This Week: Ray-Bans & Rolling Stones Celebrate Milestone Anniversaries

I was so crazy yesterday that I forgot to do the one thing I really wanted to do. This season does that to you. I wanted, expected, ached to attend the Ray-Ban: 75 Years of Legends event at The Darby last night. The Flaming Lips performed. I will attend the Rolling Stones concert as they bring their 50th anniversary tour to the Barclays Center on Saturday. It’s amazing that we are celebrating something that started 50 years ago and another thing that’s 75 years of tradition.

On this oldie-but-goodie tip, we have the wonderful Beatles cover band, the Newspaper Taxis, performing Revolver at the Red Lion, 151 Bleecker St. According to my pal Brian August, The Beatles never performed any part of Revolver live. My ex- wife Jennifer Hamdan did cover “Tomorrow Never Knows” when she was signed to Next Plateau Records. Her track failed to make it to any plateau, but it was fun. Still on the oldies tip, Gary Spencer will celebrate his 50th birthday with a bash tonight at  his Hanky Panky attachment to Webster Hall. Oldies but goodies – the prodigy producer/mixer Neil McLellan and good ol’ Andy Rourke (The Smiths) – will DJ, and The Darling Darling Music Company will perform live.

Older than Methuselah, Marty Abrahams told me about his solo exhibition “Break On Through” at the Salomon Arts Gallery, which will happen on 12/12/12 from 6pm till 9pm. If I’m not at that mega, super duper, ginormous Sandy relief concert at the Garden with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Roger Waters and all those other old guys, then I will attend Marty’s thing.

Somebody who never ages and whose humor is timeless, Murray Hill, will bring his annual “Murray Little Christmas” to us next Saturday the 15th, from 8pm to midnight to Le Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. Murray is amazing, amazing, amazing. Here’s the scoop:

“Expect an evening of hilarious and wacky skits with the cast, a sleigh full of cheesy holiday songs, plenty of nuts, fruits and tree trimming. This year’s special guests:

BRIDGET EVERETT (carnal chanteuse and fearless cabaret star), ERIN MARKEY (wacky performance artist), CARMINE COVELLI (a.k.a. SEBASTIAN THE ELF), THE NYC BURLESQUE CHOIR (conducted by Shelly Watson) with live swinging holiday music from Murray’s band THE CRAIG’S LIST QUARTET (Jesse Elder–piano, Kenball Zwerin–bass, Matt Parker–saxaphone, Arthur Vint–drums and rimshots). Set design by Steven Hammel."

Talking to Madame Mayhem About Her Cutting Room Show, Rock & Roll, And Making It

I may be the last person in the planet to not have visited the new Cutting Room. It’s all the rage, continuing its legacy of pushing the envelope in musical programming. Now, I have heard through the grapevine (how DID that expression get started?) that the folks in charge over there think Madame Mayhem is the realio dealio (again, how?) Anyway, I guess I’ll kill two birds with one stone (caveman expression?) and go check out her act and the venue next Friday or the Friday two weeks after. She has a bi-weekly residency and all the answers to all my questions below:

I’ve heard great things from the people over at The Cutting Room. Tell me about your residency there and the show next Friday.
The residency has been a blast! The band and I are having so much fun. Our next show is on Friday, March 22nd, and then we have another show at The Cutting Room on April 19th. It’s a high-energy show and you WON’T be disappointed if you come down to see me.

Tell me about the new Cutting Room.
It is a gorgeous venue with a classy and, most importantly, ROCK vibe. You have to really see it to understand how cool the place is. There’s a chandelier with guitars that I wish I could have and fit in my apartment. I feel so fortunate to be playing there!  It’s an upscale rock supper club that’s located at 44 E. 32nd Street.
Getting to play my music at a place that’s most recently hosted Billy Joel, Adam Levine, Ringo Starr, Julian Lennon, and is soon to have Guns N’ Roses’ Bumblefoot on the same night as me on April 19th kind of brings the whole WHITE NOISE album experience full circle.

The record features you guys plus plus plus…tell me about the collaborations.
My record “White Noise” was produced by Grammy winner Mark Hudson. He has worked with legends like Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and Ringo Starr.  Working with Mark is always a good and crazy time and I learn a lot just being around him. Everyone that worked on this record is incredible, but what’s really cool for me is that we were able to get some rockin’ guest artists that I have admired for years to play on the record. They did it because they believed in the music, which was inspiring. They include:

Earl Slick – David Bowie, John Lennon, New York Dolls
Elliot Easton- The Cars, Blondie
Jonh Moyer – Disturbed, Adrenaline Mob
Rudy Sarzo- Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake, Dio

Working on this record with these legends was such an amazing learning experience and a humbling one at that!  You can download “White Noise” on iTunes.

What kind of music is on the album?
The genre is definitely rock. It’s orchestrated in terms of the way old-school rock ‘n’ roll was done 30 years ago, but is still so current in the way it relates to people today. It’s a musical listening experience that hard rock and even pop fans can enjoy.

What are your influences, your goals. Where are you in three or five years? Do I have a press pass to see you at the Garden.
INFLUENCES: I have a very eclectic taste in music so I try to incorporate different things into my music. I always joke that the reason I turned out the way I did, whether it be style, musical taste, anything really is my mom’s fault. Apparently, when I was baby, she would get sick of all the Rafi and Sesame Street tapes in the car and she would play what she loved: ’90s grunge. So yeah, Nirvana was my baby music, not to mention Aerosmith and Alice Cooper.
GOALS: My ultimate goal is to be able to do this for the rest of my life. Performing, being part of the industry. In terms of success, to me it’s being successful enough that I have the means necessary to be able to do this. I don’t think I’ll ever retire! More immediate goals are to be able to get on a tour with my band and just play EVERYWHERE! You know, spread the MAYHEM! WHEN I make it to the Garden you most certainly will get a press pass!

When did you start singing?
As early as I could talk, well, scream really. Making music and performing has been my dream since forever. There really hasn’t ever been anything else. I started off in musical theatre. I was a working actress at nine. I am classically trained in singing, dancing, and acting but I always knew that rocking out was what I wanted to do most. Not to mention I have been told by the people close to me that I’ll have a much longer life expectancy when I am doing what I love, since when I’m not performing or working, I’m not so pleasant to be around.

Rock and roll sells out stadiums but gets less respect in clubs in NYC. Is that true in L.A.?
People like you, Steve, and BlackBook are respected, and when you get the word out to people who usually go out to lounges or dance clubs – you give them the idea to try something new. On March 8th, The Cutting Room had over 200 people who had never been there before and never knew it existed. They are exactly the crowd that would never have gone to a rock show had they never received an invitation to see something new. They had an invite to see Madame Mayhem and weren’t sure what to expect. We ended up with a packed room, standing-room only, with an eclectic crowd that are now turned onto a new sound. I think the respect comes from people who are open to trying new things and who spread the rediscovery of rock around to people who otherwise wouldn’t know where to find it.

I have been having an amazing time playing here in NYC, since its home to me. Being able to play venues like The Cutting Room, Mercury Lounge, and a last-minute guest performance with Adrenaline Mob last night at Webster Hall has been amazing.  But I do know that rock ‘n’ roll over the past few years hasn’t been the easiest genre to succeed in, but my goal is to bring rock back to where it belongs, to the masses!

In LA, you can’t go very far without bumping into rock ‘n’ rollers, which for me was really cool especially since I was out there making the record. The Sunset Strip may not be exactly what it used to be back in its glory days, but it’s still the place to go to see live music and especially ROCK! I got to perform on the strip at The Viper Room a few times and The Roxy while I was out there and I have to say the rock and music community there really feels like a dysfunctional crazy family that you would never trade!

How does a band make money these days when everything is downloaded?
I am learning quickly that the industry is not like it used to be. As technology evolves, the music industry and artists have to evolve with it. It’s a lot of trial and error.

You’re doing well. What advice do you have to a bunch of 18-year-old kids talking about forming a band?
All I can say is DO IT! Pursue your dream NO MATTER WHAT obstacles get in your way. It takes a lot of hard work, thick skin, but most importantly passion. If music is your life (like it is mine), than it’s what you have to do and ENJOY the ride!!

Follow Madame Mayhem on Twitter here

Marky Ramone On His Legacy, Pasta Sauce, and Gelato

I mentioned the other day I was heading to The Bell House to catch Marky Ramone’s band Blitzkrieg. Outside was a food truck with a prominent display of MARKY RAMONE’S MARINARA PASTA SAUCE. Inside, a mixed bag of oldies but goodies mixed with the hip kids with hoodies. The band was banging one Ramones hit after another with a trademark 1-2-3-4. letting you know that one track had ended and another had begun. Mark. the last of the Ramones as I know it, was slamming his drums while his bandmates did their own thing rather than imitations of the departed Joey, Dee Dee, and Johnny. Looking up at the stage made me sad. My brain wandered back in time to some show somewhere with all of them leaping and posing and punk rock and rolling into a frenzy. Although I was happy to see this as live as it’s going to get, it made me pine for my punk past. Backstage, I quipped with Marky (whose real name is Mark Bell) if it was a "coincidence that they were playing The Bell House. "Right," he answered. "My friends think I bought the place."

Marky’s off to Europe and Asia where huge crowds will gather to get a taste of legend. Tommy Ramone was the original drummer and did the first couple of albums, but then gave way to Marky who, by all accounts, is one of the best drummers out there. It was Marky who did most of the touring, providing a steady beat behind the mayhem of bass player Dee Dee and guitar hero Johnny. Joey’s deep vocals and uncanny timing are not evident in the current shows. Blitzkrieg’s lead singer Michale Graves’ higher-pitched voice and twirling angry punk bad boy act is in sharp contrast to my memories of Joey’s steady lean-on-the-mic approach. It wouldn’t have been right for Michael to do Joey. Michael had to do it his way and that’s ok by me.
 
There has been some controversy regarding a book called Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone. I saw an interview with Johnny’s widow Linda who I never had beef with although I never much respected either. In this interview, she discounts Marky’s role in what has to be described as disgraceful revisionist history. I haven’t read the "autobiography," but I am wary of the content. As I remember it, Linda was banned from the shows for a while when it was found out that she had cheated on her then-boyfriend Joey to carry on an affair with Johnny who she eventually married. Although that bothered many, it never bothered me because love takes us all on strange journeys and she was there with him to the tragic end. My beef now was her calling Tommy the true drummer of the band and refering to all the other Ramones, including Marky, as basically hired guns. I have no beef with Tommy either. In the 15 or so years I hung out with the band, I only met him twice and I’m sure he doesn’t remember our quick hellos. Linda’s memory and perspective are different than mine. I, after all, wasn’t fucking or fucking over half the band. My memory, backed up by Wikipedia and some other sources, has Tommy quitting the band in 1978 and Marky taking over.
"Marky was with the Ramones for the next five years. He was asked to leave the band in 1983 to conquer his periodic drinking. He returned in 1987 and played with the band up until their retirement in 1996."
That’s the bulk of Ramone’s career and it seems difficult to deny that. Another bit from Wiki:
"In October 2001, Marky appeared on MTV accepting a lifetime achievement award presented by Bono of U2 to the Ramones. Marky Ramone’s hand prints are on the Hollywood Rock Walk. In March 2002, Marky was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, at New York’s Waldorf Astoria as a member of the Ramones."
Whoever’s good enough for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is good enough for me. The politics that plagued the Ramones in life haunts them to this day. Marky continues to write Ramones history with Blitzkrieg while it seems others may be attempting to rewrite history for their own purposes. I, of course, loved Johnny and look forward to reading his book.
 
I exchanged questions with Marky as he was heading off to tour but didn’t ask him about the book -that can wait.
 
The Brooklyn show brings you back home… You and your brother Freddie were raised in Brooklyn. Will lifelong friends be on hand, or has the road taken you far away from all that?
Don"t think the road has taken me away from childhood friends. Life goes on, and luckily you make new friends. I did see a few people last night from school/ the old neighborhood, but they were just acquaintances. I run into more old friends when I play on the West Coast!
 
What’s up with your not-so-secret sauce?
All these years, while going overseas, the local promoters always take the band out to eat in the best place of wherever you happen to be. Whether it’s sushi in Japan, steak in Argentina, pasta in Italy, I have become what’s now called a "foodie."  My grandfather was also a chef in NYC at the 21 and the Copacabana, and when I was a kid, on Sundays we would cook for the family.  learned how to make tomato sauce for spaghetti as a cheap and filling meal when I was a teenager just starting out in the business. A couple of years ago, Tony Bourdain asked me to be on his show No Reservations, and then I meet Daniel Boulud; both encouraged me to get into the food business. I always admired Paul Newman’s product line, so I figured why not?  Now I also have a gelato in over 100 countries called "Marky Ramone’s Cookies," cause it’s got chunks of chocolate cookies crunched up in the gelato. Both products support various charities.
 
When are we going to DJ together again?
Would love to DJ with ya…I love to hear good music on a great loud sound system. It’s always a fun night for me.
 
What is the Ramones legacy?
The Ramones legacy is that we always knew the show/music was the best. And that time proves we were right.
 
What are you going to be when you grow up?
Luckily for me, I have always earned my living "playing," so thankfully I don’t have to grow up!! In fact, I have to leave for the airport now to go play in Greece, Hong Kong, Vientnam, China, and a few other places I will think about when I get there…..
 
My own personal rock and roll revival has me heading tonight to Hellbent Tuesdays at Ace Bar to visit my dear friend Jamie Lynn and to hear music by DJs Ian El Dorado and Marty E. Thursday, before I head off to join Sam Valentine and Michael Tee, and DJ my version of rock classics and the "danuchit" at Hotel Chantelle, I will head to the Tribeca Grand Hotel. There, another happening centered around yet another dead rock star will tempt me.
 
The Morrison Hotel (gosh there’s a lot of "hotels" involved with rock) and Grandlife present Jesse Frohman: Kurt Cobain exhibition after party. The Virgins are performing and Sailor Jerry Rum will sponsor delicious cocktails. Music will be provided by Jarvis Cocker (PULP), Jason Buckle (Relaxed Muscle), Mike Nouveau and Tennessee Thomas.

Birthday Boy Sam Valentine on Friday’s Sleaze Rock Festival & His Top 10 Rock Songs

Happy Sam Valentine’s Day and Week! I’m talking about Sam Valentine; the cool, cool rock and roll promoter that I work with every Thursday at Hotel Chantelle whose birthday is tomorrow. He lives rock 24/7, 365 days. He has the hair to prove it. This week, he is all over town celebrating, culminating in his sleaze rock festival called “Big City Rebels 5,” this Friday at Webster Hall. He has the band CRASHDIET playing, and much, much more. He says that he hasn’t been this excited in years. I caught up with Sam and asked him to tell me all about it.

It’s your birthday week and you have been celebrating this blessed event. What’s happened so far and what’s ahead?
So far I’ve been taking it easy and concentrating on promoting the big event coming up on Friday: my once-a-year sleaze rock festival called "BIG CITY REBELS 5.” This year I got the leading band in this new rock ‘n’ roll movement called CRASHDIET; they are basically the Motley Crue of our generation along with the bands THE LAST VEGAS, WILDSTREET, WICKED, and NASTY HABIT… lots of new blood with lots of passion, talent, and attitude. On top of this we have the rock n roll designer TOXIC VISION doing her party “GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS” with us; we get 30 girls and dress them in her trademark sexy bodysuits and they just go wild all night. As if that isn’t enough, for the after-party we are filming for a future episode of the popular TLC show NY Ink; Megan Massacre and Jes Leppard from the show will be guest DJing along with Joe Letz, the drummer of the industrial band COMBICHRIST. This is considered to be the rock ‘n’ roll event of the decade here in NY and it will live up to that.

Before the Festival on Friday, I have my weekly Wednesday the rock party RIOT AVENUE at Webster Hall. It’s known for its high level of debauchery, and this week we have a heavy metal magician and a strip contest.

On Thursday night, my actual birthday, I’ll be celebrating with my intimate friends at Hotel Chantelle’s GENERATION WILD party; that’s where the hangover will be started, and I expect the night to be crazy. I’ve got some very special guests coming as well.

You are a true rock and roll disciple. Tell me why rock is the true religion.
Growing up I had nothing to keep me company but rock ‘n’ roll. The moment I saw bands like Guns N’ Roses, Skid Row, and Motley Crue on TV, I was hooked. I connected with this larger-than-life sound, look, and attitude. I like all kinds of rock ‘n’ roll, though I have a passion for the sound of loud guitars and pounding drum beats. It’s a style of music that rebels against the norm, and it expresses every feeling – from the love songs to the angry or just the party songs – it has it all. I don’t know where I would be or what I’d be doing with my life if rock ‘n’ roll hadn’t been there to guide me. I had no role models growing up but the rock stars on TV, which probably explains why I get in so much fun trouble all the time. 

Sam ValentineI DJ with you on Thursdays at Chantelle. You incorporate local bands into your set. Tell me why this is so important.
This is the most important thing to me. The hits that people know are needed, but these bands already had their success and got their money. The local bands are struggling to push and keep rock ‘n’ roll alive, and if we ignore them by not playing their music or rocking out to it, how is rock ‘n’ roll going to survive? Everyone likes to get a new car or a new apartment… new things are great, so why not want new music made by our generation? By playing these songs, we teach people there’s still great talent out there and rock ‘n’ roll is getting stronger than ever. It’s been growing in the underground for quite a bit now and it’s almost ready to explode again. It’s our local talent that is making this possible; their songs are as good as any classic, so why not play it in our sets? Someone has to put a stop to the same Bowie and Blondie songs being played over and over at every "rock" party. 

You swear by sleaze rock. Who are the sleaze rock players and what defines that sound?
Sleaze rock is the freshest most dangerous and fun sound in rock ‘n’ roll right now. It takes from bands like Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue – that party, badass, rebellious sound – but it’s being made by young people from this generation, so it took a life of its own, updating that sound to what we now call sleaze. It was made popular by bands like Hardcore Superstar, Crashdiet, Backyard Babies, and such. All these bands are from Sweden. Over there it’s the style of rock ‘n’ roll that dominates, and now it has spread to America with bands like Wildstreet, The Last Vegas, Dirty Penny, Sex Slaves, and such solidifying the following over here. It’s music to party to. It brings the fun back to rock. It has the larger-than-life rockstar look. It has danger, is dirty-sounding, and speaks to us, the generation that’s fed up with all this emo and generic sound that rock has had for the past decade. Plus, it’s giving strippers all around the world new songs to get naked to!

Hey, Hey, My My” rock and roll will never die, but most clubs don’t play much of it. Will rock be played in clubs in five years? Is it a viable genre for anyplace except dive bars and hipster hangouts?
I believe so. If you look back five years ago, there’s no place that would have ever let me play a sleaze rock track, but now they call ’cause every club wants that edgy look that this scene is bringing. I believe that in five years the sound will be just like the ‘80s again. It will be everywhere. It will be a great time, and everyone is going to want a piece of it. The pop world has drowned itself. Kids are bored. They need this new edge that sleaze rock and sleaze metal is bringing to music again… plus, it’s feel-good music and no one can be against that. In five years, I think my word will be proven right; it will be rock ‘n’ roll land once again. It’s long overdue.

OK, you’re going on a long rocket ship trip and can take 10 songs…what are they?

  1. Crashdiet – “Rebel
  2. Guns N’ Roses – “Night Train”
  3. Skid Row – “Youth Gone Wild”
  4. AC/DC – “Whole Lot of Rosie”
  5. Crashdiet – “It’s a Miracle”
  6. Wildstreet – “Easy Does It”
  7. Hardcore Superstar – “Run to Your Mamma”
  8. Motley Crue – “Kickstart My Heart”
  9. Backyard Babies – “Drool”
  10. Airborne – “Raise the Flag”

———————-
Tonight the house community will gather to support Gwen McCrae who gave us the hit "Funky Sensation" and so much more. Ajna, 25 Little West 12th Street, will be packed to the rafters with DJs, performers, and hosts. Gwen suffered a major heart attack in London and this event is being held to raise cash to get her home to her family.

The Last Act: Model and Singer Bebe Buell On Closing Down Hiro Ballroom

Hiro Ballroom will close its doors after Saturday evening’s bash, and with it goes yet another venue where rock, as we know it, could strut its stuff. The clubs, for the most part, feature hip hop, electronic, and house because those formats are featured by the bottle-buying public. Rockers drink bottles of beer, not bottles of Goose. Rock will be relegated to the cracks where it does better anyway. The closing of Hiro will not dampen the talented forces of rock and roll, but may force them into the creative cauldrons of Brooklyn. Marky Ramone’s band Blitzkrieg is headlining the perfectly imperfect venue The Bellhouse this Sunday, and so it will be. Rock won’t retreat or hide under a rock; it will simply wiggle to where it is wanted. It will survive where NY’s culture thrives …off the L train or the J or the F or someplace just a hop, skip, and a jump away via a Northside Car. The last hurrah of Hiro will be headlined by rock icon Bebe Buell. Known more for who she has famously slept with, sire Bebe offers rock purity from rock royalty as the Hiro doors ache to be shuttered. To get you to a place of understanding Bebe is Liv Tyler’s mom and has been linked over the decades with stars like Steven TylerTodd Rundgren, and Stiv Bators. Bebe is too often the subject of gossip because of her association with so many boldfaced names, but she is very much her own person and has her own talent. I once told her that she wasn’t cool because the rock stars dated her…they were seen as much cooler because she dated them. She liked me for that. She’s a busy Bebe but we squeezed in time between rehearsals to chat at the BlackBook office.

We are here because it is a sad day in the rock and roll world; Saturday is the last night of the Hiro Ballroom, which is one of the venues where cool bands have been playing for the last number of years. It’s going to be changed. The last act, the last night, is this coming Saturday and Bebe Buell is performing. Tell me about the band and tell me about what it means to you to close down the Hiro Ballroom.

Well, when I put my last album out before "Hard Love," which was "Sugar," it was Hiro Ballroom who gave me a platform to get back on stage again. I hadn’t been on stage in a while and so they are like family to me. It is one of my favorite rooms. I’ve done three sold-out shows there, and this one that I’m doing Saturday will be the last one. And there were quite a few bands in the city that wanted to close it down and I just stayed out of the entire thing, but they asked me if I wanted to do it. So I was really—a great honor.

So who is in the band?

Well I have Pete Marshall and he played with Iggy Pop and Glenn Danzig. He played with Iggy for years. He started as my bass player and now he is my second guitar player. I have Jimmy Walls, who was in D Generation for their last tour. He is the other guitar player. On bass I have Keith Roth. I had Enzo Penizzotto for my album; he played with Joan Jett for eight years and came back to me. I just lost him because he got the Memphis tour, you know that Broadway musical Memphis? He just got the whole touring thing. He is going to be going on the road with that so now I’ve got Keith Roth in my band, which is a real plus. He is also a radio guy. He does the Electric Ballroom and he also does Sirius. And I have Louisa Bradshaw on backing vocals; I have Sarah Tomek, a young girl from Asbury Park, on drums. And then I have on keyboards, my baby, I love him. He’s the baby of the bunch. Well he and Sarah are both the babies—Zac Lasher—and I found him

from a jam band, believe it or not, called U-Melt. I really saw his talent and I knew I had to get him in my band for obvious reasons. Juilliard protégé; he’s a genius.

How long have you been playing rock and roll?

That’s funny! What a question. My first band I started in 1980 and I made my first record in 1979/1980 with Ric Ocasek from The Cars. The Cars played on my first album “Cover Girl” on Rhino. And Rick Derringer, remember Rick Derringer? Yeah, he produced a couple of tracks. It was actually an EP.

At one point I was gonna say you are a rock and roll coochie-coo. You’ve got rock roots.

I do. I have absolute rock roots. I actually came to New York City because my mother sent my high school graduation picture to Eileen Ford, and the next thing you know I was on an airplane. And I would have gotten to New York any way I could. So if I was going to get here through modeling, I was going to get here through modeling. But as soon as I got here, I got into lots of trouble. I wouldn’t really call it trouble.

Well some of that trouble is what made you famous!

I discovered Max’s Kansas City. I started a very long-term relationship with Todd Rundgren. We weren’t married so we lived a very crazy Bob-and-Ted-and-Carol-and- Alice lifestyle, which I wouldn’t recommend for anybody because it is emotionally draining. It took me about six years to actually get a band together and really get down to business.

The other day you told me something that was very funny. You said that most people think that Steven Tyler gave birth to Liv – that Liv actually came out of his penis.

Which is funny because for a lot of my career, you know, people have always called me the girlfriend of, the mother of, etc. And it has just become, almost, a giggle at this point. I don’t get upset about it; I don’t take it personally. I find it very one-dimensional. First of all, it takes two people to date. It takes two people to make a child. And the way the media works in our country, the person who has the bigger name is the one that gets the credit for everything, including giving birth. In Europe, it’s a whole different story. I love America; I live here. But I have always gotten more respect in the UK and foreign countries.

Well I said to you that, you know, some people think they are cool because you dated all these rock stars. And I said maybe they were cool because they dated Bebe Buell.

I don’t look at it either way. I think people date who they date. You meet somebody…it’s chemistry! I can honestly say that I have never dated somebody as a social or a political move. I have always followed my heart and have only dated people that I loved and that I really had feelings for. I’ve turned down some pretty big dates, trust me. Warren Beatty! When I met Shirley MacLaine –  a lot of people don’t realize they are brother and sister – I went to one of her spiritual things; you know, she talks a lot about metaphysics and past lifetimes and things. She used to do these wonder seminars. And I met her afterward and I looked at her and I said, “You know you and I have something in common." And she looked at me and said, “What’s that?” I said, “Both of us have never slept with Warren Beatty!”

Well, there is a funny story with that. Shirley was on the Johnny Carson Show and Johnny asked her, “ As you are Warren’s sister, you are aware he is famous for sleeping with all these starlets. Is his reputation warranted?” And she said, “Well Johnny, I think that Warren has slept with every starlet in Hollywood except me, and I’m not so sure about that."

Oh, that is hilarious. She’s funny and, of course, she has never slept with him. I have to say: Warren has very good taste. I met a couple of his girlfriends and now his wife, and he never went there. He never went with any riff-raff. He is not a bottom feeder.

Bebe Buell

I met you at a Stiv Bators show, a The Dead Boys show, at my father’s place in Long Island a long time ago. I was sitting with a beautiful girl and you were actually sitting at the same table as us and we didn’t watch the show. We were just watching you. You were the most amazing person we had ever seen and you were very, very sweet. I have always told everybody that you were the sweetest person to us. You made us feel like we were friends of yours.

Well I think it is important to make people feel comfortable and at ease when you are sort of the hostess at an event. 

You told me then and you told again recently, that the thing about Stiv… he was this firecracker, an incredible performer, but also – as well as being incredibly talented – he was very intelligent.

Very smart. What people don’t realize is that he was just a small-town boy from Ohio. He was just a kid that went to see Iggy Pop. He handed him a jar of peanut butter and the rest is history. You know, but in some ways, he was even a more agile performer than Iggy Pop. Some of the things Stiv could do, I don’t think Iggy could do. Stiv could wrap himself up like a pretzel; he could hang himself. He could do all kinds of things. More like Alice Cooper. 

But Stiv was probably one of the sweetest, nicest boyfriends I ever had. We drifted apart. Stiv and I were like—my visual—we were sort of like a rock and roll, punk rock Sonny and Cher. I was a good three heads taller than him. He was extremely funny and when we were together we sort of had a banter like Sunny and Cher did. We would just tease each other and we had this crazy banter. In the end, we ended up becoming really good friends. Our romance peetered out and our friendship expounded, if that makes any sense. 

We used to have a house up in Maine and he would come and stay with me there. He would play on the monkey bars with the kids. The kids loved him. He was a pretzel; he could do any death-defying feat there is. All the kids loved to play with him because he could contort and do all these things to make them laugh, like push his thumbs back and all that kind of stuff. He was great with kids and he was great with animals. I mean, there are just sides to people that people don’t know about. They think its just like a girl goes “Ooh! I want that one!” and then they go and have sex in a dressing room. That’s just not real life. I have never had sex in a dressing room. I’ve never picked up one boyfriend I have ever had backstage.

You’ve dated very famous people. How did these people meet you? What kind of occasions?

It’s New York City! Models and rock stars have been pollinating for how long? This is nothing new. Rock stars who were making an iota of success – the first thing they want to do is upgrade the girls they date. That’s the first thing they want to do, and they want a model. Now it’s that they want a Playboy centerfold, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit girl. It is something they seek out.

So you prefer the word “model." Some people used to call you a groupie and I think that is a terrible name. I don’t think you were a groupie. Some people say you were one of the most famous groupies of all time.

No, I don’t think I was. I don’t think so. I think that title goes to that girl Pamela Des Barres. Pamela Miller, or whatever.

So you were not a groupie at all but you dated rock stars.

I think that’s the part about lazy journalism. The first thing they think of is “Oh! She is dating a rock star. She must be a groupie. Oh my goodness!”

Who else did you date besides rock stars?

The way you say all that! You act like I…

I just want the readers to know!

I can count my lovers on two hands. Can you?

Oh, absolutely not.

Ok. See! So, I always want to say to everybody else, “Tell me about all the people that you have dated. You’ve dated a lot more people than I have!”

What I’m asking you though is, in between all the rock stars, were there other people? Lawyers, doctors, etc.?

No, I never dated a lawyer. I never dated a doctor. I did date one photographer and his name was Clive Arrowsmith, which was really funny. I dated him when I was in London and he shot me for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and I did a lot of my best work, my biggest work, with him…he and David Bailey were the biggest photographers in the UK in the 1970s, in that early part of the ‘70s when I came up. Right before I started seeing Steven and before I got pregnant with Liv, I dated Clive Arrowsmith a little bit, which I think is hilarious because I went on to have a child with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. Life is very interesting. If I had all the answers, if I could put together the puzzle for you, I would. But I can’t even explain to you—I have had this wonderful, serendipitous life. I have just had these synchronistic moments…I am like Forrest Gump. I tell everybody that. I just fall into these wonderful situations.

Bebe Buell

You are looking for this sort of energy that rockers give you.

I think we all look for the energy that we emanate. I have to be around the people that think like I do and that understand how I think. If I am asleep in the bed and get a song idea, I leap up out of the bed and get a pen and paper. When I lived with Elvis Costello, he did the same thing. When I lived with Todd (Rundgren), he did the same thing. I think like-minded people find each other.

What is the same about Steven, Elvis, and Todd? Where is the similarity?

Brilliant, multifaceted human beings. People don’t realize what a brilliant drummer Steven Tyler is. He started as a drummer.

When did the companion aspect end in the relationship? Hmmm, let me word this right: did you at times move off being a companion, like at a gig, and become just a fan like everyone else? Did that happen?

I think, to have that consciousness when you are in a relationship, you have to think that way. And I just never thought that way. I don’t judge people and I don’t hero- worship. People ask me frequently who my heroes are and I hate to sound like an old punk rocker, but I am. I don’t have any heroes. I have people that I admire and respect and want to learn from. I can’t say that I have any heroes, but I can say that I worship some people: Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde. The people that I really admire, they are all dead. You know…John Lennon. They are all human, too. People that I tend to admire are not perfect. They are fallible. I think that is why we all love John Lennon so much – because he wasn’t perfect. He was a man that made many mistakes.

You actually had a conversation with him, didn’t you? Tell me about that.

Well I did. I had many really in-depth amazing conversations with him. I met John through Mick (Jagger). It was my birthday and Todd was in the studio and I was a little sad that I didn’t have my boyfriend to spend my birthday with me. But Todd was a workaholic before it was even fashionable to be a workaholic. I think he even had the first computer in the ‘70s, probably even before Bill Gates had one. But Mick felt a little bad for me and said that we should go out to dinner. We went down to the Lower East Side to this Japanese place called Me; its not there anymore. He said that he had a surprise for me. And earlier in our relationship he had asked me, “If you could meet three people, who would you want to meet?” And I said Edgar Allen Poe, Albert Einstein, Oscar Wilde, my usual, and John Lennon. And he said, “Oh, well that is the only one alive out of that whole group." And then we went on to the next subject and I guess that stuck with him.

So after we got done eating we got in a cab and I said “Where are we going?” and he said, “Oh, you’ll see in a minute!” And it was during John’s time with May Pang and we got out of the cab. We arrived at this apartment uptown and we had to walk up some stairs. We came in and knocked on the door. The door opens and we had to go up a set of stairs and at the top of the staircase, taking a Polaroid of us as we ascended the stairs, was John Lennon. And that picture, that very photo that he took of us, is in May Pang’s book, the one filled with all the Polaroids. I think I could say that may have been the first time in my life that I may have been a little star-struck.

The second time was when I met Salvador Dali at The Ritz, at the magazine store. I adored him as a child. I thought he was just fascinating. He invited me to tea when I was eighteen at The Ritz-Carlton. So I went and had tea with Dali and Amanda Lear, and some other very unusual person who I cant remember anymore. Maybe it was Varushka? And I feel that it was one of those magical moments. He (John Lennon) said he had just seen a UFO, so we spent the entire time talking about aliens because May had heard it all before. I believed him and was very fascinated so I wanted to hear everything he had to say about aliens. And then we went down to Chinatown at four in the morning and ate in one of the all-night restaurants. These were the kind of stories…these are the most sacred memories to me because it is all about cutting your teeth and learning. I was really lucky to learn so much from so many exquisite human beings.

Well, I listened to the album and I have to say there were a lot of things on there that I feel were great, I mean, really great. Tell me more.

I’m just really excited to be playing the final Hiro. I am very touched. The album is "Hard Love." I think it is my best work. I think it is the best thing I have ever done. You know, I have made a lot of records. I’m New York’s best-kept secret. I am a cult artist and I always have been. I have never been Madonna or Lady Gaga. I have always been a little under the radar, a little underground. I think that I have never always gotten my shots because people are so occupied with the glamorous boyfriends that I had and the Playboy or whatever they are distracted by. But I don’t do this because I am trying to win any brownie points. I do this because it is who I am. I am a songwriter and a singer and I have been my whole life. I was a contra-alto in the sixth grade. I was the only contra-alto of my age group in four states. I have a background in singing and when you listen to my material, you can sing this. I’m not just some kid who picked up a microphone and said, “I think I am going to sing this week!”

So Saturday night at Hiro. I will be there and I guess a lot of the people who read this are going to run out.

Oh yeah, it is going to be a good night. A lot of people love Hiro, and one thing about New York City is that when we say goodbye to something or someone, everybody comes out to pay their respects. And it is also the one-year anniversary of the departure of Don Hill, so the timing of it is kind of auspicious. It is the end of a great room and the end of one of the greatest men…we made a slideshow for him. A beautiful Don Hill slideshow.

Rocking Out With The Dirty Pearls

The great rocker/poet Neil Young once offered "Hey hey, my my, rock and roll can never die.” And he’s right. Rock hasn’t died after 50 years of rolling around and mayhem and scandal and death and reinvention. It still sells out stadiums with this year’s Rolling Stones and Aerosmith tours leading the way. There might be dozens of rock acts that can sell out a stadium, yet in the most financially successful nightclubs in town, rock is a not the go-to genre. House in the form of electronic dance music, and hip-hop often housed in open format or mash-up DJ sets, are far more common. Pop is king with Rihanna and Adele et. all getting requested more often than a hot dog at Nathan’s Famous. The DJs invariably comply.

A good friend who knows way more than I do about this sort of stuff says there are only two, maybe three, hip-hop artists that can sell out a stadium. Electronic dance music (EDM) has its superstars like Tiesto and Avicii and others who can sell out small European countries, but can just-now attract tens of thousands in the US of A to warm weather festivals and such. EDM is growing exponentially and is heard in all the ginormous Vegas clubs and big-buck NYC joints.

Rock – which is heard everywhere in movies, commercials, and hip boutiques, and fashion events – has few clubs that embrace it because the bottle- buying public is thought to reject it. The DJs say that rock is in their mixes, but it’s offered with a new beat a new remix that doesn’t scratch my itch. It is recognizable beneath the bells and whistles but often just as a sample played by someone who really doesn’t understand it. My rock is sleazier, harder, and meaningful. I find it at Electric Room, The Bowery Electric, Hotel Chantelle, and Lit Lounge whenever I can. Rock scenes sometimes seethe just under the surface of a city. Then all of a sudden there is a sound or a movement, and there’s suddenly a dozen or more great bands getting all sorts of attention. It has happened in Seattle, Portland, Austin, and Athens, Georgia, and in NYC a dozen times.

There is a scene bubbling up now and The Dirty Pearls are poising to break out. They have songs that sound like hits and work tirelessly to break out. Photographer Lela Edgar, who I tasked to shoot this image, spent a day rockin’ and rollin’ with them.  I caught up with Tommy London and Marty E of The Dirty Pearls.

The Dirty Pearls are making a mark. How do you get from where you are now …call it point A to point C, as in “C the money?”
Tommy London: When we started out, we hit the streets passing out flyers, CDs, and preaching the gospel of The Dirty Pearls. Of course we utilized the social networks like everyone else, but we felt that one-on-one meeting with people out and about was most important. The shows got bigger and bigger, from Arlene’s Grocery to Bowery Ballroom to Gramercy to Irving Plaza! It’s been an amazing climb. We then went for the ripple effect, playing everywhere we could outside the perimeter of NYC. Philly, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Boston, etc…all making our mark with our show and songs. We even took a few trips to the West Coast to show them some NYC rock ‘n’ roll. I knew the buzz was getting really strong when national acts started asking us to open for them in and outside of NYC. Artists such as KISS, Jet, Filter, Bret Michaels, Third Eye Blind, New York Dolls, Andrew WK, and many others have requested The ‘Pearls to open the show!

But now our focus is to take this even bigger! We have been concentrating on playing a lot more regular shows outside of NYC, making high-profile venues, like The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, a new regular home base for The ‘Pearls. We’ve received a lot of great press on our new album "Whether You Like It Or Not" from a ton of major music magazine/blog sites, as well as airplay on local, satellite, and internet radio. Most recently we received an email from a radio station in Italy that has us on regular rotation and asked us to do giveaways since the fans kept calling in and requesting The Dirty Pearls. Last year, the now-defunct WRXP 101.9 here in NYC had us in rotation. They even broadcasted our live concert from Webster Hall during primetime radio hours. DMC (of Run-DMC) came and jammed "Walk This Way" with us on stage. We were the first unsigned band EVER in history to get a commercial-free half-hour to broadcast a live concert on the radio. It was truly a magical night.

And of course all these things lead to point C or as you put it "Point C The Money.” Most recently we’ve had our music featured in various television programs and on the new "Tap Tap" video game for the iPhone/Droid that is due to come out this October. We’ve also received a lot of major interest in our new album "Whether You Like It Or Not,” that we recorded with Grammy Award-winning producer David Kahne.  I’m looking forward to seeing where that leads and what heights it will take us to next.

What should people who don’t know you listen to first, and where is your sound going?
TL: You can hear a few of our songs on our website. But for first listen, I’d say check out "New York City Is A Drug". It represents everything we stand for, feel, and our #1 inspiration for music/lifestyle: New York City.

Marty E: I’d say to look no further than our album "Whether You Like It Or Not,” which you can get via our website…if you want a good sample of what you’ll get from that, check out our video for "Who’s Coming Back To Who" on YouTube.

As for where our sound is going, I’d say that we always strive for bigger hooks, bigger melodies, and bigger beats, while still keeping everything rocking and rolling.

Tell me about the NYC rock scene. Where do people find it…any secret spots?
ME: Well, if it’s a secret, why should we tell?

TL: We actually did this interview in a secret location! Shhhh!

ME: Seriously, there are very few places for rock ‘n’ rollers to hang out. We always go to St. Jerome’s, Three of Cups, Motor City Bar, Welcome to the Johnson’s, Manitoba’s, The Trash Bar in Brooklyn, and of course the big rock party on Thursdays at Hotel Chantelle.

TL: I always say you don’t find the NYC rock scene…it finds you! But all the places Marty mentioned are the places to go to really connect with the right people you can vibe with. The rock scene in NYC is alive and well, more than ever actually. All the bands have come together and have their own sound/style but yet still blend together. It’s really a strong tight-knit community and we are really proud to be a part of it.  But when I say community I don’t just mean musicians; I mean just rock music lovers in general who love to talk, sing, dance, and party to good rock ‘n’ roll.

On stage you are rock stars… I saw you guys at the Gramercy…sold out, adoring fans. Is it 24/7 365, and when you make it will you change?
TL: Yeah, I have to admit we have the best fans. They come to the shows dressed in their Dirty Pearls swag and singing along to every song. It’s such an amazing feeling. Honestly, it’s the fans who make us feel/look like a rock star when we are up on stage. It’s such an amazing high when you give the energy and receive it right back from them. It’s the reason why we do it. As for us changing, I can’t see that ever happening. Our heads are in the clouds but our feet are always on the ground.

ME: I give rock ‘n’ roll 100 percent all the time… whether that makes me a "rock star,” I’m not sure, but I always hope to shine one way or another. I hope that I never change, unless it involves getting better.

You are a top NYC band…who else is likely to break out?
TL: There are so many bands on this scene who have the potential of breaking out. I don’t want to name any names because if I leave one out by mistake I’ll look like an asshole! But I truly believe that as soon as one band breaks through, the rest will funnel through as well. I think the whole scene kind of believes in that philosophy too. There’s a lot of support and love in the NYC rock scene. Friendly competition too, but that’s healthy and keeps you on your toes to always play your "A" game.

ME: What’s great about NYC rock ‘n’ roll is that everyone is doing their own thing and growing in their own ways. The whole point is perseverance and consistency. I’m proud of everything our band and our friends’ bands have accomplished.

How do you market yourselves?
ME: We pounded the pavement from day one, when we handed out fliers on the street, and it really worked. Lately, it’s been more about social networks, I think. Twitter has to be the best marketing tool I’ve ever seen yet. We’re always looking for new ways. Half the battle is getting the word out!

TL: Yeah, we would hit everywhere and just talk with people, give them info on the band and any gig we were playing. We put our stickers anywhere they would stick, and hang posters all around too. When we first started we felt that everyone relied on the internet to just plug, which we did too. But no one was really giving out flyers anymore because it was just easier to post online. We wanted people to go home and wake up the next day with a DP flyer in their pocket or on their dresser. That’s how we originally built the band. Marty and I would go out and pick spots in the scene and spots outside the scene to hit and preach about The ‘Pearls. It worked!

Unlike many bands, you guys have some really great songwriting. Tell me about the process.
TL: Thanks so much for the compliment. I always feel a band is only as good as their songs. I always said to the band, we aren’t the stars of the show…the songs are! As for the process, one of our guitar players (Tommy Mokas & Sunny Climbs) and I will get together, build a strong chorus, work melodies, hooks, and structure.

ME: Then we all roll it and pole it and kick the shit out of it and mark it with a D-P!

TL:‘Nuff Said!

Your new album, "Whether You Like It Or Not" was produced by Grammy Award- winning Producer David Kahne. How did that come about and tell us about the experience.
TL: Our manager had worked with David in the past and sent him our music. He heard the songs and loved them! He reached out and asked if we’d be interested in him producing our album and we were like uhhh…..YEA! I mean David has produced everyone from Sublime to The Strokes to Paul McCartney and more! It was an honor and privilege to work with him and be part of the roster of talent he has worked with. He really brought our songs to life, as well as made us better musicians and songwriters.

ME: Absolutely. Not only did David make us improve ourselves as musicians, but he also made us look at songs and music very differently, especially in terms of arrangements, hooks, melodies, and the way each component of the band contributes to the big machine. It is a very meticulous process, to say the least. I came out of the recording process a much more knowledgeable, well-rounded, and believe it or not, humbled musician.

What’s next for The Dirty Pearls?
ME: The Dirty Pearls are going to save rock n roll and take over the world! So keep checking our website for updates on shows and the latest news on The ‘Pearls!

Rock & Rock and Vodka in Iceland, Magic Monday at Tammany Hall

Our post-BINGO Monday night crawl, which almost always ends up at Joe’s Shanghai, took a detour this week. Dana Dynamite, that Sailor Jerry Rum P.R., was intent on meatballs – and a man my age knows to never get between a gal and her cravings. Shoot, I ended up married a couple of times to women that could have done better following that advice for me. Amanda was a willing lemming as well, as we vowed to follow Dana off any cliff. Waylaid at the door of Tammany Hall by my old friend and newish manager Christine Jennings, my stop-and-chat had the girls wandering into Mission Chinese Food, 154 Orchard Street. I’ve seen the lines and heard the news about folks from Momofuku and Blue Hill Farm and the Mission Chinese San Francisco joint that the NYC spot was all the rage. It was 11pm on a Monday night and the dapper maitre d’ told us 20 minutes. Seemed like a plan.

It was red hot chili peppers meets Mean Mr. Mustard and Steve vs. the Volcano. Hot stuff! Dana was doing her thing and telling me all about this Icelandic Vodka, Reyka, and this rock and roll festival. I was all ears, as my mouth and nose were too numb to be of use. The Icelandic Airwaves Music Festival will whisk Dirty Projectors, Of Monsters and Men, Sigur Rós, and 70+ other bands to that fiery rock with those sexy people October 31 – November 4, 2012. They say it’s “the hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar.” This is Reyka’s second year in a row sponsoring this thing and there has been an online screening process to choose the bands, called “Breakthrough at Airwaves.”

Today is the last day for bands to submit tracks to www.Reyka.com. "Two bands, selected by the festival will win a weeklong trip to Reykjavik, including travel and lodging, and get to perform alongside some of the most exciting and inspired names in music." They’ll announce the winners August 14th. Iceland in November gets, like, 16 hours of night – perfect for Goodnight Mr. Lewis. I’m just saying.

Anyway, after surviving the ridiculously delicious but way too spicy meal, we decided to pop into Tammany Hall to check out the infamous Magic Monday soiree. It’s been running six months now and Christine and Ky told me all about it:

"Breedlove performs every week, along with the guest bands booked by Ky. The party starts at 10pm, is always free, and there is an open Bud Light bar for the first hour, which happens to be Breedlove’s beer of choice."

Ky impressed me. She seems to have those musical chops that are so rare in this biz. Managers are a dime a dozen, door people maybe a quarter, and I wouldn’t go past two cents for a waitron or bartender. They are all replaceable in hours. A person who can book bands and get it right…now that’s a rarity. We’ll be back, but this time we’ll opt for the meatballs.

Remembering That Day, That Girl, Central Park, & Danceteria

A long time ago, I sat on a blanket and ate luscious food and listened to friends talk about important things and I held a hand of a special gal who I never wanted to go away and is now lost in time. There was always a guitar, and I remember our squire singing the Simon and Garfunkel song bookends. 

"Time it was, and what a time it was, it was 
A time of innocence, a time of confidences 
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph 
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you"

I remember that day, that girl, that moment, and that song, but it’s all so long ago. No names and shadows of faces. My life is filled with memories like that; photos stuffed in boxes and dressers that remind me just-not-enough of a past that has left me here. It seems, when looking at an old video or photo, that I was always quite innocent (even when I was found guilty). There is always a naivety in the 2D, and I wonder if that’s my biggest problem. I believe I’ve grown afar from the things that made me happy on that Central Park blanket day. Yet the fundamentals, the core of me, is the same. I have lost too much in glitz and glam. It is a day of reflection after Obama and MLK Day, but also because an old friend is in town to say hey. 

George Haas, a door person at a club long gone, will meet and greet old acquaintances. Danceteria was as good as it ever got. Some can argue for Studio 54 or Mudd Club or The World or Paradise Garage or Area (a sort of Danceteria on steroids), but in the annals of club history of which I have served a humble role, Danceteria stands tall. It was the ’80s, and from what I can see from the black and white images, the clothes were mostly ridiculous. But the sex, the drugs, the adventures were unparalleled.

I often say that a club is often great because it hits you at a time of your life that you are ready for it. Danceteria hit me hard. I had hundreds of one night stands there. I woke up in strange places. I had more friends than even Facebook would allow me now. There was chaos and dangerous adventure and girls with hair that could hurt me. I met a wife there.

There are still groups on the internet that converse, tell tall tales and "remember the time…" stories. I try to always look forward. I try to define myself in the time I live and with the work that I do now, but nostalgia. according to Don Draper, comes right after "NEW" with the way it pulls our strings. I’m feeling that pull, and I will go to Lit Lounge tonight to see old George and the dinosaurs that come out to gather. Time has changed us, but like that piano player said in that movie: "The fundamental things apply as time goes by." I believe that. 

George Haas, Haoui, Rudolf, John and so many others put the fun in the fundamentals back at old Dancetera. That other crazy author said you can’t go back again… I’m gonna try.

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Salon 13: A Badass Hair Affair

“I get people laid. And if you don’t like the haircut I’m gonna give you, you can shave my head.” 

So begins the Salon 13 experience.

Yes, getting your hair styled by dynamic duo and celebrity stylists Alx and Jenni is a one-in-a-million experience. Actually, it’s more than an experience; it’s a trip to a world you never want to leave, filled with rock ‘n’ roll, transformative edgy haircuts that have you exclaiming, ‘I didn’t know I could be that hot!’, and free beer.
 
Owned by Seamus Regan, one of the folks behind Bantam, this two-year-old East Village hair haven is a rare breed. Salon 13 fuses the intimacy of a nightclub, the creativity of an art gallery (local artists’ work is featured on the walls), and the seriousness of masterful stylists who treat hair like an art form, and funnels it all into a seductive concoction that somehow leaves you looking sexier than you ever have in your life.  
 
Alx Alvarez, who has styled everyone from Keith Richards to The Killers and is personally responsible for getting people laid/“upping your cock stock,” trained in Paris and attended art school for sculpting, making hair her art medium. From there, she’s become a prolific celebrity stylist, consistently featured in magazines like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and most recently TimeOutNY. But once you’ve plopped yourself down in Alx’s salon chair, you’re treated just the same.
 
“Everyone here is a star, no matter who you are,” says Alx.  "And I don’t want your money. I like it, but I don’t need it. I want your hair.”
 
This passion for tresses extends to Jenni Robinson, whose experience as a top make-up artist and hairdresser with French and Japanese training, makes her the go-to woman for coloring hair. Her dynamite attention to hair style, color, and strength ensures the healthiest treatments, from the more basic styling to her signature one-day Brazilian Keratin treatment.
 
“People just come here to hang out,” says Alx. “Finance guys, corporate women, artsy people – they just feel good being here.”
 
And why not? With its purple velvet walls, crass and personable conversation, and head-turning styles, you’ll walk out of Salon 13 not just feeling good, but looking HOT, and telling everyone about it. I know I am.