Far from being a somber event, COVEN 13's GOTHIC BEAUTY PAGEANT 2000 held at EL REY was more like the Transylvanian party scene in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Our ringside table was shared with El Rey owner RODNEY NARDI and his guests, statuesque dreamboat ELENDER (magician's assistant, physics student and aspiring opera singer -- not a contestant, but she shoulda been!) and actress BERGEN WILLIAMS, who can be seen playing a policewoman in an upcoming episode of Time of Your Life. As Marc Almond songs wailed, 36 contestants strutted all manner of fashion and fetish statements, from Lestat to Lucrezia Borgia. Celeb judges like 45 GRAVE/PENIS FLYTRAP'S DINAH CANCER, exEX VOTO RAT BASTARD and gorgeous professional dominatrix MISTRESS SABRINA BELLADONNA picked this year's titleholder. A tough call, but the winner was the flame-haired MALICE, in a ball gown, walking a BUBBLEGUM-CHOMPING SLAVE GIRL on a leash. At the after-party at RETAIL SLUT, which also provided some of the prizes, swilling the flowing cocktails were such revelers as GO-GO JANE WIEDLIN, luscious YOLANDA, in red fishnet from head to toe, and rockabilly legend TIM POLECAT. Sizzling, corset-clad LISA ate fire in the alley, which we also had a ringside seat for, this time on Coven 13 DJ JASON LAVITT's lap! Such a good time was had that many of the "undead" probably wished they were when it came time to crawl out of their coffins the next day.
ESCAPE FROM ANGELYNE
When the co-hosts included JEFFREY BEST and BRYAN RABIN, a killer combination, it was time to brush teeth, change that filthy old shirt and head over to Raleigh Studios, where TANQUERAY was dishing out free drinks. Thanks to Bryan, we flew over the milelong queue of beautiful under-25s, who looked like they'd wait all night to get into the opening of a door if there were a free Singapore Sling for them inside. We didn't have the patience to battle through to the fashion show in the A-list compound, thus blowing our big chance to ogle LEONARDO DiCAPRIO (pictured), JENNY McCARTHY, ROSE McGOWAN, STEPHEN DORFF, TORI SPELLING, SEAL, RACHEL HUNTER, THE BACKSTREET BOYS, CHINA CHOW, DMX, BILLY ZANE, BAI LING, members of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, GREEN DAY and everyone's fave mom, PAT LOUD. Instead, we got our entertainment watching funnyman CHRIS ROCK dodge ANGELYNE, ever angling for photo ops, in a real-life version of one of his sketches. And then there was the doll in the chill-out hip-hop pen who got everyone's attention when she started swinging at the guy who called her a slut, screaming, "Don't you ever disrespect me, you mothafucka!!" We eavesdropped on MARTIN FLEISCHMANN, co-owner of the Conga Room, pitching interior designer RON MEYERS and IN Los Angeles editor J.V. McAULEY on the idea of a gay salsa dance night. The abundance of knockout babes prompted restaurateur/record exec JON SIDEL to lament about midlife, while dullard guys crept about talking into cell phones and Day of the Locust paparazzi lurked on the parking-lot periphery looking straight outta Night of the Living Dead. It was great to get into a fresh shirt for an hour.
LOOK BACK IN ANGER
During a sweat-drenched rendition of their hit "Lit Up" at the new SCREAM club at the PLAYROOM, somebody in the crowd handed BUCKCHERRY singer JOSH TODD (who had the A.C. turned off so as not to affect his shrieks) a mysterious little packet. In the divinely debauched days of the original Scream, it would've been something illicit, but in this era of sobriety it was undoubtedly just a packet of Sweet 'n' Low for his coffee backstage. Former Scream booker DAYLE GLORIA recaptured the excessive (if a little less inebriated) vibe of the old glam/goth/rock haunt -- we spied members of THE CULT, AEROSMITH, CHEAP TRICK, DANZIG and RATT and new club kids mixing it up like the good ol' hair-spray days. This foray back into the past, however, isn't without controversy. The club's original creator, MICHAEL STEWART, who now owns Blue, isn't happy about the comeback. "Dayle has no right to use the name Scream, because she was only the booker, not a partner," he says. "It was my name and logo." But Gloria, who was responsible for booking acts like Jane's Addiction during the club's Embassy Hotel days, claims she was a partner when Scream was born at Seven Seas in '85. Stewart doesn't plan to take legal action, but he isn't about to wish Gloria well. "She needs to quit living off the past and start something new." But Gloria counters, "He of all people knows that everything old is new again." We're just waiting for new that is new now.
WHORE OF BABE-YLON
After W.A.C.O. proved once more why they are far too interesting to be noticed by a major label, a GOLDFINGERS crowd (good-sized for a wet Monday night -- all right, L.A.!) stuck around for "nymphomaniacal evangelist" MISS TAMMY FAYE STARLITE (pictured). (Hey, bartender guy, surely someone there knows what time the bands go on; we had four beers while waiting. Happy?) Sort of a Pia Zadorable look-alike who pulls off an alter ego possessed by Tammy Wynette, Jesus Christ and Wild Turkey, Tammy Faye turned Cheap Trick's "Surrender" into a Bible-thumping rapturous hymn, ranted on about LeAnn Rimes ("I pray for LeAnn before she goes the way of Judy Garland"), 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 girl's pubes." All in the key of D -- for divine. Jesus would have loved it -- before he sent her straight to hell. See ya there!