How I Got Into Nightlife
I think our next president should be a Morman. Not the Mitt Romney variety—heavens no. I’m thinking more along the lines of a Big Love type, with 47 wives and a zillion kids. A man who can handle that can handle anything. Club relationships are also very “special,” as the industry comes with many distractions, confusions, and temptations—similar to a whole lot of “sister-wives” drama. When you see a relationship working in this industry, it should be celebrated, maybe even studied. I enjoyed watching Snap/Bloc Group honcho Mathew Isaacs interact with his lovely Danielle DeGregory last night as she celebrated her birthday at his venue.
It was cuddly, cute and wonderful. The weekly karaoke night was going on, which was adding to the fun. On another note, the much-anticipated basement addition to the venue has a name, a design, and a due date. I’ll talk about that when I am unleashed—I’m really not supposed to say anything so I won’t.
With great admiration I note the opening of Natasha, the queen of Spandex and everything related, of her niche at Patricia Fields, her inclusion to come the end of the month. If anyone wants to point a finger at someone for getting me into the club world, Natasha and my friend Debi Marino must be accused. I was a corporate-type during the day who wallowed in severe punk clubs at night. More often than not, I would go from an obscure place with dim lights and sticky floors packed with girls with hair that could hurt you, to a desk in the financial district. I soon chose the insanity of the former over the boredom of the latter. It was a single sad incident that pushed me over the edge. My roommate and best friend the beautiful and talented “it” girl Jillian Black died suddenly of a heroin overdose. She had done it the night before for the first time, and wanted to try it again. We chatted at 7PM on a subway platform, and I told her of the dangers—pleading with her to avoid that drug and that crowd, the crowd that was enlisting her into their cult. She agreed. She was dead by dawn.
I sought out her new friends with mad intent, but was convinced she only had herself to blame. She was used to getting her way and they couldn’t stop her. She was always unstoppable. Of course now she’s as dead as Julius Caesar. I spun around and decided to do a fashion, art event which would help push the rapidly gentrifying East Village chic/punk scene along. The way I figured it the more successful boutiques filling vacant storefronts, the more interested the cops would be to push the pushers to another hood.
The East Village Look was my big break. The almost 2-hour show had thousands of people attending and 20 boutiques involved. It catapulted me into a new career. Debi Marino partnered with me on the mega show. Natasha was the first person who said yes. She then helped me land Trash and Vaudeville, and soon everyone was involved. Astor place barbers and some other salons sent waves of hairstylists to the gala. Everyone left the club that night with a new—free—’do. I looked at the video of the event last night and it was amazing to see this time capsule of ‘80’s club life. All the players were there modeling and galavanting around. Some of them are long gone as victims of the age of consent—to every vice imaginable. AIDS was there, all around us, but we didn’t understand that, or see it in our brilliant darkness. So a tip of the hat and a wham-bam-thank-you-Mam to Natasha, returning to her roots. Great success, darling, at Patricia Fields!
On a sad, but similar note, I mark the passing of Lita Hessen. Known for her loud voice, big heart, and big binging, Lita was a joy to the world—even though she often seemed deeply sad. I met her a few years back while lounging at the Mercer Hotel with the generous (to a fault) millionaire Linda Rawlings and my friend Marcus Antebi. Linda was wearing—no exaggeration— 10 million dollars worth of jewelry, including a yellow diamond ring the size of Vermont, 5 watches (one worth, like, a million bucks—all diamonds upon diamonds) and a tiara with more diamonds. She was buying Crystal, and offering it to an increasingly larger crowd. Like Lita, Linda made many friends by lavishing them with stuff. The waitress was tasked to wear the tiara while she was serving. Lita and a friend came to meet us. Linda proceeded to give Lita’s pal a check for over $30,000 on the spot to help her with her failing business. It was like that. Lita and I would see each other from time to time, out and about, and then became friends. She was so much fun, but she was everywhere and nowhere. She was lucid, then suddenly nuts: happy then tragic: aloof then clingy. Her inner beasts tore at her ,and no amount of extravagance, tall tales, or ambitions could hide her pain. Everybody knew Lita. She bought everyone dinner, drinks, little gifts. When you could calm her down and get past the fluff she was sweet and smart, and very enjoyable. But there was a lot of fluff. I met my great friend DJ Jennifly through her. It was Jennifly who told me of her demise. A memorial service will be held this Sunday, May 15th 7:30PM on Christopher Street Pier.