Formika & me NYE 1999-2000
Wow!! It's been a really long time since I wrote anything and I was feeling the itch to communicate. I recently was going through old photos - I have a huge trunk full of photos from the 90s and early 2000s, in those days I was never without my Yashica T4 camera and a ton of film. I pretty much documented my life and the awesome NYC club scene, opposite of the paparazzi I was an invited guest, part of the scene and everyone mugged appropriately for me. I only went through 4 envelopes of over 300 and I started dividing the photos into groups to send to friends. Back then I always got doubles and now I have a treasure trove - 1 for me and 1 for you.
I separted the photos by people and made about 5 stacks that represented some of my closest and most glamorous friends. The whole time walking down memory lane and being so in those moments again. I was laughing at how wild we all were and how outrageous and awesome our style was. I have to say I was pretty impressed I thought we all looked amazing and no one looked glum. I suppose in those days if you were down you either stayed home or masked it with a ton of booze and powders. I had an absolute blast stuffing the photos into cards and mailing them off to the friends that were portrayed in them. These days no one gets mail and certainly no one gets actual photos any longer. Everything is fast and disposable and then gone. In an instant (Instagram) the moment is captured and forgotten - no keepsakes in this digital age.
My dear friend Mistress Formika who ruled the downtown scene back them in stilettos and sky high wigs texted to say he had gotten the photos. He too was impressed with how wild we were and how the kids these days have no idea what our NYC was like - believe me it is NSFW the places we ran and the things we did there. One photo in particular of the 2 of us in The Voluptuous Horror Of Karen Black makeup - he painted all white and totally nude and me painted all black with my teeth blacked out and huge white wings around my eyes - really stood out. If you don't know Karen Black was and still is sometimes the sickest band. Juvenile cardboard props and dancers performing fright wig kabuki theater to a soundtrack of punky-metal music. I knew the photo was from the late 1990s but couldn't remember exactly when. Formika reminded me in was New Year's Eve 1999 into 2000 and all of the sudden the entire night flooded back to me like it was yesterday.
We were performing at the stroke of midnight with TVHOKB at CBGBs which is now a John Varvatos store. In fact, The Bowery used to be derelicts, homeless shelters and artists lofts like Nan Goldin and now it's the chic-est street with the most expensive hotels and boutiques. We got ready across the street at our friend Scott's loft then walked across to CBGBs, Formika totally nude on NYE!!! It really struck me that I performed at that legendary place!! I mean The Ramones and Blondie and Patti Smith and so many more got their start there and here we were on that very stage nude or mostly nude except for body paint and wigs ringing in the new millennium. I mean, now that I look back that's fucking legendary and I had totally forgotten all about it.
The night only began there I mean NYE in the city-that-never-sleeps literally goes on forever. After the show I ran to my friend Drea DeMateo's house on 2nd Ave between 7th and St Mark's place which, drastically, exploded and burned to the ground last year!!! I arrived at her house totally painted black looking insane and amazing - always the life of the party. I hung out for a few hours then jumped in the shower and changed and hightailed it to The Cock to bartend the late late late shift which was like 4am - 8am or so. Man, those were the days when we packed more into one night than some people do in a lifetime. We had no idea how amazing and crazy our lives were. I mean, we had fun but we didn't really know how magical it was. So many nights were just as legendary as that one.
I still like to live my life under the guise of the best is yet to come. I never want to think that my glory days are gone or the the magic has stopped. Things are different now and, unfortunately, all of my friends no longer live in a 10 block radius. I'm older and not so wild but I still seek beauty and glitter and magic and love. The world will always be filled with creativity and no crappy government can trump that out of us artists!!! I believe in magic and I always will.