Antony Hegarty was an awkward, slightly pasty, and agreeable sort who used to take the stages of Jackie 60 nightclub and wail songs of longing and regret with a throbbing passion that made hearts melt and spirits soar.
He’s since become hugely successful–especially in England–which prompted this Guardian piece about his roots and inspirations.
It turns out that “as a teenager in California, Antony had devoured Michael Musto‘s Village Voice columns and been thunderstruck by seeing Joey Arias sing Billie Holiday songs” in a cult documentary.
Who knew? He never told me he grew up on my stuff!
But the feeling’s mutual. I was a fan from the outset.
I’m quoted in the piece, saying:
“I was captivated by his voice, which is a deep well of soul and pain and love.
“I had no idea who he was, but I was transfixed by the purity of his talent from the start.”
But will there be future Antonys nurtured in NYC?
Asked about the changing performance scene, I responded:
“Giuliani took the air out of it, but it simply ended up changing its geographical borders.
“A lot of creative types moved over the bridge.
“It’s never going to die because there’s more to be angry at than ever in NYC, and performers thrive on frustration and rage.”
So bring on the Antonys!