We were invited to the Moth Ball, something that costs most people money but due to the generosity of a well-heeled storyteller Danusia got an email saying there was a seat for her at a table at this year’s Moth Ball. I was invited as well, and I have to say thanks to the well-heeled Moth Storyteller who financed our table.
I asked who had done it and Danusia said it was the drummer from Guns-n-Roses. She couldn’t remember the guy’s name, and it turns out Guns-n-Roses has had several drummers including one that died- so that left him out.
“I think his name is Duff- Duff something,” Danusia said. She has a hard time with super Anglo names, and what could be more super-Anglo than Duff McKegan? Duff is a bass player, BTW. But that’s cool; I get things wrong all of the time, except when I do it it’s not as cute as when Danusia does it.
The theme was Glam-Rock and all things Rock and Roll, something I know a little about having been around in the heyday of Glam Rock and all things Rock and Roll.
Well, I wasn’t putting on the glitter and nail polish like I did in 1973, but I did don my Chelsea boots with straps and buckles from John Varvatos and my tight Diesel jeans. I wore my $125 Band of Outsiders skinny tie with the stain on it, hoping the light wasn’t going to be too unforgiving.
When we got there all excited I wanted to see what table we would be sitting at and who we’d be sitting with. The event was to go like this:
Cocktails. We don’t drink so this was more of just schmoozing with people we know and like from the Moth.
Dinner. I never turn down a free dinner so I was psyched.
Stories. It’s not a Moth event without stories.
Honoree. Carrie Brownstein was the evening’s honoree, and since I’ve liked her acting turns in various roles and I like a couple of Sleater-Keanny songs, I though that would be cool.
Desert. I forgot about desert, but more about that later.
After a brief schmoozefest dinner was announced, and we made our way through the vast venue of a place called Capitale on the Bowery looking for our seats. I was running out of tables as we made our way further and further from the stage when I spotted some stairs and a little gallery type platform all the way in the back. Table 45 was beckoning. If this were a baseball game this would be the bleachers. But hey, who’s complaining? Free dinner and a show, right?
We sat down to a salad that was waiting and met our table mates, Daniel and Jennifer.
They were a sweet young yuppie couple from Chicago. They told us how they’d met here and married. She was the invitee and his place card said “guest of Jennifer.”
Mine had my name on, so I must rate somehow in the Moth scheme of things.
We chatted, and the Emcee Baratunde Thurston came out to start the evening off. A guy came out and played a medley of David Bowie songs on an electric guitar, the Moth founder George Dawes Green made a speech, all while we watched dinner being served front to back. I was hungry but at least I knew it was coming for sure.
There were two bottles of wine at our table, a bottle of white and one of red, and waiters came around offering up even more variety of wine. I told one we didn’t drink and he took away the bottle on our side of the table along with the wine glasses.
Dinner came; it was some kind of French chicken dish that tasted great but the purple lights in honor of Prince made it look downright unappetizing. Purple chicken, anyone?
The storytellers came out, first 10 one minute storytellers, (all grand-slam winners) Danusia had been one of them last year, then there were 4 high school kids whose one minute stories were very touching, then came the main event storyteller, Suzy Ronson. I suspected she had something to do with David Bowie with that name, and I turned out to be right. She told the story of becoming Bowie’s hairdresser and marrying Mick Ronson. Danusia had no idea who Mick Ronson was, so she didn’t get the significance of the story. The woman “lost her thread” twice during the story, but hey, anyone can get nervous.
Finally Carrie Brownstein the honoree came on, and I was very disappointed when she read rather than told a story. And it sounded like it was written, very literate. I shouldn’t complain, but at the Moth notes are really, really frowned upon. Moth people tell stories; it’s what we do.
Desert came, it was some kind of pear tart with a scoop of ice cream, very yummy. There was also one of those tiered things they use for tasting menus covered in cookies and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Even yummier.
Carrie finished her story, was given the big finger award, and we were invited to dance in the ballroom. I was looking forward to dancing, but Danusia was in the midst of a sciatica attack, so dancing was out for us.
We did stop to chat with some of our favorite Moth People like Sarah Haberman and Catherine Burns. Our Lower East Side pal Edgar Oliver was roaming around somewhere but we didn’t run into him.
Then Danusia spotted Peter Aguero, we hadn’t expected to see him as he has a one-man show going on, but there he was large as life covered in glitter.
He said hello to Danusia, and spotting me he shook my hand and told me I did a good job the previous week up in the Bronx, when I told a story and he was the host. It was awesome to get that compliment from Peter; it made the night complete for me. His encouragement is a big part of the driving force that tells me to keep going to slams, keep putting my name in the bag, and keep telling the stories. After all, that’s what the Moth is all about, the stories.
On the way out we even got swag, a couple of shopping bags filled with books and a New York magazine with an article on The Moth. Our very first swag!