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Goodbye 2016

2016 Has been a really rough year

Beyond all of the politically motivated lies, distortions and animosity generated by the U.S. Presidential election, 2016 was intense, to say the least. My friend James passed away early in the year. His long battle with lung cancer and COPD sort of prepared us, but it was still shocking when his passing finally happened. He was one of the first people I met when I moved to San Francisco. While he hadn’t been a day-to-day friend for some years, he was still in the mix. I’ve thought about him quite often throughout the year, and for me, I’ll always remember 2016 as the year of James’ passing.

Good things happened in 2016, too.

One of the definite highlights of 2016 for me was the 25th anniversary of the Wicked Sound System. I’m proud of all that we’ve accomplished as a collective over the past quarter century. We held several events to celebrate our milestone, and it was awesome to see so many people that have supported us over the years. Wicked represents a community of like-minded, musically-focused people and we create a powerfully uplifting energy when we groove together. I’m looking forward to another 25 years of dance-magick with a touch of mayhem.

I’ve been interviewed for and featured in several documentary films. All of them are at various stages of production, but one finally had a premiere. I thought it was OK, but it reflected the filmmakers’ version of events and IMHO the story telling was tepid at best. I believe they received a lot of similar feedback because they told me the film is being recut. We shot my parts about 4 or 5 years ago, so it was cool to see the work come to fruition. I’m glad I got to go to the film festival and experience the premiere, overall, it was a great experience.

Another lovely but mainly bittersweet experience of 2016 was the memorial service for my friend James. His partner of 16 years did an excellent job of organizing everything through his grieving process. He had help, James had quite a few friends, and it was a beautiful and fitting tribute. We held the service in Golden Gate Park on a lovely spring day. It was sad, and I cried more than a few times that day, but it was so nice to reconnect with people I haven’t seen live and in person for years. As much as I love the Internet and social media for keeping in touch with far-flung friends, nothing beats being together IRL.

I had a lot of fun traveling in 2016. I got to reconnect with friends in the Mid-West, and I even met some new friends. It was busy, but still an exciting summer for me.

In Autumn of 2016, I focused mainly on work. One of the highlights was participating in my first NaNoWriMo. I met some interesting writers, and I won NaNo by writing 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. To document the project, I set up a YouTube channel and that has been a cool experience. I was in the AV club in Junior High and the video club in High School. I went to film school for a couple of years before dropping out for financial reasons. It’s been exciting to see how the technology has evolved. Production and editing are so much easier now, and I’m learning a lot about the platform and the medium.

Music Lost Some Luster

IDK if this is a comprehensive list of those who passed in 2016, but it sure made me sad to compile it.

From my world of late night dancing:
David Bowie, David Mancuso (DJ & Pioneer of NYC Dance Culture), Colonel Abrams (House Music artist).

From my world of 80’s classics:
Prince Rogers Nelson (better known as Prince)m Denise Matthews (aka Vanity), John Berry (Beastie Boys). As well as Pete Burns (Dead or Alive) and George Michael (Wham!).

From my world of 90’s classics:
Attrell Cordes (aka Prince Be from P.M. Dawn), and Malek Isaac Taylor (aka Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest).

From my world of black radio:
Nicholas Caldwell (Whispers), Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Joey Feek (Joey + Rory), Leon Haywood (The singer is best known for, ‘I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You’). Also, Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic), Juan Gabriel, Prince Buster (original pioneer of Ska music),

From the realm of, I never knew how much I should have appreciated you:
Rod Temperton (Band member of Heatwave; Songwriter who penned ‘Thriller,’ ‘Rock With You,’ ‘Off the Wall,’ ‘Give Me the Night,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Always and Forever’).

From my world of Baby Boomer Rock:
Glenn Frey (Eagles), Signe Andersen (Jefferson Airplane), Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

While their work doesn’t personally resonate with me, the world also lost Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Gato Barbieri, Sharon Jones, Lemmy from Motorhead, and Merle Haggard.

Connect with Q

I won #NaNoWriMo2016 by writing the first 50,000 words of the first draft of my current work in progress #WiP. You can follow the development of this project on my YouTube channel

Otherwise, if you have a question or comment, please connect with me on one of these social platforms:

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays

Some of the origins of Halloween and Trick or Treating

Same-Sex Love Story

Origins of Halloween

Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty, and paucity, life, and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Current Event Holidays

Hunter’s Moon is also a “Supermoon” this year

?

Hunter’s Moon: Oct. 16

Fall has set in. Crops have been harvested, and it’s time for hunting. At least that’s how it’s traditionally been done for centuries. In subsistence cultures, at this period of the year, the deer have fattened themselves up on summer grasses. It makes them more desirable to hunters preparing for the long winter, hence the name, Hunter’s Moon. Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Current Event Film Holidays

Happy Mean Girls Day

Mean Girls – The Movie

The 2004 movie, Mean Girls clearly illustrates the passive-aggressive ways that girls are socialized to interact with one another. It’s a slice of life type of film that resonates with the zeitgeist. It’s a rare film that resonates in such a way to transcend its own time period to become a classic. IMHO, Mean Girls is just such a film. Even a decade on, I think it still holds up really well. Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Current Event Holidays Song

Star Spangled Banner’s Evolution

How the Star Spangled Banner evolved from a battle poem to standard sporting song.

4th July - fat

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Fun Holidays Streets

LGBT Pride Month? Sam’s Not Having It.

Who needs ‘Blue Steel’ when you have ‘Counter Attack’, ‘hat trick’, and ‘swan dive’, did he just pop something?

If you’re going to celebrate Gay Pride this month, just remember that Sam will notice your orbs. Jesus is his helmut and he’s not having it.

(That’s Not Milk)

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Holidays Uncategorized

BBQ’s Place in the American Culinary Cannon

As many Americans prepare for the Memorial Day holiday next weekend, I think it’s safe to say that many of us will be preparing for a great bit of BBQ. After all, barbecue is deeply entrenched in not only many regional cuisines but it’s also deeply embedded within the American culinary cannon.

Barbecue, like so much of the dance music we love, is laced with the ideas and inspirations of black folk. When Memorial Day invites us to remember our country’s heroic, it is crucial to include African Americans because, since before America was even a thing, BBQ was seasoned and flavored by Africans in the Americas.

I hope you’ll do something to honor them this weekend, even it’s it’s just a tip of your favorite barbecued food.

For further reading…

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Fun Holidays

A Mom Making A Difference

We are less than a week away from Mother’s Day which is the best time of year to acknowledge all the different kinds of mom’s in the world. Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Holidays

My Manischewitz Miracles

About six weeks before Passover, my local grocery store put up an end cap display for the holiday. Included among the items were Manischewitz Potato Chips, both salted and unsalted. They provided me with an opportunity to try something new and to experience something miraculous amidst my mundane visits to the grocery store. Continue Reading

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays

Spring is Here

Whether you’re celebrating Persian New Year (Norouz? Nowruz? Nouruz? Nouroz?) or Wiccan New Year (Ostara)… Or just the Spring/Vernal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere) today is the day we mark the season of new beginnings. All of these celebrations are centered on a flowering sense of fertility, a reborn sense of abundance, re-growth, new growth and light. Continue Reading

Mister Cue is a former DJ, remixer, music producer and nightlife entrepreneur who now mentors up-and-coming talent as a life-coach and consultant.
Holidays

Independence Day 2012

This year I went to 3 different BBQ’s and bar hopping with the blonde boy. It was fun but the only fireworks I saw this year were the illegal ones people were lighting in the streets.

Today I saw this photo posted of the fireworks along Main Beach in my hometown, Laguna Beach. Got a little melancholy twinge thinking of all the fun I had down there over the years.

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays

Happy Independence Day Patriots

Happy 4th of July!

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Birthdays Holidays

Happy Pi Day 3.14

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?
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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays

Gung hey fat choy! Happy New Year!

There was a new moon in late December so the second new moon after the Winter Solstice falls on January 23rd this year. That means that Monday marks the lunar new year.

Gung hey fat choy! Happy New Year!

People all over Asia celebrate the lunar new year. Since I live near Little Saigon, I’ve seen all the little pastries and moon pies arrive in the shops. Even non-Asians get into the spirit of the holiday. Water Dragon decorations can be seen far and wide across San Francisco – even the windows of an optometrist shop in the Mission District are decked out for the holiday.

I don’t know why the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade is next month and not next weekend. I thought the new year festival lasted a week. Perhaps the parade marks the end of the lunar month.

Over 100 contingents will participate in the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade this year. It’s been a San Francisco tradition since just after the Gold Rush and one I look forward to every year. As far as I know it’s the only nocturnal parade in San Francisco and there are tons of parades and marches around here.

When the weather is good hundreds of thousands of people come to watch the parade on the street and many more tune in to watch it on San Francisco Bay Area television. Will I see you there?

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

MLK Jr Day – Follow Your Conscience

“Cowardice asks the question: “Is it safe?”
Expediency asks the question: “Is it politic?”
Vanity asks the question: “Is it popular?”
But consciences asks the question: “Is it right?”

And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one’s own conscience tells one what is right.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

2012 – the long anticipated year is finally here!

New Year’s Day and 80 degrees outside – riding bikes on the beach is there any wonder that I’m starting this year with more optimism, buoyancy and hope than I’ve experienced in a long time.
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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays

Mother’s Day

I’m lucky to have two mothers. Not in a lesbian way, just in a universe abhors a vacuum sort of way.

I didn’t always feel this way, in fact for most of my early years I felt that I only really had half a mother at most.

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Streets

Queen’s Day In San Francisco

Kaas Meisje Q

Kaas Meisje Q

In the Netherlands the current queen’s mother’s birthday is a huge excuse to party. The event is called Koninginnedag or in English, Queen’s Day. The current queen’s birthday is in January so like the British monarch she has two official birthdays – her actual birthday and the Queen’s Day party to celebrate her birth.

Because the royal family’s surname is Orange-Nassau the whole country gets decked out in orange. It is also the only time of year that people are allowed to sell stuff without a retail license so the last weekend in April has something for everyone – yard sales all over the country and lots of drinking in the streets.

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Song

EASTER: Monday – Love Resurrection

While it’s not really celebrated in the U.S. Easter Monday is a day off from work in most Christian countries.

This year, I was glad to take it easy today to relax and reflect on such a wonderful weekend.

 

 

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Fun Holidays Streets

EASTER: Hunky Jesus 2011

In one of my favorite “Only In San Francisco” events, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence host an Easter Sunday party in the park. They have games and activities for little kids and the Sisters set up a stage in Dolores Park and local bands like Ejector perform and the people bring blankets and picknics.

The highlight of the afternoon for me is the Easter Bonnet Contest and the Hunky Jesus Contest. Both shows allow people to exhibit exuberant displays of creativity. You can tell some of these queens spend days working their hot glue guns assembiling their elaborate hats, helmets and head ornaments.

I look forward to the Hunky Jesus Contest to see what themes people will come up with. The best need little to no explanation – like the double cross Jesus with two guys on an H shaped cross – or this year’s Obviously Drunk Redneck Jesus. The video below features most of this year’s contestants and the winner…

 

 

 

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Song Spirit

EASTER: Finally Here!

As the Son rose, she rounded the corner

Seeing that the stoned had rolled their last spliff and the ravers had dispersed, she approached with trepidation.

Mistaking the DJ for a gardener because of the fresh blooms depicted on his shirt, she asked him, “Where has all the music gone?”

“To the after-party…”

He continued, “Don’t hang here coz I have not yet ascended, you can get a ride with your friends. Go and tell the others the good news.”

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Song Spirit

EASTER: Good Friday – Jesus On My Mind

Good Friday, also known as Holy Friday or Great Friday commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.

Jesus on my mind – DJ Pierre Feat Lavert

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays

Earth Day 2011

I’ll admit I used to care more about Earth Day but honestly Green Fatigue set in for me about a decade ago and now I just can’t be bothered to do anything all that special to mark the day.

I used to think that every little bit helps but as time progressed and things have gotten worse, my understanding has evolved. All the focus on recycling or planting trees feels too much like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Drastic times call for drastic measures and until we have free and fair publicly funded elections in the United States, I don’t think we’ll really see much substantive progress on environmental issues.

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Current Event Holidays

Quake!

Today marks the anniversary of the 1906 Great Quake and Fire that ravaged San Francisco. There was also a small 3.8 earthquake on the peninsula just south of San Francisco today.

 

 

 

Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

Sixth Sunday Of Lent – Pennies From Heaven

Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover holiday. In all four Gospels Jesus performs various healings and teaches by way of parables while in Jerusalem, until the Last Supper.

I chose today’s song, Pennies From Heaven by Inner City to represent Palm Sunday because it outlines a more expansive understanding of the Joy we began to cultivate last week. There are many gifts of Spirit and we can use them to reach out to those around us to help alleviate suffering.

Peace is one of the gifts specifically mentioned in this song as is faith and the loving understanding born of a heart-to-heart conversation.

I’ve seen this song become a catalyst for transformation where once people danced in their own separate expressions and halfway through this song hundreds of people join hands and sway with people lined up at bathroom and bar put their arms around each other and sing along.

Just reach out and help them do the best you can
No-one said we could solve every problem

I love how the lyrics portray a realistic and practical application of sharing our gifts of Spirit, our pennies from heaven. “No one said we could solve every problem” but we can still reach out and try.

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

Fifth Sunday Of Lent – Unspeakable Joy

This is the time in the Lenten seson when everything seems in flux. It’s warm then cold, sunny then raining… most buds are showing but not yet open while there are also more flowers around than just a few weeks ago…

With so much inconsistancy around us I can see why it’s all too easy for some to vascillate and waiver in our lenten commitment.

I chose today’s song to represent this point in our preparation for Easter because it reminds me that regardless of external conditions, my internal state is wholly determined by me and through the grace of God I can be happy and joyful no matter what is going on…

When darkness thinks that it’s outdone me,
I must remember that the greater love’s inside me

Joy is related to happiness, but it is a deeper experience. Happiness is fickle, shallow, and fleeting. As the word itself implies, happiness is associated with happenings, happenstance, luck, and fortune. If circumstances are favorable, you are happy; if not, you’re unhappy. It’s an outward focus to determine one’s inward state.

In the search for happiness a person focuses upon himself, but joy moves a person out of a self-centered preoccupation and into a wider experience of connection. Joy is an experience which connects us to that which is “Greater” than we are. It’s an inward state that bubbles up and overflows outward.

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

Fourth Sunday Of Lent – River Of Love

If we allow it, love can wash over us like a flowing river taking with it all of the slights, hurts, pains and misunderstandings that keep us isolated from one another and from our true selves.

The song “River Of Love (Full Intention Club Mix)” by British act Roachford is so uplifting during the Lenten season because it reminds us of the cleansing, healing power of love. Jesus’ baptism foreshadows his resurrection and both occasions mark a step up to a new level of awareness and a higher consciousness. Our personal journey of preparation for Easter’s renewal must include a baptism of love that cleanses and forgives everything holding us back.

 

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Song Spirit

EASTER: Third Sunday Of Lent – Believe

So simple, so pure and so basic… why don’t you believe?

Spring cleaning can happen on many levels. After sealing up our homes to keep warm all winter, early spring is a great time to air things out and clean things up for the summer fun that will soon be here.

Lent is the perfect time to do a mental, emotional and spiritual cleaning as well as a physical cleaning. To do this we have to examine our beliefs and the attitudes, actions and conditions they create.

“Belief is a beauty thing”
Simple Minds

Faith is always active, always working because it’s a basic human faculty. Do you put your faith in the evening news and their opinions about a fear-based world? Or do you put your faith in the inner whispers of your heart that reflect the joy and love that surrounds you. Do you judge by outer appearances or do you trust in unseen forces… what do you believe?

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

EASTER: Second Sunday Of Lent – Someday

Today is not only the second Sunday of the Lenten season, it’s also the Vernal Equinox. Today the darkness and light are equally balanced and though it might be imperceptible to most people, tomorrow is the first day since last September where the light of day overtakes the darkness of night.

Someday by Ce Ce Rogers

I chose this song for this point in my Easter series because we’re still closer to the start than the end of Lent and Easter still seems a bit far-off and remote, like it will only happen, “Someday.”

In our Easter preparations, this is the point where faith has to kick in to maintain the momentum that our initial burst of enthusiasm began.

Our faith that someday Easter will arrive is mirrored in the song’s faith in a future day of equality. When Ce Ce sings, “I’ll go to South Africa and be called a man” we can rejoice because that is true now though it wasn’t true in 1987 when the song was first written.

We are still working on the other issues mentioned in the song but at least we can see progress and it bolsters our faith that we will achieve the rest of the goals set before us.

 

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Song Spirit

EASTER: First Sunday Of Lent – Bring The Joy

The first Sunday of Lent this year is also the start of Daylight Savings Time. So this year we are celebrating the joyful rebirth of the sun and the Son.

To begin the first full week of Lent, I turn again to Arnold Jarvis. His sultry yet soulful voice is so amazing and he always seems to choose spiritually uplifting material. I turn to this song in times of struggle or upset to remind me of the gifts of Spirit that are all ways available: peace, love and joy.

Arnold Jarvis – The Joy You Bring

With the song’s repetition of the Golden Rule to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” I think it does a great job of recalibrating my focus and that is what the Lenten season is all about really to discipline and focus ourselves for the rebirth of Spirit at Easter.

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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.
Holidays Spirit

EASTER: Ash Wednesday – Take Some Time Out

Lent in the Christian tradition covers the period leading up to the Easter holiday. Different denominations calculate lent differently and they all have their own way of celebrating it or not as each congregation stipulates.

Marked as a period of preparation, believers use prayer, penitence, alms-giving and self-denial to develop an appreciation of the Easter miracle which forms the basis of Christian faith.

This symbolic recreating of Jesus’ experiences in the desert always reminds me of Arnold Jarvis’ beautiful song, “Take Some Time Out.” Unlike the vast majority of gay men, I always seem to gravitate towards a male vocal. Sure, I love a diva wailing and riding those notes too but a strong male vocal like Arnold’s can always stir my soul. I’ve often considered him one of the most under rated voices to contribute to the dance music family.

Originally released in 1987, the vocals just sum up that incredible feeling and spirit of early House Music – spreading a universal message of sharing and loving, accompanied by a masterful soundtrack.

 

 


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Quartknee is an internationally beloved author, storied entertainer, and legendary night-life impresario. He’s also a prominent aesthete and all around tall guy.