. . . speaking of starships and outer space – ANDREW SMITH, the American born, British author of: ‘MOONDUST: IN SEARCH OF THE MEN WHO FELL TO EARTH’ (2005) – a lively account of lunar landing legend and reality – based on interviews with the last 9 remaining (of 12) American astronauts to actually set foot on the moon – touched base in New York City last week – to interview the remaining crew – a few are no longer around !! – who touched base with dot.com legend JOSH HARRIS – when his JUPITER & PSEUDO megabucks – were funding a rockin’ and rollin’ maverick art party scene, here in NY F*CKING CITY – in the mid 80’s !! – culminating in that great granddaddy of dot.com megabuck art parties – QUIET – the 2 week MILLENNIUM live-in – 90 artist – 24/7 – bash – that took over downtown Broadway – and only stopped, when it was shut down by FEMA, the FIRE DEPT & the POLICE DEPT – all arriving – at the same time.
. . . speaking of moondust – that’s CAL’S death dust – also known as – cremated ashes – smeared on the door.
600 BROADWAY at PRINCE STREET – aka the gateway to SOHO, NYC – was the headquarters of PSEUDO, back in the day. And, there you could find Cal, big, and bigger attitude, as camo-punk encased, as a renegade US flag, an in-your-face punk with a bleached buzz cut – who did some of early alternative PSEUDO programming, and more importantly, acted as a 24/7 attached-to-the-hip entourage body-guard-of-hipsterdom – for Josh, himself. They were basically inseparable. where Josh went – there went Cal. As uncool and preppy as Josh was, and he was !! – esp in the beginning – Cal was the king of rebel street cred. his m.o. was: silence. Josh was the man, the visionary, the business whiz kid – the brains & bucks, as in mega bucks !! and Cal – was the cool, well he had the attitude, I guess better put: he had the street style – in fact, Josh obviously was, hands down x 1,000 – the cooler of the two – in all ways. but Cal made an indelible impression as part of the hipster entourage that surrounded Josh, and feed his legend – back in the day.
p.s. Josh wrote to say Cal did a Pseudo show called: ‘high weirdness’.
. . . don’t have the full details, on when or how he died – though it was something like a self-inflicted drug O.D. – not a car accident !! and it happened recently – but, it’s Andrew Smith’s scoop – he knows the down and dirty details – so, guess you’ll to just have to wait till his book comes out – on the best of the dot.com biggies – including to a great part – our JOSH HARRIS.
Those were the days, making $10,000 a week in the employ of Josh – to run a party – was not unheard of – in fact, it was the norm. But, back to CAL. Cal was a vampire. At night – he put on those porcelain fang tooth overlays and partied down hard. One could go to secret parties – the Vampires even had the first big blow-out New Year’s Eve 2000 pre-Party at QUIET – and see all kinds of NYC night life denizens, who during the daylight hours – you would see unloading party supplies, read: beer, and alcohol – or tending the Pseudo party bars – just like all the other ‘ordinary’ work-a-day NYC artist people – but, then they’d come out in their secret night life – dressed as hard core, as hard core gets – and all, men and women, vampires – with fangs in their mouth.
It was rumored that Cal was the leader of the pack. It was these vampire friends who must have smeared his ashes on the Pseudo door, and drew those magic symbols. Like a lot of us, Cal was crushed when the Pseudo days ground to a halt. He went up to stay with Josh a couple of times at the FARM – but it didn’t go too well. legend is they had a big blow-out, read fist fight – and Cal never returned. The necklace Josh had given to Cal, a grain of sand with his name inscribed in it – on a leather cord – which he had worn 24/7 from the beginning – was found discarded on the farmhouse floor.
. . . while touching base with the NYC art scene later that day – ANDREW SMITH was able to get in a few hardcore shows. He made the CONTAINER SHOW opening at new Lower East Side Gallery – ANONYMOUS. . . where he loved the work of ANTHONY LISTER, and . .
and GREG LAMARCHE !! – Andrew said he had been around the London art scene quite a bit – even having interviewed DAMIEN HIRST a while back – and seen some shows lately, but definitely – he had to admit – the NYC scene – had the edge !! He even got to meet live wire – MOMO !! whose tag & site specific work intrigued him greatly. if there ever was a earth walker – with a lunar mission mind-set – that would be MOMO.
ANDREW SMITH particularly was enthralled by: MOMO TAGS THE WIDTH of MANHATTAN !!
and, see: ANONYMOUS/CONTAINER SHOW !!
. . . then seriously switching gears – the same night – he was able to hit the last hour of the 3rd Annual
NY ART BOOK FAIR BENEFIT OPENING PARTY – where he encountered another live wire !! –
PHIL COTE – of Philly’s BOBO !!!
. . . and mission accomplished – scored a great souvenir gift to bring back home to his girlfriend – from his lightning quick foray into the wilds of the NYC – BIG APPLE art scene – a limited edition MELLISA BROWN ‘TABLOID’ deck ($30) – a great gift for the even more tabloid consumed BRITS than we are – but in particular for his girlfriend – who he firmly declared – would love it. more fun, MELISSA BROWN was on hand to play – a ‘TABLOID’ round – with him in person.
you have to make a tabloid headline out of the cards you are dealt – and his included a caricature of ROBERT DOWNEY’S GRANDMOTHER !! which practically knocked his Brit socks off – with delight !!
and, she signed the deck for him, too. she signs the joker !! how great. how do you beat that. you don’t.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH, NEW YORK CITY, OCT 24, 2008
ANDREW SMITH – ‘MOONDUST: IN SEARCH OF THE MEN WHO FELL TO EARTH’ (2005)
is out in a few different editions.
an early review by ROBIN McKIE in the OBSERVER, APRIL 24, 2005 is one of the best to touch base with.
it begins: “Nine astronauts who walked on the moon are still alive, but their clouds of glory have gone dark”
. . . and goes on to highlight this telling episode from Andrew’s book:
re: BUZZ ALDRIN – “he resents more not being the first man on the moon than he appreciates being the second (!!),
as a fellow astronaut (unnamed !!) observes – hence the absence of lunar pictures of ARMSTRONG – even when he was specifically requested, he refused to take a single snap of his commander, because he was ‘too busy.’ “!!
(remind anybody else, of Pseudo or QUIET … and, I thought it was just Josh setting us all up against one another – now it just turns out to be the nature of the competitive human beast.)
this review is pretty good too, see: BUSINESS WEEK, AUG 22.2005 – After The Moon — What ?
and about the real story on moondust.
see: NASA CHRONICLES/MOON DUST & SPACE SHIPS