By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Which slightly horsey yet sexy young actress is a lesbian, gamely accessorized with one of those perennial girlfriend-slash-assistants? What does that say about her boyfriend? Which soul legend approves outfits after being presented with drawings of them in a size two? (If she says, "Uh-huh," her designer proceeds to make them in a size 2000.)
Which Broadway diva who didn't get the part in that movie musical eventually telegrammed the legendary composer with, "Liked the movie. Wish her music had been better served"? (His sardonic response: "Who asked you, you fucking cunt?")
Who once introduced herself to a theater actress by saying, "Hi, I'm [so-and-so], star of [Disney spoof movie]"? Who asked you, etc., etc.? Which hunky '70s tennis star used to like three-ways with women, one of whom he would charmingly ask to insert a dildo in his butt? (I guess the other one kept score.)
Which blonde movie star starts every shoot by scanning the set to see who's looking at her (and therefore who wants to play fill-the-nacho)? Which brother who has achieved his own measure of success is a creepy egomaniac, according to some who have worked with him and don't really care to again? Which actress who was once married to that biggie tells gossip-seeking friends, "I'm not allowed to talk about that based on the terms of our agreement," rather than say the much simpler, "No, he's not"? Which flamboyant promoter orders lube by the crate? Does Costco really sell lube? Which '60s pop group supposedly started out as harmonic hookers in the projects? Which married nonfiction book writer who everyone thinks is gay actually isn't? (In fact, he's quite the hetero horndog. What's the world coming to, people?)
What married rocker with big hair spurned that superstar's attempts to bed him years ago because "I can't fuck anyone who sweats a lot and smells even worse than I do"? Which designer gets plowed raw by his boyfriend? Which actress was just caught doing drugs with a friend in the bathroom of an East Village bar, an act that makes perfect sense if you consider her TV show? And this one will surely become the intelligentsia's favorite for some time to come: What one-named star used to eat pussy at the Playboy mansion to feed her then-insatiable meth habit? Huh? I'm waiting!
In the Meantime, Some Names, Please
There's a lively book coming out by Larry Harris from Casablanca Records, the rock-and-disco label that was big in the '70s, back when there were tennis-related three-ways. Reveals Harris: "We passed on signing Billy Squier, mostly because we were leery of getting involved with someone [manager] Bill Aucoin was having a personal relationship with, and we were under the impression he was with Billy, in a physical sense—Aucoin was and is openly gay." Hello! Also discussed: Gene Simmons used his darting tongue on Katey Sagal; disco queen Donna Summer was beaten by her egomaniac boyfriend, making her hit song "I Feel Love" extra ironic; and Rodney Dangerfield kept a Noxzema jar of coke in his suit pocket, even at airports. No respect!
Some drug-free divas shared the bill at a Coney Island concert last week, which was completely free, except for all the politicos taking the stage to try to weasel voter appreciation out of us between the acts. As for the talent, Pat Benatar's pipes rose out of the muddy mix to belt her attitudey hits—even "Invincible," which she conceded "is from one of the worst movies ever made." (She meant The Legend of Billie Jean. I guess Billie Jean is not her lover.) And the cool-as-beans Blondie kept the retro ball rolling in style, Debbie Harry tenaciously refusing to update "Call Me" to "Text Me."
They e-mailed me to attend Nancy Grace's party for her novel The Eleventh Victim, which filled Bryant Park Café with talking heads, lawyers, and a medical expert whose hand Grace shook with elation. "How often do you touch the hand that touched Anna Nicole Smith's dead, cold body?" she said, aglow. "I'm so happy you're here!" That naturally led me to ask Grace what we've learned from the saga of the dead, cold Michael Jackson. "A bunch of well-heeled doctors were responsible for his death," Grace replied with conviction. "They doped a dope addict. I used to prosecute murders of dopers. And a lot of jurors are happy they're dead!" It was her job back then—and it still is—to sanely remind people that murder is murder, regardless. "Whether Michael was guilty of child abuse or not," said amazing Grace, "he was killed." Got that, you dopes?
By the way, in 1969, Charles Manson and company murdered some showbiz types and a hairdresser, but it still totally counts. Proof that the gruesome massacre really happened is the inevitable Fringe Festival spoof, Willy Nilly, which starts out annoying, with music and jokes that don't land, but, by sheer force of will, becomes such a tastily eccentric "psychedelic-atessen" that I didn't even resent missing the organic musical Jack and the Soy Bean Stalk in the same theater earlier that day.