Author: Bill Werde

  • Avenging Angel

    Only a phalanx of cross-dressing divas at a Junior Vasquez birthday party could match the drama in Frank Owen’s Clubland—and then, only if there weren’t enough (or far too many) drugs for the clamoring queens. The book revisits the early-’90s heyday of superclub Limelight and its club kid cadre, then hangs ringside for the spectacular […]

  • Spin Cycle

    Casey Spooner’s pants come off so easily. It’s his jacket that’s pesky. Of course, his cadre of dancers and singers, electro auteurs Fischerspooner, love a good miscue. Nothing exposes the artifice of pop quite like a well-placed flub. They revel in being “caught” lip-synching. They stop shows because of a disappointing performance from “the dance […]

  • Historia Nervosa

    From the morass of Hollywood sentimentality, flag-emblazoned newscasts, and the music industry’s recycled clichés (where was Lee Greenwood on the evening of September 10?), one voice rang clear after 9-11: David Rees’s. His online comic strip Get Your War On—in which profanity-laced anti-war screeds floated incongruously above a red-ink clip-art world of clean-cut office workers […]

  • Punks in the Hall

    Gary Kurfirst, the longtime manager of Talking Heads, illustrates just how irreverent the band was when they started touring in the mid ’70s. “They were in Boston,” recalls Kurfirst. “It must’ve been around ’77, and we were in a nasty fight with the headlining band—they didn’t want to let us use their stage lights. Finally […]

  • Burning Man’s Dotcom Hangover

    BLACK ROCK DESERT, NEVADA, SEPTEMBER 1—The starched red pigtails of her wig flying at crooked angles behind her, a volunteer called Evil Pippi speeds across the bleached and dusty desert on her golf cart. To her eyes—sealed beneath opaque black pilot goggles—the very future of Burning Man may be at stake. Is it police, come […]

  • Acid Test

    Downtown, way downtown, down Broadway forever, you make a right at the World Trade Center and you’re there: an outdoor lunch café, nestled between the twin towers. At noon, it’s a depressing place—a smattering of patio furniture on pebbled concrete, a bunch of harried suits, and enough phone radiation to fry countless brain cells. But […]

  • No Love

    To get to WKTU DJ Louie DeVito’s home, you have to drive down the Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway. Finally, after an hour and a half (and a few stretches of no-left-turn split highways), you’ll encounter a three-house cul-de-sac with perfectly manicured yards and recently washed Jaguars and BMWs parked out front. While […]

  • The V.I.P. List

    We asked the major mayoral contenders to discuss their dancefloor positions (cabbage patch? funky chicken?). Almost all acknowledged the cultural and economic importance of clubs, but Democratic candidate Mark Green gets the disco-dancer award, continuing his campaign as the anti-Rudy. “Nightlife attracts more people than the Mets, Yankees, Broadway, and the Metropolitan Museum combined,” said […]

  • Rock Boxed

    If the music industry had a sense of humor, next year’s Grammy for Most Ironic Cover Version would go to Run DMC’s “Let’s Stay Together.” With r&b crooners Jagged Edge doing their best to ape Al Green, Run dedicates the opening rap to D: “You, Jay, and me/since ’83/been livin and stickin together like a […]

  • Video Kills the Video Star

    Hyping its broadcast for days is an odd way to ban an objectionable video. For those who didn’t see MTV’s much ballyhooed recent onetime airing of “What It Feels Like for a Girl,” Madonna—the easily offended should stop here—drives aggressively in muscle cars. She purposefully smashes into a carload of leering men. She ridicules male […]