Uncle Mike’s Closes, McCarren Park Pool Opens…

Matt De Matt’s birthday bash at his Gaslight annex G2 Lounge kept me away from Danny A’s latest screening as, once again, I couldn’t clone myself. Danny Abeckaser used to be best known for the company he keeps which includes boldface names like Leonardo DiCaprio and scores of models and beautiful people. Now more and more he is becoming a celebrity in his own right, having been a promoter and owner and club personality for decades. He works as both an actor and producer and has recently completed Freelancers and The Iceman. His role as drug dealer Jackie Solomon in Holy Rollers, a film he also produced, has me salivating for his next project. There will be other screenings, goes the logic, but I’ll have to wait until next year for Matt De Matt’s birthday.

At the party I was pleased to get a chance to chat up my friend Mason Reese who followed a childhood commercial acting career with a club/restaurant career. He may be small but he has big ideas and it was wonderful to catch up. Dina Regine and I exchanged war stories about DJing (she still does it) and people and places. It was an age-appropriate crowd for me and I’ll just leave you with that straight line. Yeah, I’m not getting any younger and neither was anyone in that room except maybe Matt who looked great and was certainly full of less BS than I hear from most people of his stature in the biz.

I like the concept of the “F**K the Hamptons” bikini and champagne brunches at Lavo on Saturday afternoons. I like that all the people in this town that I don’t enjoy as much as they think I do leave town each weekend for that never never land (as in I will never go there unless paid well). I am hearing raves about McCarren Park’s newly-opened pool and recreation facility for all the scruffy hipsters in Williamsburg. I had a blast last night at Hotel Chantelle which got its air conditioning together. The crowds – those that didn’t melt last Thursday – returned to enjoy the show and especially the roof. Debbie Harry came by to visit her pal DJ Miss Guy and I had a few minutes to chat with her. Last night I hung with regulars Tommy London and Marty Concussion of the Dirty Pearls. They were busy being boys-to-men…and back to boys-at-the-bar with Luc Carl. Before next Thursday’s DJ gig at Chantelle, I will see them perform at the Highline Ballroom with Bebe Buell, The Killing Floor, The Noise, and Ingrid and The Defectors.

My newest friend was telling me right before my DJ gig about her favorite bar: Uncle Mike’s. Less than 10 minutes later she received a message that announced its immediate closing. I’m rethinking my friendship… this girl is dangerous. The message said:

"tomorrow, Friday, is closing day for mike’s. we are throwing an ‘end of the world’ party. I expect everyone to make the bar as much money as possible if we want guaranteed jobs at the other company bars. the $ Friday needs to be huge. I couldn’t tell anyone until now, ring as much as possible. sell decor sell chalkboards, hats, glasses etc. starting at $10 the money will be very closely watched. drop text and Facebook bombs NOW. twitter, call, etc. put it on the sign in the am. sell every drop of liquor in here at full price. I need $6000+ tomorrow."

Uncle Steve is heading to Uncle Mike’s tonight with cash in his pocket. Yesterday I told Mason that the business is booming and that everyone is making loot. I might have misspoken. Come join me at Uncle Mike’s and I’ll buy you a beer…or maybe a barstool.

Danny Abeckaser on Nightlife & His New Film Projects

The A crowd doesn’t end up in a place by accident. It takes a lot of work and a lot of trust. The joints that attract the celebs have promoters who have built up relationships with the bold-faced names. When I ran joints, I used to say that the crowds didn’t necessarily come for the celebrities, but the celebrities definitely came for the crowds. If things were right, the club provided a place where they could relax and enjoy themselves and have fun and be themselves, because they could trust the operator to surround them with people successful enough in their own right to act naturally around them. There would be no scandal, there would be no bad mentions in gossip columns—and so they came back again and again.

Clubs that burned celebs in the rags or exploited them soon faded. The career of Danny A—or Danny Abeckaser as we must call him now that he has cultivated life-long friendships with stars—has been stellar. He can still bring an A crowd at the snap of his fingers. He has used his connections and experiences and moved towards producing and acting in movies and TV. His movie Holy Rollers is one of those beautiful small movies that I can watch over and over again. He is working on lots of new stuff and I asked him about it.

Holy Rollers was a success, and that movie is about how a person is corrupted and moves away from his faith, his family and the things that really make him happy. The things that make you and me happy are not necessarily hanging out at clubs and people thinking we’ve got big dicks. It’s the values of our friendships, and that’s what makes the movie beautiful. Yes. And if you’re in an independent movie, you want to pay attention to characters, so the audience can really to the character and understand why he’s making these mistakes. I felt like making a movie about nightlife, the promoters, the nightclubs, the models, and the celebrities doesn’t really interest anybody. So what I decided to do was tell a deep story about a guy and where he comes from, and why he’s put in a certain position and gets caught up in nightlife.

You’re working on a show. Can you talk about it? I’ll tell you all about the show. There’s a scene in the show in which a girl is a head promoter, and she’s the coolest girl in New York, and everybody always wants to know her. On Valentine’s Day, she leaves the club by herself, and a bum on the street is the one who gives her a rose and asks, “Why are you going home alone?” She takes the rose and starts crying in the cab, and you realize the coolest chick in NYC who everybody is dying to know is going home alone on Valentine’s Day. She’s crying, because she had to get a rose from a bum. That touches on how lonely some people’s lives really are. We show the difference between what you would give up to have the money, the fame, the girls, and the power. Tell us about the show. We don’t have any background. The show that I’m referring to is called The Ropes. It was written, produced, and directed by Vin Diesel. It’s loosely based on his early life, before he started acting, when he was a bouncer in New York. He obviously worked for you at the Tunnel. He didn’t last long, but he got to see a little bit of that world. He was always great fun, a real sweetheart. He really is. And he’s so bright. Basically this show is about a bunch of bouncers working New York nightclubs.

Do you still go out much? I don’t go out every night, though I did during Fashion Week, but I’m I the process of getting a new movie made with the director of Holy Rollers.

What’s the name of the movie? Life.

You’re religious, moral, and an extremely honest man. But there must have been some conflicts as you grew up in nightlife, world that is basically corrupt. You’ve come out of it. You not only saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but you’ve made a career outside nightlife. I appreciate that. The truth is, it’s very loosely based on the things I’ve seen through my eyes. Martin Scorsese, my idol, says that you make movies about things you know. His first movies were about his neighborhood. With Holy Rollers, I come from a religious family and I knew the value of coming from that world and what it would be like to be corrupted outside from it, and that’s why it was appealing, and how I came up with the storyline. What about the new movie? It’s loosely, loosely based on my life. I came from a nightlife world, and my most memorable time as a nightlife person came when I worked at Life and decided to do Tuesdays. I felt like I had reached the point in which I was enjoying it, and I also felt like things were going my way. My part was bringing in a couple of celebrities and the models. I didn’t have to worry about anything else. It was the first time I thought, Wow This could really be a business. I didn’t realized what it took to book events, and to bring the right people. I wanted to explain that a little bit, and show how it’s put together, and we do explain that in the movie.

I always describe nightlife as a rollercoaster. You come in, you get on, at first there’s a big hill, you can see the world, but you’re not really seeing it all. And then what happens? You go down that hill real fast, rounds, twirls, and thrills, but in the end, 99% of the people end up at the same place they started. The problem is that people don’t evolve. It’s like, once I made up my mind, it was more like a mission for me. I need a five year game plan. I’m going to open my own club. I’m going to work as hard as I can. Meanwhile, I’m going to make my movies, and get my acting career going, and once I get to that point in which I connect, I’ll make my decision, and they haven’t connected yet! I haven’t made real money from movies.