I couldn’t decide what to write for today’s blog- my friend Bill messaged me to write about Maggie’s tribute Saturday and how she influenced my writing, but I think we should let Maggie rest and get used to being on the other side. Too many people try and latch on to a famous person’s passing and I don’t want to be one of those.
Bill is also a fan of my old New York rock and roll stories, so here’s a good one.
In 1973, after the Stooge’s return to New York since I don’t know when, I went to see them the first night at Max’s Kansas City, on July 30.
I’d seen the Stooges once before, in 1969 when I was 15 at the Pavilion in Flushing meadows park. They had opened for the MC5. I remember the Stooges but not the MC5. None of them jumped out into the audience like Iggy had.
The Pavilion at Flushing Meadows Park.
So I was excited to see the Stooges, I bought the Raw Power album when it had come out and played it incessantly, and now I was going to be able to see The Stooges in a small intimate venue instead of from a 100 feet away with thousands of other people like at the Pavilion.
I was 19 and a veteran of a dozen NY Dolls shows and had morphed into a glitter-rocker from my hippie days. Teased hair and high-heeled shoes were the order of the day.
Me and my brother in 1973
I was at Pratt at the time, and I was going to the show with my friend Abby Weissman, a fellow Pratt student. When we were standing in line to get in, Abby showed me a hero sandwich he had stashed in his jacket.
“You think they’d mind if I bring this in?”
“Well, they do sell food here Abby, so yes, I think they’d mind.” Abby brought it in anyway and ate it during the show. It was so packed inside I don’t think any of the bouncers could have reached him anyway.
We got good seats, second row center, and when Iggy decided to wade into the crowd we were lucky enough to have our thighs used as stepping-stones. Iggy grabbed my shoulder for support as he progressed into the crowd.
It was a great set, they opened with “Raw Power” and then Iggy announced “I got my cock in my pocket,” a song I’d never heard before. He shook and jumped and danced to the beat of the living dead and on occasion collapsed on the stage, and a fat hippie looking guy with a tank of oxygen would rush to his side to give him a sip of O2 through a little plastic mask. It was electrifying and my heart rate took a beating that night.
All too quickly it was over and I found myself standing on Park avenue South with Abby. I heard people talking about the after party.
“Let’s go to the after party, Abby.”
“I don’t think we’re invited.”
Two Quaaludes and two Bloody Marys told me otherwise.
“I’m sneaking in.”
It took me a couple of tries but I finally made it past the guy at the door and I was mingling with the likes of Lou Reed, David Bowie, and all of the New York Dolls. Todd Rundgren was there, with green dyed hair. I was a big fan of his in high school; I had that Leroy boy single somewhere. It was like being in a dream, all of my idols here in one place. Now if I could only interact with them.
I had enough money to buy a Beck’s beer and I nursed it through the evening. I gawked at all the stars and wondered how I could start a conversation with any of them.
That was pretty intimidating, but I did manage to find Lou Reed alone at a table with a glass of scotch in front of him, I know it was scotch because I heard him tell the waitress that’s what he wanted. I sat down in the empty seat opposite him and tried to talk to him, but was thwarted by his bodyguard, the big black guy known as the Limbo King.
I wanted to talk to Iggy, to tell him how great he was but he was constantly surrounded by people. By this point he’d shed his big high heeled boots and was barefoot and wearing nothing but a silver lame miniskirt. At one point he went into the bathroom with Johnny Thunders and they went into a stall together. I followed them in and went into the adjoining stall and stood on the toilet seat to see what they were up to. They were sniffing something. Johnny noticed me and looked up.
“Is that coke? Can I have some?” I asked.
“Get the fuck outta here, kid.” He replied.
Later on I went to pee and who but Iggy ends up at the urinal next to mine. He pulled up his skirt thing and started pissing. I was awestruck; I was about to tell him how great he was when he looked at me through hooded eyes and said:
“I’m so fucked up.”
“I think you are great.” I blurted. He grunted and looked down to check on his progress. He finished, shook off the last drops and strode away without a word.