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Richard Burnett
Worked at Journalist
Attended Concordia University
Lives in Montreal
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Writer, editor, journalist, blogger
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  • Journalist
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Montreal
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"As Michael Musto is to New York City, Richard Burnett is to Montréal." - The Montréal Buzz
Introduction
Richard Burnett has self-syndicated Three Dollar Bill in Canada's alt-weeklies for 15 years, been banned in Winnipeg, investigated by Royal Newfoundland Constabulary over charges TDB was "pornographic", gotten death threats, outed politicians like former PQ leader Andre Boisclair, been vilified in Jamaica's daily The Gleaner for trashing anti-gay dancehall star Sizzla (who would go on to write the 2005 hit song "Nah Apologize" about Burnett and UK activist Peter Tatchell), pissed off BB King, crossed swords with Mordecai Richler, been screamed at backstage by Cyndi Lauper and got the last-ever sit-down interview with James Brown. Burnett was Editor-at-Large of HOUR until the Montreal alt-weekly folded in 2012, is a columnist & writer for both Fugues and Xtra, writes the POP TART blog and "Seven Days Seven Nights" column for Montreal daily The Gazette, is a pop-culture pundit on CJAD 800 AM Radio and CURTAINS UP Virtual Media Network. Burnett was named one of Outlooks magazine's Canadian Heroes of 2009, famed porn director Flash Conway dubbed Burnett "Canada’s bad boy syndicated gay columnist" and The Montreal Buzz says, "As Michael Musto is to New York City, Richard Burnett is to Montréal." Read Three Dollar Bill online at http://bugsburnett.blogspot.ca/
Education
  • Concordia University
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Male

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Richard Burnett

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My latest piece for the +Tourisme Montréal news blog, about #Montreal 's fabled #GoldenSquareMile‬ . Explore the luxurious Edwardian-style homes in the +Musée McCord's magnificent #MontrealMansions‬  exhibition, as well the museum’s new multi-media Golden Square Mile historical walking tour (download the App for free). “The Golden Square Mile is part of the cultural heritage of Canada,” says photographer Charles Gurd. “It is evidence of a lifestyle at a time when Montrealers controlled over 85 per cent of the resources in Canada. To put it into perspective, today these Montrealers would all be multi-billionaires.”
The luxurious homes in Montréal’s Golden Square Mile are on display in the magnificent Montreal Mansions, 1974 – Photographs by Charles Gurd exhibition.
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My latest for +Magazine Fugues, a rip-ass Q&A with camp British comic #AlanCarr, to preview his new solo show at the +Just For Laughs Festival. When I asked Alan if he considers himself to be an outsider, he replied with typical aplomb, “Oh my God these questions! In British gay lifestyle magazines the questions are ‘Who’s your favourite celebrity crush? Do you wear boxers or briefs? What’s Katy Perry’s best song?’ This is like talking to a therapist – I’ll be pointing to a doll next saying where the homophobe touched me! I think I need to come to Canada and lighten the mood over there!” Alan headlines Salle Claude-Léveillée at Place des Arts from July 25 to 30.
Montreal’s famed Just for Laughs Festival has been blazing a trail for queer comics for 34 years. Here are some choice picks – and interviews – with some LGBT favourites at this year’s festival and OFF-JFL.
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My latest story for +Concordia University news, an interview with Montrealers Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby whose first feature-film to make it to the big screen, #MeanDreams , got a loud and enthusiastic standing ovation at its world premiere at the Director’s Fortnight section of the 2016 Festival de #Cannes . Bravo, boys! #CUalumni  
Cannes Film Festival standing ovation for film scripted by Concordia alumni Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby
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My latest story for +Concordia University's ACCENT newsletter, a fun and frank interview with investigative journalist, filmmaker and +The New York Times #1 best-selling author +Ian Halperin who dishes on +Michael Jackson, #Prince  and +Kim Kardashian #CUalumni
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My latest story for the +Concordia University ACCENT newsletter, a behind-the-scenes look back at Osheaga with festival co-founder Nick Farkas, plus Nick's Top 10 #Osheaga moments from the festival's first decade. The 11th edition of Osheaga runs July 29 to 31, and will feature headliner +Radiohead. Says Nick, “We (at Greenland Productions) booked Radiohead in #Montreal for the first time at the 500-capacity club Woodstock back in 1993. “We were literally doing Nirvana that same night at the Verdun Auditorium and raced uptown to catch the end of Radiohead! That was how you did it back then — you played a club, then came back to play the next size up.” #CUalumni
Co-founder of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival and alumnus Nick Farkas looks back on his favourite festival moments
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Look forward for a Sunday read 
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"It's hard to be humble when you're as great as I am." #MuhammadAli

#ChubbyChecker once told me about the time he “taught” Muhammad Ali “how to run his mouth.” Back in May 2012, I was scheduled for a 15-minute interview with Mr. Checker. I was his last interview of the day, he was relaxed, and we got along so well we ended up having lunch and talked for an hour.

Mr. Checker told me that when he and Ali were both 21-year-olds back in 1963, “fame was a mixed blessing for me because I thought I could be as big as I wanted to be and then I realized that I couldn’t because of the racist element in the record business.”

That experience is also why Checker taught Ali to look out for Number One.

“I taught him how to run his big mouth!” Mr. Checker told me. “When he came to see me in Louisville – he was still Cassius Clay at the time – he told me he wanted to be champion.”

“Well, what do you want me to do?” Checker asked Clay that fateful day.

“I thought maybe you could give me some pointers because I’m young and they don’t pay no attention to me,” Clay replied.

“Tell you what, Cassius, I’ve seen you box but how good are you?”

“I’m the best that ever lived.”

“If you’re the best that ever lived, are you able to call your route?”

“What do you mean?” Cassius asked.

“Lets say that the man asks you what you think, (you reply,) ‘Well, in the fourth round he’ll be gone.’ If you do that then you’ll be the best that ever lived,” Checker told him. “But you’re so good-looking no one will pay attention to your pretty face. So you got to make up some stuff. You got to talk a lot and excite the people because if you don’t you’re just another boxer.”

By the time of the Sonny Liston-Cassius Clay fight on February 25, 1964, Clay was becoming widely known as “The Louisville Lip.”

“Next thing I know,” Checker explained to me, “he’s coming out of the sixth round with Sonny and says, ‘This is the round.’”

In the sixth Clay had begun connecting on combinations at will, and at the end of the round Liston said he couldn’t continue, complaining of a shoulder injury. “Liston couldn’t get up,” Mr. Checker said.

Clay ran around the ring shouting, “I am the greatest!” and “I shook up the world!”

Said Mr. Checker, "I taught Ali how to run his mouth.”

And then this:

“I did that because I was frustrated,” Mr. Checker told me.

Then he looked me straight in the eye and said, “I was unable to master my own fate. I worked in a world where others called the shots. But Cassius worked in a world where he could take you down.”

Muhammad Ali died last night (June 3) at the age of 74. He really was The Greatest. RIP.
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RIP The greatest! A lengend! You will be sadly missed!
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Have him in circles
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Richard Burnett

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My revealing #ThreeDollarBill interview with pop star +Rufus Wainwright about fatherhood, growing up #gay in #Montreal, honing his musical chops at Montreal’s fondly-remembered nightspot Cafe Sarajevo, his late mother Kate Mcgarrigle's legacy, and his upcoming opera #Hadrian, about the gay Roman emperor, commissioned by the +Canadian Opera Company. Plus, Rufus diva-worships +Dolly Parton!
Rufus Wainwright returns home to Montreal (All photos courtesy Festival International de Jazz de Montréal) Bugs' interview with Rufus Wainwright originally ran in the June 2016 issue of Fugues magazine. Elton John once famo...
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My latest for +Magazine Fugues, a fun 100% +CelineDionVEVO Q&A with #Montreal queer comics #TrannaWintour  and Thomas Leblanc, to preview their hilarious +Just For Laughs Festival show Sainte Celine: A Dion Cabaret at The +Wiggle Room July 21 - 23
Celebrated Montreal queer comics Thomas Leblanc and Tranna Wintour (a favourite of disco diva France Joli and comedy legend Sandra Bernhard) are remounting their hilarious Sainte Céline: A Dion Cabaret that explores the life and career of LGBT and pop icon Céline Dion through music, comedy, drag (...)
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The first time I was a judge at #MadoLamotte's absolutely hilarious #Drag Race at the +Fringe Montreal Festival some years ago, Mado – bless her heart, the tramp – renamed me “Richie Bitch.” The name has stuck. Photo from this past weekend's 16th annual Drag Race at the #FringeFestival park showing the three judges (Kevin, drag royalty #NanadeGrece  and I) raising their scorecards: "We. Need. A Drink." ❤ (Photo by Cindy Lopez)
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My latest piece for the +Tourisme Montréal news blog, about the best in world music in #Montreal, including the always-amazing #Carifiesta parade on July 2, Nuits d'Afrique (July 12 to 24) and the Montreal International #Reggae Festival (August 26 to 28).
The musical rhythms in Montreal are as diverse and exciting as its people. The city is a hotbed of worldbeat festivals year-round,
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My latest story for +Concordia University news, about five kickass Concordia engineering students who have created the #EngineersAgainstBullying‬  educational program
Five Concordia engineering students draw from their personal experiences to create the Engineers Against Bullying educational program
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My 11th annual #ThreeDollarBill column with legendary comedian and ‪#‎LGBTQ ‬icon +Kate Clinton, who has choice words about Hillary vs. #Trump, Susan Sarandon, Joan Rivers and ‪#‎trans‬ civil rights across America. Plus, Kate “Mad Vow” Clinton – an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church – will perform the nuptials at #BridePride in #Provincetown!
American comedy legend Kate Clinton Bugs' interview with Kate Clinton originally ran in the May 2016 issue of Fugues magazine Without out American comedy legend Kate Clinton, there is no Rachel Maddow, no out Lily Tomlin...
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