Did you miss me? I missed you. I have now realized fully that Brooklyn is not just a state of mind but an actual place, with a river between me and what I have always known as home. I still live in boxes and my computer is awaiting the services of the cable guy. I’m not good at moving, better at shaking. I have deigned to try writing from an internet café, but it’s going to be tough. Everything is vegan and soy and I was told by the nice man that the honey lavender corn muffin made with spelt is awesome. Today, as boxes are recycled and the normal chaos of my home life crawls out from under the piles of stuff, I return to write. Napolean leaving Elba is a fair comparison. I even learned a palindrome: “Able was I ere I saw Elba.”
Besides the moving, I’ve been doing things. I visited Michael Alig up in his joint where he is awaiting imminent news of his fate. He is hoping to move himself from his DJ booth-sized cell back to the street. He is sharp as can be. All who visit him for the first time are amazed at how aware he is of the real world. He reads everything and is preparing to enter the world 14 years after his crime, which summarized an era that went way bad long before the exclamation point of his murder. His remorse permeates every conversation as well it should. He is chomping at the bit, aching for the opportunity to redeem himself and repay a society he feels he owes big time. He wants to reconnect with friends who have forsaken him, tried to forget him, or have succeeded in doing so. Larry Seidler, who flew in from San Fran for the visit, united with your humble writer in trying to convince Mike to wade into the pool of his new life rather than jump off the diving board. A splash isn’t necessary. A period of adjustment, adaptation, and understanding surely is.
Promoters for the most part are driven by a need to be loved and accepted. Critics will say “and the money,” but that isn’t what drives them. The great ones could make millions in a million ways. They are charismatic, quick on their feet, and unstoppable. A great club promoter would be a great lawyer or ad man or banker. I have always believed that a big hole exists in all of them, that only love can fill. When I was the general, I looked for that hole when hiring captains and privates. Knowing how big that hole was and how to fill it was key to controlling them. Michael has the biggest hole I ever encountered. It is rarely filled these days—a visit, a letter, a care package. He will soon or eventually walk amongst us again. Visiting him, one becomes aware of the word rehabilitation. Michael is rehabilitate , remorseful and ready to do his part.
I have been invited to peruse the Chelsea Room, that basement boite at the Chelsea Hotel. I was first shown the joint by the legendary hotel’s former owner/operator/curator Stanley Bard. He envisioned it as a literary hangout/coffee shop/ bar/gathering place for artists and intellectuals. It has opened under a bunch of names, always catering to peeps who rarely if ever associated with the hotel. Bottles have been peddled with limited success and maybe that’s best. The crew inviting me are a real disconnect from my Chelsea Hotel. I guess that isn’t fair. The days of Dylan Thomas, Herbert Hunke, Arthur C. Clark, Dee Dee Ramone, Arthur Weinstein and the rest are gone, memorialized by some bronze plaques that are sometimes the focus of tourist cameras. The Chelsea Room was never part of that. It was a storage room, an afterthought. Jeff Krauss invited me down to look and so I will, as he is a really nice person.
Today’s piece will be short and sweet as I too need to wade back into things. I have been booked to do Halloween as a DJ. I will do the Saturday at the Hudson Hotel’s Library with my pal Paul Sevigny. In all the years I have known him I can’t recall DJing with him. Paul is very smart. The place has every room booked with great parties. I’ll tell you all about it after I settle in. On the Sunday, the actual Halloween night, I will DJ at the Standard Hollywood with my dear friend Christine Renee and a still to be determined guest. I was born out in Queens but I’ll represent Brooklyn.