Vidal, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Aug 2 2012 @ 9:44pm

Another glimpse at a complex figure from a close friend for 64 years:

He used to have a lot of girlfriends back in the day, but for much of his life, Gore lived with a very nice guy by the name of Howard Austen. I’d say they were together for about 45 years. They split their time between Los Angeles and their villa in Italy. Howard died of lung cancer in 2003, and it was very hard for Gore. Howard was a professional singer with a fabulous voice, and Gore had all these tapes of him singing popular show tunes. Gore would want me to come over late at night, so he could play these tapes over and over and over again. He would play this thing 10 or 15 times with tears in his eyes, because he’d miss Howard so much. All of a sudden it was 5 a.m., and there we were, still listening to Howard’s tapes…

When he was back home in Los Angeles, Gore spent a lot of time at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He sat in the polo lounge for two or three hours and then he would sit at the fireplace for two hours, then he would go to the little new bar in the front overlooking the parking lot for another three or four hours. He’d have 10 different drinks. I’m talking about scotch and wine. He’d drink that expensive port at the hotel that cost $25 a shot.