Going, Going, Gone!


If you ever wondered how much it would cost you to get a date with JAY MCINERNEY, wonder no more. The author of Bright Lights, Big City, who was up for grabs at “Goin’ Goin’ Gone!,” an America Coming Together (ACT) fundraiser singles auction hosted by Comedy Central’s cutup QUENTIN HEGGS last Tuesday night, stood on the Slipper Room stage and pleaded on behalf of his ego to get a higher rate. Since the date would be at MARIO BATALI‘s restaurant Babbo, he repeated, “You can’t get reservations to Babbo!” then, “Mario will probably pinch your ass!” And when that failed, “MICHAEL STIPE will probably be there—he’s there every night.”

As if anyone really needed convincing. Mr. McInerney’s self-deprecation went a long way, since he was eventually auctioned off for $500. He wasn’t the only high-profile date at the auction. As McInerney himself noted at the beginning of the evening, “We all know why we’re here tonight. To bid on a date with MOBY.”

The Little Idiot turned out to be the big prizewinner, but first he had to display his guitar prowess with his fave band RENE RISQUÉ AND THE ART LOVERS—joining them on a cover of LED ZEPPELIN‘s “Whole Lotta Love.” Then he waited with a grin that got bigger as the numbers got larger. When the bidding reached $700, he said he’d match the prize and quickly upped the ante—sold for $800!

Rene Risqué—who I’d never seen before—was ridiculous in the best sort of way. He wore too small pink pants, a teeny white shirt, and a long-haired wig that needed some brushing. He stomped around like a larger than life rock star—swaggering and sauntering, pouting and preening. He uttered lines like “You smell kinda . . . spicy!” and “Girl, I could do you all night!” Maybe that’s why, when the entire band was being auctioned off for a full-body rub, it only sold for $200.

Regular guys and gals were on the auction block, too, including a studly rock climber, a surfer, and several highly attractive women. However, it was duly noted that the men were being sold off at a much higher rate than the women (and with a cover fee of $100, this wasn’t a financially squeamish crowd, either). We realized that even the most attractive and monied ladies have to pay for a date in this vicious dating scene. And these gals were nothing to sneeze at. If Marion—a statuesque brunette, with legs to the ceiling, clad in black leather boots—only went for a couple hundred bucks, then we feel much better.

One person who will probably never have to pay for a date is CARLOS D. The INTERPOL bassist is quite a hit with the ladies, and he’s also one of the only decadent rock stars left in our uptight little town, bless his gothic, black heart. Before he hit the stage at Interpol’s “secret show” at the Bowery Ballroom, he halfheartedly lamented that the band’s bus left for Boston at 9 a.m., but added cheerfully, “I won’t be going to bed.” The show itself—which I thought was fantastic—was not as pleasing to the band itself, because they had to rely on inner-ear monitors for one of the first times, making it difficult for them to hear each other. The crowd didn’t seem to notice, however. A group of girls in the front swooned during the first encore. “Ooh, they are playing the sexy songs,” said one. Another licked her lips and cooed, “It makes me wanna have sex.”

The show capped off a whirlwind week for the band whose sophomore disc, Antics, debuted on the Billboard charts at No. 15—perhaps the best showing by a New York City outfit in its own country since THE STROKESRoom on Fire entered the charts at No. 4. They’re touring for the next month, until they return to play the already sold-out Hammerstein Ballroom on November 11. As for Carlos D., who dislikes touring, he squeezed as much New York into his night as he could. We left him in the wee hours following the show’s after-party at the Darkroom, surrounded by a bevy of luscious ladies, including one who was sitting on his lap. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a man so happy.

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