I do not know what we were trying to do here. It looks like something out of Dorian Grey. Anyway, Joey Arias is a one of a kind performer. I remember him working at Fiorucci's in New York. He met Klaus Nomi there and became life long friends. He sang backup with Klaus Nomi and also designed the sets and costumes. He sang along side with Klaus with the famous David Bowie set on Saturday Night Live. Joey would either be performing or hanging out at Club 57. In 1980 he formed the happening band Strange Party. He has gone on from one success to the next. From channeling the vocal style of Billy Holiday to numerous film roles. He has been in many cabarets and also was a featured performer at Wigstock and The Howl festival. He has been doing the Las Vegas show Zumanity, an "adult-themed" Cirque du Soleil show running at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino. He is presntly doing the show "Arias With a Twist". A one person play/musical starring Joey and an assortment of marionettes created by Basil Twist and a lot of help from six puppeteers. Too much to write.
Drew Straub and Kenny Scharf, AKA The Batusi Brothers. This photo was taken after a Batusi Brother's show at the Mudd Club. I think this was taken at the Reagan Inauguration party at the Mudd Club. What can I say about the Batusi Brothers? The Batusi Brothers were international superstars who have been offered millions but refuse to do a comeback tour.
I remember Drew the first night I went to Club 57. He was the blue-haired bartender who served me my first cocktail there. I recall him performing on those nights of so long ago. He is now living a life of mystery and also lives in the Chelsea Hotel.
And what to say about Kenny Scharf? He was the amazing one of a kind painter/artist who was one of the key figures of the early 80's New York East Village art scene along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat . He had some of his first shows at Club 57 and was very involved in all of the performances there. He used cartoon images from popular TV shows like The Jetsons and Flintstones and brought popular culture into the fine arts. There is too much to write about him.
April was a singer and percussionist who performed with the 12-piece all-girl percussion band Pulsallama. She was also one of the Bodacious Ta Ta's, the sexy backup singers for John Sex. April is a very talented Graphic designer and photographer. I took this photo in her studio. April was involved in every aspect of Club 57 from performing, decorating and of course having fun!She was involved with Diana Lillig doing the Low Budget Luminary Show. It was inspired by a vintage lamp Diana owned. April produced the show, made the brochures and graphic designs, and got folks like Kate Pierson and Fred Schnider of the B52s to contribute. Other exhibitors were Tim Rollins of KOS, and Kim Schapich of Cooper Union and Jonathan Quinn. She also produced the Science Fair show and booked the Fleshtones to play at the Stay-Free Mini Prom in 1979.
Here we have Ann Magnuson performing as Anoushka the Soviet Chanteuse. It was a night called Depravnik Island, a night of bizzare Russian/Soviet pop muzak songs. Guests traded the local currency called coatczheks. I think Anoushka is singing the Russian version of "The Windmills of your Mind" with Kenny Scharf dancing in the background. Depravnik Island happened at Danceteria, 30 West 23rd Street, on February 25, 1983.
Religious Revival night at Club 57: From what I remember, this was a night that Ann Magnuson put together. She played a character based on Tammy Faye Bakker. The wife of the religious televangelist Jim Bakker. She would co-host his TV show and cry at the drop of a hat. Club 57 performers did their recreation of the religious TV show. Here we have Andy Rees interviewing Lisa Altomare with a crucified chicken. I think she is giving a cooking recipe on how to make a crucified chicken casserole.
Min was a regular Club 57 member. She was in the 13 all girl band Pulsallama. She was an assistant in New York for artist Kenny Scharf. She is married to artist Oliver Sanchez whom she met in 1980 and has a 17 year old daughter. They live in Miami Beach. She is currently an esthetician, a hotel concierge, and has an organic cookie business. Over the past few years she has resumed performing with Kenny Scharf.
I took this photo of Min on a rooftop in the East Village. Rooftops were a great place for a retreat from Manhattan madness.
Tom was a regular at Club 57. He performed there with various bands. He had a great band with the writer/poet Michael Carter called Vaccum Bag. I remember them performing on an elevator in a gallery once. He was also a talented artist at that time. I know he is still involved with music, art and lives in New York. This photo was taken of Tom relaxing on a sunny afternoon on the rooftop of the tenament building that he lived in. Actually, I have to find out a lot more about Tom. Until I do, this description will have to do! If any viewer can help me with more information about this nice person I would appreciate it!
Guitarist Keith Streng, bassist Jan-Marek Pakulski lead singer Peter Zaremba and drummer Bill Milhizer formed the legendary garage rock band The Fleshtones. They were formed in 1976. They played at Club 57 on a regular basis. I took this photo at one of the nights that they played there.The Fleshtones had and has a loyal following in New York and throughout the world.