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LAMYLAMD WITH MICHELE LAMY

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LISTEN 🔊 MICHELE LAMY - LAMYLAND

WITH CLAYTON PATERSON & JOEY GOODWIN

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Clayton: We are doing a fanzine based on a boxing metaphor. It’s not boxing itself, necessarily; it's about our biggest struggles in life. It's called 12 rounds, 12 people. And Joey and I are the corner pieces. So, it's really about taking really fascinating and interesting people, and finding out what the struggles in their life have been, to get where they are, now. 

Michele: Joey told me about it, and I said it was genius! But then you made me [nervous], like of falling apart if I took boxing. In life, I don't really see fighting one another. I could not see fighting or hurting somebody else.

Clayton: It’s just the idea.

Michele: I know, but you start somewhere [with boxing]. I always think, like... dreaming something you think is really bad? But perhaps I’m more optimistic than pessimistic, because I think this is going to turn into something very nice.

Clayton: No, are you kidding? With you? It’s beautiful. [Laughter] 

Michele: So, I was thinking, “Oh, my God,” about the hurt [in boxing], and of course we all have those thoughts. I was starting to feel I live a lot of those things… and all of those things. I was born at the end of the war [World War II], but I have the feeling that I live the war, all of the time.

Clayton: Where were you born?

Michele: In the mountains, in Jura. In France. And you know, at the end of the war, there was a lot of Resistance there, and it was terrible at that time, at the end. The Germans were going back to Germany to escape, so they were burning everything on their way. So, I have this, informing me from there.

Clayton: Well, that’s a struggle.

Michele: That was a struggle, but it’s not really the struggle, it’s just something where all of a sudden, you think you have lived somewhere. On the other hand, I can be in the Middle East, like I was, not so long ago, in the desert of Abu Dhabi. The antique waters - where there is the biggest desert in the world - I find fascinating. And then, I feel that I was there, too!  [Laughter] So, I have that feeling, too, in a time of repose!

Clayton: Did you ever know Vali Myers? She is an Australian artist who lived in Paris after WWII. She was well known in the underground Bohemian scene. George Plimpton wrote about her in, I think, the first Paris Review.  She was a striking figure, with a shock of flaming red hair, pale white skin, black kohl circling her eyes, and prominent tattoos on her face. Eventually, she became an opium addict, left Paris, and took over a valley in Positano, Italy.  

Michele:  No, I did not. Because I was here a lot in NY, then, when I had started to discover how great it was, you know. I was there in Paris, May Day ’68, and then after that, I thought, “This is over.” 

Clayton: Did you know Jean-Luc Godard?

Michele: Oh yeah, I know Jean-Luc Godard, and I always say what style I have is because of Jean-Luc Godard. If I smoke all the time, it’s because of him. Because his movies, I’ve seen over and over, and everyone looks so good with a cigarette. And at that time there was Truffaut. At that time I was a very Deleuzian person, Gilles Deleuze, the philosopher, so I was accidentally in his class.

Clayton: I see you have tattoos. I didn't know you had tattoos. Oh, my God, very nice. Who did the tattoos?

Michele: So, that was funny, because after NY, I lived in LA. I was here [in the USA] for 29 years.

Clayton: What years would this be?

Michele: From ’79 to 2003 [in LA]. Now, when I’m in Europe, I come back here all the time. And I know the NY you are talking about, and I know what you did. I know it was fantastic, and what it was… and now it’s something else. That’s it, it is something else. You said you wanted to live on the Lower East Side. And now you are here, and we are sitting on this bench [from Overthrow].

Clayton: Yeah, it’s an addition. Did you ever know the Leu family? The tattoo artist, Filip Leu… they had lived in Paris.

Michele: No, because this, I got in LA. I had trouble getting those tattoos, because at the time, there were still simply the traditional tattoos, and I wanted to do mine on the fingers. The artists there wanted to do their own thing. I’ve always revolted in this way, because I didn't want to have some sort of owl or whatever. It doesn’t look like me. Anyway, finally I went to Palm Springs, and there were no tattoo parlors there, and I met a biker and finally, he did this. And then, after that, it was just fun in the house. And it did not go farther than that.

Clayton: Let me ask you a question. After 9/11, in New York, style was just sort of eliminated. Before that, you had like Punk and Goth and Grunge kids; you had all these extreme forms of individuality. And after 9/11, everything kind of went, just… straight. Everybody went really conservative. I mean, it's really not until now that I'm starting to see kids wear, like, different color hair and more extreme fashion again. New York kind of lost that edge for a long time. Did Paris do the same?

 

Michele: Paris lost it before… and they really lost it. In London there is more stuff. NY now is different, you have to go farther than New York to find style, because it has been gentrified. You know, when you are here, it’s like one classic store after the other… and I’m saying it as a joke, because I‘m working on one. [Laughter] But it’s not the same thing. You don’t have the places to go.

Clayton: Even before chic became part of fashion, you could go to these different places which were real inexpensive, and if you had style - like you have style - you could buy things and give yourself style. Now everything is just about money, and all the little places where you could get the unique stuff are gone. Do you find that?

LISTEN 🔊 MICHELE LAMY: LAMYLAND

WITH CLAYTON PATERSON & JOEY GOODWIN

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Michele: Yeah, but there are still those little places to go, that I know about. [Back then] we were getting from America those dresses from the ‘40s and mixing it with something a little bit like a Mao jacket, because we were going to make some kind of a revolution, sewing away. But it’s the same thing. It’s because they cannot afford the rent. You know, when I arrived a few weeks ago, I learned that Pat Field had closed. That was something, for me, that I thought would stay forever, because she had “it”… So, I don’t know how we can find it but, you know, it’s everything now. People have changed their image. Everything we are finding in thrift stores is coming back, but it’s all labels like Saint Laurent or Gucci. The rich kids that are buying this, they think they are discovering something. I don't know…

Joey: Would you say that a person's style, not necessarily just how they dress, is probably based in the experiences in their life? Places they grew up, people they were around. Because so much of how trends start is in communities - it could be, you know, a basketball court in the Bronx.

Michele: Of course. It always happens this way. For me, I know when it started. The first time I was in North Africa, I was a late teenager. And when I saw those Berber women sitting on their knees, with their head scarf full of wrinkles, and looking so beautiful…? There was nothing else you could show me. Not any kind of other image. There was something… there was the past, there was the story. I was attracted to this part of the image. You know I am very The 1001 Nights. Somewhere, deep down, I feel that if I don’t tell a story, they are going to cut my throat [Laughter]. So, it is all about instinct, and looking at things, and seeing what it is that you want to say.

Clayton: You've always had style. I mean, you are Style.

Michele: Yeah, but… it’s the soul, and we see this. So, perhaps all of a sudden, there will be something completely different in NY that’s coming out, so you have to be the one to push it. One last push before it goes out. [Laughter] It will be interesting to see. So what are the plans?

Clayton: Well, we’ve got the fanzine, we’re working on bringing out more caps, we’ve got a boxing glove with Joey, trying to take over territory. You know, conceptual thoughts.

Michele: Exactly. But, you know, this space [9 Bleecker] has something so available… 

Clayton: This space?

Michele: Yeah. This space, it’s beautiful. 

Clayton: Absolutely. This place has soul. You can feel it, Number 9, absolutely.

Michele: That’s why we -

Clayton: So, that’s why we are here.

Joey: So, Clayton can even tell you a little bit about what this building was, before us.

Clayton: Yeah, this was the hippies’, when they were, like, Youth International Party. It was very political, very pro pot, marijuana, but it also had style. It always had good artists who hung their posters and things, so it incorporated a lot of art, it was downtown, plus it had the flavor, where you had Robert Frank, you had CGBG’s, down the block - 

Michele: CGBG’s!

Clayton: Yeah, everything was here. Pat Field was down on 8th street. You had all that stuff here. You had that whole flavor, and that’s why it’s so refreshing to see somebody like you, because it brings back the flavor. Because the flavor has been missing. We are hoping to bring it back.

Michele: Exactly… but you know, this place [Overthrow Boxing Club NY] has something so real. It’s beautiful.  

Michele: I need to sit here forever. And you all stay here.

Clayton: That’s what we hope for, I mean, we are getting lead people like you to be here, and bring back that spirit, you know. Let’s see what happens, but that’s the game.

Michele: I could sit here all year, so yeah, alright, I’m in.

Clayton: There you go alright, alright.

Joey: About the bench.

Clayton: About the bench.

Joey: So, the bench, this bench here, has come to symbolize what this place is. At any moment, it could be “just the guys” sitting on the bench, or it could be a famous actor. Today, that guy sitting here was Jonah Hill. It could be the leaders of the hippies. Dana Beal gave a speech when Powell was running. It could be you guys sitting here. This bench has really just come to symbolize the meeting spot.

Clayton: It’s a magic spot. They have had James Earl Jones come through. Will Smith. It has that flavor, you know. It gives a feeling. An attraction.

Michele: Yeah.

Clayton: And that’s what’s here right now and that’s why I always sort of push Joey to work really hard now, because the magic is here, and it’s been awhile since downtown New York has seen the magic.

Michele: So, this location has this magic because what it was already, before, and you knew that when you came here. And you are from the neighborhood?

Clayton: That’s part of what I always get on to Joey about. I say the magic is something that you have to respect. You can’t really force it. And now that the magic is here, you have to really accept that, appreciate that, and love that. Because it’s not always here. You know, magic, it disappears. Right now, that magic is here and when the magic’s here, you have to work as hard as you can, as much as you can, to keep that thing moving. Because it leaves. For a while it was London, for a while it was LA, for a while it’s NYC. It’s been awhile since New York had the magic. 

Michele: So, you think this is the only place right now?

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Clayton: Yes. It has that quality. Right now, this bench is one of those benchmarks and one of the problems with having it, is it feels like it will always be there. And then, all of a sudden, it’s gone. I’ve had different periods of fame, and all of a sudden, it’s over. The phone stops ringing. One day, it’s Oprah. Next day, it’s over, and that’s how it is. Like you said with May Day ’68: everything was there. Then all of a sudden, “Poof, it’s gone.” Right now, the magic is here,

Michele: Yes, it has that quality. So, we have to respect that. Because somebody can come with the cash and say, “I want this place for me,” not knowing they are going to kill it.

Clayton: Robert Frank, when we moved in here, he said “Oh, my God, I’ve got neighbors?” I’d said to Joey, it takes the right personalities, and all of a sudden? Robert Frank, the photographer, is part of the magic. He loves it here. He & his wife, June, are often sitting out in front of Overthrow and adding to the atmosphere.

Michele: I know! I saw them talking together. And then they came in [to Overthrow].

Clayton: And that’s magic…

Michele: Yeah, that’s magic.

Clayton: Right now, it’s here.

Michele: That’s why you have to train your body. And it’s important, because it’s a phase right now, when everybody wants to be in shape more than ever, so it’s important that there is a boxing place with all the romance…

Clayton:  And that’s enthusiasm, that’s vibration, that’s youth and development. That’s from Robert Frank all the way down to kids.

Michele: That’s the magic.

Clayton: That’s the best part of New York. When you have that soul, that magic moment, that’s something that you can’t buy. You can’t make it happen. It just happens, and right now the bird of paradise is here. I can feel it, I mean how else would you be here?

Michele: Ohhhh laaaaa! [Laughter] You know, it’s fun… when I am here, I live at The Bowery Hotel and it has some sort of good spirit, too. And that’s how I found Overthrow, because you only opened a year ago and I have been coming for nine years.  When Rick [Owen] came for three days and he arrived from the airport, he just wanted to take a walk and we passed by here, because to me it is like… here you are… here we are… this is where we are! 

Joey: How did you get into boxing?

Michele: There was a technical reason. Because I knew I had a problem with my leg, but I wanted to deal with it with my head. And it was at the point where I could not run forward, I could only run to the side. So, I always wanted to exercise, I always went to the gym, and it was good for my head. There was the Wild Card Boxing Club in LA, so I went there and I was training there. Because, you know, in boxing, you sort of move this way [to the side] and so I was just fine, it looked like I had nothing [wrong with me]! So that was one thing.

And then of course, mainly, I needed a challenge… to be in front of somebody. And you know, with this kind of thing, with the rules and the coordination and the fun…. For like, two years, I was going to Wild Card, and they didn’t know who I was. They called me Frenchy, or they thought I was a tourist… There was a scene there that was amazing. Because Freddie Roach, with Parkinson’s, cannot drive a car. When he gets out of the ring, he is like this [all shaky], but when he’s in the ring and trains his champions, he’s just fine! I mean, this is really amazing! And there was [Freddie’s brother] Pepper and all those characters. James Toney, at the time, when he started training there, he was big and you had him coming there to Wild Card, with all the blondes. And, you know, everyone there is a “champ”, for five minutes one day… or forever. So, I started this and I really loved it. There was suddenly… it’s not the romance. I don’t know what it is. It’s the challenge to you, and to be in shape.

Joey: The rhythm of boxing, the rhythm of art, of life - do they all intersect, for you?

Michele: Yes, but here you have a rhythm that’s sort of loose. When you go to Wild Card, no matter what you are doing, when the bell rings, you have to stop whatever you are doing. And there were all these things there, like everyone was buying the newspaper and they would throw away everything in the paper except the sports section. And then? Just reading the boxing. The life was written by those three minutes and I’m sure it’s soothing, when you start feeling good in your body and empowered. I didn’t want to hit someone, that was a fear I wanted to overcome, but it’s more, like, to escape. There is a lot of it that is like ballet. I’m not talking about heavyweights. They just want to “boom”!

Clayton: Do you do yoga, too?

Michele: No, I’m not good at yoga, it’s like the opposite… I box and I go to the gym in Paris every day. Here? When I come here, I’m having so much fun, I don't even train. I watch. But I still exercise. I am eating well, and I love it.

Joey: Tell me a little about this film you are making with Katya. How does it connect your various passions... art, boxing, style, philosophy?  Why did you choose to film at Overthrow?

Michele: I met Lucia Rijker way before Katya. I was "training" at the Wild Card with Freddie and Pepper – enjoying the scene – as I was the only "tourist there. I don’t know how that happened . And I got accepted when James Toney wrapped my hands. You know that I had Les Deux Cafes in Hollywood then.

Joey: How did you meet Katya Bankowsky? Did you meet because of boxing? How did you start working together?

Michele: Katya came over to Les Deux when she was showing Shadow Boxers at the Egyptian Theatre. So, we did the party at Les Deux. Everything connected.

I moved on to Paris in 2003. Lost touch with Katya. But on a lucky night, we met in a restaurant during fashion week in St. Germain. By then, I got to have some projects in NY. I always stayed at The Bowery. And my friend Chris Wallace, who was associated with me at Les Deux as a late teenager - and since then an editor at Interview Magazine - comes to greet me and tells me about Overthrow "next door." We went to you that first night, and fell in love. I dragged Katya the next day. Here we are!

She just sent me the rough cut of our shoot at Overthrow. It's our best, so far. Perhaps best, forever.

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Clayton: Yes. It has that quality. Right now, this bench is one of those benchmarks and one of the problems with having it, is it feels like it will always be there. And then, all of a sudden, it’s gone. I’ve had different periods of fame, and all of a sudden, it’s over. The phone stops ringing. One day, it’s Oprah. Next day, it’s over, and that’s how it is. Like you said with May Day ’68: everything was there. Then all of a sudden, “Poof, it’s gone.” Right now, the magic is here,

Michele: Yes, it has that quality. So, we have to respect that. Because somebody can come with the cash and say, “I want this place for me,” not knowing they are going to kill it.

Clayton: Robert Frank, when we moved in here, he said “Oh, my God, I’ve got neighbors?” I’d said to Joey, it takes the right personalities, and all of a sudden? Robert Frank, the photographer, is part of the magic. He loves it here. He & his wife, June, are often sitting out in front of Overthrow and adding to the atmosphere.

Michele: I know! I saw them talking together. And then they came in [to Overthrow].

Clayton: And that’s magic…

Michele: Yeah, that’s magic.

Clayton: Right now, it’s here.

Michele: That’s why you have to train your body. And it’s important, because it’s a phase right now, when everybody wants to be in shape more than ever, so it’s important that there is a boxing place with all the romance…

Clayton:  And that’s enthusiasm, that’s vibration, that’s youth and development. That’s from Robert Frank all the way down to kids.

Michele: That’s the magic.

Clayton: That’s the best part of New York. When you have that soul, that magic moment, that’s something that you can’t buy. You can’t make it happen. It just happens, and right now the bird of paradise is here. I can feel it, I mean how else would you be here?

Michele: Ohhhh laaaaa! [Laughter] You know, it’s fun… when I am here, I live at The Bowery Hotel and it has some sort of good spirit, too. And that’s how I found Overthrow, because you only opened a year ago and I have been coming for nine years.  When Rick [Owen] came for three days and he arrived from the airport, he just wanted to take a walk and we passed by here, because to me it is like… here you are… here we are… this is where we are! 

Joey: How did you get into boxing?

Michele: There was a technical reason. Because I knew I had a problem with my leg, but I wanted to deal with it with my head. And it was at the point where I could not run forward, I could only run to the side. So, I always wanted to exercise, I always went to the gym, and it was good for my head. There was the Wild Card Boxing Club in LA, so I went there and I was training there. Because, you know, in boxing, you sort of move this way [to the side] and so I was just fine, it looked like I had nothing [wrong with me]! So that was one thing.

And then of course, mainly, I needed a challenge… to be in front of somebody. And you know, with this kind of thing, with the rules and the coordination and the fun…. For like, two years, I was going to Wild Card, and they didn’t know who I was. They called me Frenchy, or they thought I was a tourist… There was a scene there that was amazing. Because Freddie Roach, with Parkinson’s, cannot drive a car. When he gets out of the ring, he is like this [all shaky], but when he’s in the ring and trains his champions, he’s just fine! I mean, this is really amazing! And there was [Freddie’s brother] Pepper and all those characters. James Toney, at the time, when he started training there, he was big and you had him coming there to Wild Card, with all the blondes. And, you know, everyone there is a “champ”, for five minutes one day… or forever. So, I started this and I really loved it. There was suddenly… it’s not the romance. I don’t know what it is. It’s the challenge to you, and to be in shape.

Joey: The rhythm of boxing, the rhythm of art, of life - do they all intersect, for you?

Michele: Yes, but here you have a rhythm that’s sort of loose. When you go to Wild Card, no matter what you are doing, when the bell rings, you have to stop whatever you are doing. And there were all these things there, like everyone was buying the newspaper and they would throw away everything in the paper except the sports section. And then? Just reading the boxing. The life was written by those three minutes and I’m sure it’s soothing, when you start feeling good in your body and empowered. I didn’t want to hit someone, that was a fear I wanted to overcome, but it’s more, like, to escape. There is a lot of it that is like ballet. I’m not talking about heavyweights. They just want to “boom”!

Clayton: Do you do yoga, too?

Michele: No, I’m not good at yoga, it’s like the opposite… I box and I go to the gym in Paris every day. Here? When I come here, I’m having so much fun, I don't even train. I watch. But I still exercise. I am eating well, and I love it.

Joey: Tell me a little about this film you are making with Katya. How does it connect your various passions... art, boxing, style, philosophy?  Why did you choose to film at Overthrow?

Michele: I met Lucia Rijker way before Katya. I was "training" at the Wild Card with Freddie and Pepper – enjoying the scene – as I was the only "tourist there. I don’t know how that happened . And I got accepted when James Toney wrapped my hands. You know that I had Les Deux Cafes in Hollywood then.

Joey: How did you meet Katya Bankowsky? Did you meet because of boxing? How did you start working together?

Michele: Katya came over to Les Deux when she was showing Shadow Boxers at the Egyptian Theatre. So, we did the party at Les Deux. Everything connected.

I moved on to Paris in 2003. Lost touch with Katya. But on a lucky night, we met in a restaurant during fashion week in St. Germain. By then, I got to have some projects in NY. I always stayed at The Bowery. And my friend Chris Wallace, who was associated with me at Les Deux as a late teenager - and since then an editor at Interview Magazine - comes to greet me and tells me about Overthrow "next door." We went to you that first night, and fell in love. I dragged Katya the next day. Here we are!

She just sent me the rough cut of our shoot at Overthrow. It's our best, so far. Perhaps best, forever.

Posted on

JIMMY WEBB – I NEED MORE

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LISTEN: JIMMY WEBB INTERVIEW:I NEED MORE

WITH CLAYTON PATERSON & JOEY GOODWIN

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Joey: So, we’re here with Clayton Patterson, myself and Jimmy Webb. So where did it all start? Where are you originally from?

Jimmy: I’m originally from a little town called Wynantskill in upstate New York, outside of Albany. 

Joey: When you came out of the womb, were you rock and roll? Let’s start at the beginning. How did you get to where you are today?

Jimmy: Whoa! No one has ever asked that question. I think the answer I would give at this point in my life is that when I came out of the womb, I was me. Of course, I grew up feeling different. I remember being ostracized in kindergarten. I remember everyone standing around me on the playground and pointing a finger and calling me a fairy. And I didn’t know what that was. I thought a fairy was this great thing in a book like Peter Pan, that made your wishes come true. It was [actually] a gay thing.

Joey: Yeah.

Clayton: How did you find rock and roll in the city? What year did you come here?

Jimmy: Came to New York City in fucking 1975 with my clothes in a pillowcase, not knowing anybody. I was sixteen going on seventeen.

Joey: What pushed you from Wynantskill to the city?

Jimmy: So when I was like twelve or thirteen, we were walking to the creek, and we had gotten my friend Sue’s older sister to buy us some Boones Farm and Tango [liquor]. And we were going to go drinking by the stream and we were listening on a transistor radio to “Walk On The Wild Side” [by Lou Reed]. My friend Sue said, “Listen to this song. Do you know what it means?,” and I didn’t know what she meant, but I knew exactly what she meant. What my soul and heart said is “You’re going to take a walk on the wild side. You’re going to go.” You know what I mean? There’s somewhere else for you to be.

Clayton: So what was the first place you found? How did you know where to go though? I mean, how did you get your way downtown to rock and roll?

Jimmy: The spirit takes you - the spirit of adventure. How did Christopher Columbus end up in fucking America? It’s the same way Jimmy Webb ended up in fucking New York City. Straight up, that’s the truth. Same thing as taking a walk on the wild side, my body, my mind, my spirit…

Clayton: Okay.

Jimmy: The spirit. Nothing made me say I want to go there, from Studio 54 to CBGB’s, you know, nothing. I just went. I’m an adventurer. I walked. When I hit the streets in New York City, I walked. I walked everywhere, I was sixteen years old. 

Clayton: Right. Right.

Jimmy: I decided that once I hit New York at sixteen, the magical, amazing, wonderful city, I was going to walk every square inch of it. Whether it was while looking for a job, whether it was to learn it, I walked everywhere. The first time I hit Times Square at night, I saw those pimps, and whores, and  hookers on 42nd Street. Five years later I ended up working in a porn theater in Times Square in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s. It was magical. It was wonderful. The first time I walked all the way down to Seventh Avenue South? Fucking amazing.

Joey: Can I ask you? So, was it magical looking back on it? Or, was it magical actually being there, but also painful? Honestly.

Jimmy: I love these questions. You’re asking with sincerity. I mean, some people may find it painful. Why would it be painful? It’s part of the person you were [at the time].

Joey: It made you, and shaped you.

Jimmy: You know what? My best friend, Mr. Iggy Pop, ended up being my mentor. Did that little guy in the woods listening to “Walk On The Wild Side” think Iggy Pop was going to be calling me up years later? Did Iggy think he’d be talking to Jimmy? No. 

Clayton: So what clubs did you find and hang out in?

Jimmy: I went everywhere. This was ’75, so punk rock hadn’t even really exploded or any of that shit like that. I remember when the Pyramid opened. There was a lot of drugs in my life. This is why I don’t do drugs anymore [Laughter] because they didn’t lead me to the best place. That’s what led me to live homeless in Tompkins Square Park. But what clubs did I go to? I’ll give you the gamut. The first clubs were the gay discos and a few shitty after-hours clubs like the 220 Club on 220 West Houston. Then came the Studio 54 era, which was mind-boggling. I was the punk rock boy at Studio 54. My clothes came out of the garbage from what Bleecker Bob’s was selling on MacDougal Street. I remember saving money to buy things there. There was Trash and Vaudeville. There was Manic Panic on St. Marks Place.  I took clothes out of the garbage, and I would dress [up] and go to Studio 54 and dance all night, and fall in love with Bianca Jagger night, after fucking night. 

Joey: So, you were walking all over the city. At what point did you end up working at a porn theater in Times Square? 

Jimmy: It’s funny. I was this punk rock boy and wandered into this porn theater. I was jobless again, and there was this hot chick there named Zina who used to sing with this old school guy Neon Leon. She had me hired; it was a 24/7 porn theater - talk about rock and roll in Times Square. I can’t even remember what my pay was. I would work all the shifts. That’s the first time I met a handful of famous people, I was like, “Whoa shit!” you know? I met the father on the Brady Bunch there.

Joey: Really? [Laughter] He was going to the porn theater?

Jimmy: Yeah! It was five bucks to get in, that I remember. I remember it because I’m this boy from Wynantskill, New York that grew up while checking the Brady Bunch. And now here I am a punk rock boy, you know on speed, years later taking $5 from him.

Joey: In some fucked up way it made sense. [Laughter] So, that’s why you loved Times Square or working in the porn theater, right? Because it was like that thing, it was the essence of what’s real. It’s like what you capture. 

Jimmy: Yeah. And back to the clubs. When Rudolf [Pieper] opened Danceteria, it was fucking amazing. That’s when I was living at 302 Mott Street, and my neighbor was Glenn O’Brien, God bless him. We were all doing major drugs -- a complete heroin era. But we were young, and we were beautiful, and almost everybody from that era -- Glenn affected life hugely with TV Party. 

Clayton: Glenn did? Yeah.

Jimmy: Oh Glenn, God rest his soul, he’s like one of my heroes. He wasn’t the friendliest sort back then. We had our doors opened pretty much most of the time on the top floor, and all lived in shitty apartments when Glenn was doing TV Party. I wasn’t friends with Debbie Harry back then. Now, she’s one of my favorite people on the planet earth, and my friend. I wasn’t friends with anybody, but it was a community where everybody got along, everybody danced together, everybody ate ecstasy together, those of us that shot heroin, shot heroin together, you know? It was like one big TV Party 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Clayton: You know, [Glenn seems like] he’s so conservative. I know he went everywhere, but he just – he looks like a straight guy.

Jimmy: But he’s not at all. You know his history, it’s fucking amazing. I think Roberta Bailey knows the story more, because that’s the era of Basquiat. That movie about Basquiat wouldn’t have existed without Glenn O’Brien.

Clayton: Downtown 81.

Jimmy: Yeah. It’s like he was hired into the downtown scene. I think Barneys had hired him, and changed the whole world of advertising to what it is today. Turning that shit around, full fucking circle, going out and living as you can adding to the world, giving the big fuck you, saying, “We are the future.” That’s fucking punk rock. 

Clayton: I agree.

Jimmy: Why would anyone want to implode when you can explode?

Clayton: I agree. But you just go over it.

Joey: And when did you end up on St. Marks?

Jimmy: Well,you know, I got to say the Lower East Side was a continual thread in my life. Because I love drugs and…

Joey: And when did you meet Clayton?

Jimmy: I didn’t know when we met. The first time Clayton took my picture, it was when he was exhibiting some of Jeremiah’s stuff at his gallery. And I came…

Clayton: Yeah, you came to the Candy Darling show. That’s right.

Jimmy: Right. I came home glowing with pride and joy inside because Clayton Patterson took my picture. I never told him that until now. 

Clayton: What year were you Tompkins Square Park?

**This interview was recorded in the summer of 2018.  Jimmy Webb has recently passed on April 14th 2020. 

LISTEN 🔊 JIMMY WEBB INTERVIEW:I NEED MORE

WITH CLAYTON PATERSON & JOEY GOODWIN

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Jimmy: I was – wow! Just before the riots, literally, days before the riot [in 1988]. I was a strung-out heroin addict. I was shooting cocaine and heroin basically 24/7. You know, wherever – every dollar could come from at that point, homeless, jobless and I was on a methadone program simultaneously. So, I would live in Tompkins Square Park in one of those boxes. I really remember that era so well on the 6th Street squats. When we lived in the streets, you know, we had TVs running from the electric post outside the telephone post.

Clayton: Yeah.

Jimmy: But I was living in Tompkins Square Park as a heroin addict. I could go on a whole roll about squatter’s rights because it was pretty disgusting what we were doing. 

Joey: You literally had a front-row seat to all the stuff, from sex, drugs, and rock and roll -- being in the East Village in New York City in general. What do you credit to you still being here?

Jimmy: Could I start with Iggy Pop?

Joey: Yeah.

Clayton: He really was a major influence in your life, huh?

Jimmy: Yeah, because I remember – a desire to live, a desire to turn it around. I started with Iggy because of his beautiful song, “I Wanna Live.” He’s speaking to my soul. I was living in Tompkins Square Park, two days before the riot, and kicked off the last methadone program with scars and blood [on my body]. My mother came and got me in her pickup truck; my counselor was kind enough to call. The shelters basically didn’t even want her son. She took me [back] to Albany, then I got worse, and got arrested. Then I went to jail for like a long, long time. I went in there only for six months but hey, I was facing 7 1/3 to 25 [years] in prison.

Joey: Wow!

Jimmy: Yeah. It was pretty deep, and I was put in jail in Albany, New York. I was going to go to prison, but by grace, and blessings, and karma, and destiny - whatever you want to call it, I was released. I did a strong probation thing. I fell back into drugs again as soon as I got out of jail.

I may have been living in a park here – but I always had a mommy you know who’d buy coffee or do my laundry or something. How pathetic at thirty-something years old? I’m not fucking punk rock. You know what I mean?

So, then I had a suicide attempt and I got off drugs for two years and tried to kill myself and ended up on a kidney machine. I was on welfare, on SSI, not the man that sits before you now.

Joey: Dialysis?

Jimmy: Well, after my suicide attempt of two years clean, I tried to OD. I went to try to get bundle of heroin in Albany, New York, they only had eight bags and went out the wave. But I woke up, and the way I had nodded out twelve hours, it shut down my kidney.

Joey: Wow.

Jimmy: Yes. So I guess – they thought I was going to be on a kidney machine forever. They took my kidney. But somehow it came back, then into the mental institution.

Joey: Yeah.  So, to get where you want to go, what made you turn it around?

Jimmy: The desire to live was stronger than the desire to die. Being a junkie is not a good look. I wanted to give that up long before I gave it up. Think about it? It’s a fucking drug addict. Think of the word you’re saying. You know I meet these little drug addict kids they tell me, “I’m an anarchist.”  I was like, “Dude, you’re a fucking drug addict. You’re a fucking heroin addict. You’re the most dependent person in the world. How can you even say you’re an anarchist?”

Joey: What was your process in quitting drugs?

Jimmy: Right after that scene I just told you about, it took six months to teach me to bathe, and a full year to read and write again.

Clayton: Why is that? Did your brain shut down?

Jimmy: Yeah, everything. It was beyond. That’s where my end was. I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, everything was not working together.

Clayton: So your brain came back, and your kidneys came back. What else?

Jimmy: Right. Incredible, right? I would sit there and I would think many things. I mean, did I have a choice? I tried to commit suicide, and I woke up you know there must be a reason, but strive for the flicker of Iggy. 

Joey: Mm-hmm.

Jimmy: [Choked up] And I would see him perform. And I would want to live, live a little bit longer now. That was one of the songs. I would listen to the Iggy soundtrack in my brain when I was learning to read and write, and walk again. And I got to live. The other way wasn’t working, and now I want to be real. I want to be a giver, not a taker. You know what I mean? I have a grandma that’s like my biggest inspiration in the world. I have two grandmas, one was a bitch grandma, and I can say that with no disrespect.

Clayton: Are they either still around?

Jimmy: No, they both passed away. The other one was like a storybook grandma, Grandma Webb. She was the most punk rock thing ever.[Laughter]

Joey: What about your father?

Jimmy: My dad was a hunter and whatever. He just passed away a couple of years ago.

Joey: He lived with your mom?

Jimmy: Yeah. They were together fifty years. I don’t know how much they liked each other, but they loved each other. You know it’s funny because I get to be the good son. I was the runaway, the black sheep, I was the one that everybody thought would never be anything. I have one brother that passed away from AIDS, another brother I had no communication with at all. If something is not good for you, you can’t separate with ugliness, but you have to separate from it. It’s not fucking good for you, you know what I mean?

Joey: Right.

Jimmy: You know it was like whether it’s heroin, or your loser friend and people that aren’t attaining something, you may just want to wave and keep moving on. Yeah. Are people remaining the same? That sounds so fucking boring. You know what I mean? Like, I may have just stayed in Wynantskill if I want to be the same. When I meet people in New York that are remaining the same, sitting on the same bar stool, it has nothing to do with liquor or doing the same thing, or seeing the same picture it’s like, oh my God, switch it up a little.

*Clayton: So how did you get into fashion?

Jimmy: It evolved. It happened, it naturally evolved. I started with a job at Trash and Vaudeville for $7/hour and I grew into Jimmy. It just evolved. I believed in my dream. I took that stage dive of faith and it grew and grew and grew and I found a star and I swang from it. Then it was time to jump again. I needed more. Right?

Joey: I don’t think you got into fashion. I think you got into style.

Jimmy: Thank you.

Clayton: Were you walking down 9th Street and ran into [Agatha Blois] when she headed into a leather store there, and you guys clicked?

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Jimmy: Agatha and I – yeah. I mean how Agatha and I have designed my clothes. It’s funny, I was going to see Iggy at Coachella the first time The Stooges got back together. I sent Agatha, it’s on the wall downstairs, a sticker of this hot pink and orange and yellow tiger I had found it’s crawling. Boom! Boom! With its nails in the fucking ground. And I found a picture of Iggy younger with the lowest pants in the fucking world, smoking a cigarette with bleached out hair with the roots about a quarter inch deep looking fucking amazing. And I said, “Agatha, I want a pair of pants that look just like this.” And I knew in my mind this is where Joey is right in what he says what those pants were going to look like. Agatha said, “I got it” and made those fucking pants.

Clayton: Yeah.

*Joey: Talk about the store. What is I Need More?

Jimmy: I Need More is my store. It’s going to be the next big thing. It’s happening on Orchard Street, # 75 which is fucking amazing, talk about rock and roll. 

Joey: It’s your store, and your story.

Jimmy: Right. Dude, listen to this. When I was trying to get this place, some very strong, well-known people stood behind me that believed in me. You know what I mean? It’s like what am I going to do? I took that leap of faith. I call it the stage dive of faith. I left Trash and Vaudeville, part one to help my mother out because she was old, and part two truthfully, because I wanted to do something different. I wanted to swing for me. I wanted to do that stage dive of faith into the unknown.

Joey: Yeah.

Jimmy: And I knew Iggy knows at fucking seventy years old, he’s going to land just right. So, I ran and I jumped, and I left Trash and Vaudeville, right? Lo and behold, I’m like what am I going to do?

And then God bless them, this is the list of characters that added to it: Ewan McGregor, he’s amazing, Alice and Sheryl Cooper, a beautiful husband and wife team, Iggy and his wife, mostly Iggy because he’s always the inspiration behind everything, and Slash who was like there for me 2000%. Slash is one of the most loyal amazing human beings ever, the man who’s behind that guitar for 15-20 minutes straight and plays until he sweats. He just gives and gives that way as a friend too. He’s awesome.

So I call them the powers that be, because all these people make a living off what they do, who they are. Well, I’m not an Alice Cooper, I don’t fucking sing. I’m not an Iggy Pop, I don’t fucking sing. I’m not a Slash, I can’t play guitar and I’m not Ewan McGregor, I’m not an actor. But they know how to fulfill their dream doing what they do. And they’re all like, you need to start with a store, Jimmy. That’s what you do.

Joey: Yeah.

Jimmy: You need to like – and then we had television, we had a radio, you do it live. It’s like, “Oh, duh!” the light went on. So I started looking for a place for a store. And I knew immediately like what’s the name going to be, I Need More.

Joey: Mm-hmm.

Jimmy: I Need More. It’s my back tattoo. Almost forgot it was the one book Iggy was involved with writing when he was a teenager. I know it’s an Iggy Pop song because that’s where it came from – my back tattoo. And when they asked me I Need More I know that’s great in print and then you know it’s part of the business why. So lo and behold, I go out looking on an adventure. I knew money had to come from somewhere that will stay off the record forever, people had to believe in me because I was requested to, a wrote a  fucking business plan. I never do that before.

So it happened. I had the money to go for the store and the people believing in me. Every one was behind me then. So when the phase finally came and two places came through, we thought, “What is I Need More?” This is an amazing rock and roll store built on authenticity, Jimmy’s story, and the truth that’s going to color and clothe the world. I don’t dress people. I don’t sell clothes. I make dreams come true. All I do is find what’s inside a person. If this is what I’ve done my whole life, then I’ve found out what I could do. I know how to make dreams come true. I know how to look at somebody and hang out with them and find what’s on the inside and bring it to the outside. I know how to dress Prince for the Super Bowl, because I did that. I know how to make Lil Wayne happy because I’m so fucking rock and roll, I judge nothing.

Joey: That’s an evolvement and you know now he’s mainstream, but he evolved from hip hop.

Jimmy: Right. Well, you can’t say you’re rock and roll and be arrogant which is most of what fucking rock and roll is. There’s little punk rock brats, “Oh, I’m punk, punk rock. You don’t look like this, and you don’t do this, you’re not punk rock.” Dude, that sounds pretty elitist to me, just my opinion, call me an asshole but that’s fine, you know? I know how to dress Iggy, I know how to dress Alice Cooper, I know how to dress – you know I know how to make people happy. And then I make a guy going to the prom that wants the punk rock plaid suit happy. So, I built the whole business plan on that. Lo and behold, in order to make dreams come true. I know how to paint the world. 

Joey: You’re a rock star.

Jimmy: Yeah, I just – well, thanks in my way, I guess. Yeah, thank you. So, lo and behold, when you ask me a couple of places fell through. I didn’t even realize this, the paper, the signatures were just about be wet on the paper. I found the perfect spot. It came through magically. This really great big place at 75 Orchard Street, two floors, 700 square feet on each floor wide so you can fit a bunch of people in it comfortably, so they can have a good time, so you can create love. You know what I mean? And I looked at the number on the front of the store and there was 75, [crying] which is the exact year I showed up in New York with my clothes in a pillow case.

Joey: Wow. Fate.

Jimmy: Now, that’s rock and roll.Joey: Yeah.

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Jimmy: Agatha and I – yeah. I mean how Agatha and I have designed my clothes. It’s funny, I was going to see Iggy at Coachella the first time The Stooges got back together. I sent Agatha, it’s on the wall downstairs, a sticker of this hot pink and orange and yellow tiger I had found it’s crawling. Boom! Boom! With its nails in the fucking ground. And I found a picture of Iggy younger with the lowest pants in the fucking world, smoking a cigarette with bleached out hair with the roots about a quarter inch deep looking fucking amazing. And I said, “Agatha, I want a pair of pants that look just like this.” And I knew in my mind this is where Joey is right in what he says what those pants were going to look like. Agatha said, “I got it” and made those fucking pants.

Clayton: Yeah.

*Joey: Talk about the store. What is I Need More?

Jimmy: I Need More is my store. It’s going to be the next big thing. It’s happening on Orchard Street, # 75 which is fucking amazing, talk about rock and roll. 

Joey: It’s your store, and your story.

Jimmy: Right. Dude, listen to this. When I was trying to get this place, some very strong, well-known people stood behind me that believed in me. You know what I mean? It’s like what am I going to do? I took that leap of faith. I call it the stage dive of faith. I left Trash and Vaudeville, part one to help my mother out because she was old, and part two truthfully, because I wanted to do something different. I wanted to swing for me. I wanted to do that stage dive of faith into the unknown.

Joey: Yeah.

Jimmy: And I knew Iggy knows at fucking seventy years old, he’s going to land just right. So, I ran and I jumped, and I left Trash and Vaudeville, right? Lo and behold, I’m like what am I going to do?

And then God bless them, this is the list of characters that added to it: Ewan McGregor, he’s amazing, Alice and Sheryl Cooper, a beautiful husband and wife team, Iggy and his wife, mostly Iggy because he’s always the inspiration behind everything, and Slash who was like there for me 2000%. Slash is one of the most loyal amazing human beings ever, the man who’s behind that guitar for 15-20 minutes straight and plays until he sweats. He just gives and gives that way as a friend too. He’s awesome.

So I call them the powers that be, because all these people make a living off what they do, who they are. Well, I’m not an Alice Cooper, I don’t fucking sing. I’m not an Iggy Pop, I don’t fucking sing. I’m not a Slash, I can’t play guitar and I’m not Ewan McGregor, I’m not an actor. But they know how to fulfill their dream doing what they do. And they’re all like, you need to start with a store, Jimmy. That’s what you do.

Joey: Yeah.

Jimmy: You need to like – and then we had television, we had a radio, you do it live. It’s like, “Oh, duh!” the light went on. So I started looking for a place for a store. And I knew immediately like what’s the name going to be, I Need More.

Joey: Mm-hmm.

Jimmy: I Need More. It’s my back tattoo. Almost forgot it was the one book Iggy was involved with writing when he was a teenager. I know it’s an Iggy Pop song because that’s where it came from – my back tattoo. And when they asked me I Need More I know that’s great in print and then you know it’s part of the business why. So lo and behold, I go out looking on an adventure. I knew money had to come from somewhere that will stay off the record forever, people had to believe in me because I was requested to, a wrote a  fucking business plan. I never do that before.

So it happened. I had the money to go for the store and the people believing in me. Every one was behind me then. So when the phase finally came and two places came through, we thought, “What is I Need More?” This is an amazing rock and roll store built on authenticity, Jimmy’s story, and the truth that’s going to color and clothe the world. I don’t dress people. I don’t sell clothes. I make dreams come true. All I do is find what’s inside a person. If this is what I’ve done my whole life, then I’ve found out what I could do. I know how to make dreams come true. I know how to look at somebody and hang out with them and find what’s on the inside and bring it to the outside. I know how to dress Prince for the Super Bowl, because I did that. I know how to make Lil Wayne happy because I’m so fucking rock and roll, I judge nothing.

Joey: That’s an evolvement and you know now he’s mainstream, but he evolved from hip hop.

Jimmy: Right. Well, you can’t say you’re rock and roll and be arrogant which is most of what fucking rock and roll is. There’s little punk rock brats, “Oh, I’m punk, punk rock. You don’t look like this, and you don’t do this, you’re not punk rock.” Dude, that sounds pretty elitist to me, just my opinion, call me an asshole but that’s fine, you know? I know how to dress Iggy, I know how to dress Alice Cooper, I know how to dress – you know I know how to make people happy. And then I make a guy going to the prom that wants the punk rock plaid suit happy. So, I built the whole business plan on that. Lo and behold, in order to make dreams come true. I know how to paint the world. 

Joey: You’re a rock star.

Jimmy: Yeah, I just – well, thanks in my way, I guess. Yeah, thank you. So, lo and behold, when you ask me a couple of places fell through. I didn’t even realize this, the paper, the signatures were just about be wet on the paper. I found the perfect spot. It came through magically. This really great big place at 75 Orchard Street, two floors, 700 square feet on each floor wide so you can fit a bunch of people in it comfortably, so they can have a good time, so you can create love. You know what I mean? And I looked at the number on the front of the store and there was 75, [crying] which is the exact year I showed up in New York with my clothes in a pillow case.

Joey: Wow. Fate.

Jimmy: Now, that’s rock and roll.Joey: Yeah.

Posted on

THE FAT JEWISH

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Joey: I feel like you would have gone to like Trash Bar right?

TFJ: Yeah.

Joey: So we're like taking over the Trash Bar space, because they moved to Bushwick. So, we're taking over the Trash Bar space. This is Alicia, she's the WBC champion of the world.

TFJ: What up

Alicia: What up

Joey: So, I'm flying to Las Angeles tonight. Jonah Hill lives literally down the street, and so, he brought Toby Maguire over here. Toby Maguire liked it. And then he stopped by and said, “Who's the owner?” I went out to lunch with him, and he wants to do one in Venice Beach. So I'm flying out, I'm fucking flying out to LA tonight, to ride bikes around Venice Beach with Spider Man tomorrow.

TFJ: Interesting, man, so, you guys are doing like some cute activities.

Interviewee: Yeah.

Clayton: Yeah he's on it. This place has actually got a lot going on. And this is the only place that's sort of close to – like, what Aron and all those guys are doing? This is the only version of that I know, downtown.

TFJ: Yeah, like some real community -

Clayton: Yeah. and Joe is definitely...

TFJ: Definitely. [To Joey] You guys going to ride a tandem bicycle? Or separate bicycles? Tandem might be cute.

Joey: I'm hoping tandem.

TFJ: I'm hoping too, that's a much better look.

Joey: I'm actually hoping it's a rickshaw and like he and Leonardo DiCaprio could be like, pushing me around. I hope this doesn't get published in the ‘zine and -  [Laughing]

Clayton: Have you started?

Joey: Yeah, we've started, everything is off the cuff, here.

Clayton: So, what's your name?

TFJ: My name is Josh. Most people know me as The Fat Jew.

Clayton: The Big Fat Jew or The Fat Jew?

TFJ: Just The Fat Jew or Big Fat Jew, whatever feels good. Whatever you want… “Bruce.” I don’t care.

Clayton: And where were you brought up?

TFJ: Upper West Side.

Clayton: So how did you meet Dash, all the IRAK crew, Kunle…?

TFJ: Just like, hanging out downtown, smoking…

Clayton: So, you hang out, downtown, a lot?

TFJ: Yeah, just getting into things. I knew a ton of kids from downtown. I was surrounded by degenerate graffiti writers, at all times. Who were doing graffiti stuff, which is like, I don't know. It depends how old you are, you know what I mean?

Joey: Do you remember - and this is a very New York culture - but do you remember Dane Hope, by any chance?

TFJ: Yeah.

Joey: So, Dane was my roommate at a really crappy college. And we became good friends. Dane is, like, crazy, but I still like him. Dane is like Owen Wilson in The Royal Tennenbaums.

TFJ: Yeah, the IRAK dudes, they were just maniacs. Like, complete maniacs.

Clayton: Well, I think the thing that was most interesting for me would be… IRAK crew? They had the whole cross section of different, talented people. Everybody that was in that crew, rugged as they were - and they were rugged - everybody was talented3:34. Kunle, Dash, … <can’t make out the list – about 5-6 names>

TFJ: New artists, yeah.

Clayton: Yeah. They were like the real artists who came out. A lot of them went on and did a lot of great things. Ben and Dan, they’re still doing movies, production, and Dan has his own company. I think Kunle still does stuff with Alife and stuff like that. That was Joey Semz? You knew Joey, of course.

TFJ: Yeah, Joey Semz, I knew him. We went to, like, middle school together.

Interviewer: Really?

TFJ: Yeah. Actually, you know what, I recently threw a party, at like a bumper cars place on Coney Island? There’s still some cool shit. It's like, community stuff, it doesn't happen, anymore.

Clayton: No, it doesn't. I think that's one thing why, with Joey, this is one of the few places downtown, where it really kind of rocks, and things happen with all these different generations. That's the other thing, it was a multi-generational, multi-ethnic, wide cross-section of people.

TFJ: Joey Semz was such a great American

Clayton: I miss him. 

TFJ: He was a great American. That is for sure. Those dudes, they kind of put us on, the uptown kids on, to how to really go hard, how to really just completely dumb out and -

Clayton: And get away with it.

TFJ: Yes, and get away with it. [Laughing] Highly influential to the idiot I've become today. Everybody was just doing, like, crazy stuff, so I don't know what kids are doing today. I don't know if they get truly dumb like that, anymore.

Clayton: I don't know. Were you involved in any projects with them?, 5:10 , video, movies?

 

Posted on

POWER MALU

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Clayton: So, here we are with are with Joey Goodwin, Power Malu, and Clayton Patterson We’re doing an interview for our fanzine about “the struggle.” The struggle can be any kind, any number, of difficulties. You were just talking about reflecting on your life. And about a movie you’d like to make, that reflects the struggle of surviving on the Lower East Side, people being evicted and hoodwinked, and whatever.

Joey: First, Power, tell us who you are and a little bit about your history.

Power: My name is Michael Angel Viera, Also Power Malu, Babee Power, Mike Power, Power Viera, all these AKA’s people got for me. Basically, been the “mayor” of the Lower East side. People know me as being neutral. I’m able to go to any project, anywhere in the Lower East Side. Not take any sides. Just have love for everybody, have respect for everybody. I started going out, hosting shows, when I was about 15 years old. I used to promote a lot of parties in New York City. That got me into the clubs. I was able to get on the microphone, introduce people that were performing, became this whole “slash” person that was seen everywhere. I got invited to be part of music videos by a lot of artists and directors. I got known as “the kid that’s in everybody’s video” and it became this thing in the ‘90s where, if I wasn’t in the video, the video was not “official.” So, there are dozens and dozens of videos that I’m in, and it’s like the “Where’s Waldo” type of thing.

Then, being that I was in all these videos, I also started doing a television show called My Life Television, where I would do sketch comedy, improvise, and invite people to come down as guests that I would interview, in the music world, in the acting world, and in the party world. And it became like a variety show. Out of that show was born The Lyricist Lounge Show, which premiered on MTV in 2000: the ideas from My Life Television, combined with another couple of artists, Wordsworth, Master Fuol, we created the idea for the first ever lyrical sketch show. I became well-known for that.

In the meantime, I was working on music for Latin groups and Hip Hop groups, where I would do a lot of writing - what’s called now “ghost writing.” I was doing a lot of consulting and helping to put together TV productions or music productions with different artists and producers.
From that, I was seen by a lot of my people from the neighborhood. And that kind of gave me a lot of ambition to do even bigger things, so that I can always come back to the neighborhood and be able to help those who thought that it

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Power: Right. Absolutely. That’s a great story.
Clayton: So, in making those choices, which one would you choose?
Power: Both are great.
Clayton: But you can’t do them both. You could only do one.
Power: Why?

Clayton: Because to make a movie, it will take you a year to raise the money for each one. It’s hard, as we know, and to get the script, and get people involved, you know. It’s hard enough getting this interview, never mind doing two movies.
Because that’s a possibility for something that could be international. We were saying, he’s talking about doing this movie about people losing their homes. I’m also saying because Alicia is World Champion and you have this boxing club here, that has a history - of Overthrow, the Yippies, and all that. And it’s also community. If, for example, you concentrated the movie on Alicia and she keeps going the way that she’s going, he then has a movie that will be heroic and inspiring. He will be part of the gym that you’re part of and it has the possibility of going to Sundance and having people really be inspired by it, you understand. ‘Cause I understand the other story entirely and I understand the sympathy for the other story. But the Alicia story? That could be a feature movie.

Joey: But at the same time, it’s about what a person’s heart is into. Jay-Z has a line where he says, “How can I feed the poor,” help the poor, “if I’m one of them,” or whatever, right? That’s kind of a metaphor for what you’re talking about. Somewhere, he goes very commercial and he, in some way, sells his soul. And he admits it. But doesn’t give a fuck, because that was his prerogative, right? Everyone has their prerogative, what they want to do, what their ambition tells them to do, or what they feel comfortable doing.

Clayton: But they are choices. And neither one would be selling out, we agree with that, right? One just has the potential of being commercial, and the other one has the potential of not being commercial. I mean, I’ve spent my life on noncommercial things, I understand that whole genre. But that’s a choice.

Clayton: Part of the thing is, Power sees himself as an ideal. He sees himself as a mentor, in a way. It’s psychological. He wants people in the neighborhood to know that if you do the right thing and you try hard, it is possible to live here, be here, but also be very successful, right?

Power: Yes. That’s exactly it.

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Power: They grew up fighting, you know. Him and his brothers. So, that’s very much how he got involved. He got recognized in the neighborhood and -
Clayton: Did somebody - a priest or a neighborhood guy - say, “Hey, you should get into the gym”?

Power: I’m not sure if it was a priest. I think it might have just been someone who was training people at the time and started a group in the neighborhood.
Clayton: A community improvement group? There used to be social groups in the neighborhood, in that period of time, that guided kids out of drugs and other problems, and into certain areas.

Power: Yeah. So, they grew up right here on Allen Street & Forsyth.
Clayton: Allen Boys? And there was the Forsyth Boys…
Power: Way before that. Actually, but eventually their offspring became integral parts of those groups. So, his thing was boxing. And of course, I always have him here [pointing to a tattoo] as a reminder. This was something that I did in Texas. I was working with this Tex-Mex artist named A.B. Power: Yeah, they called him The Kid. He passed away. It was an accident on the Lower East Side. Second Avenue and 4th Street. He got hit by a truck, crossing the street. That was tough. December 4th, 11:53.
He always had this thing that he was going to make a comeback. But he turned to drinking because this is his dream, and now he’s not following his dream.

Power: My “World Title” is to be able to inspire other artists to follow their passions and to give them a platform to be able to do that. Because I understand how difficult it is. I understand that there’s people that have been really close to making a living, doing what they love, but circumstances in their lives caused them to quit. And they have never known if they could actually make a living doing what they love, so now they’re pretty miserable in their lives because they never followed through. My World Championship would be being able to inspire more people to follow their passions and follow their dreams and really go after what they believe.

Clayton: You’re an inspirational coach.

Power: And this is something that I do now, without having that major platform. I do it with people that are immediately around me and I see the impact that it has on them. This is why I want to do it on a global level. I know I can do it on the global level. I have that impact on people.
You know, I have a running group that I work with, called BridgeRunners, and I’m always in the back of the pack because I believe that the back of the pack is where people start out. And the hardest part is for them is to continue. So, I inspire them, give them words of encouragement while we’re running, and sure enough, they’re now in the front of the pack. That’s what I love to be. I love to be that net to catch people from falling.

power-gif2

Power: They grew up fighting, you know. Him and his brothers. So, that’s very much how he got involved. He got recognized in the neighborhood and -
Clayton: Did somebody - a priest or a neighborhood guy - say, “Hey, you should get into the gym”?

Power: I’m not sure if it was a priest. I think it might have just been someone who was training people at the time and started a group in the neighborhood.
Clayton: A community improvement group? There used to be social groups in the neighborhood, in that period of time, that guided kids out of drugs and other problems, and into certain areas.

Power: Yeah. So, they grew up right here on Allen Street & Forsyth.
Clayton: Allen Boys? And there was the Forsyth Boys…
Power: Way before that. Actually, but eventually their offspring became integral parts of those groups. So, his thing was boxing. And of course, I always have him here [pointing to a tattoo] as a reminder. This was something that I did in Texas. I was working with this Tex-Mex artist named A.B. Power: Yeah, they called him The Kid. He passed away. It was an accident on the Lower East Side. Second Avenue and 4th Street. He got hit by a truck, crossing the street. That was tough. December 4th, 11:53.
He always had this thing that he was going to make a comeback. But he turned to drinking because this is his dream, and now he’s not following his dream.

Power: My “World Title” is to be able to inspire other artists to follow their passions and to give them a platform to be able to do that. Because I understand how difficult it is. I understand that there’s people that have been really close to making a living, doing what they love, but circumstances in their lives caused them to quit. And they have never known if they could actually make a living doing what they love, so now they’re pretty miserable in their lives because they never followed through. My World Championship would be being able to inspire more people to follow their passions and follow their dreams and really go after what they believe.

Clayton: You’re an inspirational coach.

Power: And this is something that I do now, without having that major platform. I do it with people that are immediately around me and I see the impact that it has on them. This is why I want to do it on a global level. I know I can do it on the global level. I have that impact on people.
You know, I have a running group that I work with, called BridgeRunners, and I’m always in the back of the pack because I believe that the back of the pack is where people start out. And the hardest part is for them is to continue. So, I inspire them, give them words of encouragement while we’re running, and sure enough, they’re now in the front of the pack. That’s what I love to be. I love to be that net to catch people from falling.

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OVERTHROW WARRIORS

WARRIORS STAY INSIDE TO PLAY

The primary thrill of the Warriors comes not from observing these gangs but from the sensation of joining one, of tagging along with a group of city slickers that know the lay of the land like the back of their leather-gloved hands. In their company, the urban jungle doubles as playground – watch how the sprinting Warriors weightlessly bound over the subway turnstiles, thumbing their nose at the fare – and gymnasium – a quick shot of a hoodlum using the train’s hanging handles like a boxer’s speed bag subtly illustrates how they have adapted to and conquered their environment. Even if they weren’t constantly kneecapping cops, it would be clear that this is
their space. As adroit as Hill may be with New York’s inhabitants, he is every bit as conscious of its physical layout and, most importantly of all, the relationship between the two. -The Guardian

Overthrow the warriors was shot in Coney Island Brooklyn in 2017
Marking the opening of Overthrow's second location.

Crew:
Julien Herrara - Director
Andrii Didyk - Cinematographer
John Gagliano - Art Director / styling
Charlie Himmlestein - Assistant Director/Photograpy

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guy boxing

UNDERGROUND SLIP WITH PISTOL PETE

QUEEN ADVANCED

hs-brian-basic

BASICS WITH BRIAN

THE UNDERGROUND WITH ALICIA

JUSTIN’S SUPER EXTREME DUMBBELL WORKOUT

Sergio – work work

Harrison and Justin

baruc-hs-1

Baruc

Sergio + Justin

JULIAN – KEEP FIGHTING 30