Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lesbian on 'Lesbian' Attack!

Apparently James Blake isn't the only one tired of listening to Pam Shriver flap her big mouth. Sandra Bernhard, who we learned earlier this year is obsessed with Venus and Serena Williams, did not take too kindly to Shriver's comments about Venus' pursuit of interior design (bonus points for the catty comments about Pam's current, um, "career," which keeps her busy when she's between death-bed-only beards husbands). Pam's never been my fave -- if my parents hadn't thrown away a HUGE box full of late '70s TENNIS and WORLD TENNIS magazines without warning me first I'd scan you the letter I had published in WT back when (headline: Pam Slammed) -- but considering Venus has won five Wimbledon titles and was once the No. 1 player in the world, Pam's comment isn't really much of an insult. (Would Venus be as good at anything as she is in tennis, not counting lingerie modeling, of course?!) Still, ya gotta admire Sandy's killer instinct. Now I see why she and the Venus and Serena are destined to be her new Madonna and Ingrid.

3 Men Acquitted in Wone Murder Case

The three men strongly suspected of murdering Robert Wone were found "not guilty" of obstruction, conspiracy and evidence tampering in a courtroom in Washington on Tuesday. People who watched the trial said this was not a surprise given the DA office's presentation, yet not since O.J. Simpson has the difference between "not guilty" and "innocent" been more glaringly obvious. The guys at Who Murdered Robert Wone? have this covered on all angles, including thoughts from the day after HERE, the difference between "acquitted" and "innocent" HERE, and why the case doesn't end with Tuesday's verdict (get ready for the civil trial -- something I have a problem with despite the fact that these guys deserve to be formally punished in some way -- HERE

 Doug writes: The Wone family will likely never see anyone sent to prison in connection with Robert’s murder. That must be a hard truth to acknowledge for them, but it’s a truth all the same. Barring a major break it seems unlikely new criminal charges will be brought. And while the costs of the civil suit may haunt the defendants until their dying day, this must seem far from justice.


Changing of the Guard

The smile Tomas Berdych's face says it all, after his quarterfinal victory over Roger Federer. (Actually, the entire Czech Republic must be smiling given Petra Kvitova's win yesterday, too.) It's been one of the most upset-filled Grand Slams I can ever remember. I've been a huge fan of the game since the summer of '77, and, as someone who resists change, always liked it best when the draw held to form and two of the, say, top five players ended up in the final. Yet somehow this year with Federer, Venus, Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin, Andy Roddick, etc. out, it feels right to me. (The Williams sisters even lost in doubles -- has the whole world lost its head?) I wasn't upset when Juan Martin del Potro beat Fed in the final of last year's U.S. Open, and I'm already looking forward to some fresh faces winning big in the days ahead. Serena and Rafa, however, may have other ideas ...

Landon Donovan Does David Letterman

Fresh off the news that he may have fathered a (non)love child, U.S. soccer hero Landon Donovan stopped by the Ed Sullivan Theater for a little fun and games with David Letterman yesterday in Midtown. While he seems to have little trouble scoring these days, I'm thinking a red card is in order where that satin-finish suit is concerned. Anyone?

Heaven Sent

So nice to see that Chico's Angels were able to take a break from their busy crime-fighting schedule to help a boy in need. (Clearly the work they were doing at L.A. Gay Pride was pro bono.) Watch the Angels in action HERE.

Rob Lowe Gives D.C. a Reality Check

While I'm guessing that Bravo's "Real Housewives of D.C." is going to break the reality-show curse on our nation's capital, I was still fascinated to read that the D.C. season of Bravo's "Top Chef" opened with the smallest audience since the first season in March 2006, and that "Real World" set in Washington was the lowest-rated season in the show's history. (This news comes as word broke that Rob Lowe has teamed up with a production company to launch "Potomac Fever," a reality series that will follow the adventures of young Washingtonians as they try to move up the ranks in the D.C. scene.)

I'd like to give Americans the "benefit" of the doubt and think that they associate Washington with politics so immediately lose interest in this city that anyone who's ever lived there is quite vibrant and fun (although I'd never want to move back there -- at this point it's New York or L.A. for me -- I'd still rank it as my third favorite U.S. city by a lot). But the entire time I lived there I found that most "non-coasters" couldn't even tell me what part of the nation Washington was located(!), so perhaps it's giving them too much credit to think they had preconceived notions about it.

In addition to the new show, Lowe is set to write a memoir ("Stories I Only Tell My Friends"), which, if it's anything like the sex tape he produced at Democratic Convention sex tape in the '80s, promises to be good stuff. (Let's hope this one is a little more in focus, though.)

Social Security in the USA

Debbie Harry is asking her fans who insist on buying her birthday presents -- the Blondie legend turns 65 tomorrow -- to instead donate the money toward environmental causes: 

"I have started receiving gifts for my upcoming birthday and I am touched by the generosity and love you are showing me still after all these years. Thank you. The reason I'm writing to you is to ask that you donate the money you might spend on such a present for me to an environmental cause. These are issues that we all face and must address to insure the evolution of the human race. ... I haven't made a list of organizations that you might give to but whether it be for animals or air or water or earth, it will be a really good investment." 

A fan in Dublin, however, got around her request and gave her a portrait he'd done of her, which Debbie appears to be fully prepared to donate to a turtle in the Gulf of Mexico (or is she recreating her pout?). While I've been "dreading" Blondie's impending new album (I'm an obsessive freak and don't want this watered down version of the band to tarnish their catalogue any more than they already have with "No Exit" and "The Curse of Blondie"), live versions I've heard of two new songs ("What I Heard" and "Mother") aren't rubbing me particularly the wrong way, although that god-awful wig is (how's that for an endorsement?!). What also is is the fact that they are touring with the Pretenders in Australia, but not in the U.S. (My two favorite bands on one bill!) 

While I know I shouldn't bitch -- Debbie's not going to be touring forever -- it doesn't help that the band seems to be touring with Cheap Trick (fun) and the B-52's (funner) all around the States, just not here in New York.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paying Lip Service to the Club Kids

Via INTERVIEW: In the April issue, Christopher Bollen interviewed Michael Alig, the notorious club kid whose excesses and delusions of grandeur drove him to murder. But the club kids weren't all so bad, explains Alig's right-hand man on the club circuit, Walt Cassidy (then: Walt Paper). He sees the decade as the high of an industry that brought together (and significantly, put to work) misfits from around the country -- a kind of community-building spectacle. Click HERE to listen to his stories -- how often to you hear Joyce DeWitt and Dale Bozzio's names mentioned in one breath? -- accompanied by photographs from his personal archive.

Love and Death

Just now seeing Steve Weinstein's gripping account of how he helped his dying lover -- whose doctor hadn't seen anyone slip so rapidly from AIDS since the '80s -- commit suicide in 2001. While Weinstein's words make it abundantly clear to me that the right-to-die movement is an honorable one, somehow the debate still rages on, usually fueled by people looking to score political points who have no concept of what indignities people with terminal illnesses face on a minute-by-minute basis. I find Weinstein's actions and willingness to share them with the public admirable. But how long before he's arrested, like BBC announcer Ray Gosling was for "murder" for the mercy killing of his AIDS-stricken partner -- or is Weinstein confident that Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. isn't some scumbag who is more opportunistic than the diseases that killed his beloved partner?

She Liked It So She Put a (Cock) Ring on It

For those who can't understand why the sexiest actress in America (Megan Fox) would marry a considerably older has-been child star with a kid (Brian Austin Green, best known as David Silver on "Beverly Hills 90210"), I offer this just-barely-suitable-for-work explanation HERE.

Music Box: Heart

The year was 1979 and my family had just packed up everything and moved from Detroit to Phoenix. Along with our earth-tone furniture, bentwood chandelier and ping-pong table came Tom Sowa, a single guy (and fellow Polack) who worked with my stepfather who decided that he too could use a fresh start. Our new Southwestern-style house had four bedrooms -- one for my parents, one for oldest brother Bill, one for baby sister Jennifer and one for my brother Terence and me to share -- but also had a loft that overlooked the living areas, which was accessed by a glamorous spiral staircase. This is where Tom set up residence while he looked for work and a home of his own. Having Tom around was suddenly like having the uncle we never had -- my parents' divorce robbed us of the four paternal ones we actually had, and my mom's estrangement from her family of the one on her side -- and Tom's late '70s persona was fun to be around, as he was always ready to pile us kids into his burgundy Pontiac and take us somewhere, which usually involved going to Woolco to buy records or to the tennis courts to hit some balls. Every time I think of that period of my life, the accompanying soundtrack to the vision of Tom driving his Grand Prix on the sidewalk at Mesa Community College ("it's faster to the courts this way," he explained) is "Dog and Butterfly" and "Straight On" by Heart, which played nonstop throughout the spring of 1979. (It's hard to believe that neither of those singles even cracked the Top 10 the way they completely dominated the airwaves for months.)

How I loved those songs and those girls: Ann, with her jet-black hair and killer voice and Nancy, the gorgeous blonde who rocked as hard as any dude with a guitar. Although it didn't take me long to appreciate their earlier brilliance -- "Barracuda," "Magic Man" and "Crazy on You" -- in retrospect, if Joan Jett was the "rocker chick" I didn't appreciate as much as I might have back in the day, Heart was most definitely the underappreciated "rocker chick band." Although my affection continued into the early MTV era -- "Even It Up" was definitely in heavy rotation back when, although I think most of us could have done without that "City's Burning" video being on 24 hours a day! -- it wasn't long before the Pretenders, Divinyls and X began to consume me, and Heart slipped into what I politely refer to as their "Bette Midler years," where they made a ton of money off of slightly inferior but highly commercial material for which no one could judge them.

As with Joan Jett before my rediscovery, these days I tend to rely on the classic Heart "Greatest Hits" package -- the one showcasing the band's fertile 1976 through 1983 period -- while knowing that I really should delve deeper into this rock 'n' roll band's catalogue, which I'm told has some classic LPs buried in it. A fellow fan also tells me that the women are gearing up for the release of their first album in a number of years, "Red Velvet Car," due out in August.

But until then, let's relive the magic, man:

Something for the ears
Changing Skies Lyrics
Lady GaGa
Pretty Boy Swag Lyrics
I Don't Wanna Be A Bride Lyrics
Vanessa Carlton
Uplifiting Lyrics
Still Got It Lyrics
Under Pressure Lyrics
Dr. Dre
Take Me Back Lyrics
Justin Garner
Slip Away Lyrics
U Don't Like Me Lyrics
Lil' Jon
Dream Again Lyrics
Get your own here.

View to a Kill?

No sooner did I find out that famed drag-queen restaurant Lips hadn't actually gone out of business, but had simply moved from the West Village to a new location on East 56th, did I also see in the middle of Gay Pride Weekend that View Bar had in fact called it a day. I never cared for View Bar -- the space will always be best remembered by Chelsea residents as the Break, a hot spot in the '90s -- but its demise still got me wondering whether the death of the gay bar -- like the death of the gay bookstore before it -- was indeed imminent, as some have predicted.

Courting Disaster?

Still awaiting the official word as to whether or not Jennifer Capriati's recent drug overdose had anything to do with her relationship with porn star Dale DaBone (born Dale Newton Rutter), star of more than 400 films, including "All for Cum and Cum for All," "May I Push Your Stool In?" and "All Anal 2."

Monday, June 28, 2010

Paging Dr. David Bruce Banner

If he's not busy stripping down to his underwear, then Serbian cutie Novak Djokovic is ripping his shirt off Incredible Hulk style -- this time to celebrate his fourth-round victory of Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon.

'Prairie' Home Companion

As if my Nellie Olseon adventures weren't enough, my friend on the Left Coast attended Alison Arngrim's Q&A and booksigning for her "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch" memoir at the Grove in L.A. the other night, and reports seeing Tippi Hedren, Rose Marie, EG Daily, "some chick" from "Hannah Montana" and Jenny Piccalo herself, Cathy Silvers!

Is Thomas Roberts 'Will' to Tori Spelling's 'Grace'?

The buzz has already begun that Tori Spelling's development deal for a talk show on ABC is in jeopardy due to her "poor health" and "low weight," but I have new details from behind the daytime drama, including a proposed onscreen pairing with anchorman Thomas Roberts. (FYI: Thomas cornered me the other night -- three years after the fact -- in a bar/restaurant in Chelsea to "discuss" you-know-what, and while I won't go into what he said to me right now, other than his acknowledging the photos were of him -- um, I know -- let's just say I get the feeling that he might be "related" to Kelly Killoren Bensimon. The whole thing was so bizarre, in fact, that my friend Jay texted me the following morning: "I cannot believe I had to leave so quickly after your Thomas Roberts 'Housewives' reunion moment. ... I kept waiting for Andy Cohen to pop up with a fistful of cards and start reading blog reader questions.)

My sources tell me that Tori was slated to be a guest host on "The View" back on June 14 as part of ABC's efforts to get the audience used to her as a talk show host. But if you check her tweets leading up to that scheduled appearance, you will see that she "took sick" on Monday night, and ultimately did not show up. I'm told that Tori never bothered calling the ABC executives -- the word is that getting her out of bed before 1 p.m. is frequently a challenge in and of itself -- leaving them to instead follow the tweets, wisely lining up a backup. (Kassie DePaiva was called in at the Eleventh Hour to fill her shoes.) Meantime, Thomas Roberts is said to have been tapped as a potential sidekick for this "Will & Grace" type chat show, in part because he's gay and "straight acting" (whatever that means), but, as my source put it, "just devoid of enough personality so as not to steal the spotlight" from Candy's little girl. You may recall that ABC put Roberts on "The View" last week as part of a male-themed week of fill-ins. I'm told this too was part of a plan to try him out in the talk show format. I'm also hearing that they deliberately arranged that controversial "hot topic" -- about gays donating blood -- so he could, in essence, "come out" again, this time to the daytime audience so ABC could gauge Peoria's reaction. (Several friends have commented on how awkward the whole exchange was.)

Admittedly, Donna Martin was able to overcome many obstacles at West Beverly before she finally graduated. But even if Tori pulls herself together long enough to get this show off the ground, does this sound like something anyone would watch? With three best-selling memoirs and a long-running reality show under her belt, it sounds like ABC is betting the answer is yes.

Jennifer Capriati in OD Scare

Was very sad to read that Jennifer Capriati had been hospitalized after a suspected overdose. Here's wishing her a speedy recovery.

Celebrity Sin

On Saturday night we went to see the gay pride edition of "Celebrity Autobiography," which I must say has to be the funniest stage show I've ever seen. There's nothing more hilarious than a celebrity who takes himself too seriously, so it becomes all the more wonderful when you have the likes of Rachel Dratch, Cheyenne Jackson, Kristen Johnston, John Cameron Mitchell, Mario Cantone, Bruce Vilanch, and B.D. Wong taking the offending stars' words -- verbatim -- and bringing them to life. Click HERE to find out when the next performance will be. You really can't make this shit up!

Rachel Dratch reads Joan Lunden
Bruce Villanch reads fellow big girl Star Jones
Cheyenne Jackson reads David Hasselhoff
Kristen Johnston -- complete with temporary mole -- reads Cindy Crawford's diaries from the set of "Fair Game"
John Cameron Mitchell reads the poems of Suzanne Somers
Mario Cantone reads Carrie Prejean
B.D. Wong reads Geraldo Rivera, with Mario standing in for Liza, the one that got away

Kristen, Cheyenne and Rachel read from Debbie Reynolds' and Liz Taylor's memoirs

More fun with La Liz

Time Marches On

The Times catches up with drag king and Stonewall legend Storme DeLarverie, 89, whose absence from this year's Gay Pride Parade was perhaps not felt as much as it should have been.

“The young gays and lesbians today have never heard of her,” said Lisa Cannistraci, a longtime friend of Ms. DeLarverie’s who is the owner of the lesbian bar Henrietta Hudson, where Ms. DeLarverie worked as a bouncer. “And most of our activists are young. They’re in their 20s and early 30s. The community that’s familiar with her is dwindling.”

To the Moon

Prince Harry showed off equal parts athleticism and Ed Nortonism as he threw out the first pitch at CitiField the other day before the Mets-Twins game. See for yourself, below:


Sunday, June 27, 2010

On the Rag, Vol. 94

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