Friday, May 2, 2014

Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be. . .

Then again, maybe it is, a mixed emotion, part fondness, part regret. Thinking about the Mudd Club, Danceteria, all the other clubs and bars I used to hang out in from the late 1970s into the 1990s, it occurs to me that we were all seeking an elusive sort of excitement. Sometimes we even found it, for a night.

If you were to ask me, would I want all that time back, all those nights spent drinking to excess and pursuing women, I would say, “Of course.” Perhaps I might have done something useful with that time, read more, written more, had fewer hangovers. But I wouldn’t want absolutely all of it back.

The places I’m talking about were for the most part in Lower Manhattan: Barnabas Rex, Puffy’s, the Mudd Club, then all the places in the East Village, Le Canapé (where we used to close the shades after 4AM and drink past the dawn), Telephone, Counterpoint. Then later, uptown there were City Grill, O’Neal’s, Josephina, the old oak bar at Café des Artistes. All gone now, my favorite drinking establishments. Maybe you really can’t go home again, at least not from the same places.

As for writing, Dark Angels may have been initially conceived in the Mudd Club, but the nightclub depicted in the novel more distinctly resembles Area and MK, two conceptual creations of the 1980s. The plot has nothing directly to do with that era, as it takes place in the near future, but there are certain parallels. Remember what Avenue C used to look like?