concert halls, clubs, cabarets and visual art venues.
We’ve chosen 20 of these songs as the organizing principle of our memoir. Songs that reflect our history and the times we’ve lived through: growing up in the closet, coming out to our families, exploring intimacy and sexuality in the swirl of the sexual revolution, building our relationship over time, dealing with the losses of friends and colleagues to AIDS, marching for LGBTQ liberation, celebrating our pride, legally marrying. And honoring some of the amazing people we’ve met along the way – from pleasure activist Annie Sprinkle to marriage activist Edie Windsor.
This Songbook is a living project – a compendium of the recordings, films, words, and images we’ll be sharing over the coming months and years. Each song will be a chapter – and each chapter will feature a short film of the song performed by one (or more) of the great musical theatre performers we’ve worked with over the years. Also included in each chapter will be original text and photos documenting what was happening within and around us at the time we were writing the song. Piano/vocal scores for each tune will be available for those who want to play and sing along.
Michael & Dan’s Amazing QUEER Songbook celebrates how we two artsy gay boys found each other and have stayed together for nearly 50 years – choosing to be openly gay and to write and sing about our lives honestly from the very start – before it was safe, legal, accepted or trendy. We’re proud to share some of the songs, stories, and images that tell our story of collaboration and love.
Photo by Jon Stark, 2002