Talking New Year’s Eve with Goldbar’s Jonny Lennon

New Year’s Eve is a holiday when every joint in town will be sold out. The question is: does every place have to be a sell-out to mediocrity. Can there be more to the end-of-the-year celebration than a rush to numbness and a confused hangover? For decades I have sought reflection and refuge and found answers in Times Square. In the olden years, it was chaos with fist fights, brown bags of swill, and all sorts of other bad behavior. These days the ball drop experience is like the neighborhood is year-round: Disneyfied, sanitized, and safe. There are children everywhere, and politeness and camaraderie abound. In the hours prior to the moment of truth, a year and maybe a life can be assessed and resolutions are defined. Then it’s off to the races…places and people we love. 

In years past, "everyone" went out of town and were replaced by millions of "no-ones." The places we always found chic were newly inhabited by people who went out a couple times of year and didn’t know what they’re doing when seated at our cherished tables. Joints sell out to these people figuring if the tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it then it doesn’t matter. In other words, with all their customers enjoying fun in the sun or on ski slopes, there will be no rush to judgements of this suburban invasion. With the economy being the way it is, many real deal, bonafied, experienced nightcrawlers are stuck in town and are asking themselves, "is there anything to do that isn’t cheesy?"

I will be at Goldbar, where Jonny Lennon will gather those he knows into his beautiful den of beautiful women and worthwhile men. The intent is to party like it’s not 1999. I will be DJing that last hour of 2011 and have spent a couple of days and nights trying to come up with the last track of 2011 and the the first for 2012. I’m taking this seriously and would love your input. Some preliminary concepts are "Gloria" by Patty Smith to close the year and Peaches” "Fuck The Pain Away" to open 2012 right. I’m also considering leaving with The Hives’ "Tick Tick Boom" and entering with "Tomorrow" by Ladytron. You get the idea. If you are determined to watch the shebang on TV and leave the party hats and hangovers to the rest of us, you can catch my set tonight at Hotel Chantelle with Miss Guy and Lilly of the Valley in the room below.

I caught up with Jonny Lennon and asked him about New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve is traditionally an amateur night out, but you seemed determined to do it cool. Tell me what’s going on at Goldbar.
We have prided ourselves at Goldbar for not using promoters, not selling out, and not compromising our vision and integrity for quick money. New Year’s Eve is historically novice so we wanted to make it a home base for our family, staff, regulars, and good clients this year. We are using legendary Damon, who is one of two hosts that work at Goldbar. The second is Julian Cavin, our in-house DJ and host who will be spinning a guest set with you and Jimmy the Gent. We used elements of our week and put it together for one fun, family-driven NYE. We are running our door like a normal night except we will charge walk-ups. We have sold all our tables already and are just looking to start the New Year off right with family and friends. I’m extra excited to spend New Year’s with you Steve — my uncle, good friend, and mentor.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?
My New Year’s resolution is to take better care of my health, spirituality, and business. I’m looking to move into the fullest expression of myself.

One way a person described you is a "rolling stone," yet you have been at Goldbar forever and indeed seem to have stabilized so many aspects of your life. What are you thankful for as 2012 is upon us? Regrets? Goals?
I have been in nightlife for 18 yrs. You know my history, so you know I have had very high highs and very low lows. I have had such huge extremes in my life that I am enjoying the consistency of having a home like Goldbar. I use Goldbar as my home base — it is one of the best designed rooms in NYC, huge diversity of clientele, and what I consider the best staff I ever worked with. I go to work for my staff/friends — I don’t leave because it’s my house. I believe that when you commit to a space, it is your duty to make that space successful, no excuses. In reference to being a rolling stone — I have many other things in my life such as 4am, DJing, and my music. I am constantly on the move but I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Goldbar has been good to me. I am a small business type of guy and I believe if you open a place you should keep it open! If you can’t do that — UPS is hiring!

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