Interview magazine has a long and fascinating interview with so -called “Club Kid Murderer” Michael Alig, subject of the film Party Monster. I met Michael when he was a student at Fordham University. I actually met him on the day I moved to New York, in November 1984. That night, at the Area nightclub, Michael physically pushed me into Andy Warhol. Welcome to New York!
At that time Michael was a smart, sweet and very attention-starved kid from Chicago. He was extremely charismatic, if somewhat amoral and cruel Although I was never the object of Michael’s cruel streak, I did witness it on several occasions. He didn’t seem to have a self-censorship mechanism in this makeup. He once stole a Nina Hagen cassette from me. I knew he did it for the sole reason that he was the only person besides me and my roommate to be in the apartment—since I had lived there. He brought it back, but blamed his then boyfriend who had never been in the apartment.
I shrugged it off and continued to have a cordial relationship with Michael over the years, but had not spoken to him in several years when the murder happened. The interview shows him contrite and sad about what happened, if overly optimistic about when he’ll get out.
Here’s an excerpt where interviewer Christopher Bollen asks about the infamous outlaw parties:
BOLLEN: That’s when you started doing the Outlaw Parties as promotion?
ALIG: That was a gimmick to get people to come to the clubs. Vito Bruno had done it before us, and I started doing mine with him so it wouldn’t seem like I was stealing someone else’s idea. People weren’t coming for the free drinks anymore, so Outlaw Parties were a great draw, which we always held suspiciously close to the club. When the bust happened, there would be 2,000 great people two blocks away, and we would have a surprise open bar for them, and the club would get a rush of people. It was a marketing tool.
BOLLEN: Where are some of the Outlaw Party locations you remember being most successful?
ALIG: Dunkin’ Donuts, the train bridge that is now the High Line, one of the piers. When the World was paying, we did one party at the Pitt Street pool. When the Red Zone was paying, we did one in a building that had recently exploded. It had been cordoned off with yellow police tape, and we did a party right inside the building.
BOLLEN: Walt told me you had one party in a crack house called ID that was off the Hudson River.
ALIG: It wasn’t a crack house. It was an abandoned building where some homeless people were living. Like a squat. We paid them in crack.
BOLLEN: So you made them into crack addicts.
ALIG: No, they were crack addicts before that. At first we gave them $100 to have the party there, but we noticed they would run out and buy crack with the money, so we just made it easier for them and gave them the crack.
Below: Club kids (including DM pal, James St, James) on the Donahue show:
The infamous “outlaw party” held in the Times Square McDonald’s which was recreated in Party Monster. This footage was shot by the late Nelson Sullivan (I was at this party, but am not seen in the footage).
Michael Alig interviewed by Christopher Bollen (Interview)
The Prison Art of Michael Alig (Black Book)