ART AFTER MIDNIGHT: THE EAST VILLAGE SCENE
St. Martin's Press, 1986
Author: Steven Hager
From Publishers Weekly:
The outrageous energy of the participants and their subsequent notoriety will carry the reader through this uncritical, discursive pop history of what Hager calls the "Global East Village." He begins with CBGB's and its development as the premier club for punk rock and the nihilistic youth culture of its audience. The author then covers various groupings that were to make Manhattan's East Village and neoexpressionism buzzwords of the '80s: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf and Keith Haring receive extensive coverage, as well as performance artists like Ann Magnuson and "personalities" such as Patti Astor. The book culminates with the explosion of galleries in the East Village and its impact on the New York art marketplace. Hager's treatment is unremarkable but, as always, the East Village provides its own momentum.
(July Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
From the book "Art After Midnight: The East Village Scene" by Steven Hager
The first part is from chapter two "New Wave Vaudeville"; this chapter concerns the performance scene in New York's East Village centering around a series of events known as the "New Wave Vaudeville".
"Toward the end of the show, the lights dimmed and the room was filled with a thundering musical ovation. The curtains opened and the spotlight fell on a strange, unearthly presence wearing a black gown, clear plastic cape, and white gloves. As the orchestral refrain from Saint-Saens' 'Samson And Delila' was played, this strange Weimar version of Mickey Mouse began singing in an angelic voice. "I still get goose pimples when I think about it," remembers Joey Arias, who was in the audience that night. "Everyone became completely quite until it was over." The act was billed "Nomi by Klaus," but the man's real name was Klaus Sperber and he was McDermott's only true competion as star of the show.
After Sperber finished the aria, smoke bombs where lighted, strobe lights began to flash, and the sound of a spaceship launching was played at an ear-shattering volume. Sperber bowed and stepped backward. The crowd stood and screamed for an encore, but Sperber just kept backing up into the cloud of smoke. "It was like he was from a different planet and his parents where calling him home," says Arias. "When the smoke cleared, he was gone."