Let's begin with the story.
I lived in NYC from 1990-1992 and worked in the Publicity Department at St. Martin's Press. That department was full of some fun characters. It was my first experience working with gay men, and I must say that was eye opening. I'd go into a meeting just hoping to get through it and, more than once, one of the fellas would come up to me after the meeting to tell me he had an excellent idea for how I should wear my hair, fashion accessories that I really should try, or just general clothing advice. Sadly, I needed all three, so those tips were always appreciated.
|Notice the fancy haircut AND the manicured nails! Not to mention... the DRESS!|
We had one guy in our department (also newly graduated from college) who was not gay. His name was Len. He and I became very good friends. I think it's because I was so welcoming on his first day. Or that first meeting. Not sure which came first. But, he walked in and there was an open seat next to me. He paused and I said, "Sit down. I don't bite." I probably should've added most of the time, but it worked. He sat, and we became friends.
I'd like to say I taught him all sorts of handy things. Sadly, I think the reverse was true. Through him, I learned a whole bunch about hockey I never knew. Did you know it is the sport with the longest season? I didn't know that. He also took me to a Rangers game (which was super fun). He worked the "free stuff exchange" like nobody's business. He gave me some of the cassettes (yeah, I said cassettes) and CDs he didn't want. I also learned a wee bit about what it was to be Jewish. In short, he was one of the coolest people I'd met in my life, and I felt really privileged he wanted to be MY friend. We even exchanged mix tapes (on cassette). If you want to know where you rate on my scale, only people I think of as the "best of the best" get a mix tape. Through that experience I learned the way to end a mix tape is with The Beatles montage of Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End. In point of fact, whenever I hear those songs I always think of Len.
In 1992, St. Martin's published the book A Low Life In High Heels: The Holly Woodlawn Story. The entire department was invited to the book party at a place called The Limelight.
Do you see the resemblance to a castle? Perfect for Halloween or a dress up party, no? Well, this was a dress up party. Holly Woodlawn is the Holly from A Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed. "Holly came from Miami FLA..." Holly brought all of his his/her friends to this book party. (Pronouns still are confusing for me when it comes to cross dressing.) Fortunately, I'd already experienced this phenomena several times already, so I was now a pro at this sort of thing. A few days ago, I sent an email to Len asking if he remembered this party. HE DID. He said the thing that stuck with him was seeing the people shooting up in the bathroom (and feeling so tame in comparison). I'm so glad I didn't see that. What I remembered from this party was a dude dressed like a lady in western wear, including the holster and toy guns. I was standing next to Len when this "cowgirl" raised her gun and shot it at Len. He grabbed my arm and said, "See that guy in the cowboy outfit. He just fired his gun at me!" Once again, I was the bridesmaid and not the bride!
Here is a picture of Len and I from one of our many nights out after all the work was done (but not the night of The Limelight party):
Other bloggers participating in the Soundtrack of My Life:
StMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS
Cherdo on the Flipside
Holli's Hoots and Hollers
THE DOGLADY'S DEN
Mean Who You Are
Wrote By Rote
If you were paying attention during the story, you probably already guessed the song for this installment of Battle of the Bands. Walk On The Wild Side. Not including the Lou Reed version as it would run away with it, but I think I found two good covers.
The first is by a band called The Strokes.
The second is by Dave Stewart and Vanessa Paradis (don't watch if you are influenced by the video).
Please vote for the version of this song you prefer. If you want to get into the Ins and Outs of why you like one better than the other... I LOVE long comments!
For more Battle of the Bands fun, check out the other BOTB bloggers to vote on their battles:
- Far Away Series
- Stephen T. McCarthy's Battle of the Bands Blog
- Tossing it Out
- DiscConnected (temporarily disconnected from BoTB)
- Mike's Ramblings
- Curious as a Cathy
- Book Lover
- The Sound of One Hand Typing
- dcrelief ~ Battle of the Bands
- Cherdo on the Flipside
- Angels Bark
- THE DOGLADY'S DEN
- Jingle Jangle Jungle
- Janie Junebug Righting and Editing
- J.A. Scott
- Quiet Laughter
- Holli's Hoots and Hollers