Linda Gerard, the spiritual queen of Ace Hotel & Swim Club and soulful mentor to us all, passed away yesterday. A fiery, radiant star with a special kind of gravity unto herself, she’s been a legend around Palm Springs for so long now that it’s impossible to quantify all the ways her irrepressible spirit has served our community.
Linda’s storied life in Broadway and cabaret stretched both coasts — sharing stages with Streisand and Mimi Hines, and winning hearts nationwide for decades. As the weekly Mistress of Ceremonies at Ace Hotel & Swim Club’s long-standing Sissy Bingo, we learned from our favorite OWL (Older Wiser Lesbian) how to be gracious and strong and brave. She fought the good fight against cancer for some while now with tenacity and grit. Linda, we cherish you from here to the moon.
One of our favorite human beings, everyone’s femme idol, our love and light, magician and fairy godmother, Linda has been kicking cancer’s ass for a long while. Today we’re sending her some extra healing power. If you’d like to drop her a line of love, she’s staying in touch through this Facebook post and Ace’s Instagram (@acehotel).
This week with Ace: our director of food and beverage in DTLA, Olivier Rassinoux, enjoying a salmon croissant at Stumptown LA's weekly Pancake Epidemic for Los Angeles creatives; Ace Palm Springs' singing hostess and fairy godmother Linda Gerard at Miller’s Children’s Hospital for a day of bingo and music with kids for MyMusicRx and the hospital’s in-house TV program ” The Giggles Show”; and two friends from think-tank Fabrica stopping by for a visit in the lobby at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch.
Dear faithful readers — if you know us and love us at all then you know who Linda Gerard is. And you know that we love her beyond reason. And you know that she is currently facing off with the asshole named cancer — and we’re hoping everyone can chip in to help her out. Coin, vibes and kind words all matter.
Well what happened with Funny Girl — I was with William Morris, and the pianist for Funny Girl was a guy named Peter Daniels. Peter Daniels was my accompanist. He was also Barbra Streisand’s accompanist and Lainie Kazan’s. He worked for all three of us and when Funny Girl opened, I went to opening night with my husband at the time, and I remember nudging him and saying, “It’s going to be me up there someday.” I knew that role was written for me.
Our friend, fashion idol and philosophical guru Linda Gerard serenades devoted fans every Monday night at Sissy Bingo at Ace Palm Springs — a storied songstress of Broadway and Follies fame, she also peppers random lunches and dinners at King’s Highway with show-stopping belters, raising her bejeweled hands to the sky as she slays the final notes of Zing! Went the Strings of my Heart to thundering applause, having, each time, gained a couple dozen new groupies.
Recently, we were shaken by the news that Linda is in the process of kicking cancer’s ass. She was diagnosed earlier this year and is currently in the process of treatment and recovery. We love her dearly and would bend over backward to help and support her. This Monday, join us and her massive posse of friends, family and fans in the Commune for a festival of positivity, love and posse-rallying, with DJ Day, Alf Alpha, Giselle Woo, JP Houston and others. Donations at the door enter you to a raffle with damn good prizes, and proceeds from drinks go toward Linda and all rooms booked for that night at Ace with code FABULOUS are not only 25% off but go toward Linda’s support fund as well. See more about the event on our calendar.
Find here part two of three chapters of DJ Day’s interview with Linda about life, love and Lawrence Welk. DJ Day’s ridiculously great new record Land of 1000 Chances is up on our shop, as is Linda’s Fabulous Selections — which we released recently — and, you guessed it, proceeds from her record and our Sissy Bingo shirt go toward Linda as well.
Read on, show the love and stay tuned for chapter three, forthcoming soon.
Talk about the Rose Tattoo time…
What happened was, when my girlfriend broke up with me in ‘87, I needed a new beginning. I bought the Rose Tattoo in ‘88.
This was in West Hollywood and obviously huge at the time. I mean, Barry Manilow?
They all came. They all came to the Rose Tattoo and it was very, very exciting.
Our dear friend and idol Linda Gerard is currently in the process of kicking cancer’s ass. We are throwing a benefit with some friends to pitch in next Monday night, March 25at Ace Palm Springs — if you’re within an eight hour radius, you will definitely not regret coming. Proceeds from the bar, rooms and her record Fabulous Selections will go to show Linda the love and support she has from here to the moon from her fans and family. You can also buy her record on our shopto show your support. Here’s a note from Linda to you:
TO MY ACE FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FANS,
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT. I LOOK FORWARD TO RETURNING TO THE ACE VERY SOON. I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO RID MY BODY OF THE M0NSTERS INSIDE ME AND ONCE AGAIN JOIN YOU IN KING’S HIGHWAY, OUTSIDE ON THE PATIO, THE AMIGO ROOM OR WHEREVER YOU ARE AT THE ACE… I WILL WEAR MY GIANT GLASSES, SING LOTS OF SONGS AND EVEN PLAY SOME FUCKING BINGO ON MONDAY NIGHTS. I HOPE TO SEE MANY OF YOU ON THE 25TH. AND AGAIN THANK YOU. THIS WILL BE A CELEBRATION FOR ALL OF US.
To many, Linda Gerard needs no introduction. She has a cult following of devoted fans who journey to sunny Ace in Palm Springs to catch a glimpse and an earful of this self-described — Older, Wiser Lesbian. She’s everyone’s femme idol, the apple of our eye and one of our favorite human beings. She’s also a ridiculously talented woman with many an industry notch on her belt. That she’s decided to settle down with us in the desert, hosting Sissy Bingo every week and otherwise wowing those in the know as well as virgin ears and eyes, makes us incredibly blessed. Linda’s voice carries the oceanic vibrations of every great Broadway star before her, and she lets it ricochet ‘gainst the walls of King’s Highway when the mood is right. Her penchant for show-stopping eyewear and envy-inducing collection of let-your-light-shine sweaters and blazers leave us swooning.
We recently released a vinyl-only limited edition of Linda’s greatest hits, Fabulous Selections on our shop, and for our mutual dear friend DJ Day — another Palm Spring legend — we also present his first album, Land of 1000 Chances, on the shop. Day and Linda sat down recently to thumb through a bit of Linda’s life story — the stuff of big dreams, massive love, brave independence and a woman from whom we all have a lot to learn — entrusted to a confidante half her age but who’s definitely dancing to a similar drummer.
Find below the first of three chapters — you’ll see more in the weeks to come. And check out Linda’s and Day’s albums on our shop.
Let’s start from the beginning.
I was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1938, to a very orthodox Jewish family. Kept kosher, did the whole bit. I was always a performer. I always got up in front of people and sang. So, when I was old enough to get on the train my parents would let me go by myself to study in New York. I studied singing, dancing, acting, elocution and all that stuff. My parents wanted me to go to private school, but I said, “No, no, no. I don’t want to go to private school.”
I went to Trenton High School and I was in all the plays and the musicals and that was fun. Then when it was time to go to college and my parents wanted me to go I said, “I want to be in show business, but I’ll go to college if I can go to New York City.” There was a college in New York City called Finch, and it was on 78th Street between Park and Madison. I knew that if I got in I could sing on the weekends because that’s what I wanted to do. I got into Finch and on weekends I sang at 1 Fifth Avenue. I was always singing. I didn’t get great grades but I didn’t care. My parents cared, but I didn’t care. So the following year I didn’t want to go back. I said to parents, “Let me audition for the American Theatre Wing,” which was a very good school, for musical comedy.
Linda Gerard: Fabulous Selectionsis a retrospective album by one of our favorite human beings on earth — now up on our online shop. You may know Linda as the singing hostess of Sissy Bingo at our Palm Springs roadside diner, King’s Highway. She’s the kind of person who inspires awe by the sheer magnitude of her persona and still makes you feel right at home. We’ve compiled an eclectic mix of show-stoppers from her original debut and some 45s and pressed them on vinyl. From the strangely catchy funk of See the Cheetah to her soaring empowerment anthem A Woman Starting Out All Over Again to the Broadway rager I’ll Always Be Your Friend, Fabulous Selections is pure unforgettable Linda, just like you know and love her. When you get an LP, it comes with code for one digital download. First thirty copies of this beauty are signed by Linda Gerard herself…
Linda Gerard is a magician — she can turn any frown upside down and make the most wonton among us blush like a little girl. She’s a sailor-mouthed, velvet-handed, self-identified O.W.L. (older, wiser lesbian) and she’s one of our heros. Every Monday night at Ace Hotel & Swim Club, you can see Linda in all her glory as the singular hostess of Sissy Bingo (occasionally R-rated) where she serenades and scandalizes a rapt and devoted troupe of players. Prizes include champagne, homemade cookies and flattering attention from Linda (a hot commodity around these parts).
Tonight is a special edition of Sissy Bingo wherein Linda-devotee Conor Fetting-Smith will film Linda for his documentary about SoCal bingo culture. All bottles of wine are half off from 7-9pm in King’s Highway, but your contribution to bingo history will be priceless.
We wrapped up HANDS ON with Hard French (SF) by the pool with Heineken Light specials, a stint at the parade with the Ace team, Jackie Beat live in the Amigo Room, and Linda's R-Rated Sissy Bingo in King’s Highway. Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us in the desert.