Good Night Mr. Lewis: R.I.P. Gary Stewart; Bijou Altamirano Talks Art & Music
Once again, Facebook is the bearer of bad news. Pal Bill Jarema alerted me to the passing of legendary sound engineer/artist Gary Stewart. The club world is as shocked by his death as it was awed by his sound systems. People spoke of his great ears and gigantic heart. Bill Jarema, ex-Studio 54 honcho, offered "imagine any of the great nightlife venues without sound and you will realize quickly how much Gary will be missed." Superstar House DJ Frankie Knuckles posted "It’s a sad day when someone so special passes on. Gary was a friend and a great engineer. On many occasion he made me sound so good. I will always love you, Gary. Thank you for being my friend." Hundreds of people have weighed in so far but as the news spreads it will be thousands. Gary was a global presence. The club world, the scene, and the planet have lost a gentleman. I’ll put forth that a client list is worth a thousand words. Here is a list of his clients from the GSA website:
ZOUK Nightclub (Singapore), Ministry of Sound (England), Sound Factory (NYC), Discotheque (NYC), Vinyl (NYC), System (NYC), Fitzcarraldo (Florence, Italy), Love (NYC), Sound Planet (Ukraine), David Morales (NYC), Centro Fly (NYC), Chaos (NYC), Flying Point (South Hampton, NY), Gaiety (NYC), Halcyon (Brooklyn, NY), Hearthrob (NYC), Liquid (Miami Beach, FL), Liquid (West Palm Beach, FL), Lot 61 (NYC), Melting Pot (NYC), Nells (NYC), Ohm (NYC), Palladium/Arena (NY), Paradox (Baltimore, MD), Pearl WP (NYC), Roxy (NYC), Sound Factory (NYC), Space @ FP (South Hampton, NY), Spectrum (Brooklyn, NY), Swamp (East Hampton, NY), Vinyl/Shelter/Body & Soul (NYC), Eric Morillo /Subliminal Records (New Jersey), Bar Room ) Miami Beach, FL), Balthazar (NYC), Candle Bar (NYC), Eagle (NYC), Eugene’s (NYC), Lucky Strike (NYC), Odeon (NYC), Pravda (NYC), The Break (NYC), Splash Bar (NYC), The Swamp (East Hampton, NY), Tiki Room (NYC), Works (NYC), Water Taxi Beach (Long Island City, NY), Danny Tenaglia Loft (Long Island City NY), Velvet Underground (Singapore), Attica (Shanghai), Phuture (Singapore), Minx (Shanghai).
While I am writing this I am listening to the beautiful music Gary provided on his GSA website. I am mesmerized by Dennis Ferrer and Jerome Sydenham’s track "Soundcastles," which offers the lyrics "I will live for loving you". I’ll let that serve as an amen. R.I.P. Gary Stewart.
Tomorrow night while I spin for true-to-their-school rock and rollers at Hotel Chantelle there will be an event at the Adidas store 136 Wooster Street that I should be at. Ben Soloman and Nicholas Atkins present "HERE WE GO AGAIN," a visual history of the past 3 decades of New York City. It’s a celebration as well of 10 years of Adidas Original’s Shoe Store. Clayton Patterson, who’s been locked up more often than Lindsay Lohan in his pursuit of the truth of the streets and people of this town, is the bold face name here. He will be joined by one of my favorite artists/people Bijoux Altamirano. Also on the bill are Arab Parrot, Cheryl Dunn, Mordechai Rubenstein, Guess, Daniel B. Levin, Julia Willoughby Nason, Shadi, Angela Boatwright, and many more. Films by Clayton and Elsa Rensa, TVTV and many more will be shown. DJ Stretch Armstrong will surely be perfect for this event. It’s invite-only so start your wrangling, finagling, and begging now.
Bijoux Altamirano is one of those New Yorkers pursuing an artistic career and supporting herself with a billion jobs. Nightlife supports the up and comers, the artists, the gifted. It’s what separates us from Peoria. Bijoux, a sometimes starving artist, was a mainstay of Kembra Phalers Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, she bartended at Lit and Santos and other inappropriate places. She was recently at the door of Westway and Goldbar and has been a bottle service girl to pay for her inspirations. She has pieces and bits in shows all over town and Erik Foss took one of hers to a show he curated in Mexico City. She weighed in: <
"I’ve been supporting myself through that and my artwork- music videos and photo. I directed a video last year which was the official music video for FIFA 2011 Women’s World Cup soccer featuring pop artist Alexis Jordan and her hit song "Happiness" which aired on ESPN in the US and Europe. I also did a video for Maluca ‘Lola’ (whom I met working at Santos) which aired on Tr3s and a bunch of other Latin music stations…. I also did a video for my boyfriend Prince Terrence’s band Hussle Club ‘quaranteenagers’ which was sponsored by Scion A/V and aired on MTV2, And I shot a rap video in Westway actually and also did some corporate jobs, in-house videos for Bank of America. And just basically also focusing a lot on my photo work…. I’ve kind of worked at so many clubs with so many people it’s hard for me to remember a lot of it. I turned down $200 from 2 drunk guys trying to get in recently and I’m really regretting it right now. LOL."
I asked her what she was going to be when she grew up and she offered "What am I going to be when I grow up? Well, I’m 29 now, so I’m pretty sure that means I’m officially grown up. But when I’m happy with my grown up-ishness I’ll be doing my artwork (photo, video) full-time and solely supporting myself from that. You can check out my work on my website http://www.bijouxaltamirano.com/,and my some other of my photo work on my tumblr http://bijouxaltamirano.tumblr.com/"
I cannot believe I won’t make this party as it will represent all that many people claim isn’t here anymore. The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of events and adventures. Anyone who claims nightlife is boring is a bore.