Pressing the flesh took on new meaning at the second annual GAY VIDEO NEWS AWARDS at the UNIVERSAL CITY’S HILTON in Burbank recently. This man-meat sextravaganza — a benefit for Aid for AIDS — was hosted by awards-show king/queen BRUCE VILANCH (pictured) and attracted every gay and gay-for-pay porn star this side of heaven. Of course there were flashy fans too, including one potbellied porn-star stalker
wearing a tuxedo shirt with huge rhinestone-encrusted buttons, and a giant silver and zirconia clip-on bolo tie. We might have survived that tragedy if only the cocktail hour hadn’t begun an hour late. By the time we bullied our way into the fleshfest — passing a flock of wayward Japanese tourists seeking passage to their bus through the sea of suckers — we were pissed and parched. While the drag-queen quotient was low, there were two bona-fide stars in the house, actress CAMRYN MANHEIM and fashion designer THIERRY MUGLER, as well as locals JACK FRANCIS and TONY ALIZZI of MSR Videos, author JAMES ST. JAMES, artist MIGUEL ANGEL REYES, fetishist JAMES STONE, directress CHI CHI LaRUE (in flawless Barbie garb) and porn legend RON JEREMY. Once this late show did go on, attendees were treated to a petrified surf-and-turf dinner that could only have been leftovers from the Southwest jetliner that recently bounced into Burbank. Never before has a one-night stand left such a bad taste in our mouths.

—J.V. McAuley



It Don’t Mean a Thing, If It Ain’t Got That Spring

If you had been driving, or strolling, by the intersection of Fletcher and Riverside drives last Sunday afternoon, say around 4 p.m., you would have noticed a large crowd of people — think a Theoretical party from the early ’80s, without the booze and with kids — standing around expectantly, staring at the hill behind the ARCO station as they awaited PERPETUA & COMPANY’s In Passing: An Offering for the Spring Equinox. Traffic slowed and horns honked as passersby tried to see what was happening, which, for a while, was nothing. Then, bits and snatches of an atonal burlesque dirge, played by KRAIG GRADY and Debbie Spinelli among others, rose gently over the car cacophony, as Perpetua (a.k.a. CAROL CETRONE), magnificent red skirts blowing in the wind, ascended the lush green hill punctuated with cement pylons, and “birthed” a parade of colorfully garbed bodies, including performance artists JOHN FLECK, RYAN HILL, KARI FRENCH, and Osseus Labyrint’s HANNAH SIM and MARK STEGER, who writhed down the hill, with periodic undulation stops. Spring sprung with pizzazz. Perhaps the most curious sight was the three LAPD officers who parked at the ARCO station, one copper munching on an ice cream bar, and simply watched. Maybe there’s hope for the LAPD after all.

—Kateri Butler



It must be
belly ‘cause jam don’t shake like that

, billed as “America’s First Gay and Lesbian Middle-Eastern Dance Club,” just celebrated its first anniversary at THE LODGE in North Hollywood. As Arabic pop blasted over the sound system, we were stunned by SAHERA, a 6-foot-plus belly dancer/female impersonator dripping in pearls and silver fringe who did a dynamite number with exquisite technique and attitude to burn. Sahera, who only dons drag when he belly dances, brought along his adorable Egyptian wife, BADIA, also a professional dancer, who watched proudly as the audience showered him with tips. Male belly dancer SALEEM (who co-hosts 1,001 Nights with HASAN NOORI) also danced to wildly appreciative cheers. After the performances, the floor was packed while practically everyone in the place joined hands and danced a wild Lebanese debke. The biweekly (and bi-friendly!) club takes place the first and third Sunday of each month, and is so much fun that our only disappointment was that DJ JHONI never played CHRISTINA AGUILERA’s “Genie in a Bottle” — it would’ve been sooooo appropriate!

—Pleasant Gehman



You hate Me, You really
hate me

Why was Grammy-nominated techno-maestro MOBY performing at the premiere party for E!’s first made-for-TV movie, Best Actress? Surely to alleviate the soul-crushing boredom of the screening that preceded the party at Paramount Studios. The audience endured nearly two hours of not-quite-there Hollywood satire, politely enough, undoubtedly in hopes of a lavish spread of free food and drink — and the powers-that-E! didn’t disappoint. Best Actress stars LORETTA DEVINE and MARIA CONCHITA ALONSO, plus
Titanic’s Gloria Stuart and ex-SNLer KEVIN NEALON, were seen hovering around the nonstop trays of shish kebabs and potato puffs, while E! anchor STEVE KMETKO entertained his entourage in the smoking area, and opening act BIF NAKED got generally ignored by everyone. But all eyes were on Moby and all feet on the dance floor of Stage 23 as the rave guru ripped through his early-’90s hits “Go” and “Ah-Ah,” his James Bond theme remake, and his current pièce d’electronica “Natural Blues.” Once the DJ took over, though, the crowd quickly dispersed — apparently even the free-flowing booze couldn’t get the party shaking. Where are the girls from Wild On . . . when you need them? Naked Twister, anyone?

—Derek Thomas

Edited by
Kateri Butler & Libby Molyneaux

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