I have been a history maker, club entrepreneur, professional actor, pop culture critic, writer and political activist my entire life. I have used music and movies to save me from despair and depression more times than a drug or sex addict has picked up. As a child, my working class parents used large movies theaters as my day care center. I was dropped off and learned how to sit in large dark rooms with strangers and share the magic that danced on the screen with each of them. I have had many lives and career journeys. And if you want to know more you can read on …. ------
MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER WANT TO KNOW >>> and this is just a snap shot .. It has been a full life! HERE IS A BIO I USE FOR SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS..
JIM FOURATT - Cultural Instigator As a producer, organizer, performer, writer, editor, manager, consultant and man about town, JIM FOURATT has been inciting, shaping, fomenting and provoking American culture for over 40 years. Ask him about any cutting edge cultural icon or epoch-defining event, and chances are he will tell you something you have never heard and would never have imagined.
In the late '60's, Clive Davis needed someone to help Columbia Records interface with its roster of artists, which included Janis Joplin, Santana, Laura Nyro, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Simon & Garfunkel, the Byrds and Sly Stone. Who else to call on but Mr. Fouratt, a founder of the Yippies, organizer of NYC's Be-In, the man who thought of dropping dollar bills as an anti-Vietnam war protest onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. As "house hippie" at Columbia, Jim was charged with the difficult and delicate task of keeping the peace between the corporate and the counter culture. He attended the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock, Newport and Altamont and continues to camp out on the festival route. He attends SXSW, Newport and Sundance, etc each year. In the late '70's and early 80's, Jim was instrumental in shaking up what had become an all-too-comfortable alliance between those cultures. As a night life maker , he gave such artists as REM, the B-52's, Diamanda Galas, Gang of Four, the Human League, Joe Jackson, Pylon, Philip Glass, and the Go Go's their first shot at big town, big-time club visibility. The atmosphere, attitude and events at his nightclubs -- Hurrahs, Danceteria, the new Peppermint Lounge, Modern Classic, Pop Front, On the Water Front as well as accepting Steve Rubell's invitation to run Studio 54 in his absence (jail) -- were emulated worldwide and indeed defined a new vision of arts and entertainment for an entire generation. A union member of AEA, SAG since the late 60's, Jim, as an AEA elected rank and file member, introduced the language making sexual orientation a part of all contract language that eventually become the basis for AFL-CIO contract negotiations. He has acted on and off Broadway, in regional theater, major network narrative series and in both Hollywood and independent feature films. You can read about some of Jim's political activities in Martin Duberman’s seminal history Stonewall (Simon & Schuster) and the recent Generation on Fire: Voices of Protest from the 1960s, an Oral History by Jeff Kisseloff
Jim was a witness to and participant in the "rebellion" (note Stonewall was NOT a riot it was a REBELLION ) that marked the birth of the modern day lesbian and gay liberation movement. He was a co-founder of YIPPIE and consequently Jim was busted, framed and imprisoned while on an organizing tour in Texas for his "commie fag" endeavors. He was the only out speaker both at the Free Bobby (Seal) Black Panther Rally in New Haven and the Free John Sinclair Rally organized by John and Yoko in Ann Arbor His private conversations with Huey P. Newton helped contribute to the Black Panther Party speaking out against homophobia. He was one of the original individuals named but not indicted in what became the Chicago 7 trial. (He appears in archival footage in the Chicago 13 documentary that opened the Sundance Film Festival in 2007) All of this made him a target for the US governments early ‘70’s spy program against US citizens and became a victim of a secret FBI/CIA government whisper campaign too undermine his leadership role and credibility. Jim is one of the 17 people profiled in the My Generation by Michael Gross (HarperCollins), a portrait of the Baby Boomers and interviewed for Generation on Fire by Jeff Kisseldorff http://generationonfire.com/ExtraChapters.htm
) His commitment to political awareness and involvement has never wavered. He was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, HEAL, ACT UP and a founding board member of the New York Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center.
Jim is interviewed in the historical documentaries: Arthur Dong’s OUTRAGE 69, John Scagliotti’s AFTER STONEWALL and a recent PBS doc THE RAINBOW FLAG,
A founding editor of the '60's periodical New Times and an Electric Last Minute columnist for EYE, (LIFE magazine's youth culture publication.) Jim's commentary and reportage has appeared in such publications as the Village Voice, Rolling Stone, the Advocate, Attitude, OUTWEEK, Gay City News and SPIN (where he was a contributing Editor for 7 years). He has been a social and cultural commentator on radio and television since 1967 when he was the first person to came out (by using his own name) on David Susskind's national TV talk show. In the early 90’s, he co-hosted Pacifica/s WBAI daily morning show and recently made a controversial appearance on the Oliver North show on MSNBC.
Both VH1 and MTV have used Jim as an on-air commenter in a variety of documentaries. He has all so been a guest on the Charlie Rose show.
After a stint in the late ‘80’s at artist management for such diverse acts as Richard Lloyd, Ornate Coleman and Two Nice Girls, Jim spent several years in Los Angeles, where he was Director of National Publicity for Rhino Records. Upon his return to New York he wrote an influential weekly column for the music industry trade publication HITS. Jim recently was Senior VP of Artist & Repertoire for Mercury Records (1995-99) where he was also the Sr. Vice President of Tim Kerr Records and President of the short lived, Beauty Records where he signed the Bush Tetras, David Clement, Stage Door Johnnies and Vietnam Inc.
As an actor, Jim performed at La MaMa and Café Chino. He was an early member of the Open Theater, and acted on and off Broadway. He studied with Lee Strasberg’s in his private class for over 7 years He appeared in a number of network episodic television shows. While living In Los Angeles in the ‘70’s, he was elected as a rank and file member to a union office in AEA. There he introduced language into AEA’s contract negotiations that became the basis of the AFL-CIO adopting non-discrimination language , based on sexual orientation, in all their union contracts. While in Los Angeles he also was active in both Socialist Media Group (whose slogan was: Everyone is a STAR) and the Lavender and Red Union.
Jim was active in the earliest days of the underground, independent cinema in New York and appeared in a number of major label films in small parts. He has been a member of SAG for over 40 years.
He was arrested in the first U.S. Anti-Vietnam War demonstration held at Father Duffy Square in NYC’s Times Square in 1965. It was that event that radicalizing him and forever changed his politics.
His out political activity closed many professional doors in both Los Angles and NY in the ‘70’s
Currently his activities include, besides his return to professional acting, the following: A&R consultant in the music industry, political commentator, Internet content producer, Internet radio personality (Radiosesbeat) and being a fabulous date. He currently writes two syndicated columns for print, web and private e-mail distribution: Reel Deal firstname.lastname@example.org (movies) and Listen Up (music) email@example.com and continues to be a voice with an opinion uniquely his own. His private e-list broadcasts to over 50,000 addresses around the world. His newest activity is as a music filter; radiosexbeat (firstname.lastname@example.org) Feminist thought and practice are continually molding his thinking as are John Peel’s legacy, Harry Hay’s spirituality, Pat Parker’s vision and Alex Dobkin’s tenacity.He
thinks Geoff Travis has the best ears in the music business and misses Factory's Tony Wilson more than he will let you know He has made as a focus of his current political work: the addressing of ageism in the music industry and “queer” music community and is an outspoken critic of "queer theory' and its gender-based, cultural identity. He thinks substance abuse kills the soul. He wants you to know he has voted in every single election since he came of age ... even when the only viable choice was to write in his own name.
Jim would also ask you not to believe 80% of what you hear said about him unless it actually comes from a person who does really know him.
Remember when you challenge authority, the fall out sometimes causes reactions from others gestated by fear based anger, irrational rage, jealousy and a desire to wound. I place people like Mark Rubin, Pauline Park, Jack Nichols, John O'Brien, Giles Kotcher, the FBI and any number of self-identified queer theory and gender identity activists whose slander, falsehoods, and fantasy has polluted the internet with vile and hateful rants about me, and my public and private life.
We may not agree but if you engage me, you will at least know where I actually stand on an issue. Don’t believe the hype or false spin. … better yet, talk to me directly to learn what I think on an issue... and do always tell me what music makes life juicy for you!
© jnf 6/15/08
Has appeared as a guest on Charlie Rose and on Stephen Colbert