Wass Stevens Opens Up About Accident, Attending My Birthday Tonight At Avenue

Tonight I will celebrate a zillion years of enjoying what I do for a living. I am so much a creature of the night that I just may toast to my eons with Tru Blood, warm and straight from the bottle. I am having my birthday gala at Avenue, where I have many friends… where my friends are family. I will DJ for a few minutes some songs you will Shazam and know forever. The world is still filled with amazing stuff, yet undiscovered. There are some things I am sure about, and that includes the love and respect I am honored to have from many people I will see tonight. One of my oldest and dearest is Wass Stevens, who just a few days ago was totally wrecked in a motorcycle accident. In the surgery that followed, he received four screws, two in the heel, two in the ankle, and three pins etc., etc. Somehow, he will be at the door tonight greeting my friends. I asked him Why, how, wow? and he replied, "Nothing –  not a bike wreck, broken bones, nothing – could keep me away from the honor of working your birthday. Besides, we are two of only a handful of veterans left in this biz," and that "No one else would know four decades worth of your friends and night life acquaintances." Our friendship is one built on thousands of unique nights,  with boredom never a factor. We have helped each other through trying times, and seen things in each other that few have ever suspected. He has guided me when I wasn’t listening to anyone and appreciated and supported me when the world was determined to extinguish my flame. I asked Wass about his recent tumble and what else is going on. He’ll – we’ll –  be at Avenue tonight if you are so inclined.

O.K., so you got wiped out. When did you realize you were going to live, and did your whole life flash before your eyes? What did you see in that flash?
As soon as I hit the ground – my elbow and a bone in my neck broken, and my foot crushed on impact by an SUV (6 more broken bones) – my first three thoughts were: 1. Fuck, that hurts; 2. Fuck, my bike is wrecked; and 3. Fuck, I think I might be late for work tonight. My life didn’t flash before my eyes. Although, I did have a few interesting flashbacks and visions once the morphine took effect…
 
You’re mangled, and yet nine days later you are back at the door of Avenue in time to work my birthday bash. I’m sure it wasn’t me that rushed you back. What is it that pulls you to door work?
I don’t like to miss work. I never take a night off. Never. I actually emailed Noah from the trauma center at the ER the day of the accident to warn him I might be late that night. It wasn’t until the x-rays were completed and they were checking me in that I admitted to myself that I may be a little more than late. But I set a schedule and actually came to work several days sooner than I originally planned, nine days after surgery. Wasn’t going to let this keep me from Avenue, or my tattoo shop, or my acting career. Just wasn’t an option. Why the rush? I love Avenue, my crew, our regulars, the people I work with. I take pride in how I do what I do, the reputation of the place, and I’ve worked hard, along with the rest of the team, to create something. It’s very difficult to relinquish control of "my" room – even when I’m lying flat on my back, banged up. I’m very fortunate. I spend my days either auditioning or actually on set working, or at my shop, Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C., surrounded by a great group of incredibly talented artists. I spend my nights at Avenue. Comparatively speaking, staying home waiting to heal wasn’t an attractive option.
 
Tell me about your tattoo shop.
 Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C. is amazing. I literally came up with the idea while getting a tattoo from Ethan Morgan, my partner in the shop. The space is beautiful – think steam punk, turn-of-the-century bank (sort of), with tin ceilings, granite counters, and walnut and steel cabinets. We only do custom work- no books or flash art in my place. And the guys are amazing. Ethan is world famous for his portrait work. New addition to the team Dana Helmuth is also world-famous for his traditional Japanese-style work. All the guys are incredibly talented, and it’s a no-attitude environment. Because of my other careers, I know a lot of different types of people, from actors and musicians to athletes to hipsters to preppies to billionaire businessmen. The idea behind Rivington Tattoo N.Y.C. was to create a place where they could all be comfortable exploring their wild or artistic sides. Create a memory or two that lasts forever.
 
The acting career has legs. What is your best work so far and what do you have in the pipeline?
The acting career has also been very busy, although my inability to walk right now has put a damper on things. Pilot season is on the way, with all kinds of new possibilities. I was very happy with the work in The Wrestler and Brooklyn’s Finest and am anxiously awaiting the release of Goat, with Ice-T, Ja Rule, Armand Assante, to name a few. The ultimate goal is a steady television gig, two or three movies a year when on hiatus, a few nights a week at the club, and a few afternoons at the shop.
 
You are a clotheshorse, a bon vivant, well-heeled, dressed to kill. What makes you so passionate about clothes?
If I may, I’d broaden my love of clothes to a love of style, in all things. Anything worth doing should be done with style. And I mean personal style, not what the media tells you to do, or wear, or eat, or drive, or sit on. Create your own unique style. My mom came to New York after the accident – yes, I love my mom – and thought I was crazy for wearing a sport coat with a pocket square to the hospital for surgery. Why not?  Although, it has been difficult finding pants that will fit over this cast…
 
It’s my birthday. Tell me a favorite Steve Lewis story.
My favorite Steve Lewis Story. Jesus, I’ve known you too long to have one. Although the grand re-opening party at Palladium, with you and I standing on ladders to see over the crowd that was 30-deep on 14th street comes to mind. Nuts. Oh, and I have fond memories of our weekly Wednesday night four hour conversations at Marquee…Happy Birthday my brother.

Afternoon Links: Courtney Love Killed Frances’s Cat With Etsy Fabric, Ja Rule Is Making New Friends

● According to newly revealed details from a petition for a restraining order filed by Frances Bean against her mom, Courtney Love, in 2009, Frances’s "cat died after getting entangled in piles of Etsy fabrics, boxes of paperwork, trash, and other possessions." And then, adding insult to injury, Frances’ dog ate a bunch of Courtney’s pills and died. [TheFix]

● Word has it that Simon Cowell is looking to replace Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger with Beyoncé. He is willing to pay $100 million per year to sit on next season’s X Factor judges’ bench. Seems like a fair trade, no? [MTO]

● Snooki did show "a lot of cleavage" yesterday when she left the SiriusXM studios after a taping with Opus and Anthony, but she did not let even a little nip slip. [Celebuzz/Us]

● The New York Post‘s restaurant critic is not having it with Joanne, the restaurant just opened by Lady Gaga’s parents, where the staff seemed "plucked from the ‘burbs" and the grilled calamari with bitter greens and radicchio was "the worst [he’s] had in a lifetime of squid-mongering." And worse yet, Lady Gaga wasn’t even there. [NYP]

● If nothing else, Ja Rule fancy’s prison an "amazing" place to make new friends in jail, like his own Hevey D ("corporate greed poster-boy") and Kox ("discraced pol"). "Outside, you don’t meet guys like this every day. This place is amazing," he says. [NYDN]

● In case you were wondering where Michelle Obama gets all the strength she needs to support her Commander in Chief husband, we would like to direct you to this video of her beating Ellen DeGeneres in an impromptu push-up contest. [HollywoodLife]

Afternoon Links: Ja Rule’s Dispatch from Prison, Fox’s War on The Muppets

● As per his first dispatch from the "Green Monster," Ja Rule’s first night in prison was quite the trip. [Vibe]

● Several racy photos of Olympic snowboarder Shaun White have surfaced on the Internet, mostly begging questions as to who’s looking. [NYDN]

● According to Avey Tare, Animal Collective have started work on their follow up to Merriweather Post Pavilion, and are set to start recording this January. [Pitchfork]

● Brett Easton Ellis tells victims of bullying to "man-up" because, as he sees it, bullying teaches you that you won’t always get the "gold star." "Deal with it," he says. [Gawker]

● Fox Business Network is pretty sure the new Muppets movie is just another of Hollywood’s attempts to turn America’s youth Red–as in communist. Taking particular concern with an evil oil baron puppet, Follow The Money‘s Eric Bolling purports that, "What they’re telling your kids is what they told them in The Matrix: that mankind is a virus on poor old Mother Earth." [Huff Post]

● Tom Cruise told an audience in India that he "loves" watching Hindi movies, and that he wouldn’t say no to a Bollywood role. You know, if anyone’s offering. [THR]

Morning Links: Demi Lovato & Ryan Phillippe Dating, Official Trailer for ‘Dark Knight’ Released

● Whether their romance is “hot and heavy” or “they were just hooking up,” the fact remains that Ryan Phillippe, at 36, is exactly twice Demi Lovato’s age. [Us] ● There’s been an up-tic in graffiti this past year and officials can’t tell if it’s a result of high unemployment rates, because everyone thinks they’re artists now, or because maybe kids will be kids. [NYT] ● Spike Jonze’s new Beastie Boys video is all action figures, only a little bit about the song, “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win,” and actually pretty awesome. [BeastieBoys]

● Already incarcerated on gun charges, Ja Rule might be seeing two more years for tax evasion. “I didn’t know how to deal with these finances, and I didn’t have people to guide me, so I made mistakes,” he said in regards to several years worth of unfiled taxes. [NYP] ● A Queens teen died from injuries after being struck by a car carrying NBA star and adopted Kardashian Lamar Odom. “My thoughts and prayers are with the young boys family,” tweeted Odom. [NYDN] ● You didn’t spend your last pennies on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows did you? Because it’s time to start thinking about how The Dark Knight is going to end. The first official trailer for the final segment: [EW]

Morning Links: Botox Mom is Fake, Demi Lovato’s Fender Bender Life

● 67-year-old Mick Jagger is not done yet. The Stones legend has been secretly recording with a new, motley super-group of sorts, with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, Damian Marley, Joss Stone and Indian musician and producer A.R. Rahman. That’s a lot of talented musicians! But it’s rather unclear, though, what exactly they plan doing together. [NYP] ● Botox Mom was a fake! She didn’t actually inject her 8-year-old daughter with botox, she just pretended to for “a large fee” from the tabloid that broke the story. It’s nice that she can have her botox-less child back, but we still have some questions about her choices as a mother. [TMZ]

● Ja Rule has lined up his post-jail freedom tour — even before he’s checked in. The most maligned rapper with the most hits says the bus will pick him up straight from the prison: “40 cities in 40 nights. I’ll be so fresh and ready to go.” [Rap-Up] ● 2 Live Crew’s Luther “Luke” Campbell is running for mayor of Miami under the threatening sounding slogan, “I’m Dead Serious…Are You?” [TheDaily] ● Poor Demi Lovato got into a car accident yesterday, and it was just a little fender bender, but it probably felt like “her life.” It gets better, girl. [PopEater]