Night of a Thousand Stevies 21: "The Wild Heart," May 6 at NYC's Highline Ballroom
When my boozing buddy Jamie and I made our entrance at the absolutely packed, internationally famed Stevie Nicks drag queen rock’n'roll tribute Night of a Thousand Stevies (or NOTS) at the Highline Ballroom in Greenwich Village back in May 2009, New York City hadn’t seen so much trash since the Teamsters’ citywide garbage strike of 1990.
No, I didn’t trip and slide face-first into the gutter like I did on Bourbon St. in New Orleans one Halloween, but after Jamie and I spilled out of our cab, inside the Highline Ballroom I knew I was in deep trouble when my bartender told me she couldn’t serve me triple vodka-sodas because her glasses weren’t big enough.
"How much for the bottle?" I cracked.
I kept snapping pictures of men’s asses while some woman grabbed Jamie’s butt (I think it was a woman – she looked like Stevie Nicks!) when they danced at the bar.
But the real entertainment was on the stage. This was my first Night of a Thousand Stevies – and yes, folks, I shall be going back for more – so I thought we were going to get a whole lot of lip-syncing.
|In Your Dreams drops May 3|
In two words: Holy fuck!
"The live [set] wasn’t as crazy as other years because we had to co-ordinate everything with the computers at the back of the room, which took some getting used to," says ab-fab NOTS co-hostess Hattie Hathaway (a.k.a. Brian Butterick), who produces NOTS with her fellow Jackie Factory NYC co-founders Johnny Dynell and Chi Chi Valenti. "But I think it was the best audience we’ve ever had – there were over 1,000 people. They brought so much energy, that’s why we kept turning on the house lights. They’re part of the show."
|Bugs and his Stevie wig at NOTS|
I have been to every major drag event in London, Sydney, Paris, New Orleans, Vegas and Montreal, and I’m telling you, NOTS is hands-down the most fun drag event I’ve ever been to. Revellers get dolled up à la Stevie, including past attendees Courtney Love, Cyndi Lauper and Boy George. Even Jamie and I wore blond wigs.
"I hope next year maybe Stevie will come," Brian told me afterwards.
|Reveller at NOTS|
Nicks (whose current Heart and Soul co-headliner tour with Rod Stewart continues off-and-on until June 26, when it winds down with an outdoor concert in Hyde Park in London) was scheduled to appear on the Today Show and Good Day NY this morning (May 3) to promote her just-released new CD In Your Dreams, as well as perform at a star-studded event thrown in her honour by her record label Reprise Records at NYC's Webster Hall on May 4.
|Audience goes nuts at NOTS|
For this year's event, Stevie's record label Reprise Records has donated a ton of Secret Love CD singles and videos, to give away to Stevie fans at NOTS on May 6.
Meanwhile, Stevie's very first manager, Hollywood gay-porn super agent David Forest, told me recently in a comprehensive Three Dollar Bill interview,"Gay men have always loved their dance divas, but Stevie has always appealed to the gay guy rockers. It's the outfits, the twirling, the persona. The gay guys just really dig her."
But will Stevie show up this year? Says Brian Butterick, "Who can say?"
Essential buttplug The Jackie Factory presents Night of a Thousand Stevies 21: "The Wild Heart," May 6 at the Highline Ballroom (431 West 16th Street). Tickets: $25. Surf to www.mothernyc.com/stevie/
UPDATE: Stevie Nicks greets fans at Night of a Thousand Stevies!