The most important personages in New York after midnight, doormen set the tone for a club by weeding out undesirables while making the welcomed throngs feel more special than prize pigs at a state fair. The best at this particular craft is Derek Neen, who guards the door at Beige on Tuesdays at B Bar and at Splash on Saturdays as if tossing a demented yet delicious salad. A completely unspoiled charm oozer, Neen is a good person to know–so I’m giving you the chance to do so with this rollicking little q&a:
Hey, Derek. What’s the secret to being a good doorperson all these years?
D.N.: A good doorperson should have an insatiable fascination for amusing, sexy, accomplished people….In addition, running an effective door requires patience, an open mind, and a firm hand. Speaking a few extra languages comes in handy, as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of state and international ID’s, and one should possess the heart of a hedonist and the mindset of an experienced Brazillian bath house rent boy–in other words by all means encourage and foment revelry and legal vices (in moderation), but don’t be taken advantage of.
Yikes. I’ll stick with my day job. Your best celebrity encounter?
D.N.: Bill Maher, upon arriving at the Roxy on a very busy straight night and taking a look at that long incline hallway packed wall to wall with palpitating 20 somethings slowly making their way up to the main room, and exclaiming “My god, it’s like spawning salmon in here.” Also, the very same night, a well endowed hometown baseball player, after having won the World Series, proudly flapping his floppy in my direction while standing at the urinal next to me and winking for an ‘extended length’ of time. And of course Madonna, while she was carrying on a torrid romance with my head of security at the Roxy, would arrive incognito sucking a lollipop and coquettishly ask “I think you know what I’m looking for, may I come in?”
Wait–I want to be a doorman again! Your worst celebrity encounter?
D.N.: Lil’ Wayne, upon hearing that his entourage would be needing a light pat down before entering the venue, had some rather less than gentlemanly words for me and the security staff. Those, of course, were the early days, and I’m told with his recent successes he’s lightened up somewhat.
Well, you can certainly handle ’em. Describe the biggest mess who’s ever tried to get in somewhere.
D.N.: The former boyfriend of one of America’s pre-eminent fashion designers was so fucked up and homeless looking upon arrival one night that when he asked to borrow $20 for food, I readily complied, but instead of searching out the nearest diner, he went straight inside and ordered two shots of Jeager, stumbled back out to the street, and hailed a cab with his pants down around his ankles sans underpants and proceeded to relieve himself in the backseat. Hey, you asked.
And I knew that guy too! Anyway, why are your clubs–or any clubs–important?
D.N.: Clubs are important because we are fundamentally social animals and consequently a lack of dancing, ass grabbing, and general bawdiness will lead to right-wing extremism and depression. PS: I recently added Rock it @ Amalia to my schedule, but at the risk of sounding like an elitist pig, if you have any doubts about possessing one of the aforementioned assets, don’t bother showing up because happily at the time of this posting, the line is daunting and the banquets are full.
Darling, I have them all. See you there!