This week on the show, we discuss the infamous case of Michael Alig, the 90’s NYC club promoter known for his flamboyant pageantry and prankish antics that eventually murdered one of his friends, chopped them up in a bathtub and dumbed them in the Hudson River. Not only that, but it all quickly escalated into a full-on media circus as police failed to investigate, rumors ran rampant in the clubs and newspapers, and Alig himself joked about murdering Angel Melendez in public and in interviews. And this was all while Alig was hanging out with legendary icons like Ru Paul, and other zany characters like “James St. James”, “Jenny Talia”, and “Waltpaper”.
As grisly and flashy as this case simultaneously was, it’s little wonder it was turned into a movie released in 2003 entitled “Party Monster”, starring Macaulay Culkin and Seth Green (and receiving pretty bad reviews overall.) Dressing up in a punkish, sometimes-androgynous aesthetic in the vein of David Bowie, Boy George, Lady Gaga, or the aforementioned Ru Paul, this brash and artistic youth movement of the “Club Kids” began as a jabby satire of the club scene that artist Andy Warhol had produced, but quickly became its own cliche. What began as a vibrant and mostly-positive NYC club scene of alt-kids — self-proclaimed “Freaks” that were minorities of all kinds (particularly of the LGBTQ+ variety) — that weren’t even doing drugs, eventually descended into an absolute drug-fueled rampage-of-sorts through the NY club scene that led to murder, hubris, blood-soaked club parties, lots of drugs, and a whole lot of regret for a lot of people.
This story is absolutely bonkers on every level: to the incubation of a unique sub-culture, to the mind of a deeply flawed and troubled misfit murderer, the circus-like club antics, the proto-LGBTQ+ history, and the absolute abject failure of the NYPD to bring proper justice to the situation in due time.
Hopefully you dig it!
This week’s featured music: don’t forget to support that black hoodie rap and all your favorite independent artists!
Written by: Anthony Tyler