DJ War: Uncle Steve Takes on Goliath
Hey loyal readers. If you’re expecting something deep or profound today, pick up the Post. Your humble hero is a bit out of it. When you reach my age, and you’ve been out all night, you get the hangover without the ability to forget what caused it. Lady Astor once said, “One reason I don’t drink is that I want to know when I am having a good time.” I had a good time last night. I got to participate in full contact DJing with the legendary Mark Kamins at my favorite place in town not owned by Erik Foss, subMercer.
Mark is an old friend, and for a guy with a ginormous ego he can be quite humble. He rarely talks about himself with his mouth full of food. He has had a brilliant career although being my DJ partner last night may be the low point. If you go to Wikipedia, they’ll tell you he “is a New York club DJ. He is best known for helping launch the career of one-time girlfriend Madonna by presenting a demo to Seymour Stein of Sire Records. He also produced her first single “Everybody” in 1982.” It goes on to say he has worked with “controversial performance artist Karen Finley and projects for Tommy Page, David Byrne of the Talking Heads, Ofra Haza, the Beastie Boys, Sinéad O’Connor and UB40.”
You could add a hundred etcetera’s to his resume. He was definitely one of the first international DJ’s, and to this day works all over the world. What it doesn’t say is that he is one of the most beloved and respected people in the scene. Last night he joined me at subMercer where we did a ping pong DJ set. I played 3 and then he played 3. I told him I was going to go easy on him…I lied. As he was playing, I was having pretty girls ask him where the bathroom was, or I was loudly telling old jokes about his old age to the DJ booth crew. It was “he’s so tired that when he goes to the airport they make him check the bags under his eyes,” or, “he’s so tired his phone number is 1-800 dial-a-mattress,” or, “Mark is over 60 and still doesn’t need glasses. He drinks right out of the bottle.” The entourage of a dozen DJs and DJ groupies were roaring and he got a little distracted. DJ Justin Strauss would whisper in my ear the name of some incredibly imagined but obscure song, and I would tell Mark, “Omg, you played that! I was going to play that!” He was shocked that I knew it, as like 100 people in the world who don’t DJ would know that track. He was looking at me and alternated between laughter and annoyance at my antics. He became very aware that we were in a war. I was relentless and when he got distracted and made a boo boo I offered my assistance. “Mark, do you need help with the equipment?” We laughed and laughed and the dance floor stayed full. We’re gonna do it again.
The crowd at suBmercer was charged and super hot. Gabby Meija plied me with bottled waters and diet cokes until I had to leave the room and she could play a few tracks. Tariq Abdus-Sabur then took over and we all relived the last 25 years. Richard Alvarez, the door keep extrodanaire, mesmerized me and mine with tales of yore and yonder. On another note, Damn DJs get hit on…even bad ones. I had my girlfriend with me. Bringing your girl to a DJ gig is like bringing a bottle of jack to a wine tasting–it’s overkill and it kills your game. But alas, I am a loyal cuss and she just laughed at my suave moves. A curvy woman way out of my league told me she loved my set and I told her I loved hers as well. Another asked me for my number and I told her it was 1-800-dial-a-mattress. She didn’t get it and she’s the type who is used to getting it. It was like that–subMercer is sexy.
Okay, back to my job. I hear from dubious sources told over loud music that there’s moves going on over at the Los Dados space in the Meatpacking, that the 205 Christie space which has been available for eons is being taken by the 10th Street Lounge guys, that Le Colonial Elizabeth Street is fighting a losing battle over rent. The addition of the Keith McNally offering Pulino’s on Bowery and Houston has landlords in the area salivating and rents skyrocketing. I hear Mr. McNally tried to take over the hair salon next door but they said no. I hear that long-legged, long time club promoter Caron Bernstein has (with a little help from her beau Andrew) given birth to a baby boy. They named him Jett and he will surely grow up to be a heartbreaker.
When Caron’s modeling career began to wane she hit me up for a bartending spot at LIFE. I asked her if she ever bartended and she said sure. I, being the skeptic that I am, asked my head bartender to keep an eye on her. An hour after the club opened I asked him how she was doing. He told me she asked him what went into a vodka cranberry. In time she learned that one, but little more, and she was never behind the bar much, just flitting around the club and flirting, and she was never on time and wanted to leave early, but made as much tips as anybody. She was treated “special” because she was always special. Caron Bernstein is hot, charismatic and owner of the best bellybutton I’ve eve seen, and now she is a mother and we love her. Diane Brill, club mother from a bygone era, is celebrating her birthday at a private place. Club royalty from that day will pay homage. Alas, sasa Nikolic’s request for me attend Eric Milon’s 55th Street offering, Covet, last night, could not be honored due to my pleasure at subMercer. I promise to dig out my passport and venture uptown soon if they’ll take my rain check. I am routing for Covet’s success as I believe Eric Milon has the right stuff to make something swell.