Disco Bloodbath

Violent death doesn't get more FABULOUS than the murder of drug dealer Angel Melendez by party promoter Michael Alig.

Published August 18, 1999 4:00PM (EDT)

Dear James,

Oh my GOD!!!

I've just finished reading your FABULOUS book, "Disco Bloodbath." I mean, it's FABULOUS! Do you know what I'm saying? It's just FABULOUS, that's all. Oh my GOD!!

Of course, you don't know me, James, and by the sound of your book you wouldn't have known me even if you did know me. Believe me, I understand. It isn't easy being an insane, drug-soaked drag queen "in the upper branches of the nightclubbing hierarchy," as you put it, constantly "schmoozing" and falling into "K-holes" and worrying about your "look." What with all the attention you need for yourself, you can't be expected to notice your inferiors. You're far too FABULOUS for that!

As for me, James, I was never part of the downtown club scene, either in the late 1980s, when Newsweek dubbed you a "celebutante" and Details made you "famous," or later, after your "REALLY GOOD FRIEND" Michael Alig became New York's No. 1 "party promoter" and "THOSE WACKY CLUB KIDS" took over everything. It's true, James, I swear: I was never even TURNED AWAY from Limelight! I've never met Peter Gatien or seen the inside of the Tunnel. I didn't turn up anywhere with a Virginia ham on my head or Christmas lights up my ass or drinking glasses of my own piss or swimming in "a giant, filthy, germ-ridden cesspool filled with hundreds of naked drug addicts" as you did with Alig. FABULOUS!

James, I just LOVED your description of Michael Alig as "a big old bowling ball searching for a gutter" -- and after reading your blow-by-blow account of the night Alig murdered his drug dealer, Angel Melendez, I'm inclined to agree that "Alig was THE MOST INEPT CRIMINAL OF ALL TIME!" True, I felt sorry for Angel, particularly when he saw his brains on the floor and they had to inject him with Drano. I know Angel was "an unlovable cretin" and that he kept knocking your wig off and spilling your drinks, but really, James, as you say, "How rude is THAT?"

A couple of quibbles, though: I'm not sure you're right when you say, "You always remember your first overdose." Frankly, if you were really pumping all that junk into your system for so many years, I'm surprised you can remember anything, never mind the richly detailed, carefully crafted, utterly self-flattering conversations you've apparently had with "EVERY PERSON in the room." Did you really tell Alig that he would have done better to murder Bianca Jagger or Courtney Love? And will you really "retire gracefully" now that you've learned "that you CAN'T just make up your own rules" and "you CAN'T just live in your own little world?" Or is Newsweek calling again?

Nothing depends on your answer, of course. Irony is all, and you're the queen of irony, James, the QUEEN! FABULOUS! FEH!!


Peter Kurth

By Peter Kurth

Peter Kurth, a regular contributor to Salon Books, is the author of "Isadora: A Sensational Life." He lives in Burlington, Vt.

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