Wednesday another very full and special day, I finally felt like going out and dressing up since I got here last week. The day started with a photo shoot with Karl Giant at noon. Ever since I saw the images of The World Famous BoB and Julie Atlas Muz, I knew I wanted to experience first hand what this very talented man does with a face, make up, some lights, and a few hours. I love the look he created with me and I look forward to sharing the images when I have them. We carried on until it was 4, we had such fun talking and getting to know each other and working on his vision, he even pulled out the two Wind King fans, and it felt very Scavulo.
After the shoot I headed back to the East Village in full face and proceeded to stop traffic and put smiles on old ladies faces in the neighborhood. As I walked down 10th street between 2nd and 1st I notice a woman whom I am fearful of, not of her, but for her, the existence she is living out. She is wearing a pair of knee length shorts no belt so that they are hanging below her butt cheeks, she has no underwear, very home boy style or what ever that is (I never really got that fashion statement) but here she is flaunting this look with more authenticity and sincerity than I have ever seen. No shoes, and I what I think is a very thin bra strap. Her matted hair is pulled back in a rather lumpy messy ponytail. She is on a mission, one that I will see played out in just seconds. She is only a few feet from me when she in a very matter of fact way pulls down her pants and takes what appears to be a very much-needed pee. I could feel the relief as her urine splashes out of her bladder, spraying her pants and thighs, she is standing in her puddle and flashing the unsuspecting or involentatry audience her generous red bush of pubic hair. The contrast of her and me on that sidewalk are not lost to me, and I just digest this intimate moment and the profound profanity of it all, how sad our world has become, and well maybe she is just very old school and I have a false sense of what humanity is.
I needed to eat before the rest of the events of the evening so I headed over to the yummy Italian resultant Orologio and have some Chicken cacciatore and sewed on a few more black snaps on the gorilla suit, I had liberated from El Vez’s closet earlier in the week, that I would be prancing out of later in the evening at The Bowery Poetry Club event -Surf Burlesque, hosted by the lovely and charming Jo Boobs.
After my meal I went back to my friend Tom’s apartment (where I have been staying) to change and pack up for the night’s events. I realize I cannot zip myself into my fringe dress, so I have to wait until I get to Scott Ewalt’s loft on the Bowery (the unofficial NY Museum of Times Square, Male Strip Clubs and Burlesque) to get into my dress for the Mao Magazine Party. This issue of Mao is very close to my heart as it includes an article on John Sex with whom I collaborated with as a performer and as a producer. I had him out to Seattle a few times for some very exciting shows back in the late 80’s. The poster for his first time out (was designed by Dennis White also known as White Boy International) won the best poster design by The Rocket in 198?!?!? Something. This issue also includes two great sources of inspiration Amanda Lear and Liz Renay, who I am very, privileged to also call a friend. Scott Ewalt did many of the images for this magazine as well many of the previous issues, but your gonna LOVE Amanda in this issue!
The party… Scott, Michael and I arrive and as we get out of our taxi we see Davis Burns riding his bycle down the street in some causal gear. I have not seen him since we were all in Tokyo at the same time and ended up at The Barneys opening party, I was there with Joey Arias singing back up vocals for him with Tony Frere. The date!?! I just remember that David gave us shade and seemed inconvienced that we were there and were other westerners to share the exotic foreign spot light with. What ever. we saunter right in. It is always nice to be with the right people at these kinds of events. We are flocked, well maybe not flocked but at least held up by 4 or 5 photographers who want to take our image for whatever publication they are selling to. I can’t help but think how annoying it must be to have this be a regular occurrence and how tiresome it could become. But for right now I just take it in, try to be accommodating, and enjoy it.
The creme de la creme of the NYC glamour brigade has been recruited to be beach girl pin ups. And what a beach party it is with Dirty Martini, The World Famous BoB, Julie Atlas Muz and a pretty girl who I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know who she is. They are bouncing beach balls in bathing suits and it is a reminder that summer is coming to a close.
There is great video of John Sex and photo collages of 80’s NYC club scenes. I feel like I am at a reunion but as the evening progresses it transitions into a feeling of communion.
More and more familiar faces from the past come into this room as I am sipping champagne and taking it all in. Bodacious Ta ta’s Myra, April Palamari are in attendance, Katy K is conspicuously not there and you can feel the space that she is not standing in. I spot Basil Twist speaking to Johnny Dynell, I am very much in anticipation to see his performance later with Joey Arias. Silvia a Miles, and Larissa, are comforting sights they are the Grand Dames and Matriarch Denizens of the 80’s NY I knew and experienced. Much to my delight Craig Vandenberg is sitting on a bench, last time I saw him was at a Tom Of Finland Party Art show in LA several years ago. He has stage 4 cancer and is literally 1/3 of the man he has been but his smile and personality are as large as ever, so is the rock hanging around his neck, big as my fist. Craig is a downtown institution. So many familiar faces I start to see ghosts, Tom Rubizts, Houi Montauk to name a few this is where the evening became communion for me, so many friends and acquaintances from the last 20 years of my life all in their party best and looking fan-fucking-tastic. The energy is great and that is when Joey starts to perform. He looks Stunning! And the band is 12’ height and made out of wood, and dressed to the nines .I recognize the horn player as Harry James. They are the puppets that Basil Twist’s Grandfather had commissioned in the 30’s. They are astounding, well dressed and full of expression! Joey Ãrias interaction with the band is truly magical and we are all children watching wide-eyed and full of wonder.. I look across the front row, Bill Cunningham is swept away and you can see the glee on his face, Isabelle Toledo has her hands in prayer in front of her face and brightly smiling, Dirty Martini is on the floor wide eyes with wonder but manages to save the day when the miniature piano player loses his instrument in the heat of his wild playing. Really everyone is a child at this sight. My eyes are leaking and soaking in what I know will be a legendary night where so many of us were in together room, filled with joy and celebration. We are all part of a very special NY past and even thought we were not all friends we were all there and some how all of us together was a communion of art, creativity, and living history of what is left of the underground counter culture.
I cannot possibly name all the names of the people who were there. It was fun it was fabulous and the energy was lovely and the spirit in the room was charged and took me back to a happier time in early 82 when we were are still carefree and expressing our wild selves all over the place with our caution.
I had to leave and there were so many people to talk to and more tasty champagne to sip but leave I must to don the gorilla suit and pop out! Off to the Bowery Poetry Club we go. The timing is perfect I get in and change into Ginger! I have just enough time. I had fun toying with Gorilla Bob, playing with his hair, as I was being Girlilla just before I transform into Ginger! Irony always has a seat at my table.
After I am done I sneak out to watch the very sick and amazing group act that Jo has choreographed for her students Bells Of the Bowery. It is to Aqualung by the mad flautist himself, Jethro Tull. They are homeless bobos and Jo looks suspiciously like Charlie Manson, my favorite part is where they take off their raincoats and have fringing bottoms and bras on with full beards! It is So pervy!
They do a synchronized chair dance and it is very entertaining and disturbingly sexy.
After the show Scott Michael, Loren, Nadine and I end up getting a bite to eat and then on to the little Casaba on Avenue A between 10th an 11th and have a few glasses of wine, mint tea and even a puff or two of the apple hookah. Well the girls are all that are left at this point. What a charming evening.
I get to sleep despite the constant bombardment of the mosquitoes! I try to make a tent out of my top sheet to fend them away.
Thursday I take care of a lot of errands that I am not excited to deal with, as they really have nothing to do with me, I am being some ones bitch so to say and feel full of resentment. I visit for a while with Julie Atlas Muz at her new home and enjoy the view. From there I head up to the Christopher Henry Gallery to see the Ves Pitts show that my new friend Paul is a subject in. On the way there I notice how beautiful the full moon is hanging in the eastern sky like a big fat tangerine over the Brooklyn skyline. As I take in the beauty of the night I remember that The Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower has been converted into yet another luxury condominium, just a few years ago it was the last bank in the city of NY that would open a checking account for children. Yes, Brooklyn is part of the city know as NY. The bank it self is destined to be a fancy restaurant. What is happening to this city? How many condos and restaurants can this place support? And how many dorm rooms does NYU really need to build? What exactly is the enrollment for that fucking university anyway, and how many students do they really need to accommodate? I digress!!!!
I took a taxi as I was running late the traffic was horrid going down 23rd. There is a bus inform of us with an advertisement for Tarzan the new Disney Musical. I can’t help but think to myself “Now that’s a winner!” Finally the cab gets across town and we head up 10th Avenue there are reader board that informs the public that the use of fake ID is a crime. I find it odd but figure that there must be allot of under age people in this part of town.
I get to the gallery and the show is amazing! I love the work; it is dark, sexy and draws on so many cultural under ground references. Kind of thrilling to think that there are social groups that have not yet been commercialized!
It is warm out, almost sultry; I am invited to have dinner with Paul his roommate Blue, and Daisy Shaver a radical Fairy. I head out with them but decided that I need to go off into the night on my own, and later call Loren to see if she would care to join me at the little Italian restaurant we like so much in the east village. She does and off we go, once again it takes us forever to find it, it is as if the restaurant lives in a porthole and moves around. After much discussion and deductive reasoning and weaving back and forth between avenues a, b, c, and d and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th street we find it swearing that we will never forget it’s location, but I bet we do.
We have a feast and then I walk back to Loren’s and get to see her most fantastic shoe collection. In her front room or salon she has a glass front cabinet filled with beautiful shoes. All are very sexy, none of them are sensibly heeled, many are from the Little Shoe Box in London, and some from are gifts or from various thrift and vintage shops in NYC over the years. There are black and pale pink patent leather and suede and alligator patchwork. The mid boggles at the beauty before me. We discuss the shoes for quite awhile and off we go to collect her bionic dog for a late night promenade under a full moon. We wander and end up back at our new local casaba and talk till three in the morning once again.
Then it’s back to Tom’s (who had damaged himself playing kick ball, and was unable to drive his sore ass back to town while I was there) to pack and get ready to leave town. I run a few errands in the morning have lunch with my psychic heir dresser (I will save that story for another time) and see Andy for the last time and head out to JKF the car goes through Williamsburg, as I want to get to JFK via Atlantic Avenue and North Conduit, it is the fastest and cheapest way to get there (my fare was $28 at 4 in the afternoon).
I love going through Williamsburg it feels like time travel, the Hassidic young girls in their 1930’s style dresses and little boys in suits and there parent equally held in a different time. Even the store fronts are of another era, I always say to myself that I will take the time to spend a day here walking around and going to all these shops, well that is if they would let a goyim like myself in. I wonder how long they can keep up this lifestyle, Hassidism only came into being in the 1800’s, will it be diluted and fade way into the past like so many other distinct lifestyles. I have been back in Seattle for almost two weeks and have managed to barely do nothing but attend a few band rehearsals and do two shows at the Pink Door. I have not felt myself and seem to be in mourning. I really need to shake it soon figuratively and literally, as I look at my calendar of events and there is a lot to live up to in the next few months!