My friend and I were at this club in Brooklyn to see this friend of mine play a show. We're not very good friends, I used to book her band to play my college campus and we stayed in touch. Then she became kind of a sensation / star. It's well-deserved and she's maintained a really level head and has always been sweet to me. She got my and my friend into the show that night, cause it sold out. She hadn't played a show in a long time. This is the backstory. We're all very excited to see her show.
Outside the club, my friend and I are talking to some guy, X, who my friend knows from college. I guess he also knows the performer. He keeps talking about how they go way back. But she and I go further back. I just don't think it makes much sense to drop the name of the performer who, clearly, we're all there to see. Even if we didn't all know her personally, we're clearly invested enough in her work to come to the show, right? It's not a competition. Anyways my friend is talking to his old college buddy, who is regaling us with completely unnecessary tidbits about his glamorous life on another coast. He is, I imagine, around my age. Though I look younger than he does.
It occurs to me that I shouldn't be writing anything possibly shady about this guy because at the time I was bumming cigarettes from him. But I bummed them from him before the following happened. My friend stayed silent for this exchange, sagely. So it's me talking to this guy who my friend knows, whom I will call Show-Off. To my knowledge we had never met before this evening and we have no idea who each other are.
Me: Oh, I think the opening band is going on. Should we go back inside inside and check them out?
Show-Off: I dunno. I haven't heard them.
Me: Yeah, me neither.
Show-Off: But I saw this write-up with them in Interview magazine, so like... you know. (Show-Off rolls his eyes ostentatiously).
Me: Oh. Ha ha. (I am laughing nervously).
Show-Off: It was for some article, like, 'Best New Bands in Brooklyn' or something. It was bullshit. Interview sucks.
Me (gamely, I think): Yeah, well. I know that they've had like a million editors in the last year. They keep changing, I think.
Show-Off: They only ever cover totally lame people.
Show-Off: It's only ever, like, some 24 year-old fashion faggot from Williamsburg.
Me: . . .
Show-Off: It's like, where were you when Lady G**a started?
So that was a couple of months ago and I have been nervously laughing about it to myself ever since. Then, the other day, I went and saw Courtney Love on Behind The Music over at Jess Paps' house. Needless to say I was really moved and totally enthralled the entire time. Especially discussing Courtney's early career, before she started Hole, as an indie film star. She had been in Alex Cox' films Sid & Nancy and Straight To Hell. And as part of this nascent indie film star career, she lucked into a bit of press. And on VH1 they played this clip of Courtney, introduced as a "rising star" by Deborah Harry, on Andy Warhol's TV Program, Andy Warhol's 15 Minutes. Giving a speech about herself, surrounded by garbage bags, and flipping through issues of Interview.
Which completely thrilled me. Courtney went on to say that this was the harbinger of a very bad period in her life. She said something along the lines of "I just hated it. I wanted to kill myself". I'm paraphrasing. But it was interesting.
And for the record, though I'm sure it's completely unnecessary to post here, I will note that on August 5th, 2008, two days before my 24th Birthday (and two weeks before Lady G***a's debut album was released), I was doing this.
Though my life narrative has (obviously?) taken a much less tragic path, it's nice to be in good company.