Woot! Tuesday, March 20, 2012!

Zoe Hansen & Mary Raffaele
A Night of Rock and Roll Attitude and Outlaw Hilarity

at Bowery Electric
327 Bowery
March 20, 2012

featuring readings and performances by:


L. Z. HANSEN www.lzhansen.com
Zoe Hansen -Writer, performer, producer, mother and wife. Lover of outlaw life and the written word. Has been; hair and makeup artist, clothing store owner (Jezebella), streetwalker, junkie, part-time alt model, massage parlor owner and madam of five NYC brothels. During the second faze of her life, she has had short stories published in various anthologies, and online magazines. She’s cohosted a monthly reading series, has spoken at colleges about her life and addiction. Zoe continues to live in the East Village of Manhattan with her family, despite its gentrification. She is currently working on a chick lit novel titled ‘Going Down in Gotham,’ and a reality show.

is an animal lover, anger enthusiast, half a fag, and never met a backstage pass she didn’t like. She is also a former metal queen and clubland personality who made a name for herself singing in the notorious Cycle Sluts From Hell. Now she works in the much more brutal world of fashion and is currently writing a memoir chronicling the misadventures of a Midwestern girl who moved to New York to seek glamour in the lowest of places. She is an occasional guest writer for Steppin’ Out NJ Magazine and publishes a blog that many people claim to actually enjoy reading.

Richard “Handsome Dick” Manitoba, born in the Bronx NYC, is best known for being lead singer of The Dictators, the legendary ‘70s New York punk band. He has sung lead for the MC5, and his band Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom. He has his own radio show The Handsome Dick Manitoba program in Little Stevens Underground Garage on Sirius XM satellite radio. Mr. Manitoba is the Proprietor of the world famous Manitoba bar since 1999 on Ave B in the East Village. He is a writer, – Punk Rock Book of List, published by Back Beat Books, written countless articles, and currently blogs. He has spoken at many colleges, and private institutions about his life, and his experiences as a musician for thirty five years. He is currently touring with his new band ‘Manitoba’ and working on a reality show. He continues to reside in the East Village of Manhattan with his family, as he refuses to cross a bridge to go home.

“Miss Tammy Faye Starlite…Sort of a Pia Zadoable look-alike who pulls off an alter ego possessed by Tammy Wynette, Jesus Christ and Wild Turkey…turned Cheap Trick’s Surrender into a Bible-thumping rapturous hymn….and brought new meaning to Bible passages, such as when he comes, he will come. Tammy Faye’s brilliant Did I Shave My Vagina For This? brought the house down, especially when she wiped away a tear while singing, it’s Saturday night, and I’m watching the tube, while he goes off to shave another girls pubes. All in the key of D – for divine ! Jesus would have loved it, before he sent her straight to hell. See ya there!”

— Libby Molyneaux, L.A. Weekly

Reverend Jen is a performer, painter, playwright, columnist, Troll Museum Founder, underground movie star, open mike host, ASS Magazine founder and elf. She is a columnist for www.artnet.com and a former sex columnist for http://www.nerve.com/. Her books include Elf Girl (Out now from Simon & Schuster!) Live Nude Elf: the Sexperiments of Reverend Jen and Reverend Jen’s Really Cool Neighborhood. Her handcrafted books can be found in collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the MoMA Library and the Warhol Museum.

Rev. has performed and lectured in Europe, all over the U.S.A. and on the Astral Plane. Her live action TV show “Reverend Jen’s Really Cool Neighborhood” was voted best off-off-off Broadway Musical Comedy Theater by The Village Voice. She lives in the world’s only Troll Museum on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with her Chihuahua, Reverend Jen Junior, an actress and dog-clothes model.

Born and raised in Greenwich Village NYC, Francis “Faceboy” Hall has been performing for at least 38 of his 46 years of his existence. At age 8 he had the distinction of portraying Tybalt at P.S 41 in the youngest cast ever to present Romeo and Juliet in the original Shakespearean English. Majoring in Theater, he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors a week after turning 20. A 21 year member of the Screen Actors Guild he is currently represented by the Abrams Artists Agency. His film, television and stage credits are too numerous to list. Contributions to the downtown performance scene include an over 13 year run of the multi-award winning, “Faceboyz Open Mike”. He is now the host and producer of Faceboyz Folliez, a variety show with an emphasis on, “bawdy humor and beauteous burlesque”. Faceboyz Folliez is quickly gaining a buzz including two features in The Villager and a Scene Spotlight in Time Out New York (links below). Of himself he says, “As an actor, activist, poet, director, writer and producer I wear many hats. This is good because I shave my head and winters are cold in New York City”.http://newyork.timeout.com/music-nightlife/nightlife/2652801/scene-spotlight-faceboyz-folliez-nsfwhttp://www.thevillager.com/?p=1929http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thevillager.com%2F%3Fp%3D1147

Heather Litteer is an actress, singer and performance artist. She has made many daring film choices working with Darren Aronofsky, Jane Campion and Mary Harron. She has also toured in the US and internationally with avant -garde theatre Company Big Art Group (you can see their real time film matrix production in April 6-21 at Abrons Art center right here in NYC). Also in Late April and early May she is playing the evil Britny in Julie S.Caesar and The Real Housewives of Trevi by @LiveFeedNYC which premieres at The Ace Hotel. On March 20, 2012 she with sing her sexy Disco single “Moustache Ridin” with Apokalipps available on I-tunes. For more on Heather check out her website at heatherlitteer.com.

PAULINA PRINCESS OF POWER is a hilariously entertaining Drag Performer and comedian who has been performing all over Manhattan for over 15 years. She currently emcees all of the shows at Lucky Cheng’s and is a recent recipient of the prestigious Diversity Scholarship from the Upright Citizen’s Brigade.

You Can’t Go Home Again in November When it’s Raining

I went to the Guns n’ Roses show at Roseland last Friday, and have been debating on whether to report it. Then today I found myself home alone in the office at work, which never happens since Ms. PF does not believe in allotting much floor space for things like offices or backstock, so there are too many people to find yourself alone at work…like, ever. Contrary to the fashion fantasy, there are 7 stations packed into one tiny, noisy, messy office. It’s a real joy when we’ve got interns rolling in and out and the phones are ringing off the hook. But today everyone is gone with a list of excuses that run from trade shows to hangovers, and the phones are remarkably quiet, so it seems that the Universe is practically begging me to sneak something in.
Handsome Dick Manitoba and his band Manitoba opened on this particular night, and as his gorgeous wife Zoe Hansen is the Patsy to my Edina, the Edina to my Patsy, she insisted that she wasn’t going unless he got me into the show as well, which was difficult as each member of the opening band got only one guest pass. Some wrangling ensued until an extra pass was conjured up for me, one of the members of the GnR band that we are friends with took pity on Dick’s domestic plight and added my name to his list. So I am extremely grateful to all concerned for being so generous, and this is the reason that I am somewhat reluctant to post a review that is not 100% positive. But it would be pointless for me to blog otherwise.
My affection for all things GnR has been well-documented in past blogs. I will sum up by saying that the band meant everything to me in the early days. I saw all the first New York shows–L’Amour in Queens, the two at the Ritz, one at that smaller side stage they used to have at the Garden–and in my memory they were some of the best shows I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. I remember standing in the audience at the Ritz with my mouth wide open, feeling like my hair was blowing back from the energy of the band. They were that good. But everyone knows this.
So now it’s well over 20 years later and things have changed. Axl essentially stole the name from his bandmates and performs with a band of hired guns. You can’t help but feel for Slash and Duff, even with their further successes it has got to be galling every time this tour rolls around. And who knows what Izzy is feeling these days, I always picture him on a tropical island with a tan and a blond. But I am happy for the musicians, as mentioned I am friendly with one of them and he is a major talent and I’m so glad he’s got a gig that can showcase his abilities and give him a proper paycheck. I don’t begrudge any one of them their talent or their livelihood. And I was very excited to see Manitoba open and have a night with my girl listening to songs I love.

So here we go–

Zoe and I got there, waved our VIP stickers around and shouted, “The old whores are here!” We made a half-hearted attempt to get backstage and were rightfully rebuffed, then tottered about on our heels until we found a prime sitting spot–a table at center mezzanine just over the sound booth (always a sonically promising place to plant yourself). Let the cocktailing begin! “Oh waitress! Over here, Darling!!”
This is how we began. Dignified. Ladylike.
Manitoba killed it. I was so happy for them. The band was super tight, Richard is very comfortable onstage and he used his charisma to win over a crowd that was keenly focused on Axl’s arrival.
GnR came out and almost as soon as it started I thought, “Why did I think I would love this?” It sounded amazing. Axl’s voice is in top form. I don’t know what he’s doing to keep it there, I hear rumors of oxygen tents. Whatever it is, it’s working. And he’s in pretty good shape physically, he looks like a long lost member of Skynyrd these days, which in my mind is a do-able look for a man my age. I don’t expect anyone to look exactly like they did in 1988.
 This quote from from Andy Greene of Rolling Stone sums it up pretty well:
If you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine you were seeing Guns N’ Roses on the Sunset Strip in 1987. Axl sounded that good. Then you open your eyes, and see a 50-year-old Axl in a black cowboy hat and sunglasses singing alongside some guy named Bumblefoot and you’re brought right back to reality.” 
Erm…yes. And to add to that were the visuals. The visuals!! [Raises fist to the sky!] They made me sad. So very sad. 
We (the audience, not just Zoe and me) were presented with the most unbelievably generic video and light show, which in my mind was Axl’s way of saying, “I just don’t give a fuck and I’m going to allow my staff to illustrate the supreme level of my not giving a fuck with the absolute lamest Playboy channel outtakes possible mixed in with some flashy colored light stuff from 1995. Remember that band you loved? I ate it. Thank you very much and good night.”
Exhibit A, which btw, is labeled on youtube as “Axl and a bunch of dudes who aren’t Slash playing Rocket Queen.”
Sigh…So as I watched the admittedly gifted dudes who aren’t Slash run around playing Rocket Queen perfectly and as if their lives depended upon it, in front of slow motion stock catalog bikini footage, I realized that in my excitement over Manitoba opening, getting in at the last minute, our awesome VIP passes, the great table we were sitting at, and getting a night out with my partner in crime, that I had forgotten the most important factor: that Guns n’ Roses no longer exists and what lies in its stead is, at heart, a bastardization, and therefore completely heinous, no matter how good it sounds when you close your eyes. 
Luckily, oh so luckily, tequila was available. And thusly, I was able to numb the pain and bravely, yet somberly, soldier on like the trooper that I am:
Yes, that is Ross the Boss behind us.
I shall leave you with this palate cleanser: Rocket Queen as it was meant to be seen, along with one aging rock slut’s quiet prayer: Oh dear Axl, please do the right thing and get on bended knee and beg Slash for enough forgiveness to join you at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. We already know Duff has forgiven you, and Steven Adler will show up whether he’s invited or not. And Izzy…Izzy? Are you out there? It’s time to come back in from the beach. The world of rock and roll needs you now more than ever.

Did I…Did We…?

Whew! What a couple of weeks. As much as I like a good party, it’s been much. Ordinarily I can handle one event a week, maximum. Last week we had a simultaneous Patricia Field party at the store and the new Veselka for Fashion’s Night Out: There are some good photos here:

Paulina, me, and Luke Vahle in our FNO party gear: 

Two days later Patricia, who is working with Maybelline, had a private party in her home for the Maybelline delegates from China. They were absolutely lovely people and included a celebrity from Shanghai, who one of the girls told me is a huge star on television over there, with a plethora of female fans. He was a super cute little guy in hip gear and porkpie hat, trailed by a 6′ tall, incredibly gorgeous asian model. He seemed accustomed to being a big deal, but was very friendly. I thought how funny it is that everything is relative; here none of us have a clue and in another setting some Chinese girl would lose her mind being in such close proximity. Celebrity is so arbitrary.

Cut to this week, my girl Zoe’s husband Handsome Dick Manitoba was scheduled to sing two songs at a Road to Recovery event honoring Slash. I was beyond excited to be Zoe’s date for the evening, as I love me some Slash and Duff McKagan. I spent a decent amount of time around them back in the day. was backstage at most of their shows in NY, they hung out often in the scene at the Scrap Bar, and one time Bebe Buell and I were flown to Wisconsin by CSFH’s lawyer for an action-packed Skid Row/GnR show weekend. We hung out with Skid Row mostly, and it was obvious that Axl was starting to drive his bandmates insane by then. Stephanie Seymour was there and it took hours before Axl would get onstage. I had one glimpse of Slash that night looking very tense outside their dressing room door, and we didn’t venture into their realm that night.

And then lastly, in my GnR hang out chronicles, Duff once picked me up at Scrap Bar and took me in his limo to a party in their hotel room. All strictly platonic, he’s a very gracious person who would do things like that. We had a great time in the ride, he had a friend with him and they poured me a drink and we watched the city roll by out the limousine window. It was a classic New York rock and roll night and I haven’t been up close to him in person since then, so I was very much looking forward to having the opportunity to say hello some 20 years later.

Zoe and I are overgrown teenagers, so she said, “You know, this event is dry. Should we bring a flask?” I didn’t have one and neither did she, so she offered to buy a couple of small bottles to hide on our personage (i.e. panties). Keepin’ it classy. Of course I said yes, a little airplane bottle would be just right. If we are rocking out and want a little swig, it’ll be there. Cue to the cab, Zoe opens her bag and pulls out two giant fifths of the ever-elegant Smirnoff:

I should do commercials for them, right? I laughed and said, “Girl, first of all, there is no way we’re fitting these in our pants, and second, if we did drink all this we would end up in the hospital!” Zoe agreed and said she got carried away by the flatness of the bottle, thinking it would be easy enough to hide. We decide that the prudent thing to do is take a few swigs in the cab and leave the bottles outside the venue for some happy bum to find. Which we do. And although we probably could have snuck them in in our bags, something tells me that we were better off leaving this much alcohol behind prior to entering a benefit for substance abuse.

The show was great. Richard (Handsome Dick) killed it with a cover of Kick Out the Jams, and we were able to watch from backstage at the side of the stage. Seeing Slash and Duff perform in such close proximity flashed me back to a time when I was dating Slam Thunderhide of Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction and they opened for GnR. I stood in a similar spot, side of stage, watching some of the same people. I felt a bit wistful for a moment. It seemed only a minute ago that we were in the thick of it: young and beautiful, vying for and garnering rock star attention. The world was a different place and possibilities were infinite. Now I am just another middle aged woman with a backstage pass. But it was fun while it lasted and I am grateful that I can still wrangle that pass once in a while.

Prior to the show I pounced on Duff in the dressing room, and said, “Hi Duff, it’s Raff, from the Cycle Sluts. Do you remember me?” He was very friendly but he paused and cocked his head in confusion. After the show, back in the same room I said, “I’m a little sad that you don’t remember me.” He replied, “No, I do. It’s just that much of my past is a blur. I had to go through my mental rolodex. Did we…did I…?”

I laughed and said, “NO! Not at all, nothing untoward. All friendly and good.” We talked a little bit about writing; he has a book coming out and writes a column for the Seattle Weekly, and I felt happy to have made the connection.

Slash seemed uninterested when I introduced myself, but as he was leaving he sort of leaped in and gave me a hug and said, “It’s so good to see you! I never see anyone from back then anymore.” I was very touched by that and it occurred that he is either somewhat shy or perhaps made the connection after my hello. Either way it made me happy and I remarked that if they gave me a guest list next time I could provide him with an entire busload of New York old timers.

Cut to two days later. Drew comes home at 4 am, wrecked from one of those horrible fashion week rich kid and model parties that his crew likes to attend. He woke me up and asked, “Did you send a threatening letter to Miss X? She says you did.” Miss X is a socialite who tends to photograph her own legs quite a bit and orbits around his band on occasion.

I went through my mental rolodex…”Did I…did we…?”

I mean, I never really threaten, per se. There was that pathetic Swedish chick a million years ago that got a little out of hand. I did send her a message through myspace to let her know that I was aware of what she was trying to accomplish…And then there was the hardcore chick who was calling him a little too often, but she and I are friendly and that was an old school communication and we’re tighter for it…And then okay, I have to admit that there was that completely uncalled for and bitchy late night missive that I sent to that spoiled moron who fancies herself the new Anita Pallenberg. I am willing to state that this was a little juvenile on my part and I, on occasion, will make an ass of myself. But, ah…no, I can definitely say that I have never emailed this particular female and can think of no reason that it would be necessary?

Drew eyed me like Larry David. You have to feel for the guy sometimes.

The next day I wondered, feeling disconcerted and a little icky. Did this girl confuse an email from someone else? Is she simply crazy? Did I do something characteristically dumb and completely blank it out? Or is someone out there pretending to be me? That would be creepy. But then I thought, hmm…maybe it’s sort of exciting that someone would find me interesting enough to impersonate? I’ll never know for sure. One thing I do know for sure, life is never dull.

So that is my life as a cover girl. Fashion’s Night Out, Chinese celebrities, some of my favorite rock stars, and past psychotic behavior coming to bite me in the ass. Up next, tomorrow is a D Generation reunion at Irving Plaza, which will be like a class reunion and will undoubtedly provide more blog fodder. In the meantime, here are some photos from Road to Recovery. I stupidly took everyone else’s and forgot to take any of my own:

Richard and Slash:

Zoe and Slash:

Zoe and Richard:

Richard’s photo from soundcheck. Duff, Slash, and Wayne Kramer. I think it’s a cool shot.

And lastly, me and Zoe. The outfit I’m wearing looked way better in person, I’m so upset that it makes me look dumpy here and the bra is showing through, but it’s the only snap of the two of us from the night.

Namaste, bitches!

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