Sunday, December 24, 2006

Have a Sandwich, It's the Law!

Some things have happened recently in Europe that I believe bear some scrutiny:

First, earlier in the year a 22 year-old model from South America named Luisel Ramos dropped dead of a heart attack immediately after stepping off of the runway. As a reaction to this, the government in Madrid, Spain imposed regulations during their summer fashion week.

The Spanish powers-that-be restricted models from the runway with a BMI (body mass index) score lower than 18. In other words, a 5' 7" model could not weigh less than 115 pounds. This turned away 30 percent of the models from the event. According to reports directors and designers were outraged and claimed that this discriminated against "gazelle-like" models. I am sure this is true, there are certainly some long and lean models who fall underneath that level naturally, but there are probably not as many out there as we are led to believe.

Second, a lovely Brazilian girl named Ana Carolina Reston, who modeled in China, Turkey, Mexico and Japan, died Nov. 14 at a hospital in Sao Paulo. The 5' 8" model weighed 88 pounds at the time of her death. Her friends and family were reported as stating that she was ambitious and got more work when she was underweight, and that over time the dieting escalated into anorexia.

Hmm…maybe there is a problem, girlfriend…At least that's what Italy decided. My mother sent me a link to this piece in MSN news yesterday:

Italy was once famed for the sultry, full-bodied beauties it contributed to the international scene. A month after the death of an anorexic Brazilian model, the Italian government teamed up with the fashion industry Friday to promote a "healthy, sunny, generous, Mediterranean model of beauty."

The self-regulatory code of conduct aims to fight anorexia among women and the vogue for stick-thin models. It requires models to show medical proof they do not suffer from eating disorders, bans models younger than 16 and calls for a commitment to add larger sizes to fashion collections.

"There's a line between a thin girl and a sick one that is often crossed. Italy, with this manifesto, is committed to recognize this boundary and not cross it," Youth Policy and Sports Minister Giovanna Melandri told reporters.

The code was signed by Melandri and Mario Boselli, president of the Italian Fashion Chamber, which includes fashion houses like Versace, Prada and Missoni. It is aimed at designers, model agencies, makeup artists and others who work in fashion.

Boselli said he hoped the code could be adopted internationally.

Stefano Dominella, president of a lobby for Rome haute couture who also signed on to the code, said designers who do not comply will be subjected to sanctions, such as being assigned to less favorable times or days for their shows.

Well, crack open the Dom, baby!

As most of you know I work in fashion, albeit on the wacky fringe. I will tell you from personal experience that most of the fashion faggots I know and love will skin your dog, wrap its still warm and bloody pelt around foetus bones, dip it in non bio-degradable styrofoam and toss the mess down the runway like a bowling ball if it's in fashion this season. Not all, mind you, there are some wonderful exceptions (Project Runway's Tim Gunn for one), but most. The thread of ignorance and selfishness that runs through the fashion industry is chilling.

I made up my mind a few years ago not to read fashion magazines because they made me feel shitty about myself. I don't look like the girls in the photos and I can't afford their lifestyles, or at least the lifestyles they're paid to project. Recently I've been able to lift the ban because I need to pay attention to trends to do my job properly, plus I'm simply in better place than I used to be. I try to approach each photo as something pretty to look at rather than a mirror of my flaws or a list of items I want but can't afford. I love fashion, I love clothing, I love shoes, and I want to be able to enjoy their beauty without turning it into yet another way to feel badly about myself. So each time I open the pages I feel like it's a conscious exercise to step out of the collective beauty consciousness. The beauty/fashion industry is COMMERCIAL HYPNOSIS and we all would do well to stop staring at the swinging pendulum.

Years ago women like Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren were the standard of beauty and they had the scaffolding underwear and dresses to back their bodacious shit up. I worship those women and watch their movies over and over again. They were/are so beautiful and had/have a body type that does not entail outlandish genetics or starvation to achieve. Have you seen Liz in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? She's big! I can do that! My friends can do that! But I am not always evolved enough to apply that information to my own thoughts about my body as I stand in front of the mirror of a dressing room in 2006. I spend all kinds of time with beautiful, transcendent, and yes, skinny friends, pinching pieces of our bodies and discussing how fat must be eliminated. We are actually in decent shape and we aren't stupid. We know Liz was hot. We know in our brains that heterosexual men like curves. But we are not immune to the constant funnel of information that enters our system on a day-to-day basis and no matter what your thinking brain understands, the collective brain, the emotions and the gut will always override.

Simply put, even smart girls buy into the bullshit. And what we're buying pays those models to get as skinny as they can by whatever means necessary.

So fuck it, if someone in Italy or Spain wants to pass a law that says you have to weigh at least 115 pounds to model, I have absolutely no problem with that. I don't give a shit if it seems like too much legislation to some, or if it excludes naturally "gazelle-like" women from certain runways. It may not be a perfect solution but at least it's an attempt at some kind of solution. We are all beautiful, and we are all suffering in different ways, men and women. We must crawl out from underneath the tyranny of outdated rules that weigh our spirits down. And if that means having some government official holding a pair of calipers at the backstage door of a fashion show, I have absolutely no problem with that.

P.S. Merry Christmas, you fat motherfuckers and curvy love goddesses. =)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanks Giving

The holidays are upon us, which I know can mean great depression or at least a general darkness to some. And Thanksgiving is certainly the most retarded of holidays—when we slaughter large birds and remember that many years ago European white men came and stole this country and destroyed the spirit of its rightful owners—owners who I am distantly related to on my mother's French Canadian side. These original tenants were so ravaged by what happened to them a couple of centuries ago that during my childhood in the North of Michigan the word "Indian" was completely synonymous with "alcoholic". 

It wasn't until I neared closer to adulthood that I realized these dirty, long-haired creeps with beer cans in their hands veering and passing out in the sand of our local beach were actually the living result of damage done to their ancestors many years ago. And now most of them make a pretty decent living running casinos on protected Native American land. Nearby Pshawbe Town, once dubbed Shabby Town by the locals, is now pumping cash through gambling—drawing all sorts of Michigan white man to the tables. So there you go, it was taken and now it's being handed back over the craps table. Not exactly the happy ending one might hope for, but it's better than cans of shitty beer on the beach.

Anyway, today I am cooking a tofurkey and many other sundries for my mostly-vegan boyfriend. Which is not to imply that I never eat turkey, but I do like the idea of being one less person participating in the "turkey holocaust", as my good friend Morgan phrased it last night. I am incredibly grateful for the day off from work and took the opportunity to get drunk last night with people like Morgan and my long-term band mate Donna, who has been a part of my life so long that she is really my sister at this point. This morning I have a low-grade hangover and I took the opportunity to lie on the couch in my slip, eating chips and guacamole and surrounded by sleeping animals while watching The Chronicles of Narnia. The series of books it was drawn from were very special to me as a kid, I read them repeatedly and spent a lot of time dreaming of living in that fantasy world, so I have to admit that I pretty much cried through the whole movie even though much of it probably didn't warrant the emotion poured into its viewing. I am still emotional, which is most likely the reason I feel inspired to put down a holiday blog.

I have had some really shit holiday seasons in the past. I've had countless Thanksgivings stuck pouring drinks in crappy dive bars, chain-smoking in frustration while waiting on needy alcoholics and wondering how I managed to land in such a bleak position. I had one holiday season where I was so broke and depressed that I started sobbing in the middle of Bendels. The beauty and abundance around me seemed so incredibly far out of my reach at that moment that I felt nothing but despair upon viewing it. I've had coked up Christmas Eves where thin sunlight rose and shone through dingy blinds upon my tweaked out self-loathing and the equally depressed losers surrounding me. If you have never experienced that particular party, let me tell you there is absolutely nothing more depressing in the world than coming down on Christmas.

But that is all far past me at this point in my life and it only serves to make me so incredibly grateful for the life I live today. I have recently come to the conclusion that no matter how I try to prove my own sanity to myself and to the people around me, I will always remain a bit crazy. And I'm finally feeling okay with that, at least at this moment. I have so much gratitude for my life right now—my family, my friends, my job, my apartment, my pets, my stuff, my day off, my health, guacamole, the fact that I don't have to put on actual clothes today, movies about my favorite books, pretty much everything around me and in me. And I do mean everything, even the things that make it obvious that I'm not completely sane—because those things keep me on my toes, make me unique and remind me that I am very much alive and present in the world right now.

So I'm putting this down because I know there are many people out there who are probably dreading this onset of the holiday season, and may not be as lucky as I am at this particular moment. You may be working and hating it, or feeling desperately alone, or feeling broke, or just feeling despair while people around you seem infinitely happier and completely alien. To you I am sending great love and empathy and the message that it can, and most likely will change. And to the Universe I give thanks.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Dragon Ladies

Being the very bad horse that I am (see prior blogs), I am constantly relearning the same lessons over and over again. Luckily they seem to get gentler with time so it has become amusing more often than painful to feel familiar taps from the Universe.

Today's lesson was forgiveness—not so much about how to orchestrate being able to forgive someone (I still haven't got a clue about that), but about how much easier it is on me when I am handed the gift of forgiveness.

I was born on the cusp of Libra/Scorpio, but anyone that knows me will tell you I'm far more of a Scorpio. I will hold and nurse a grudge with gentle and loving hands as if it were a tiny child with pneumonia. When in the right (read: PMS) mood I can lay awake in bed and fester over some random and minor incident that happened 20 years ago. I live to be pissed off. And this lifetime around the powers that be have seen fit to hand me the "gift" of spectacular revenge (continuing on the astrology tip-- Mars in Leo). Not personally planned revenge--that always fails and ends up making one look like a bitter asshole. And I'm far too self-absorbed to have the concentration necessary for perfecting evil plots. But I have watched my enemies crash and burn in all sort of glorious manner: death by overdose, morbid obesity, random accidents, misery in the suburbs, etc. Maybe I'm being overly dramatic and it's just the way life goes if you wait long enough, but Drew has noticed it too and often when I'm ranting about my latest foe will tell me to "Turn off the death ray, Mary!" Heh, heh, heh...

Over the years I have managed to perform my own share of rotten and selfish acts and have been forgiven by people much more easily than I may have forgiven them had the circumstances been reversed. I have had a couple of opportunities to go back and make amends with people I once harmed, and am incredibly grateful at how graciously the apologies were received. So you'd think I'd be more humble about my own hurts, real and imaginary, but I still find myself needing to learn the lesson of forgiveness repeatedly.

The first time I really got it was after I split up with my ex-husband and moved directly downstairs from him. He was an incredibly good-looking guy and took advantage of it by parading every available stripper, groupie, and at least one doped up German heiress through our hallway and into the apartment above me while I chain-smoked and considered suicide below. I heard everything, and I do mean everything. Again—see prior blogs, this has all been well-documented and it bores me to write about it anymore.

During this time one of the women he hooked up with turned out to be a friend. Not a close friend but a good friend of one of my good friends, and someone I considered an equal and definitely a step above the bimbastic crowd that traipsed in and out. For me, at that time, you were either on one side or the other. If any one of my friends had even casual contact with the ex, I cut them off immediately and completely. Not the most mature way to handle it, but I was beyond heartbroken and enraged and it was the only way I could deal. So when he made sure I knew about this particular girl, I wanted her blood, and I made sure that everyone in our circle knew it.

He also made sure that I knew about the one time she spent the night in his apartment. It was a long night for me, and I cringed when I heard her heels on the floor/ceiling the next morning as I was getting ready to leave for work. I heard his door slam upstairs and knew she was leaving, and I ran out quickly afterwards, determined to catch up with her and tell her what a whore she was, what a pig, what an evil betrayer—all those things you say to a woman when it's really the man in the center that is the problem. But when I got downstairs I just felt too tired and broken-hearted to get into yet another squabble. I stopped on the sidewalk and watched her walk away until it was safe to start moving without being seen. I felt nothing but defeated rage and pain that morning. My ex tossed her aside fairly quickly and that was the last we saw of her around the building.

But I held tightly onto my hurt and every time I saw her out, which was regularly, I made sure she felt how much I hated her without ever once looking in her direction. I told our mutual friend that she had better steer clear of me or there would be problems. This went on for years until finally it changed, probably 7-8 years later, on New Year's Eve and when I was go-go dancing on a platform at Squeezebox. It happened to be one of those perfect go-go moments when the music is exactly right and you are completely connected to the crowd below and you can feel that you are almost conducting the dancers with your own energy. On occasion go-go dancing can be transcendent—and that's how it felt at that second right before I looked up and saw her walk through the door.

My heart stopped briefly and I steeled myself, but then a sort of miracle happened: I actually felt the anger drain out of me physically, starting at the top of my head and running down through my feet. It was one of the most vivid and spiritual moments of my life. And just like that I was free. I smiled at her sincerely and she smiled back at me, obviously surprised. I mouthed the words, "Happy New Year", and she responded in kind. And that was the end of it. I have never discussed it with her or felt anything but gratitude for the experience since.

So—fast forward to today (or not—sorry these blogs get so long!) and here we are again:

There is an older woman, maybe 70-80 years old, who lives in the East Village and has lived here as long as I can remember, who wears the most fabulous and severe outfits you can imagine. Every day there is a color theme, most often bright red, and there are generally matching side-tilted hats. She will wear red trousers, a chic red jacket, red stockings, red shoes, a kicky little red hat, and always, always a slash of bright red lipstick. She is not a soft or pretty woman and her hair is cut in a severe bob. She walks slowly and with determination without looking at anyone. She is always dressed to the hilt no matter what time of day it is, and I fell completely in love with her the first time I saw her.

That is, until one day when I was sitting on a subway platform waiting for a train. At the time she and I both took the same F train uptown to work every day. I always looked forward to seeing her there and wondered where she worked. I even considered following her a couple of times. But on this particular day I sat on a bench daydreaming, and as she walked past me she slammed the back of my head with her shopping bag. It wasn't on purpose, but it was done without taking any pains to move the bag away from the vulnerable head in its path, and it hurt and made a loud cracking sound that was impossible to miss. And to add insult to injury, she didn't turn around or say a word. She just kept walking!

So of course I was immediately enraged and shouted, "Hey! That hurt!" She turned around slowly, casually, and with a slight smirk on her face sang out sarcastically, "Have a nice daaaaaay." I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to get up and shove that ancient teal-covered ass onto the tracks. I was speechless with anger, just sputtering, until I got to work where I then ranted about her for hours. 

And I festered—oh, how I festered—for years. With time this tiny injury took on the magnitude of a mortal wound. Every time I saw her on the street I sent her ill wishes and passed her with a haughty glare. I cut her off at subway turnstiles with glee. In one minute all my love for the woman had turned into a cold, abiding hatred.

Today on my way back from the gym I stopped into the corner deli to get paper towels, and there she was, my archenemy, the dreaded and most evil Dragon Lady (dressed completely in gray this time). I was already exhausted from getting up early to get my ass kicked by the usual heinous 110 lb and perky blonde Crunch class instructor (do they make these girls in a factory somewhere??), and just didn't have it in me at that moment to begin the usual inner dialogue in which I berate her about how horrible she is while she humbly begs for mercy. And then, as we stood next to each other in line, and in a raspy, cigarette-ravaged voice, the dragon spoke! She smiled into my face and complained about the humidity and complained about the line and discussed her purchases, and she talked and talked. I marveled at her audacity as I looked down at her (she's very short), responded politely and then when it was my turn paid the guy at the counter. 

And then as I was leaving she called out sincerely, "Have a nice day!"

And just like that I loved her again, wholeheartedly and without restraint. And the obvious dawned on me: all this time that I have been glaring and hating and envisioning her tripping into traffic she has had absolutely no clue who I am or that we've had any contact before whatsoever. My feelings of being wounded haven't touched her in the least. She's a crazy old woman with a hat on the side of her head, fer Chrissakes! So again, to let the weight of such a silly grudge go and to let it be replaced with warmth felt really, really nice.

So that's my lesson for today--when I nurse this shit I hurt myself far more than anyone else. I'm not telling anyone to go out there and forgive anyone. That happens when it happens. I'm just saying that when it's possible and it does happen, it's pretty fucking amazing. And it frees us much more than it does them. And hopefully, the next time some old bat in a fabulous ensemble bangs me in the head with her Neiman Marcus bag it won't take me years to get over it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Evolution of Beauty

Wanna know why looking at fashion magazines makes you feel like a piece of shit? Here's an illustration that my good friend Dina sent to me this morning. I don't think this is even as drastic as it can be sometimes, but it definitely makes the point and it's something all women (and men, come to think of it) should know about. The business of beauty is a business, with all that that implies, and it takes no prisoners.

As for the website, I haven't checked it out yet, but I intend to do so as soon as I get done posting this video:



Saturday, October 14, 2006

Circus of Power Reunion Bitches!

2009 Addendum: All of the 2005-2007 blogs are copied and pasted from my myspace page. It has been a tedious process and I just don't have the energy to fix all of these links (myspace kills them). 

I've been getting some requests for an update re the September 27, 2006 Circus of PowerDrew Stone's reunion, which for those of you who don't know, was also a film release party for new film "Passion and Brotherhood". Here's my report, complete with enough links to keep you occupied for an hour or so:

Donna and I went up to Smash studios the night before the show to get in a little rehearsal time and check in with the boys. I've gotten to see Ricky Mahler a few times over the last 4 or 5 years: he comes in from LA to visit every once in a while and actually played with my good friend and ex-bf Jesse Malin for a small tour. And the wonderful Ryan Maher lives in NYC so we are always more than pleased to run into him when we can, the last time being our own CSFH reunion. But I haven't seen Alex Mitchell in a good decade.


The entertaining and interesting thing to me about seeing old friends after a long hiatus is clocking how they have or haven't changed. As soon as we got into the rehearsal space I felt like no time had passed at all. We all look a bit older, or at least different, but are essentially the exact same people: same dynamics between individuals, same connections, same modes of interaction. I find that comforting when it's with people I like/love, it makes me feel like the things and people I care about will always be there, even if I don't see them every day. So there was Ricky, cracking the same dicky jokes, Ryan being his usual dryly funny and sweet self, and Alex taking charge of the room as the ladies man show-pony he's always been. It was really fun. As for the remaining members, Zowie has been unfortunately MIA some time so he was replaced by a very fun and appropriate guy named Marc Frappier, and Gary Sunshine has a baby very nearly on the way, so he was replaced by our good friend Daniel Rey.

Rehearsal was quick, entertaining, and simple, as Donna and I weren't really required to sing anything that difficult. This is a good thing, because we aren't nearly as vocally proficient as we are gorgeous. I could see the gears turning in Daniel Rey's brain as he worked out what songs to give us that would cause the least amount of cacophony. So it was worked out pretty quickly, Drew filmed and coordinated details for the next night, we caught up a bit on what was going on in our lives, watched a couple of songs, and got out in time to catch up on beauty rest for the following night. There are some snaps of the rehearsal here, where photographic evidence proves that the actual act of CSFH vocalizing was kept to a minimum. ;-)

The next night was highly entertaining, of course. Firstly, Donna and I were VERY psyched to get laminates. Lord knows it's been a while since I've sported my own laminate. Of course, the need for this particular accoutrement at Don Hill's is minimal, but still, it's fun to wear one and pretend the security is high. In typical CSFH fashion we both forgot ours at home and spent the next half hour whining until new ones were produced by a lovely man acting as security and stage manager, appropriately named Havok. Havok also took the rehearsal photos and the main photo on the Circus of Power website.

Secondly, the one and only Dolly Dagger flew in for the week. Dolly was one of the original Cycle Sluts when we were a pseudo gang and had about 10 girls with jackets, and Donna and I haven't seen her since well back into the CSFH era. In those days we would enter a club en masse, wearing our "colors", thigh-high boots and cut-offs and swaggering like idiots while people stepped back fearfully to let us pass. I don't miss the stupid aggression of those days but I do miss the camaraderie of the "gang" of girls. We were tough and cool and it was fun as hell. Every day was like starring in our own B movie.

And thirdly (or as one gorgeous but very dim biker said to Donna once: "Ya gotcha primary, ya secondary, and ya THIRDARY"), the majority of the audience was comprised of old friends, acquaintances, and people who were there the first time around. We got to hang with some friends who rarely come out, and there were two men from the latter category who followed us around all night taking photos and telling us we were beautiful. After hours of this, and when I'd had enough of having my photo snapped, I said, "Dude, please. You can't possibly want or need any more pictures". To which he just handed me a shot of tequila, told me I look the same as I did 15 years ago and snapped one more. I owe that guy a dinner or something. And then there were a few more who weren't there the first time around who brought old posters and cd covers for us to autograph. So it was pretty much a quality ego-fest any way you cut it.

COP went on at a nice, appropriately rock and roll late hour (12:30?) in front of their fabulous old backdrop (which prompted Donna and I to scratch our heads and wonder where all of ours went) and totally rocked the house from the beginning. It's hard to believe they only had a couple of days together to get the songs rehearsed, and it pleased me mightily to see a big crowd in front of the stage. They even got the old school whorey/hot biker chick in a tiny halter top and low cut jeans--beer in hand, grinding away on the riser. That totally warmed my ancient vampire heart because it reminded me of the Limelight/Cat Club shows where you couldn't get to the stage because there'd be so many advertising groupies vying for prime position in the front. Back then it would throw me into a rage bc they'd be gunning for whatever rock boy of the moment I was dating--now it looks cute to me because hipster girls are so fucking boring and unsexy.

In the middle of the set Donna and I got up and sang backup on Motor, War Machine, and Needles. It was short, sweet and painless, and really just an excuse to have us as a part of the night. I did a lot of butt-shaking and a little bit of singing, and then before you could say "Morton Downey" it was back down to the bar to get loaded and watch the rest of the show, which was stellar from start to end and featured a guitar cameo by Phil Caivano, formerly of Blitzspeer and Monster Magnet. It really was a killer show and for those of you who whined via email that it was a school night or too late in the evening to go out, I thumb my nose at you. We may look like grown-ups now, but we are never too old or tired to ROCK, goddamnit! If you don't come out there won't be any shows, people!

So after that COP and the Sluts did some interviewing and photos with Ace and Huge from Reality Check TV, of which I have very little recollection due to afore-mentioned constantly flowing tequila shots from friends and fans, and then it was off to Three of Cups to finish off the obliviating. All in all it was one of the funnest nights I've had in a while, and I hail COP for their ability to still BRING THE ROCK and for being generous enough to want to share the stage with their friends. And it looks like the band is going to do a show in L.A. and maybe take it to Japan, so if you are in either one of those places, I highly recommend attending.

The one sour note that I should prob mention somewhere in this blog is that our brothers in Supervillain (two of whose members are also members of the very loosely reformed CSFH) were scheduled to play and then got yanked after spending quality time promoting. I won't go into it here but it was a bummer and they were missed.

If you would like to see photos from the night, you can check out here and here. And below is a loosely edited Drew Stone video of Motor (featuring yours truly on butt-shaking duty) for his upcoming film "Got Motor? Swamp Boogie In The Big City".

 

Sunday, July 9, 2006

Power

I have been thinking a lot about personal power lately, after playing the CSFH reunion show Rocket and I had a brief online discussion about it, and the anniversary of the day that our country took its own power back from England just passed, which reminded me of how our country's administration is currently obsessed with and abusing power.

I've been lucky enough in my life to have experienced a decent range of power--not huge amounts, but enough to have a frame of reference. I started out as a kid feeling extremely powerless against my peers, against what was happening with my parents, against my siblings and their problems, against my own hated small town surroundings. But I was determined enough to create certain kinds of outward personal power, although I wasn't conscious enough at the time to know that's what it was: Since beauty is power I stopped wearing thick glasses and figured out how to make myself look attractive. Then I pulled (or was it pushed my parents into funding??) myself into NYC and created the rock and roll life I wanted for myself, which gave me other kinds of power.

When things really got going with the Sluts I had all kinds of social power, which of course was abused on a regular basis. Not in any truly horrible kind of way, but definitely obnoxious with it. And I grew to really love the kind of power that comes with being in a happening band. The power to draw people to you, to be sought after, to say things and have people take them as gospel, to stand in front of large crowds and listen to them cheer their appreciation. It's pretty great.

But in retrospect I know that the feeling of power was coming from outside sources. Inside I still felt very small. I didn't trust that I deserved anything that I had: I was always convinced that I had somehow conned people into thinking I was beautiful. And, as happens when you have a group of women in a band together, we each got labeled a certain way, by outsiders and by ourselves, and because I didn't truly know who I was, I believed I was exactly who I was perceived to be. Which was, in my case, the sexy one who was interested in having a lot of guys around and didn't pay any attention to the business end. This suited me fine because, well, I wanted to be the sexy one with a lot of guys around (that gave me a feeling of power) and because the business meetings bored the hell out of me. And if I played dumb a little bit it made the other girls more comfortable with the guy factor. So I started buying my own act and stepped out of a lot of important decisions because I didn't feel qualified to make them. Those decisions still affect me financially today, I could kick myself, but I believed I had no brain for business and handed over my real internal power in order to maintain some peace and keep the outward power that came with being a member of the band.

So live and learn. After the band broke up I had some kind of death wish to get back to my teenage egghead roots, maybe to prove to myself that I had a brain. Without realizing it I sent out the intention to be a workhorse and the jobs followed suit: I managed Coney Island High and then managed a large printing and magazine company and then landed at Pat's doing her bookkeeping. It was a weird trail downwards into the opposite of the person I set out to be when I came to NY. I felt completely grey and small as I sat in a dirty office with an adding machine. I balanced checking accounts and did payroll and the people I worked with had NO IDEA that I had any kind of history outside of bookkeeping. And I never talked about it. When I saw myself in the mirror at work I felt unattractive and much older than I actually was. I chose a boyfriend who asserted his own personality and taste so aggressively that I forgot what I liked to listen to, what I wanted to see, or wear, or where I wanted to go. All my female friends that I got so much power and love from wandered off to have babies and go to bed at 9 pm. It was such a strange and lonely time, and even though it had a lot to do with losing a record deal and times changing, much of it was free choice, albeit unconscious. I just let go of all the social and creative power I once had and did a free fall.

Well, it sucked, as you can imagine, but I did find my way out of that gray place, gradually and then all of a sudden. Something in my brain clicked. It was actually pretty simple--I realized that if I went to one more movie or concert that I didn't want to see I was going to get homicidal. So I started saying no. I said no a lot. It felt great, I was like a toddler with her first word. I stopped calling the girlfriends that didn't want to go out anymore and started looking around for new ones. And I stopped taking it to heart when people at work pigeonholed me as a bookkeeper because I remembered inside myself that I was much more, whether they could see it or not.

So the lesson for me there was that the outward things began shifting once I shifted inside and made a decision that things had to change. The Universe handed me Drew, who is the most supportive person on the planet and thinks I am a petite flower rock and roll goddess and tells me daily. Sometimes I think he may be insane, but thank God for that kind of insanity. And the people I worked with figured out on their own that I was not your ordinary bookkeeper and started handing over all kinds of new and more glamorous responsibilities to me. And then, although I malign this website fairly often, I got on it and began connecting with people of like mind who took the place of old friends who had drifted away into the straight life.

Anyway, hoo-ha. This is not meant to be a rundown of my life, just a musing about personal power and I'm taking a very rambling route to get to the point. Which is--even though we don't always feel it, much of our power comes from within, and from the choices that we make that support the truth of what's within, and because of that we can create all kinds of different realities for ourselves.

My life came around full circle with the reunion show we played. It was such a lesson for me. I created that situation for myself because I realized I was missing the energy that comes with being onstage. I don't want to do it all the time, but I did put the intention out there (somewhat unconsciously) and the Universe sent it back pretty quickly. I chose to bring that energy back into my life, as I can see now that I chose to let it go years ago. And I was probably better onstage than before, because I am so much more centered into my own self now. I was much more able to connect with people, to feel happiness and to enjoy the power that the night gave me. I was able to take in and accept the love that people generously gave us, which I was never able to do when things were really happening. Back then I couldn't accept or trust that I had the power to create or choose or even enjoy the moment.

I can feel now that there is a quiet place inside that can create much of what we want if our intentions are clear. I'm not always totally sure of what the intentions are right away but I am no longer frantic about proving something to people or myself, or dampening my own power to make people feel comfortable. It's clear to me that this is where the real power lies. We are all extraordinary beings with more power than we realize, if we can just get out of our own way. And that is pretty cool.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Recuperating


Well, for those of you who couldn't be there and were wondering: the show was an absolute and total blast!! It truly could not have been better.

The week before was a clusterfuck of trying to pull 7 people with disparate lives together to rehearse. When you're already in a band together you create a rehearsal rhythm. When you haven't been a band for over a decade the scheduling tends to make you want to pound your head against the side of a Marshall stack. We actually got only one rehearsal (at soundcheck) with the entire band together, everything else was piecemeal--each rehearsal was missing at least one member. In the three days beforehand Pete (Lord Roadkill) was calling the girls every hour to post a new update on who was going to be where. Rik Rocket stepped in a measly two days before to fill in on second guitar for our friend Esko who ended up not being able to make rehearsals (Esko was replacing Bobby Gustafson who lives in Florida and couldn't get here this particular weekend). Rik blew us all away with his guitar prowess and ability to get the songs down so quickly, and he made us look just that much cooler onstage.

So we managed to get five songs together and were completely overwhelmed by the reception we received upon stepping onto the stage. The room at Delancey is the size of a postage stamp but the roar sounded like a stadium to me.Words can't tell you how touched and grateful I am for the love that we received. The room was so jammed with old friends that it felt like a class reunion. Our former soundman and good friend Brian "Cycle Boy" Christian came in and made the room sound amazing, and as an extra treat my sister flew in to NYC for the weekend. So she and I got to hang and be silly (i.e., drunk) like we used to, which meant a lot to me. And my AOD crew was right up front along with all the fashion kids I work with at Patricia Field, most of whom had never actually been to a rock show and who were very excited to learn how to use the devil horns properly.

As for performing itself, it was an absolute ball. One of the cool things about getting older is that you tend to feel more grounded and "in the moment". I was able to enjoy my friends onstage and my friends in the audience much more now than then. When I was a kid every show was a cause for panic. Now it's like, who cares--I just don't wanna look fat in the video! And we actually didn't screw up, it went off without a hitch. I think we rocked the place pretty fucking hard and it was well worth the effort.

So thank you, thank you to my friends that were there and to everyone that sent good wishes, and hopefully now I'll be able to plow through the pile of mail I've been ignoring for the last two weeks.



Tuesday, June 20, 2006

You Had Me at Welcome to the Jungle

First of all, there is SO much to discuss re the big Axl/Tommy Hilfiger blowout at a birthday party for Rosario Dawson (the worst actress in the world) that happened Thursday. But I feel that Tara will be the better blogger for that incident so I will leave it to her. Plus I know some of you have been expecting a blog about the actual Guns n' Roses themed karaoke show that happened this week, and you know I'm happy to oblige. So here's my half of the story...

A couple of months ago, as soon as I heard tickets were going on sale, I called my ex Jesse and told him he had to take me to the show. I knew it would sell out right away and that he would have enough juice to get us in on the list. Jesse hates all 80's metal and rock but agreed to go because he's a nice guy and because he owes me after countless hours of forcing me to sit through things like 3 hour Springsteen shows, countless viewings of Mean Streets and Apocalypse Now, and enough Lucinda Williams to choke any serious rock fan. You know, all the shows and movies that will slowly kill a rock and roll vampire like myself. But though we have very different aesthetics we are tight and he is a generous soul and I knew he would take me to GnR regardless of whether he wanted to see the show or not.


We went on the last night, the 17th, with his manager Diane, who is very cool and fun to be around. On the ride over Diane was kind enough to inform me that my most hated arch enemy from "back in the day", who had actually slept with Axl and lorded it over the rest of us until she got dissed majorly the next time he rolled back into town, and who was largely responsible for my going to jail one night, is now working as a prostitute in LA. This pleased me to no end and portended a good evening (insert evil laugh here).

In any case, when we got there it turned out there were only two VIP wristbands instead of three, and because the show was such a jammed up clusterfuck, no amount of talking on Diane's part could get us another one. The VIP is great at the Hammerstein: you can stand in one of the opera boxes on the side of the room, which always afford a great view and listen. It's definitely the place to be, but overall the entire place is pretty decent for shows so it wasn't a real problem to be excluded from the boxes, and we went to the mezzanine to look around for a spot. Unfortunately, because the show was sold out and we got there pretty late, there was no standing room at the railing and the only seats were in the back, which meant the sound was muffled and you kind of had to duck to see the back of the stage. But whatever, I just wanted to see what Axl was going to do, it's not like it was really GnR and I didn't have my heart set on an amazing show. I've already been lucky enough to see the real thing in smaller venues and I know that no hired band will ever come close to those shows.


The night opened with "Welcome to the Jungle", the first tense na-na-na-na of the guitar starting for a second, then silence, then starting again, and building up slowly into a roar. It was a pretty strong way to open: my stomach jumped a little and the crowd went nuts. Then Axl came out and it was on for real.


He looked great, in my opinion (and from the back of the room): he's in decent shape and he keeps those cornrows in a ponytail so they're not too obvious. The rest of the band was a mishmash of visual styles and types, but rock and roll enough to be watchable. Richard Fortes (ex Psychedelic Furs) looked the best, like an extra member of Backyard Babies or something equally cool, and he brought a little more NYC realness to the band. Tommy Stinson looked uncomfortable and the most like a hired gun in a grey button down shirt. I never got why girls go so nuts for him, he's cute but just not flashy enough for me, plus I've always hated the Replacements (another band Jesse forced on me with regularity). The second guitar player looked like the token grunge guy w/long hair and a knit cap, but seemed cool (I think he's the one from NIN?) and could play, and the final and main guitar hero was a tall freak with long hair, a beard and red suede boots. He reminded me of the Doctor from Dr. & the Medics (look it up, kids) and Diane thought he was sexy. Plus he could play his ass off. They all could...you get what you pay for! The rest of the band--drummer and keyboards--were pretty much invisible to me throughout the show because they were on a second tier in the back which I couldn't see unless I really ducked down.

I expected to feel removed but as soon as Axl leaned, stretched his arm out and bent his head sideways into the mike I was sucked in like a mooney preteen and my heart swelled like the Grinch's. What can I say? I love the man. He could be 90 years old, weighing 300 pounds and sporting yarn extensions and I'd still show up with flowers. I finally understand Michael Jackson's fans. And he sounded great. I think there was something shifty going on with the vocals in the sound booth because the vocal volume went up and down, but the man was running around and screaming it out for real. And 90 percent of the songs were off Destruction. I was verklempt.


So I clapped and squealed and and turned to Jesse (who was looking at his watch) and said, "I wish he would just suck it up and call Duff and Slash. He'll never get Izzy but those two would come back." As soon as the sentence left my mouth Izzy walked on stage and the crowd went insane. I was so excited I started texting any friends I thought would be even remotely interested. The band jumped into "Think About You" and people screamed in ecstasy and Jesse said, "What's the name of this song? Do you want a beer? I'm going to the bar."

Diane went to scout out the VIP section to see if she could find another wristband but came back and reported that the area was jammed up with models and no one had an extra band. She was really tired from a long drive the night before and wanted to go home, so she gave hers to Jesse and left. At that point I felt someone banging into my chair from behind and took a moment to look around. To my horror I realized that we were surrounded by screaming, drunken Jersey mooks in sports jerseys and mom jeans acting like it was the first time they'd ever gotten drunk. I was terrified one of them would vomit near or on me. Plus their witty banter ("Booooottttoxxx!! Paradise City!!!!!") was distracting and not a little irritating. 

I turned to Jesse and said hopefully, "Lets go check out the VIP, maybe the sound is better." He looked at his wrist half-heartedly and raised it up to show me he'd lost the band. And then he started making phone calls. Sigh...I was on my own for this one. But I was loving the show and didn't care too much: Sebastian Bach came out and sang My Michelle, looking like a giant next to Axl and of course singing his ass off, Kid Rock came out for Night Train, there was Knocking on Heavens Door, Patience (Night Train and Patience featuring Izzy again), Live and Let Die, Mr. Brownstone, November Rain, pretty much everything an old school GnR fan could ask for. Well, everything except the actual band, I suppose.


I texted Axl's friend Vegas just to say I was loving the show. He sent one back saying, "So you got your tix okay at willcall?" I freaked. I never hit him up for the list because I don't really know him and didn't want to count on it. And he had put me on anyway, without my prompting and I'm sure with my own goddamn wristbands which I could have shared with one of my screaming girlfriends who would have loved the show as much as me. I am an idiot and really must start trusting my own mojo more often.


Anyhoo...Jesse, who was still squirming like a five year old in church, had gotten a text from a girl who runs a party in town that was host to the big afterparty. Vegas sent a second text that that's where they were going, so I was psyched. Great show, I had my friend-of-Axl (FOA) connect and my well-connected and generally fun to hang out with ex-boyfriend to drag to what was sure to be a great party. It was the last night of the shows and pretty much anyone with anything to do with rock and roll was in the Hammerstein at that moment, so I had no doubt it would be raucous. Yippee!


Finally Paradise City, the last encore, started amidst blasting flash pots and flying confetti. People cheered and Axl screamed and I shouted "Whooo!" and bounced happily. Jesse said, "Last song, lets go!" and started walking towards the exit. I looked at him in disbelief and horror, so he sighed and stood in the aisle waiting for the song to end. But as soon as the last chord sounded he was off and running again. We were out of the building before anyone else and he ran like a man possessed into the middle of 34th Street frantically waving at the first cab passing by. 

I ran behind him breathless and cursing, and as we sat down he said to the cab driver, "We're going downtown." My heart sank--the party was not located downtown. He turned to me and said, "You're going home, right?" I opened and closed my mouth like a fish. "You didn't want to go to that party did you? Its gonna suck." Damn it. I knew I was beaten...I didn't have the heart to force him so I sucked it up and said, "Aw, Christ. Drop me off at Cups." At the very least I could get a beer with my friends to assuage the sad fact that I would be missing a room full of partying and aged rock stars, half of whom I knew personally.


Thank God Maya and Rocket were both working. I sat down at the bar to begin the commiseration but quickly realized that I was about to be moshed into by two wasted frat boys pretending to be rock types and slamming each other around the room. I got up and tried to dodge them to get to the safety of the other side of the bar, but one of them did the old fake slam-into-you-cop-a-feel thing, which is a move that pisses me off to no end. It's so pointless. And who do they think they're fooling? 

So before I had a moment to process any thoughts I had him by the neck and pinned to a column. His eyes bulged in disbelief and I snarled, "Do not touch me, fucker." It is never wise to cop a feel with an ex Cycle Slut who has just had a rocking afterparty featuring Mr. Axl Rose snatched out from underneath her. He grabbed my wrist with a decent amount of strength and I came to, realized what I was doing and let him go and walked to the end of the bar with as much dignity as I could muster.


So I got my beer and detailed the evening to Rocket while my boy sulked and threw looks. I felt a little badly about humiliating him in front of his friends. I still do, I always feel shitty about touching people, no matter how they are behaving it isn't within my rights to get physical. But whatever, I improve with time but I will never be a saint. And I wasn't going to let something that silly ruin what was, to me, a really fun show. Regardless of whether I went to the party I'm glad I went to the concert. It wasn't GnR, but it was a nice bit of noise. And when Axl finally does do the right thing and calls Duff and Slash, I will be there with bells on, and hopefully with a handful of wristbands and a posse for the afterparty!

Okay, take it and run, Tara!


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Thursday, June 15, 2006

3 Broads, 5 Songs, A Lot of Alcohol


All righty, friends and family, I'm getting some nice emails and a few questions so here are the details you've been asking about...

Venus P. Crusher aka Betty aka Vas Kallas will not be performing. I'm not going to give you any comment on it except to say that I love all my ex-bandmates and respect the choices they make. I also want to make it clear that this is a purely-for-fun gig at a party hosted by our good friends Rik Rocket and Supermorgan, which is why there is no pressure on any ex-members to participate if they're not feeling it. It's going to be a short set and the theme revolves mostly around getting liquored up and making some noise with old friends. As for the line-up, all members performing are ex-Sluts, except for Esko on 2nd guitar. He was in the Creeps with Gini, Pete, and I though, so he was practically a Slut.

Showtime is 1 am. But get there earlier and you'll get to see the most worthy Honor Among Thieves.

Ahem...and to those who are already bugging me about the guest list, there isn't one because it's 5 bucks and I don't want to have to struggle to remember everyone who doesn't want to pay. However, there may be some kind of senior citizen discount for those who were around to see us in our heydey.

And as an added bonus June 24 is Jonny Tingle's birthday, so we will also be celebrating the fact that he was unleashed upon an unsuspecting world on this date about 90 some odd years ago. Please bring canned goods and warm clothing to donate, and if we're lucky we may be able to coerce him into coming up and singing Beer with us.

Okay, I think that's it. I've got to go try to squeeze into an old pair of hot pants now.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Rambly Update About This and That


Some random items just to keep anyone interested in my tiny life caught up...

My mom was in NYC, she came to work on some signature cell healing courses in NJ and then stopped at my place for a week. It was nice to have her here for a little while and she got to meet a few of my friends. We went to Alex Grey's gallery up on 27th Street (waaaay West) and it was worth the trek. His artwork is absolutely incredible and if you are in NYC you def need to see it in person. You can google him and see most of the paintings online but they're very large so the impact is much stronger in person. My mom also helped me drag my old couch into the hallway, she's more of a man than half the boyfriends I've had in my life.

Mike and I went to see Wolfmother last night. We were both skeptical and Tara warned me that it would be yet another case of me standing in the middle of the room complaining that there's not one attractive guy onstage and the rock star is extinct (Plea to the 20-somethings out there forming bands: Can you please, please put the donut down, stop with the gay emo haircuts and put on a decent pair of jeans?!). But we were very pleasantly surprised. The band rocked the fuck out and were much sexier than they look in photos. It was mostly Deep Purple redux and the Jack White-ish vocals can wear thin after a while, but they played with conviction and it was nice to hear some real riffs for a change. Thank God people are starting to mine the 70's now because if I have to hear one more 80's ripoff band I'm going to get on a roof in Williamsburg with a gun and start taking out hipsters. Yes, I'm talking to you Interpol!!

And in pet news, Drew left town for a week and so of course I took the opportunity to sneak yet another cat into my one-bedroom apartment. So now we have:


My beloved Monty Lemieux...


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The long suffering and extremely patient Lila Lemieux...


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Winter the Berserker...


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And the new guy, who was named Alexander the Great by the rescue people, we are still not sure if that name will stick...


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He is very skinny right now, they found him on Coney Island and suspect that he was kept in a cage and used for breeding. Drew wanted to kill me when I told him there was one more live being in the apt, but as soon as he saw Alexander he forgave me. The cat is really cute and a total character. But I have been absolutely forbidden to drag any more needy furry things into the house.


And since I'm on the subject of needy furry things, I feel I must do a public service announcement on the animal crisis out there. Especially since Tila Tequila just tried to buy a fancy little dog and then decided not to when it turned out he was sick. She is now on the market for a new puppy mill dog, it's so frustrating that someone with that much internet power is so completely ignorant. I don't have a fraction of her readers (though I like to think that mine are far more intelligent) and I know I'm preaching to the choir, but just so it's said:

There are SO MANY animals out there in need of homes. Thousands of them are euthanized every day. Other thousands are sitting in cages, hurting for love and attention. Please people, STOP BUYING PETS. You are only feeding a sick money machine and often in the process getting pets that are genetically damaged. If you like a particular breed there are all kinds of rescue agencies for purebreds, it just takes a little more time and research. And if you have pets, SPAY OR NEUTER. Yes, puppies and kittens are cute. But there are already too many out there. For every puppy you bring into the world that is one more dog in a cage somewhere that won't get a good home.


We don't think that our own personal actions have much impact on the world but they do. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as autonomous and separate from the rest of the world and start making responsible choices. I am in the middle of my own little personal crisis because it has suddenly dawned on me that everything I purchase comes from somewhere and has an energy. This is really difficult because I am a beauty product junkie. I went into the Duane Reade yesterday to get astringent and I had to put everything down and go to the health food store for it instead. It was the weirdest thing, I kept picking up bottles and feeling sick. I just can't hand money over to companies that pollute or test on animals anymore. And all of the major brands are owned by giant corporations that just don't give a shit about the planet or its inhabitants.

And I'm feeling the same way about food as well. The energy of what we put in our bodies becomes our own energy. It's so simple but its so true--we are what we eat. So now I'm getting way more fussy about what I'm eating and it's becoming a pain in the ass. But it's like my eyes have opened and I can see very clearly how all things, people, actions are interconnected, intertwined, and as Alex Grey expresses in his paintings, all one large grid in which the movements of one affect the movements of all.

Oh, and lastly, yes, we are doing a MINI Slut reunion at Dirty Bomb on June 24. I say mini because we are missing one girl and are only doing 4 songs. It's purely for fun and none of us want to feel too pressured out about performing like pros. It has been a while since we've put on the vinyl bras and screeched in unison. But stay tuned for details.

So to recap: Wolfmother cool, too many pets, I am a treehugger, old broads getting back onstage.

I hope everyone is feeling good and I'll try to get a fun story out in the next week or so.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Use Your Beautiful Asian Drag Illusion

I have had a very entertaining couple of nights.

On Friday I was stuck in the store until 10 pm for one of our ridiculous staff meetings. I won't even get into that can of gay worms. Afterwards, since it was so late, I decided not to eat anything and just go home, but while walking got hijacked into stopping into Lucky Chengs for a drink with some co-workers.


For those of you who don't live in NY, Cheng's is an absolute pit located on First Avenue. Years ago the theme was "Delicious food served by beautiful Asian drag queens". Unfortunately, they soon ran out of beautiful Asian drag queens willing to waitress and over time the place morphed into a burial ground where the trannie prostitutes go to die. 

It is unbelievable in there. Half-naked, gorgeous black boys in drag, with asses you could park your drink on, falling off their heels and squawking at each other, aging white boys in bikinis and Marilyn wigs trying to keep the cutlets from falling out of their bra tops, and the occasional actual Asian in a cheap slip, drunk and wobbly, leaning against the bar for support: all of them suffering under the weighty demands and whims of squealing gangs of chubby bachelorettes in penis hats and veils. 

These denizens of the outer boroughs, Long Island, and New Jersey travel in packs in white limousines to visit the freak show. They stand on their chairs and dance while shouting "Whooo!!" at each other, bitchily demanding more appletinis and high five-ing their sistren while taking photos with the staff like its a grown-up Disneyland. I kept expecting to hear one of them yell, "Dance, Monkey, DANCE!!"

And to make it even better, there's karaoke. So the brides to be can get up and sing the hits for their friends. So while youre having a cocktail at the bar you can watch a drunken sorority sister with a mom haircut belt out "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" while getting spanked by a wasted, spindly-legged trannie in a miniskirt. Gorgeous!


As I settled into my second glass of wine a particularly masculine faced ladyboy staggered into my chair looking tired and sad. I asked, "Are you okay?" She narrowed her eyes and said in a very thick accent, "You a crazy faggot? You a crazy faggot??" I said, "Why, yes. Yes, I am a crazy faggot." Seemed the appropriate answer.


It is an unholy place for sure. So of course I stayed for three glasses of wine and then teetered home chuckling to myself.


Then Saturday I cursed my co-workers and the seedy allure of Lucky Cheng's and suffered a nice little no food/cheap wine hangover. And my good friend Michael Schmidt has been in town from L.A. for a few weeks and we had made plans to hang out on Saturday night.


Some of you know Michael, he is a brilliant designer of jewelry and clothing and was the mastermind behind Squeezebox. He has made clothing for Deborah Harry, Cher, Sebastian Bach, and other famous types. He's been my friend for 20 years, we both landed in NY from the Midwest at the same time and have much history together. And whenever we're together cool shit just happens. He is in town right now helping Don Hill renovate his club, and he also had a hangover but we dragged ourselves out in the pouring rain to see Supervillain play at Continental.


I would just like to interject a little aside here and state for the record that Trigger, the owner of Continental, is an ass. New Yorkers already know this, but the rest of the world should be told. I am sick of his shit. I'm not one of those people that expects to get in free all the time, and I like putting money in to support my friends' bands. And I NEVER ask him to comp me, but once in a while it is a natural courtesy and there area few reasons why anyone else on the planet would comp me on the odd occasion if they were standing at the door at Continental. For one, I played in a band that had some notoriety. But that was quite a while ago so I don't use that card very often. But then I frigging managed Coney Island High, right around the corner from his sorry ass, where he entered and drank for free any time he wanted. I also made sure to comp him everything when he visited Remote Lounge, a horrible club I managed a while back. And lastly, I was Jesse Malin's girlfriend for seven years, who Trigger worships and comps and butt-kisses at all times. Any time I am with Jesse, he comps me, but most begrudgingly of course. I know he hates it, even though I have never been anything but polite and respectful towards him. The man is notorious for his issues with women, though, so I don't know why I'm always surprised at what a dick he is.


So last night I walk up to the door, by myself, and Trigger is standing there next to his doorman Karl, who I know. Karl looks at me, smiles, looks at Trigger, then looks at me again, then back at Trigger, like, "Dude, wtf, youre gonna make me charge her?" Trigger just stands there in his ridiculous coolie hat watching silently and waiting for me to pay like the douchebag he is. I just pulled out my money, smiled at Karl, and paid. The guy felt so bad he apologized to me later. I told him I know his boss is an asshole and not to think twice about it.


Anyway, end of Trigger rant...So Supervillain rocked and afterwards Michael wanted to go by Don Hill's to get some cash and to show me the Misshapes party. Don is the polar opposite of Trigger, the most generous club-owner on the planet and even if I hate the party or band going on at his place it's always fun to hang out there. And the Misshapes, for my metal friends that aren't surrounded by gay club kids all day long, are three horrible, pretentious 20-something hipster DJs that rule NY right now. Exactly the opposite of what I think is cool, but I was curious to see what the scene was like and it was a chance to see Don and his staff. So Michael's words were something like, "Come on, Doll. We'll get drunk and you can pick on the hipsters."


Which we did, most heartily. But before I get to that, in the cab on the way over and totally out of the blue, Michael turned to me and said, "Remember that time we went to the pyramid and Axl sat down at the bar next to you and you guys started talking about how he has YOU tattooed on his arm?" I said, "Yeah, that was the first time we met him, remember, before they played the Ritz. We laughed about that tattoo and then talked about jewelry."


Fast forward to the party. It is a sea of pasty, indeed misshapen children, all dancing with great bursts of flapping irony to the sounds of Journey and The Strokes. The place is packed with little girls in Karen Oh drag. I don't hate the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and she's cool enough, but essentially its just sloppy Pat Benetar gear with a crappy haircut. Let's just say it's not very pretty. Or sexy. Or cool. It was all fairly hideous as far as I was concerned. 

And the boys were even worse. They were even pastier and more misshapen, and were all wearing headbands. I am not kidding when I say this. Headbands! Yucky, mealy little boys in badly fitting jeans and stretchy Olivia Newton John circa "Physical" HEADBANDS. So me being me and Don being the purveyor of many shots, I drank a substantial quantity of tequila and began loudly and repeatedly announcing that I wouldn't fuck anyone in the place, even with Karen Oh's vagina. Michael patted my cheek and said, "Here's another shot, honey. Now please don't hit anyone."


About an hour into the drinking and ranting, Ronnie G, Don's partner and one of my favorite people on the planet, comes up and says, "Axl Rose is here." Yippee! Finally some action. Plus I couldn't believe it-- Michael had fucking conjured Axl, which is the kind of thing that always happens when we're hanging out! I was beside myself. Back in the day I was friendly with Duff, and I think what Axl did to his bandmembers was pretty rotten and destroyed a band that was a total powerhouse on stage. I loved Guns and Roses. But I can't help having affection for him and who he is.Yes, hes a crazy mess but I have an affinity for crazy messes and he is forever connected to some of the best times of my life. Plus he's always behaved like an absolute gentleman towards me.


So Ronnie leads Axl and his posse to a quickly roped off section near the DJ booth. He's wearing mostly white and is followed by one male friend in a trucker cap and black t-shirt, an older woman who is probably wrangling him for the evening, and a few fairly hot rock type girls. I thought, thank God, actual women with boobs and butts wearing something besides Flashdance sweatshirts and shag haircuts. And Axl didnt look as bad as expected. He still has those wacky cornrows but he doesn't look as shiny and facelifted and scary as he did during the MTV awards show. But of course, by this time I was blind drunk, so its all a little bit of a blur. He could have been wearing beautiful Asian drag for all I knew.


So, me being me, I marched over to his area and smile at him. He stood up and took my hand, and I leaned in and shouted over the blaring speakers, "We've met a few times before, I'm Raffaele from Cycle Sluts from Hell." He smiled and started to say something but because he stood up and leaned over the rope a little, a huge swarm of nasty little hipsters started shoving and crowding around to take pictures with him. It was crazy and I felt bad and retreated back to the nearby bar so he could sit back down in peace.


After a little more time at the bar being banged into by badly dressed children, I turned to Ronnie and said, "Come on, we've got to go sit in there." It probably came out like, "Cermn. Weef goddasiddin." But Ronnie was loaded too so he got it. He grabbed my hand and walked me into the section. The guy in the trucker cap says his name is Vegas and he knows me, and immediately gets up and puts me in the seat next to Axl. So now I'm totally amped--I'm in a VIP section sitting next to Axl Rose! It's so old school! I love old school! And I have a million things I'd like to ask him but the unfortunate abuse of tequila made my brain mushy. So I said, gesturing to the clamoring toddlers in headbands trying to get his attention, "I don't know how you deal with this. It's totally nuts." And he laughed and said, "Thats why I didn't go out for 13 years. This is actually pretty mellow."


So then we start talking about jewelry because that's the first conversation we ever had, and he shows me the most gorgeous silver bracelet with skulls on it that I have ever seen in my life. It was pristine, totally badass and obviously incredibly expensive. He told me the name of the designer, but of course I can't remember it today. And then we chitchatted about other things, NONE of which I can remember because I was so hammered. I eventually got up because I felt funny hogging the hot seat, and I said, "It was really great to see you and I hope we meet again soon. I'll be at your show at the Hammerstein." He took my hand again and said, "Do you need help getting in? Take Vegas' number in case you need anything." What a fucking champ. Trigger can't give me a break at his door even once and someone I barely know is making sure I have a way into his sold out show.


I was completely giddy for the rest of the night and spent another half hour happily stomping on hipster feet (since I was the only one in heels) and texting my friends about the Axl sighting. We left Don's and went on to Cups, where I slurred nonsense into Rik's ear for a half an hour. And then finally when it was well past time to go home, we did.


It could not have been a better weekend if I planned it.


The end.

4/24/06 ADDENDUM!

Found this pic today.You can see my partially obscured face in the crowd, but I am posting it because it is clear photographic evidence of blatant and shameless headband usage!!



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