Promoters Battle It Out Over Don Hill Tribute


Beloved club owner Don Hill — who died last year — got a big rock-band tribute at Irving Plaza recently, orchestrated by nightlife hero Trigger with the help of promoters Lyle Derek and Michael Schmidt (who did the long-running Squeezebox bash at Don Hill’s).

But true to his name, Trigger is pissed.

He feels he spent money to throw the event, only to have Derek and Schmidt do their own pre-event two nights earlier, taking the wind out of the big night.

According to Trigger:

“What Michael Schmidt and Lyle Derek just did to me has me feeling violated. You all know that I booked this event for our celebration of our dear, deceased, friend Don Hill.

“When Squeezebox came aboard we were all ecstatic! It was going to be expensive for me because Irving Plaza was adding on 3 grand to the original rent because Michael needed the room from 1-4 am and the original 8 grand rental was only till 1am. Michael also asked me for an additional 3 grand guarantee to pay for Jayne County, Patrick Briggs, and himself to be able to fly in and to also pay some performers.

“I felt that i’d maybe come close to breaking even with what Michael was calling the Final Squeezebox. Little did i know that Michael was hosting a ‘Pre Party’ to my event two days before at DropOut with Miss Guy spinning and Jayne County performing. I wasn’t aware of this till two days before Dropout when Lyle emailed me about it saying ‘I hope you don’t mind that I’m having Jayne County perform one or two of her non hits and no one’s going to know about it’ as if I had a choice.

“This was two days before his event and 4 days before mine. I brought this up to Michael and he said ‘That won’t hurt your event at all. We’re all promoting your event Thursday night! I’m even making an appearance at Dropout to promote your event.’…

“Calling it a ‘Pre Party’ was just a sham. Dropout was THE PARTY!!! They used my money, my Voice ad (Lyle had the nerve to ask me to say that we were screening his Squeezebox Film all night at my Irving Show). I stupidly agreed to it cause it was all for the cause in my naive mind.

“In reality I spent 3 grand to fly these guys in to do DropOut where there’s no cover charge and it was wall to wall jammed with all of the same people that would have come to our event had there not been basically the same event two nights earlier, without all of the rock bands taking up 2/3’s of the night and Dropout was FREE!!!

“Lyle said it was going to be a surprise and not promoted at all but we all know how the internet works and word got out as they knew it would and their event was jam packed and Squeezebox drew just 46 paid people to my event at Irving Plaza!!!!!!!!!! Lyle even told me he’d email me an invite but he never did cause had i been there and basically seen my night completely submarined financially, spiritually and emotionally I would have flipped out. He never did email me an invite. Smart man.

“These guys sandbagged me and had the nerve to hug me and thank me the night of my event for what I was doing for Don and the Scene while they had already surreptitiously stabbed me in the back.

“I will recover from this at some point. I will never regain the 11 thousand dollars i lost on this but I did a beautiful thing for a beautiful man and i will take my losses like a mensch and move forward. While it’s true that i’m doing better just running my place as a local bar rather than a punk rock club, 11 thousand dollars is an awful lot of money to me as it is to most of us.

“But will these two creeps ever recover from the bad Karma they’ve created for themselves here in manipulating me, double dipping and overall, fucking me over??? I did something pure, from my heart and backed it up with my wallet. Even though i knew i was taking a bath i paid everyone what i was supposed to. Even those two losers.

“Still in shock and feeling violated…Trigger”

Responds Lyle Derek:

“It is regretful that the ‘Celebration of Don Hill’ was not more successful (financially speaking for Trigger). I have nothing but respect for my elders and peers in nightlife, especially Don who the night was really about and the man that helped start Dropout and gave us the chance to do something fun in NY and bring worlds together.

“Don was a great man, whose presence in nightlife is deeply missed.
I wish nothing but success now and in the future for all of my elders and peers in nightlife.


“Lyle Derek”