New York. So Crazy Right Now......
Yah its been a few weeks since I came back but I've been busy sine my return from the Big Banana (thanks to Chris for that term. Calling it the Big Apple is so last millennium.)
My trip started out a bit arsey as I had a chav couple slagging off my technicolored sequined jacket on the bus (for no reason except maybe they might have been desperate to get home and watch themselves on Jeremy Kyle. They judge and so shall I) and then a guy getting pissy about asking him to move so I could sit in the seat I'd booked on the plane.
Hardly a good start so I said, 'We're stuck sitting next to each other for quite some time so we might as well get on eh?' Got on famously after that.
Arrived in New York city all buzzy as I was popping my New York cherry. Stayed in Chelsea with my fabulous host Gazelle who is the editor of the freak chic mag Gazelland (The 'Skin' issue which is released June 07 will be a testament of our times featuring the chic freaks of London and New York at their rawest).
After settling in, I had a wonder to Times Square (not as slutty as I'd imagined but then again, I was basing my initial opinion on Annie Sprinkles') and was bombarded by advertising and neon. It makes Piccadilly Circus looks like pound shop Christmas lights.
What really surprised and disturbed me was that right in the middle of it all was an American Army careers advice booth, screaming out glamorous propaganda. 'Join the Army and you'll be a hero, travel the world, spend your whole time windsurfing, be a right hunk etc.
Having been in the Army myself (still hard to believe that I did two years in khaki-not flattering) I know this is all a load of bullshit to merely entice those who are desperate, have no ambition and/or stupid enough (I was desperate and a little stupid) into a career that messes with your sense of self and could have you sent home to your olds in a bag. All for what? Don't do it kids. They treat you like crap, not a human being. You are stripped of any individuality as they don't want an Army that can think, they want one that can follow orders.
Anyways….Wednesday, did my gay pilgrimage to St Christopher Street and The Stonewall Inn. There’s a statue commemorating the 1969 riots of two gay men standing and two women seated. Reminds me of a stereotyped gay club, the queens are up dancing having a whale of a time while the lesbians are sat in the corner talking about property and how to prepare mung beans.
In the evening I was invited to see the potty mouthed grande dame of New York, Joan Rivers by her lovely manager Chip. My date was Russella who was also over from London.
I was anticipating more from Joan to be honest. There were moments of genius but as a whole, left me a little flat. Amazing in how different she is offstage. She'll hate me for saying this but she was like a little frail old lady. I made her laugh with a sweat shop joke when she said she liked the same jacket that chavs had ridiculed a day previous.
Rushed back to get changed for my debut show in NYC at Slurp at The Cock (genius name) hosted by the fabulous and wonderfully warm Linda Simpson who edits My Comrade magazine (another excellent and well written alternative mag).
The crowd are quite cruisey so feared they wouldn't 'get me' but they screamed all they way through my two tracks (Two Magdalene Fuckers and Show Me Your Banana). Couldn't have asked for a better response if I'd paid for it!
Forgetting that the word 'Fanny' means 'Arse' in the States (The Tranny with the Bum?) I had to ask if they knew what it meant and a few screamed out 'Vagina'. Glad we got that cleared up.
The music at Slurp is as filthy as the clientele and there is an air of non-pretentious fun. A lot of folk were exquisitely dressed up and there was a lot of slutty sex, tea bagging and booze consumption. If you get the chance, I insist you go.
Thursday was more sight seeing (and shopping, well with 1.90 dollars to the pound, was rude not to-felt like everything was a half price sale) before going to Kino 41 promoted by club ledged Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny which was a bevy of sleek style. In attendance were club stars Amanda Lepore, Lady Fag (who like me, rocks the gender bender look), Andre J, Cazwell, Zelda (an original from Studio 54 days) and other beautiful and glamorous creatures of the night.
Then hot footed it into a cab over to the Hiro Ballroom (nightmare to get in, even though I was on DJ Mehdi's guest list-the staff are rather rude so be prepared) to see the wonderful Ed Banger Records boys tear things up.
These French guys are the best thing about music right now and if you haven't heard one of the tracks from their stable on a dance floor recently, you must be dead. This isn't nu rave (always thought that a ghastly term, especially as I'm old enough to remember old rave. I don't see the point of making anything new or nu-just 'be' honey) this is pure sweat-down-your-crack-go-crazy-shake-yourself-around party music. They throw regular parties in London and they are simply some of the best parties I've been to and I've been clubbing for 15 years now-so go! Justice, DJ Mehdi, Busy P and SebastiAn-what a line up, what lovely fellas.
Friday, more tourist action and in the evening, a show at Area hosted by Michael Formika Jones Jones and James Coppola (who also promotes Unisex Salon hosted by Justin Bond. I didn't get the chance to go myself but everyone I met raved about it-sounds like the freakiest hot ho down in town right now).
Half the draglets and club freaks in NYC seem to attend Area-lots of fun. Surprised to hear a large amount of bootlegs (mash ups/blends/whatever the kids are calling them nowadays) being played.
Performed two tracks (Two Magdalene Fuckers (My video) and Pussycat Party Bloc Party-Banquet vs. Pussycat Dolls-Don't Cha both originally produced by Dunproofin ) and was followed by opera drag star Shequida and resident Peppermint.
Hailing cabs are a bit tricky if you’re dressed a bit freaky in NYC. Had a few who would pull over, take one look at me then pull off. Charming. Managed to flag one down and over to the second show of the night at Element for Bootie NYC.
Bootie is a San Francisco based night of bootlegs and bastard pop shenanigans. In the house were GYBO (a music mong board I frequent) folk Partyben, Adrian and Mysterious D, Katie Enlow and Lenlow. Nice to hang with musical people I know from the interweb.
Saturday was another Formika and Coppola night at Avalon, which used to be the infamous Limelight, the church come club where the homosexual massive go to worship.
Cazwell hosted a Go-Go Idol competition which was ironically won by a Brit who won by sticking his fingers in his bum (can't take us anywhere). Spent most of the night outside smoking as the no smoking rule forces all the naughty folk out.
When the ban comes to London, I feel its going to divide clubbers. They'll either put up and go outside or it will see the return of house parties. I'm all for the later.
The chapel is fun pop and electro but the main room plays that dull progressive, take your top off and show yer pecs stuff. It never peaks and just mixes on and on and on. Hey, the gays like that-good for them but I prefer a hands in the air like you really couldn't care vibe.
Went to breakfast at the Yaffa Café (despite going there the night before with the Bootie crew) and we fed our faces. I recommend the Moroccan style chicken dipper things-gorgeous.
Sunday was a dull rainy day so after getting up and wondering around Chinatown, decided to take in a show (as you do). Wanted to see what Broadway had made of John Waters' 'Hairspray' but there was no show on a Sunday so settled for 'Rent'. Was good and very well done but the 'ooh we're poor artists, nobody accepts us and we've all got AIDS' part (which is the main storyline) grated a bit. I want see high kicks and high glamour in musicals.
Monday did the Staten Island ferry for a free view of downtown and the Statue of Liberty (smaller than I'd imagined) on a beautifully gloomy day. There was a big haze over the city and gave it a different edge to what you see in tourist and travel pics.
Had a look at Grand Central Station (wow! So beautiful, so moody, so quiet) and did a self portrait video there.
In the evening Gazelle took me to the Patricia Field (stylist to the stars) 1 year anniversary shop party. (There were a huge pair of 'star' earrings teasing me. Out came the card. I have no will.)
Met the wonderful designer Dres, the incredible and lovely Johnny Darnell, JoJo Americo and Paul Alexander from The Ones, Nicky London, Patrick Macdonald, Merlin from www.lastnightsparty and ate a delicious mouse of Patricia's own recipe (the rest of the nibbles were rather lacklustre though). When introducing myself to Perfidia, she thought I'd said Coleslaw instead of Holestar. Which stuck for the rest of my trip. Quite like that actually.
Was interviewed for a film about the House of Field. I always get baffled when being interviewed; afraid I'll say something inappropriate. After a lot of blag, I finished it off by saying "New York City, Eat My Pussy". Think that nailed it.
Tuesday was about time I saw some art (soooo lazy) and popped to the Guggenheim which half was unfortunately closed as they were doing a new show but the Family Portraits exhibition was fantastic. Had a bimble around Central Park and picked up a few more bits of tat I don't need in the Jewellery Quarter (it's a drag accessories paradise) before returning to Gazelles place to be photographed by the wonderful artist Olan.
Can't wait to see what he does with me.
Didn't fancy partying on my last night so Gazelle and I went out for dinner at Cafeteria (wouldn't call it quiet though, they play pumping house music really loudly while you dine).
Wednesday afternoon went to lunch with James Coppola at a Korean place (very nice) and then it was time to head out to JFK.
So, New York; was my first time and loved it. I would like to live there in the future but my heart currently belongs to London.
I met some amazing, unique and lovely people (please excuse the name dropping) rocking unique and fierce looks who I'll definitely be keeping in touch with. There are unfortunately some snooty and dull leeches/hangers-on, which you get everywhere I guess. I've never understood this mentality-posing is so 90s.
I think we think we currently have a more inventive music scene in London for my ears and music is very dear to me.
Big cheers to Gazelle for being a great host. When I asked him why he started Gazelland, he said he saw a club kid done and painted up to the nines. A club photographer refused to take his picture and was only interested in snapping the generic looking muscle mary, body beautiful homos so decided to start his own thing that celebrated the diverse and unusual. Hurrah for Gazelland!!
Like the UK, there is a homogenised 'look' that many gay and lesbian publications tend to lean towards but they are missing out on so much and who are they to say what is considered beautiful or the 'ideal'? Hetero mags do his aplenty and surely as gays are still marginalized by society, shouldn't they be celebrating our diverse, flamboyant and unique snowflake side? And I don't mean the odd drag queen chucked in at Pride events for freak factor either.
As history chronicles, London and New York have continually passed the crown of Western club scene capital to and fro. Berlin had it for a while, Paris is nudging its way in but in the history of clubbing and music, London and New York are the monarchy in the hot combination of innovative music and style
I've been asked back and when I get some money together again (contrary to popular belief, us dragsters don't get paid much y'know) , I'll be there but for now I've umpteen thing to be getting on with.
I'll be MCing with the Pirate Soundsystem at Nude, performing as Dr Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal The Cannibal-The Musical (written and directed by San Fransisco's Trannyshack Queen, Suppositori Spelling), creating some art for my Fine Art Masters at St Martinis, drumming up new music and performance ideas and trying to track down a producer who I can 'click' with musically and creatively.
I will find him/her/them eventually. I'm a stubborn sod. Yep!
Holestar New York Photos
Area , Avalon and other club pics by Mc Mike