Patrick Cowley was a disco pioneer, a trailblazer whose work in electronic music in the the late 70s alongside Sylvester influenced groups like Pet Shop Boys and New Order. His solo hits “Menergy” and “Megatron Man” were celebrations of the gay club scene in San Francisco where he once held weekly DJ nights at The EndUp, a legendary gay club in SF that never closes.
Just as Cowley was making a name for himself after recently finishing production his solo album Mind Warp and on Sylvester's All I Need (later retitled Do Ya Wanna Funk), he unexpectedly passed from HIV/AIDS after being misdiagnosed for food poisoning. Cowley was 32.
San Francisco label Dark Entries unearthed and restored a collection of Cowley recordings, some of which were originally used for a gay porn directed by former Playgirl pinup John Coletti. The recordings were dusted off after spending decades in the garage of Fox Studio – the gay porn company, not to be confused with Fox Broadcasting Company. The scores were written for a films entitled School Daze and Muscle Up, but much of the recordings were also loose ends which Cowley had kept as experimental pieces that were too outsider for his disco records.
Stream Cowley's School Daze on NPR's First Listen.