My interview with Keoki and Michael Alig
for The Closet Case Show
Manhattan Cable Public Access [December, 1988]

This is an interview of Michael Alig that I did right before New Year's 1989. I sent a copy of it to Macauley Culkin, in 2003, while he was making Party Monster so that he could see how Michael spoke in a calm setting, without a lot of lights and celebrity kids all around him. As you'll see, Michael's normal tone of voice is quite unaffected, which is why he was able to befriend so many lovely lads and lasses.

Michael Alig was the hottest club promoter in New York by the end of 1988. Rudolf Piper, the master of clubland, wanted Michael to promote the newest, most fabulous club of all, to open in the West Village by the Hudson River, the five-floor Club Mars. This interview took place days before the New Year's Eve opening. Right after my show aired, Michael was summarily fired and replaced by Chip Duckett, who made Mars the mythical wonderland that it immediately became. [The building, by the way, used to house Alex in Wonderland, with its famed Asstrick in the basement dungeon, for dudes who dug diddling darlings in the dark.]

My hunch is that pieces in the New York Times and Village Voice, which had come out days before this interview, detailing Michael's edgy antics, had some behind-the-scenes club investors worried. I do not know whether his interview with me added to their anxiety. My guess is that the dice had already been cast while Keoki and Michael were talking to me.

Michael Musto and Chip Duckett and some other people in-the-know are invited to e-mail me with the back story, and I will update this blurb.

The interview ends eerily. Jokingly, after we discuss some of Michael's tactics as the town's Pied Piper and Peter Pan, I wish Michael the best and promise to visit him in jail. This was a joke, and it was seven years before he chopped up drug dealer Angel Melendez in March of 1996. I am not clairvoyant. Everybody who knew Michael made jail jokes, assuming he'd eventually have a serious run-in with Mayor Koch's anti-fun sqaud, especially because of his wonderful Outlaw parties that he staged all over town. [He and the club kids would suddenly descend upon some unsuspecting spot, like a Burger King in Times Square, and give the tourists some thrills until the police eventually arrived.]

Michael is now working on his autobiography, Alig-ula, and I am posting this interview so that he can view it for his research. Keoki, Michael and I share the copyright to this video. That means that you may use it for community purposes, but not for profit unless all three of us (or our estates, if it comes to that) agree.

As for my personal relationship with Michael, I must admit that I still love him deeply, not only because he was instrumental in validating my show and gaining me connections I never would have had without him, but because I think he is a tortured genius and that he is, even now, responsible for keeping the young people in our community willing to embrace and celebrate their true selves and stare down the forces of darkness who want to rob us of our natural joy, wonderment, and pursuit of love in all its guises.

I believe that three times makes the charm, and that he will be paroled next year. He is now 40+, and still adorable, and he need not fear that he will be lonely when he returns to us. He has friends and admirers who will support and love him, as they have for over a decade, keeping him alive and hopeful against all odds. Like a phoenix, he will rise from the ashes, more brilliant and colorful than before because he has always known that his friends are his true treasure.

Keoki & Michael Alig, at Mars, 12/88

[SOUND NOTE!: The sound is only on one track, so you may want to open your master volume control and play only the left (or right) track. Furthermore, there are voices in the background because we are taping while people are working to get the club ready. Sorry. I wanted the sunset in the background, so I shot near the office.]

Click to play it now in your computer's media player,
or Right-click to download and save it for later.

Here's an MP4 version for those of you who use Macs, iPhones and iPods.
(This format doesn't stream like Windows Media,
so it may take several minutes to load,
but it's worth the wait.)

Alig1988.mp4

 

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