Hudson Rises, Lou Reed Sulks

I DJed at the Hudson Rise Picnic last night, an amazing benefit proposed to help prevent the construction of a hideous 14-story sanitation facility that’s been approved for construction as early as June 2009 down on Spring and Canal streets, near the river. The city is pushing to construct the building, which will contain garbage trucks, a mountain of salt, garbage fuel, and lots of other stinky stuff that doesn’t seem right next to the water and the Holland Tunnel. The reason I volunteered to DJ for free at this gala was that unlike most groups who gripe about things, these folks are actually offering an intelligent, cheaper, and indeed economically cleaner solution — Hudson Rise Park, which would connect to the river, cost about $200 million less than the city’s current plan, and still accommodate local garbage facilities. Another reason I DJed was to check out the celebs who were on the invite.

James Gandolfini was in attendance, and a guest at the bar actually turned to her wimpy husband and snarled, “Who is this guy? He looks like a mafioso.” Jennifer Connelly also showed up and looked amazing; I’ve met her once when she was very young and was chaperoned by her mom to The Tunnel for an event. She was sweet then and sweet today. Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson hosted the event; Lou generally gets a bad rap for being a bit anti-social, and he did little to disprove that last night. Even though he was there for the good cause, I heard and saw a very gruff and unfriendly incarnation. I once opened for Lou at the old Ritz — which is now Webster Hall — with a fashion show (I was doing that in those days; I produced/directed over 400 shows). But this one was as an opening act for the Warholian legend.

During dress rehearsal, a gofer came to us and announced that Lou Reed was on his way to his dressing room and that the models were not to look at him directly as he passed through. Well, my models were a bit feisty, and one of the older girls said some unkind words about the stars’ lower anatomical regions — kind of loudly — that had the rest of us in tears. I like his work and often his words when he’s interviewed, and even his pal Laurie Anderson is a great person, but Lou doesn’t seem to get that being cool means you actually need to be cool and not think you’re centuries past the rest of us mortals. I booked Laurie Anderson for a New Years’ Eve show back in the day, and I had the legendary Cab Calloway open for her. She was kind, cool, and very smart. Her set was inspiring and positive, so I don’t get the Lou attitude at all. My date last night had a mad crush on him but now thinks he’s a dork.

Well anyway, back to the benefit: There were lots of strong speeches from seriously sharp folk who were just asking the mayor to listen to a common-sense proposal and do the right thing. Victoria Faust (who brought me in) is an inspiring person who put this thing together in just a few weeks. My good friend Michael Calvadis DJed with me, and thank god he came along. When we arrived, there was no DJ equipment, and his laptop saved the day. His first song after the speeches was “Garbage Man” by The Cramps. My boy Dale brought his family, and I played “Whatever” for his ridiculously cute daughter. If you want to catch a DJ set of mine, I will be at Above Allen this Wednesday. And after that, I might take a break for a while. I’m going to leave it to the pros until I can hook myself up with a laptop and Serato, but I’m sure that by then we’ll be spinning telepathically or off our Blackberries.