Jesse and I were best friends for the longest damned time. His grandfather was a pastor at our church - Stockton First Presbyterian - and we were in the same Sunday school class since, oh, probably 1975 or so. For whatever strange reason, we both developed similar tastes in music, so we spent an awful lot of time trying to track down records we'd heard would be interesting. This led to all kinds of strange childhood memories like taking along Devo tapes to late night events at our church; later on, as teenagers, we'd save up our money and take the long trip over to The City to go shopping at Reckless Records in the Haight, where we'd fork over large sums of cash to get things like Cabaret Voltaire's Three Mantras or really, really strange stuff like Thee Last Supper.
Later on, we kept in touch throughout high school, sending tapes back and forth between Stockton and Pebble Beach and/or Germany. I still have his letters from 1985 - he sent me a mix tape full of great stuff like a cover of Ball of Confusion with a bunch of stuff from the likes of Coil, Foetus, Einstürzende Neubauten, Severed Heads... you get the idea.
Even later on, I visited him down at Occidental College [that's in Eagle Rock, CA - kinda near Pasadena], where he insisted that I listen to a song called Over the Hiccups. This led of course to a liking for Negativland, and even later on to amusing images such as this one:
That's Our Dead Gay Hero™ Mark Bingham - his friend Amanda took this Polaroid of Mark about twelve years ago and sent back to me in Oakland to say Hi!.
Where was I? Oh, Jesse. I didn't really see him after about 1991, at which point I let him know that I was dating Mark. I think the gay thing really threw him for a loop - I don't think he knew how to react to it, so he didn't. It kind of bothered me at the time, but hey, people have the right to be taken aback. I believe I spoke with him briefly at a Foetus show in the mid-1990s but I haven't heard from him [or sent him E-mail for that matter] since then.
It would appear he ran for Congress in 1998, as a Libertarian. That sounds very, very cool. Running against a scumbag like Richard Pombo means sure defeat for anyone in Stockton, much less a Libertarian, but it must have been a fascinating experience for him. Here's hoping I get the whole story out of him someday!