Even More Stories from Our Cherished Fans
It’s hard to remember now just how I discovered Romanovsky & Phillips, but I would venture to say I read about them in the Blade newspaper sometime in the mid-to late-80s. What I know for sure is that when I did, it was life changing. I was just coming out and attending SMYAL (Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League). At this point in my life I had never seen another gay man play the guitar before, and than I saw Ron Romanovsky. Now, I knew what I always wanted to do was actually possible. I didn’t think gay men even played guitar!! Wow! I found myself some real life role models. Out and proud, creating music, recording and touring. Yes!!! This is what I always wanted to do, but didn’t think it was possible.
I was just a teenager then, but I went to every R&P show I could when they came to the Washington, DC area. I even traveled to Norfolk, VA once to see a show. Off the top of my head, I can remember attending shows at GW University, a PFLAG conference, and my favorite show was when they played the venerated folk club, the Birchmere, in Alexandria, VA. There were so many more shows, but I remember the Birchmere opening set so well, as that was a special place to me. I marveled at the brilliance of This Is Our Opening Song! I studied how Ron and Paul interacted with the audience. The seamless on-stage banter, and how they incorporated ballads along with humorous songs. I watched every single note Ron played on the guitar. I was obsessed.
After so many R&P concerts, and growing up a bit, I found the courage to put together a small folk group and we called ourselves Diamond Rose. We played regularly at Food For Thought in Washington, DC and covered several R&P songs like, The Prince Charming Tango, Homophobia, Must’ve Been Drunk and Love Is All It Takes To Make A Family to name a few. I’m not sure I would have ever had the confidence to pursue my own music career and be myself, if it weren’t for Ron & Paul.
Fast forward all these years and I have recorded nine solo albums of music and have traveled this country and Canada playing music for folks. All the while being out and proud, just like my heroes, Ron & Paul. So, thank you Ron and Paul for paving and showing me the way. Your music still has a place of honor in my home and I have shared you with my husband of fourteen years. Maybe it’s time for a long overdue reunion of Romanovsky and Phillips? Hey! I personally know a great opening act….
I began my coming out as gay in 1990. I was 21 and had just moved to Boston.
A friend told me about R&P, so I bought “Trouble in Paradise” on cassette (I didn’t even have a CD player yet). It was so helpful to hear about the sorrows and joys of being a gay man in song. “What Kind of Self-Respecting Faggot am I?” was my favorite. I did not tick all the boxes of being conventionally attractive and was too shy and self-conscious to just walk into a bar and start talking to people.
It helped me to accept myself for who I was and that it was OK to be gay even if I didn’t brunch on Sundays or own a set of weights.
Thank you so much,
I remember seeing R&P at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Probably 1989. I was just in the process of coming out and I bought your CDs and a One in Ten Tee (if you remember them) and met you guys after. You really had a impact on me by just being yourself. BIG impression! You have no idea how many people have that same story, but the number is huge.
Thank you for lighting the way at a time when it was incredibly difficult!
And even more heartfelt letters!
Fans are encouraged to add their memories via email to randpstories[at]gmail(dot)com