Recovering From New Year’s With Bingo at Bowery Poetry Club

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I’m still hurting. This holiday season has beaten me down. It feels like I spent most of it in the car driving from one bogus hamlet to another smiling at people who think I personally killed Jesus. Yeah…it was like that. New Year’s Eve had me at Goldbar where I witnessed what has to be the most pathetic couple out that night — or any night. I am pretty sure I found them but am willing to hear about others. So, I’m outside enjoying the beautiful, although a bit apocalyptic Mayan, weather, waiting to DJ, when this heavily accented pair stumbled up to the ropes. It was an 11pm stumble, not the 2- or 4ams that would dominate later. They asked for entry and pulled out an 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper that would supposedly open up the velvets for them.

"We’re here for the open bar," they declared in a heavy but unfortunately understandable accent. The doorman was confused. "We’re not doing anything like that here!" "This is Goldbar!?!" they demanded, shoving forward their paper. "Yes. Let me see that," the helpful door dude queried. He and a couple of the security guys looked at the dream sheet. The door dude explained, "Er…this is for Goldbar in Australia". After an unbelievable long exchange of "that’s impossibles" and "look, it says it right heres," the conversation digressed into them angrily explaining that it "i’sn’t their fault" and they "should be let in" These two couldn’t be let in and would continue this argument well into the night. I eventually stepped in and steered them to the Lower East Side where standards are always a bit lower.

Sunday was a headache and a stomach ache and cloudy eyes and a pillow that wouldn’t let go. I only had one drink…but it might have been a big one. I thanked the stars and moon and Jupiter (which is, by the way, that bright thing hanging next to it these nights) that I and most of my world had the day off — and on Monday, too. Monday was spent driving and walking around waiting for an evening planned at the Bowery Poetry Club. At 6:30 we caught Warhol legend-in-resident Taylor Meade who was in rare form. The octogenarian poet had a packed house reeling with laughter as he recited his poems, showed us his art, and told us stories about a life spent with Andy and that crew. A story of an embarrassing encounter with Jackie O. underscored the depth of this genius’s life. Taylor is unpredictable. He literally takes random paper out of an old bag and reads what comes. Sometimes he is a bit lost or uninterested, but more than not he is enlightening. He just celebrated his 87th birthday, and although the body is frail the mind and wit is still intact. We were mesmerized and enchanted.

We kept our seats for what the local yokels call "Tranny Bingo." It’s so much more than that. The wonderful Linda Simpson and Mr. Showbiz himself Murray Hill run with this BINGO ball thing every Monday, and we go as often as possible. They don’t need this plug as it’s packed out the door on most weeks. It is the best game in town. I won the big jackpot round this week as I had the hottest card in the room. I needed one number on nine different occasions on that very card, and felt going into the final round I couldn’t fail. I shared the grand prize with two others and went into the night to have breakfast at IHOP on 14th and 2nd where I am a regular. It was a predictable Monday night for me and my crew. We needed predictable after a season that seemed to start months ago… well maybe it did. I’m going to be a little weak this week and I do ask for forgiveness.

Oh… my New Year’s resolution??? IHOP and it’s lucious omelettes have me bound to breaking eggs. So my resolution is "NO MORE MR. NICE GUY." Stay tuned — tomorrow I’m gonna rip someone an asshole which means there will be two of them in one silly place.

Weekly Parties At Bowery Poetry Club, The DL, & EVR

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I had to take a vacation from my vacation. The good thing about my career(s) is that I am my own boss (I hope Amanda doesn’t read this). I can take off when I want to as I don’t have hours – just responsibilities. The bad thing about it is when I return, the work has not diminished and I’m slammed with more responsibility. Things left for my return need to be addressed immediately. The good news is I am loving DJing at "Renegade," a new Wednesday night party at The DL, 95 Ludlow St. This week, the amazing David Katz will join Sam Valentine and I on the second floor while Prince Terrance, Miss Guy, Michael Cavadias, and Carol Shark DJ upstairs on the enclosed roof. James Coppola and his cohorts fill the room with his eclectic following. I am in the process of renovating the space and I am pleased that it is looking good.

Thursday night, Seva Granik will offer Gavin Russom (DFA Records, LCD Soundsystem, Delia Gonzalez. Black Meteoric Star, Crystal Ark) presents with Nancy Whang (DFA, LCD Soundsystem),Nomi Ruiz (Jessica 6) and Druzzi (The Rapture). Other participants are Davis, MessKid and Jason Scott. This is a big deal since it’s the opening night of the DL’s new Thursday and I will certainly attend.
 
Tonight I will be off to EVR, a place I DJ at every Wednesday, early in the night, for their cool after-work crowd. It’s Mikey Lights’  birthday party, and for me that’s a must. Mikey is…well, a lighting guy in NYC. That’s a field that is surely lacking in talent, even as lighting becomes even more important. He’s not the guy who hangs the chandeliers or skims the wallpaper. He is the guy that programs lighting arrays to enhance DJ shows. He also builds state-of-the-art lighting systems and installs them. He has worked everywhere and I expect club royalty to toast the young man with the funny hats. 
 
I am so excited to see the new Duane Park addition to the old Bowery Poetry Club space which opens this Friday. I will surely sneak a peek at Peekaboo Pointe and Medianoche and their gang . Tomorrow I’ll be back in line, back to normal, rarin’ to go. I promise.

A Few Days in the Life

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Monday night B.I.N.G.O. at the Bowery Poetry Club with hosts Linda Simpson and Murray Hill was revisited after a long regretted absence. The occasion for our return was the 1st anniversary for friends Misa Kobs and Brent Bettes. We were part of a large group who gathered a year ago to enjoy what used to be our every Monday, no matter what. A night of bad jokes, kitsch prizes, and good old American fun. They’ve been dating since, and are as happy as clams. Monday, I won a Ped Egg with handle as B-7 came through for me. After the show, Murray invited us to her birthday bash on Tuesday, at my favorite, not so secret spot, Duane Park. We had so much fun at B.I.N.G.O., we decided to re-adjust our lives around it again.

Tuesday night Amanda and I arrived at Duane Park in a very slow driving cab in a very hard driving rain. We ran inside and found our favorite man about town, Murray, wearing the world’s greatest tie. "Wow, great tie,” I interjected, trying my best to be clever. He replied "Yeah, I don’t wear this one to B.I.N.G.O." with a big birthday smile. The place was jammed with a wonderful crowd. Dear friend, Jo"Boobs" Weldon, who will appear tonight as part of  Calamity Chang’s "The Asian Sexsation"’s Burlesque show at Hotel Chantelle, chatted us up about her work with breast cancer patients. She helps them re-discover their sexuality through her art. Harvey Keitel was seated with his crew at a table nearby, as Jonathan Ames sat by himself in another booth. Murray insisted I chat up Jonathan and then proceeded to introduce me with a full rundown of my life less ordinary, with details that fell just short of my parole officer’s home phone number. Jonathan wasn’t impressed and scooted off for refuge by the bar. Oh, that Murray. I noticed he wasn’t talking much to anybody, even though the place was packed with burlesque dancers (in and out of work clothes) and all sorts of bon vivants, fabulous folks, and creatures of the night. I don’t know if that’s the way he rolls or if he saw us all as a bunch of nightcrawling sycophants or whatever. Amanda’s theory is "he just doesn’t like you." That’s one more idol ending up just human after all. As he paused by the door with the rain pouring down, silhouetted by a street lamp and the soft light from Duane Park’s storefront, I thought it was a very Jonathan Ames moment, and I concluded he was probably right not to like me.

Last night I DJ’d the opening night of Scott Hawkins’ and Sam Valentine’s rock night at Hotel Chantelle. It was supposed to be a casual 9pm to 1am gig up on the enclosed roof, but it went to 4am as I seemed to have found my crowd. They ate up my offerings of 50 plus years of rock and roll. Tim Spuches loved the set and commented how he can’t figure which tracks are new and which are very old. I had never done a 7 hour set. That’s like some Junior Vasquez shit. By the way, Junior will be spinning at his legendary party Juniorverse at District 36 this Saturday, with Razor and Guido helping out. It’s a 10pm to 7am happening.

After my gig, we decided to hoof it to I-Hop on 14th street between 2nd and 3rd. We needed pancakes and eggs and coffee and a comfortable, well-lit booth to spread out in. We went there last week before "L-ing" it back to BBurg. That experience was terrible. The food was great, but the service was the worst I have ever experienced, and as you peeps know, I got me some experience. No utensils, one meal at the table, the other who knows where, lemonade instead of grapefruit juice. We asked the old guy manager to get us our coffee as our waitron was lost in space. Turns out this dude couldn’t manage his own shirt. We never saw a smile, never got our coffee, and on a trip to the bathroom way in the back of the joint, I found half the staff gossiping. We came back anyway. We needed pancakes badly, but found the experience completely different. The staff was fast and attentive and had more smiles than an ad for a dentist. Our waitress, Sahara, told us it was her first night on the job. She was so wonderful. We have a new attitude towards this 24-hour eatery, which had a few tables filled with other nightlife workers winding down after their long nights. We table hopped and said hello. Amanda wouldn’t let me tell Sahara my very bad Sahara joke. Okay, I’ll tell you, but be warned I’m no Jonathan Ames.

So I’m in the joint back in the day. Yeah, the joint, joint—Khaki jump suit and everything—and I’m on landscaping detail around the perimeter fence. It’s me, my boy Goobs, and a bunch of slackers. We all got weed whackers, and Goobs and I are hard at it competing with each other to make it smooth and short like a putting green, while the rest of the crew are busy smoking cigarettes and talking about how tough they are and stuff like that. I was becoming incredibly adept at weed whacking, and treated my weedwhacker like it was a Light Saber and I was young Luke Skywalker. So a bunch of guards gather to watch our artistry, and my boss yells over, "Hey Lewis, you ever use a weed whacker back in New Yawk City?" I said "Of course, have you ever heard of the Sahara Forest?" And he replied, "You mean the Sahara Desert?" And I said "Yeah, sure Now?" It wasn’t really a great joke, but it was the right joke for the moment, and everybody was laughing. I-Hop isn’t probably the best place in town, but at 6am with people like Sahara who care, it’s a real nice last stop on your way home to dreams. I bet the late night club world will embrace it if they out the slackers and keep Sahara happy.

Good news on the Rocco Ancarola front. After open heart surgery, I hear he is out of his coma and surrounded by family. If he were to be surrounded by those who love him, they’d have to move his hospital bed to a much bigger room. Think Madison Square Garden. Everyone loves Rocco and for good reason. He is wonderful, and it is wonderful to hear he is doing better. From his Gacebook page comes this report :

"Dearest Friends 🙂 Our King Rocco is fully awake, alert, taking oral intake,talking with a big smile, surrounded by his brother & sisters. He has survived an invasive Cardiothoracic surgery , a procedure of 12 hrs with subsequent few days of serious intensive care. He is still very weak and has to be observed closely for any possible complication. PLEASE DO NOT VISIT HIM in Hospital yet, this put lots of pressure on medical staff in order to monitor him closely. I would like as (his Primary doctor) to suggest another 10 days for him to be looked after by his medical team and close family. Last night I have relayed all of your prayers to him. He expressed his grace and gratitude to all of you."

This time of year it is important with all the shopping and party frenzy to keep your eyes, ears and other relevant organs focused on what truly is important. Rocco is so much the heart of New York nightlife it’s ironic that his broke down. We love you Rocco. Don’t worry: it will all still be here when you are ready.

Taylor Mead at Last Night’s Bingo, Addressing the Adam Hock-Prince Pierre Casiraghi Brawl

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The Academy Awards were delicious. I enjoyed the show, the choice of movies, the actors featured, and most of Billy Crystal’s schtick. I especially enjoyed watching it at home with delicious popcorn and other treats and my delicious Amanda. Foregoing the bull-chit banter and bad hors d’oeuvres at some Oscar party is the way to go. Although I was aware of The Artist for eons before it came out and wanted to go day 1… life got in the way and so I vowed to go last night and nothing was going to stop me.

Monday is of course BINGO night at Bowery Poetry Club. If you want to whack me or serve me with papers or get my autograph, you can find me there. I sit up front and personal so I can catch every delicious word from co-hosts Murray Hill and Linda Simpson. This Monday night happening needs no plug from me as it sells out virtually every night and has for years. I arrive very early to wind down from my day jobs and  to catch 87-year-old Taylor Mead. Taylor is best known as an Andy Warhol luminary, but he is so much more. It wasn’t Andy that made Taylor fabulous…he was fabulous so Andy wanted to have him around. Google him…find out more…or come around 6pm on any Monday to catch him reading from his life’s work.
 
One of the highlights of Taylor’s schtick is the reminiscing about his life less ordinary. Last night, he told of a play he was in in Boston back in the ’70s. He found himself late-night in Chinatown at a table with actor John Cazale (Fredo in The Godfather, Deer Hunter, Dog Day Afternoon) and Meryl Streep. Meryl was dating Mr. Cazale, who died young, of cancer. She was unknown and quiet then and Taylor thought she was sort of dull, "like a statue." He lamented not quite breaking it to the big time because "I never sold out… Elizabeth Taylor, Meryl Streep all sold out. I never sold out…I tried to… I spent three months with her, everyday." It continues like this for around 45 minutes as the BINGO crowd comes in and are blown away by this frail man and his sharp mind. A satchel containing loose notes sits beside him while a small boombox plays Mingus, to underscore his dirty poems. He randomly pulls art and poetry and notes from the satchel, reads them, and goes off on delicious tangents. He says that Harvard is taking his papers this summer. They currently occupy garbage bags in his cramped apartment. He says he is hesitating, as a friend has told him Harvard will just bury the work. Talk raced from the 30th anniversary of the Faukland Islands war between Argentina and Great Britain and chance sexual encounters of days of yore. Taylor has been particularly brilliant recently as the full room seems to have inspired him. Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll save you a seat.
 
Murray Hill will be around for a bit but will soon scoot off to tour with Dita Von Teese on the West Coast. BINGO on Mondays at Bowery Poetry Club is the best game in town. After BINGO, I scooted off to see The Artist and, of course, was blown away. The big movies at this years Oscars were not box office bonanzas. The Artist has taken in under $40 million, The Descendents with Clooney star power under $80 million, and films like Iron Lady and The Tree of Life appealing to smaller audiences than the big films of years ago, like Titanic, Avatar, Star Wars and all that romantic comedy stuff that make bank. For instance, Bridesmaids is up around $288 million. Hollywood gold went to more artistic fare, less commercial offerings. The art of making big money on your art is a very Warholian concept.  I’m going to buy Taylor a drink next Monday and discuss.
 
I have been asked to write something clever about the brawl between clubber Adam Hock and Prince Pierre Casiraghi of Monaco at The Double Seven last week. I started my research by calling The Double Seven’s Mark Baker to get the inside scoop. Baker was speechless – not a common occurrence for him. He referred me to Jeffrey Jah who reportedly was there when the shit hit the fan-tastic Prince and his entourage or vice versa, depending on whose PR has the ear of what publication. I have been told there was blood but not a lot of real guts displayed by anyone involved. A big guy hit a famous, fabulous, and rich guy and others meekly or weakly got involved. My old pal Sal Strazzullo is the attorney that will try to help Adam Hock stay out of jail and not have to hock everything he owns to settle a possible lawsuit. Sal said in the Daily News that the Prince and his pals "think New York is their honeycomb. They think they can come here and do whatever they want".
 
I’ve never been a fan of Adam Hock but don’t have anything against him either, but the spin Strazullo puts on it makes Adam seem like a hero in the eyes of the hoi polloi. He is our champion. It was almost his sacred duty punching out those rich famous young people making all that noise. Sal continued: "They wanted some recognition [from the women] and it happened because of that. My client acted in self -defense, it was an unprovoked attack. I don’t know why Mr Casiraghi got jealous about my client – he is from a humble background." He added: "My client is not Bruce Lee… These four guys are trust-fund babies who think the world is owed to them. They are like spoiled brats."
 
I decided not to look for the truth. My time would be better served by ignoring this raging bull-chit and seeing another movie nominated for the Oscars, like Iron Lady. I think Margaret and probably Meryl could kick all their asses. If I got it right, according to the attorney, it seems that Adam Hock did what we all secretly yearn to do: what needed to be done and about time at that. He did it for us all. Those royals and their buddies and their beautiful women better behave…or else. There might be some truth in that, but on the other hand Adam might have actually behaved badly. I won’t seek the truth because I suspect that old Oscar buddy Jack Nicholson got it right… I can’t handle the truth. Now that’s entertainment.

Faceboyz Follies at Bowery Poetry Club, Don Cornelius Tribute at subMercer, Goodbye to Ben Barna

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It turned out to be a birth week instead of a birthday. There were two planned events and two surprises and I have had more pieces of cake and Beau Joie Champagne than I can count on my fingers, toes, and other body parts. Tomorrow I will take a rare venture out of town – a car trip to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. MASS MoCA (as it is known) is genius. I will not be watching the Super Bowl this weekend since I don’t care a lick, but if I was I would surely go to Brooklyn Bowl or maybe The Brooklyn Star. The word "Brooklyn" is key. Manhattan will not see me again until Monday. You see, I legitimately got a little older yesterday and I am feeling it.

This attitude will prevent me from attending some wonderful events. First on my list of "I wish I coulds" is this Sunday’s (10pm) fabulous Faceboyz Follies at the Bowery Poetry Club. It stars St.Rev.Jen Miller, Velocity Chyaldd, Stormy Leather, Amanda Whip, and Payje Flash. Special guests include Ammo O’Day and Zoe Hanson. While many of the others provide a "voluptuous new variety show" featuring "Bold Bawdy Burlesque, Live Chanteurs, Freaky Flickers, and Top Bananas," Zoe will be… "reading/ performing’ my first play of sorts. It’s a short true story about two junkies – one who robbed a bank in the most bungling heist ever and gets away with it. It’s a story that’s soon to be published in an anthology, yet is unnamed. Due to the growing success of it, I’m actually performing with the hilariously brilliant St. Rev. Jen, who’s got such a vast resume it would take forever to list her accomplishments. She has a couple of successful books under her belt and we’ve become fast friends. With her acting as my rather challenged junkie boyfriend at this event full of downtown celebs, this night promises to entertain those wanting a raunchy burlesque comedy night.

Zoe is a star, and everything she does is worth your time. Big recommendation here for the non-football types.

If I was going out, I would absolutely attend The Hot Music Soul Train tribute at subMercer. The recent passing of legendary Don Cornelius should be noted and respected, and his life celebrated. Tonight the wonderous DJ Jennifly will join DJ MOma and ROK1 for a basement bash that will be sexier than I can handle. I’m old.

I am a little bummed by the departure of one of my favorite Blackbook editors, Ben Barna, who will be moving his considerable talents to greener pasture, a desk at another publication. A proper send-off will occur which I, alas, will be unable to attend. I’ll use this space to say my goodbye and good luck and break a leg or whatever he would have prompted me to say if he were still my editor. Some great man said something like every cloud has a silver lining, and as hard as I try, I can’t come up with one…Oh, I guess I won’t have to exchange small talk with his annoying twin brother until I realize it isn’t Ben anymore at Blackbook events. That’s a LOL or whatever you young people say.

Party On: Ball Awards and Some Scottish Love

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The Ball Awards held in the The Lab Banquet Hall on Fulton Street, Brooklyn has left me limp. (Please, no wisecracks from my ex-wives.) It was a reassuring chaotic happening. It said that the world, as I know it and love it and live for, can and does indeed exist…albeit sometimes in Bed-Stuy, and other times in those places not on the beaten-down path of nightlife. It was thousands of people gathering to hug, kiss, and scream for joy as the most limber and creative amongst them competed for prizes and status. The outsider who accompanied me was amazed, dazed, and sometimes confused, but she was not alone. I was often brought to tears by the magnificent mayhem, and the love poured at us and at everyone in attendance.

I waited with the crowds outside for the doors to finally open around 11:30pm. We were told to be there at 9:30pm, but have some experience with these affairs; nothing was going to happen until midnight. The cold air had us all huddled up and tight as the line went way down the block. Little skirmishes with line-cutters were dealt with Ball banter from attendees who sometimes looked thugish or shady on the outside, but of course were as sweet as can be once they let their masks down — not that they can’t roll if they have to. The ballroom life brings many who traveled a rough road to find acceptance. Sharp tongues managed by sharp minds gave shade like an elm tree to the misbehaviors. Someone in the crowd scolded a young transgressor, telling him he could "get Brooklyn-hurt, not Jersey-hurt" if he continued to offend. Once inside, a female staffer who could kick my ass with one hand tied behind her back, searched me good. That gal knows more about me than half the
dates I ever went with. It hurt, which means it must have been good for me. I wonder if it was good for her as well. 
 
Ball Awards
 
A 6-foot-3-inch man — who was more of a lady than most of the security who harassed her — stood her ground at the inside ropes. She wasn’t going to take the laughter or put-downs and got in their faces and demanded a manager. She got an apology. She was magnificent.The mandatory coat check was $3, but you could pay $5 and keep your outerwear. I knew I wasn’t in Manhattan anymore. Inside, people were complaining about the $10-a-glass Hennessy, reaffirming we weren’t in Manhattan anymore. The Lab is an amazing room and a brilliant choice for this affair. I have been to many Balls, but don’t remember one as fun and exciting as this. I sat with the wonderful Princess Magnifique and Punk Rock Frankie Magnifique. Frankie hadn’t been out in a while, so a lot of people came by to say hello and pay respect. The Latex Ball is coming August 18th at Roseland Ballroom, I believe. Cancel all vacations or other plans as this event; this culture must become a part of you.
 
Tonight, Mr. Mark Baker has implored me to attend "From Scotland With Love: The Tenth Anniversary Show." He refered to it as "Dressed to Kilt" and I thought that was clever. It’ll be at The Liberty Theater and starts at 7:30pm. I will, of course, be at BINGO at the Bowery Poetry Club and unable to attend, but as I am a supporter of all things Baker, I had to tell you about it. The affair benefits The Wounded Warrior Project and Cash For Kids. Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin McKidd are expected to show.

Bowery Bingo Legend & Andy Warhol Star Taylor Mead Has Passed

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On Wednesday, bad news came as it does these days, via tweets and facebook. Taylor Meadan Andy Warhol "superstar," has passed. Other publications will get into the details of his life and death. They’ll list the underground movies he was in and repeat notable poems he wrote which were much more notable when he recited him. Those other periodicals and blogspots will tell of his long-running run-in with his landlord who finally bought him out. 

He was in Colorado when he left us. He was visiting a niece when a stroke stopped his heart. I won’t get into the details, but they are out there for you if you care. 

What can be said about him that Taylor didn’t say about himself before on the street, in a bar, or one of the countless Bowery Poetry Club readings I attended? I’ll just say this…when I heard the news, all I could think of was the people who loved him. I could see their faces weeping from the loss.

Taylor was wonderful. He was brilliant. He was a lovable monster. He was a definer of the downtown altar that I worship. Decades ago, a friend and I would seek him out in the East Village bars that he haunted. We’d buy him drinks in exchange for tales of life within the candle. He told us of Andy Warhol and the coolest peeps on earth. Sometimes he would hate them all, sometimes he would love them all. Sometimes he would love himself, and sometimes he would hate himself. I always felt that his love/hate for Andy’s gang was because they could appreciate him on a level far above us all. Taylor was a player with the most "in" of the "In-Crowd."

A year or so ago, I was playing Bingo religiously at the Bowery Poetry Club. It usually sold out, so I got there early to reserve seats for my crew. Taylor would read poems he randomly chose from a satchel bursting with them, and in between, he’d tell tall-tales while playing classical music or Charlie Mingus tunes on a small beatbox. 

There were times he would yell at the early Bingo aficionados for talking while he was enlightening. Once, he yelled "Bingo" when he didn’t have it, just to disturb the later event to get even. 

I went every week. Sometimes I’d hear the same story a dozen weeks in a row. Sometimes something new and bold sprang up. When Bowery Poetry closed to give way to Duane Park, no one made room for Taylor. On his last night, I thought I’d never see him again. And so it goes. 

Michael Alig: 16 Years Later

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After a week of bad news about my pal Michael Alig, a bit of good has finally happened. He seems to be leaving the un-comfy confines of Southport Correctional Facility and is on his way to greener pastures. They probably won’t be too green, but when you refer to Southport, the grass is always greener on the other side. For those who care, Southport and Michael are a bad fit. He recently received yet another ticket. This latest setback was a positive test for THC. Friends and family were scrambling to raise money to challenge this ticket as he swears he is innocent…or at least not guilty of this latest infraction. A homophobic guard with a history of bad blood and other factors were cited, and a letter campaign to prison officials ensued. The result was a transfer to a not-yet-disclosed new facility. The logical choices are Attica, Marcy Hospital, and Five Point. Southport is a nine-hour drive to us respect-the-speed-limit types. Then, you have to stay over in a motel and have all your papers in order and hope that no other friend of his gets in before you and the trip is in vain. Hopefully the new ticket will be squashed with the transfer and hopefully Michael will be freed sometime soon.

It’s been over 14 years since he walked among us. He has never used a computer or cell phone. Last night, we rushed home from "Tranny" BINGO at the Bowery Poetry Club, where my pals and I won an insane five games, including two in the "naked round.”  I came home with a puppy dog doormat! We had recorded RuPaul’s Drag Race and were dying to see who had won. I bet on Sharon Needles and was spot on.  Back in the day when Michael Alig and I were partners, we opened up a joint in Union Square called the Palace de Beaute’. It was supposed to be called Yeah, Yeah, Yeah – but our other partner Larry Tee hated the name and went to Michael Musto unilaterally and gave him the Palace. It was in print and that was that. Larry brought in a few of his pals from Atlanta to host and DJ and do assorted club work. Larry’s band of merry "women" included LaHoma Van Zandt, Lady Bunny, and RuPaul. RuPaul stopped the music nightly and took to the mic on Tuesday Nights for Larry Tee’s Love Machine and asked the audience to say “love” with that multi-million viewer smile. She was a star in the making and everyone knew it, except in those days, drag queens didn’t become stars. Gay didn’t often break out to the world at large, and to all involved it seemed nightlife stardom was all any of that crew could hope for.

Michael Alig didn’t buy into this. He believed that those who surrounded us were ready to break out into mainstream America. He saw them as the future fashion designers, photographers, artists, stylists, etc. Appearances on Geraldo and a half a dozen shows and in hip magazines announced the Club Kid Movement as a force. Michael, with help from thousands of friends, led the way. RuPaul is huge, and somewhere in that success Michael must be credited. Ru worked in the clubs that Michael had hustled the owners of to support his vision. The Sharon Needles look and shtick was born in the clubs and the movement that Michael created was cultivated. RuPaul has taken things to heights that I never thought possible in the late ’90’s, but Michael knew it was.

I’m never going to sit here and feel sorry for Michael’s fate. I don’t sugarcoat it when I am with him either. He killed Angel and chopped him up and discarded him in a river, and he won’t get sympathy here for that devilish act… that cowardly act. It’s been a decade and a half in hellish places and Michael is a man now, not a Club Kid. He is remorseful and aware of his terrible actions. I can’t see him dressing up like…Sharon Needles or his old self when he hits the streets again. He is a middle-aged man. He has no delusions and no hopes to get a second chance from many quarters. I remain his friend and will be there when it counts. I loved Sharon Needles’ look, and rooted for her and screamed when she won, but to quote the great Yankee Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra, "It’s déjà vu … all over again".

At Lit Lounge: The Hottest Person to Ever Say Hi to Me & The Melvins

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It started innocently enough; a Sunday night stroll through the hood and a look-what-we-found by the trash and the decision to give this sassy little painting to our friend Adam at his new tattoo shop Magic Cobra Tattoo Society (775 Driggs Ave., off South 3rd). The next thing you know I’m getting yet another pin-up tattoo. No worries, I’ll only have it for the rest of my life… and besides, I love it more than the dinner I was craving at Pies-n-Thighs. Adam Korothy did the honors on me while his partner-in-crime Kati Vaughn did my partner-in-crime Amanda’s tattoo. While I was there and half naked, we added a little to the "boxing babe" on the back of my arm who preaches my downfall with "I LIKE ‘EM SASSY.” Adam retraced the large damsel in distress on my bicep who proclaims…lest I forget … "DON’T BET ON DAMES.” We were looking forward to the Inked Magazine “Sex D.R.U.G.S. & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL” issue party Monday at Lit Lounge, my favorite hole-in-the-wall, and figured the new ink would set the right tone.

Monday night we gathered our regulars and BINGO’ed at Bowery Poetry Club as usual and, of course, the usual and unusual Linda Simpson and the returning Murray Hill kept us laughing and praying and begging for ultra-important things like  N31 or O67. B Bar barkeep and his lovely Katie won big, representing our tables large. After the last chance at Bingo glory was over, we kissed our friends goodbye and popped into the jammed Lit. We headed to the attached FUSE Gallery space which was the VIP holding pen.

There, it was decided that LIT/Fuse honcho Erik Foss, and A.R.E Weapons drummer Eric Rabin and I were going to get bro tattoos from Jes of Smoking Tattoos (18 St Marks Place). We three musketeers got cobwebs from the fabulous Jes. Mine says Lit. The cobwebs represent the many great years that the old club has given us and carries the hopes of many more.

Back at the Inked event, the Jagermeister and slamming DJs kept the usually incoherent rockers positively stoopified. Former Inked cover girl and quite possibly the hottest person who ever said "hello" to me, Alesandra Nicole, who I was told was a model / Internet celebrity kept me mesmerized and fearful of my life. 

Steve Lewis tattoo Amanda and I had our usual "that’s the kind of girl you should be dating" chat and I swore allegiance and pointed to our still-healing matching tattoos. I spied or was told these fab folk were there, Joshua Wildman (artist/photographer), Gen of Genatorturers, tattoo model Raquel Reed, chef Chris Santos, Steven Tyler’s daughter Mia, and artist Nikki Sneakers. We got to chat up the wonderful Zosia Mamet who we just love, love love in Girls.

Lit is banging all week with Natacha Sanchez and Just C presenting Worlds Collide 4 tonight with performances from Gswagga, AHGEDA, and Streight Angular and DJs El Rojo, OG Chino, and Sonido Confirmacion.

On Friday night Brent Barber and his Bicycle Film Festival has their 12-year opening anniversary party at Lit starting at 9pm. It figures to go real late.

The whole thing will culminate with a huge bang Saturday night when Melvins and Hammerhead play LIT in a very small intimate engagement Erik Foss told me is his "dream come true! Only next to Elliot Smith playing his last NY show here, nothing this monumental has happened at Lit before.” Save maybe the night I walked in with Ron Jeremy and a bunch of gals left with my number one.

Lit remains a reason to be cheerful. It is an old-school saloon-type joint that hits hard when it hits. The Melvins will be an incredible show and I will be there. 

 

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