Good Night Mr. Lewis: Britney Spears, Free at Last!

The super-private, ultra hush-hush Britney Spears birthday and album release party brought the New York City club scene to Tenjune last evening. It was the birthday and album release party that were cited as the reason for the crowds that gathered but most were there to see how she looked after everything that went down. A series of misadventures had rendered the gal who once kissed the material girl virtually immaterial, except maybe as gossip fodder. A highly controlled comeback, and yes – I saw the special and know how much she hates that concept — was in full swing as the VIP ropes inside the VIP section was, I was told, “controlled by the father.”

I like the guy. He came off as a great ‘ol good ‘ol boy in “the movie,” so I sidled up to him to watch him work; he didn’t let anyone inside the VIP section unless he knew them. It was like watching Clint Eastwood in that secret service movie. The inner sanctum crowd surrounded her and kept her at a safe distance from the world of New York City clubs. I also saw Larry Rudolph, I recognized him from the movie too, with all the other Britney “we’re ready again for prime time players”. It was fun, but just like everything I saw in “the movie,” it was so controlled and so sanitized. Britney used to hang out at my joint Spa back in the day; she was so sweet and fun and free. She would dance for hours with everyone and once with me. She made me blush as I was a statue and she was literally dancing rings around me. She popped up on a speaker and go-go danced with a pretty hat and I remember three regulars, a pod of B-girls, came up to me and said “wow where’d ya get that go-go dancer? That looks like Britney Spears Steve…wow, oh golly, she’s fantastic!” I replied, “she is Britney Spears,” and they giggled a salvo of “no really’s” and “hahaha’s” until I gave them that serious stare I usually save for my puppy when he pees on my rug. We all loved her for being this sweet thing on her way to the big top. She was so inspiring, so optimistic then. Maybe she just couldn’t handle it or needed better handling or maybe, it was all good and as she said…lots of people shave their heads.

I can’t say what really happened but I do know this: all the puff pieces and PR babble isn’t going to sell me that she isn’t coming back from some deep, dark place and into the light again. The handlers didn’t need to have layers on layers of velvet ropes in a joint like Tenjune — Heidi Klum and Jeremy Piven were walking around without a problem. A real good New York club crowd knows how to deal with a celeb and Eugene and Mark run a real solid New York City club and have lots of celebs hanging and letting their hair down (no offense Britney). Britney would have been okay just wandering around, and even dancing. She used to dance on platforms at my joint with her large security near enough but not looming; high-profile celebs from Mick to Liz Taylor have mingled with the masses. I hope one day when the “non-comeback tour” is over Britney can just pop into some joint and be herself without Rudolph and the red-nosed father to chaperone. Oops I did it again, I spoke too soon: “She ended up staying till 1:30a.m., danced in middle of dance floor and was having a great time,” said Tenjune co-owner Eugene Remm. Yeah!! We love you Britney!

Photo: Patrick McMullan

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