Author: Frank Owen

  • The Devil and Michael Alig

    Busting the King of Club Kids By William Bastone and Jennifer Gonnerman In the final deluded days before his arrest, Michad Alig had convinced himself that he could trade Peter Gatien’s scalp for Angel Melendez’s torso. For the 31-year-old club kid, this surely seemed like a fair barter: in the debauched demimonde he once ruled, […]

  • Did King of Club Kids Michael Alig Really Kill Angel Melendez? Or Is It All a Hoax?

    Looking for Angel Standing over 40 stories tall, the Riverbank West apartment complex is a beacon of faux luxury amid the drab, workday surroundings of the far west 40s. Until recently, the building’s most notorious resident was über-club kid Michael Alig, who lived in a two-bedroom, blond-wood floor apartment paid for by his then employer, […]

  • The DEA’s War on Pain Doctors

    Twenty-four years after Darlene broke her back in a swimming pool accident, crippling pain still rules every aspect of her life, from getting up in the morning (which she describes as akin to “climbing the highest mountain”) to falling into a fitful sleep at night. After years of botched surgery that left her in even […]

  • Magic Carpet Ride

    It sounds like another one of those classic tales of clubland reinvention: A teenage Persian Jew escapes the Iran of the ayatollahs, comes to America unable to speak English, but nonetheless manages to make a small fortune peddling car stereos, roach clips, and feather earrings. Despite his newfound affluence, he gets turned away from every […]

  • Private Pandemonium

    The stuttering, stratospheric strain of some anonymous trance track blares in the cool night air, and smoke billows from the engine room of a rusty, rain-slicked tugboat plowing its way up the choppy waters of the Harlem River. As we chug by Highbridge Park and under the George Washington Bridge, 18-year-old high school student Ben […]

  • Hip-Hop Under Heavy Manners

    Shiny, fresh-from-the-showroom Mercedeses and Ford Explorers navigate the iridescent red flares strewn across Eleventh Avenue at the edge of Chelsea. The cops have erected a roadblock and are searching cars for prohibited artillery. They hand out flyers in Spanish and English, advertising a $500 reward “for information leading to the arrest of anyone who possesses […]

  • Spirituality Having Flown

    House music aunts and uncles often regale their younger brethren with tales of the good old days at the Paradise Garage, the celebrated downtown New York club that was open from 1977 to 1987 in a former truck depot at 84 King Street. With tears welling up in their eyes, they reminisce about one of […]

  • Wu-Tang Clan is Sumthing ta Fuck Wit

    Cappadonna (far left) and Ghostface Killah (second from left) are said to be the closest Wu-Tang allies of Lord Michael Caruso (second from right). but he also club-hops with musical mastermind RZA (far right). Earlier this year, when a Wu-Tang Clan promotional van pulled up outside the midtown club Speed, a member of the venue’s […]

  • Gatien Fights On

    The origin of the bullet that struck a disabled patron inside the Tunnel disco could be a deciding factor in whether club owner Peter Gatien gets his liquor license back. The State Liquor Authority suspended the perennially embattled club king’s permit to sell alcohol after a shooting incident on February 7, during one of DJ […]

  • Madonna Pal’s Problems Persist

    Sunday’s Catholic mass at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn has a new member of the flock—indicted Miami club owner and suspected mobster Chris Paciello. Paciello hasn’t discovered God behind bars like so many prisoners before him, says a source inside the jail, but uses the holy ceremony as cover to hold meetings with fellow […]