It's been a crazy week, but before I forget, wanted to mention that I attended a fab soiree for Michael Musto's latest book on Monday at the Copacabana. That "Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back" ever saw the light of day at all is reason enough to celebrate -- you may recall that Regent/Here Media's Alyson Books had held it hostage for years before Musto was finally able to negotiate for a safe release -- and celebrate we did. I'm not sure if it says more about the people Musto attracts and the company he keeps or the ability of promoter Chip Duckett to (seemingly effortlessly) mix together just the right ingredients -- one part '80s, one part drag, one part burlesque, one part reality television, one part D-list celebrities, OK, two parts '80s -- but the outcome is always a spicy party paella whenever these two worlds collide.
Although we've only spoken and emailed briefly a few times, I've long appreciated Michael's sharp tongue and sharper prose. After a fling with Rona Barrett on "Good Morning America" in the 1970s, Michael, Richard Johnson and A.J. Benza became my post-Warhol lifeline to New York City scene on "The Gossip Show" on E! back in the early '90s. Although the market is wide open in today's Web-driven world of news and gossip, you can still count on Michael's weekly column in the Village Voice to inform and, more importantly, entertain. (Watching him perform on stage was equally impressive -- he's not just quick on a bike.)
Lisa Lampinelli and Countess LuAnn de Lessups were the co-hosts of the evening --
thankfully ironically, LuAnn didn't "sing," but Lisa (sort of) did, belting out a neighborhood-appropriate show tune about not wanting to mouth off anymore. (The crowd definitely hopes that doesn't come true.) M.C. Murray Hill was in rare form -- he and Michael have a playful sibling rivalry type relationship -- hammering his friend for being being the last person to write a book and to write for a newspaper. (In return, Michael lovingly referred to Hill as "Chaz Bono.")
Eventually met up with my friend Scooter, who was accosted by Geri "Fake Jan" Reischl's friend/publicist, who was hellbent on getting a photo of him with with the Jannabe. When Geri realized I was with Scooter, we immediately had a moment, as I had blogged about her years ago and what I had written was included in a book about the ill-conceived "Brady Bunch Variety Hour," in which she filled in for the recalcitrant Eve Plumb. (I'm guessing she knew who I was so readily because she had been tipped off by my pal Matt, who wrote his own recap of the evening HERE.)
Spotted Jerry Springer, Jackie Hoffman, Robin Byrd, a Sarah Palin impersonator and a host of downtown denizens, including Michael's adorable mom, burlesque dancer Dirty Martini, singer(?) Bridget Everett, Aunt Barbara and so on before meeting Billy Hanson (of Whore's Mascara and Liquid Diet fame) while not dancing on the dance floor. Billy and I had been emailing about tennis all through the U.S. Open, but this chance encounter was the first time we'd met in the flesh. (What a doll -- funny and cute!)
Scooter tees off
Shortly after he rubbed it in my face that he had recently gotten a vintage Chrissie Evert poster up on his living room wall, his friend Jason joined the chat. I've known of the non-alcoholic-beverage Bellini from his days on CBS News on Logo, but this was the first time we'd officially met. Found out he's also from the Valley of the Sun, then mislead him into thinking Sandra Bernhard graduated from his high school. (Nice guy, interested in seeing this next chapter of his career.) Later, I spoke to Derek Hartley, who had just finished taping his Sirius/XM radio show.
A countess and a queen
At some point, the always-generous Chip led me into the VIP area -- which was really no different than the rest of the party other than the slightly higher altitude -- where I got a quick shot with The Housewife Who's Still Standing (she was a riot, asking for a second photo 'cause she thought we could "both do better") and the man of the hour who, despite what I've always perceived as a classic case of anhedonia, actually seemed to be having a (well-deserved) great time.