October 2011January 2012 


3 posts from November 2011

Nov 28 2011
Celebrity Buffet: All You Can Meet @ The Hollywood Show Las Vegas (With Some Chippendales On The Side) Comments (15)

1They check in, you check them out

My recent trip to Las Vegas wasn't to gamble (even if I lost $360 on slot machines) and it wasn't to indulge my personal fetishes (even if I wound up at a Chippendales performance and attending The Hollywood Show Las Vegas—read on for both), but to have meetings for work. Unfortch, my main business contact was forced to stand me up through no fault of his own, so that left me with gambling, men and starfucking.

IMG_3357Before I did anything, I pigged out at a late buffet with my autograph-show buddies Brian, Rich and Don—pictured. Don is pals with Jane Withers, 85...and how many people can say that? We feasted on fatty foods, sweet celebrity gossip and even salty sex talk. I won't say which one of us, but somebody had been Manhunting earlier and had been successful, even if bagging the prey had involved a premature shot.


For later that evening, I had gotten myself invited to the Chippendales show at the Rio. I don't know if you've ever gone, but I hadn't, and going to see something that is so ubiquitous in the culture with very little idea of what to actually expect was quite nerve-wracking. And yes, they totally allow men in these days. In fact, I saw quite a few men with their girlfriends or wives, and was told of one couple who saw five or six shows in a row because, as the hubby confessed, "She fucks my brains out after seeing this stuff."

IMG_3366The original chick magnet

If you haven't gone before, I recommend doing what I did and going with Miss Texas USA and her equally pageant-ready friend. It was very Suddenly Last Summer the way they attracted a large percentage (the straight percentage) of the dancers, all of whom are so big even Herman Munster pants would've looked like floods. 

IMG_3367Michael is a chick magnet, too

2But I'm also a dick magnet...(with Michael & out news anchor Chris Saldana)

My friend, his friend and I were seated in the back while the women sat front and center, all the better for one of them to be pulled onstage and mock-IMG_3371manhandled, it looked like. If that isn't what it was, maybe I'm just projecting, but if I could've done some astral projecting, I would've.

The show is 75 minutes' worth of female fantasies, a non-stop series of classic scenarios—firemen (so 98 Degrees! sorry I missed your stint, Jeff), businessmen, the mandatory bowties—with the bulky performers moving with surprising fluidity. I Cuffs_Collars_Openingwould not call it tasteful considering all the bumping and grinding and the occasional bare ass, but it's not like you're at NYC's late, great Gaiety or in Canada, either, so let's say it's racy but doesn't cross too many boundaries. I loved seeing the men invade the audience and hit up the absolutely pussy-soaked patrons, who were screaming their fool heads off from the word "go."

1Stronger than any closet

A cute blond guy kept looking back at us, sizing us up and wordlessly wondering why the hunks kept PreviewScreenSnapz003bear-hugging or high-fiving my buddies (one of whom runs the show's PR). Later, our peeper shyly confessed to being "a closet case" with a highly Christian job. Oh, well, more for me—I shamelessly went onstage and posed with the guys after, though it sucks that my green shirt made me look shapeless, the worst effect when you're standing amidst human statues.

RiskyBusinessSome frisky business!

The guys were as nice as they were nimble, mingling with guests in the Flirt Lounge after, where I nabbed this:

IMG_3369Lind Walter, me & Nathan Minor

I highly recommend taking in a show if you're in Vegas—the dancers could not care less if you're a guy or a girl. At least...if all they're doing is dancing for you.

IMG_3342Rippie was a no-show in spite of my artistic handiwork

The next day was The Hollywood Show Las Vegas at Harrah's, a satellite version of IMG_3375that autograph show I've attended three times in Burbank (here, here and here). I'd already gone to the pre-show to see where all the vendors were set up and to greet my buddy Roy of Baby Jane Collectibles, so I knew the lay of the land. I'd been shocked to see that the show's #1 name—Joan Collins—had been set up right by the front door, so wasn't surprised on Saturday when she'd been resituated in the far corner, where she could more properly hold court.

Bright 'n' early, one of the attendees' helpers was asking someone at the show about all the changes that had happened overnight and the short answer was: The bigger the star, the more right to change his or her position. They might as well have had letters on their foreheads denoting who was A-list, B-list, C-list and beyond.



I arrived early even though I only had about 10 names I wanted. I'd decided to attend based on Joan Collins and Tippi Hedren (one of the last, but not the last, great Hitchcock actors), but was also excited to meet '70s heartthrob Richard Hatch. If the first thing you think of when you hear that name is a fat, thieving survivor, you're oh-so-tender and oh-so-young. The first thing I think of is a gorgeous brunet who was all over the teen mags even when he was in his late twenties.

Richard HatchDougChaplinBestFriendsSpotting Richard's asscrack (he was hanging his own poster and it was a stretch), I headed over. For 66, he looks pretty good and couldn't have been nicer. An oaf was talking to him and once it was my turn never ceded Richard—this happens a lot at these shows, people don't realize their time is up. I presented him with a great still from The Hustler of Muscle Beach (1980) showing him being held up by a bunch of beefcakers in Speedos. Hatch correctly IDed the photo.

Img244Richard Hatch is my homeboy

Next, I had him sign an at-home spread from a German magazine sporting images that a modern-day publicist would not have allowed because they made it look like he had no pants on. Hatch reminsiced about his home (it hadn't been a fake set) and then happily posed for me and with me. I had to take a picture for the oaf, too, and it was all I could do to keep from shaking his camera as I took it.


IMG_3386No escape for Hatch

Still waiting for my pals to show up, I decided I could take on The Brady Bunch's Christopher Knight (aka Peter) alone. It was an odd encounter! He was engrossed in his phone, then as I appeared, his helper sent me over to pay at the end of the table where all things Brady (Susan "Cindy" Olsen and Mike "Bobby" Lookinland were there, too) were taken care of. On my way there, I noticed Joan Collins had arrived. The legendary burlesque star Tempest Storm was leaning over to shake her hand and Joan was saying, "I'm not shaking hands with anybody!" apologetically. Ouch!

IMG_3348After paying, there was another mix-up as Knight's assistant thought I had overpaid and that pictures with him were supposed to be free. It was more awkward than having your voice change in the middle of recording a hit record! Finally, he signed for me and answered my question about what it had been like to be in a teen magazine all the time as a kid:

"Odd...none of it, truly, was all that meaningful to me since I wasn't a consumer of it myself, it was just really odd to be on that side of that kind of attention. It could be really draining...I always thought their descriptions of me were always better than the ones I could come up with...'What's your perfect girl?' It's like, I don't know. I have no idea what I'm lookin' for. If I'm even lookin' for that."

Just to make the whole thing perfectly imperfect, my pictures with him were dark because my camera refused to flash, leading to some discussion on his part that he was going to figure out how to make it work.

IMG_3391Knight Mother—Christopher then 'n' now

Next, I found my sidekicks (or rather, the guys for whom I was the all-purpose sidekick), Brian and Rich. Brian is tall and aggressively gay in a way that could put some people off but that almost always does the opposite, softening people up right away. "We're fags, you know we want more than one picture," he'd say, leading to appreciative laughter and near-total compliance. He can also take a great pic-with for you, and will not be shy to insist on doing one horizontal and one vertical. Rich is the uberfan who knows everything about Dynasty and various other TV shows. He's shyer than Brian but not too shy to get what he needs from each and every star he cares about.

Both of them are Joan Collins superfans, so I ran into them as they got into Joan's shockingly short line. Immediately, a fan came up to us and was bitching about his treatment—already! Seems he'd objected to her prices ($25 per autograph, $25 per pic-with, $40 for both, $40 for a signed book—sounds like Krystle prices for Alexis if you ask me!) and said to Joan's young hubby, "I'm poor!" to which the hubby, Percy, 46, had said coldly, "How do you know she's rich?"

PreviewScreenSnapz002All-signing, all-dancing...

Well, I know she's not worth $50 million or she wouldn't be at this autograph show, but I hope she's worth a few million or somebody's ass needs to get fired!

But I was Team Joan on that one. The prices are what the prices are, and hers were a steal.

As we got closer, I could check her out better. At 78, she looks fantastic. The wig is the only thing that ages her. Otherwise, she's fit and sexy and was in good spirits despite being dressed for a TV character's funeral—all in black including gloves and sporting a necklace that looked like it weighed about the same as a filing cabinet. Really dazzling.

IMG_3397I'm hoping to be her next husband

I had a vintage shot for her to sign, to which she said, "Oh, gosh...This is a classic!" She dutifully signed that and a book for me, a photo for a Facebook friend and then posed for a photo I took and for a photo with me that came out flawless.

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Nov 13 2011
Watch Me Burn: Madonna's Smirnoff Event @ Roseland Comments (29)

QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz001Not saying it's the best pic in the world, but still can't believe I took it!


Whenever Madonna has a limited event, I go into panic mode. Will I get in? How will I get in? Who should I ask? Are they reliable? And again, will I get in?

1The old Matt would've tried to buy the stories-high banner...

Madonna's Smirnoff event at the Roseland—a dance-off between international finalists in a contest to win a spot as one of her dancers on tour—was the hardest event to pin down because nobody seemed to really know what was going on. Drowned Madonna graciously got me on some kind of a list, but they weren't sure when I should arrive, had no contact name for back-up (and are based in Italy, so wouldn't be reachable the evening of the event) and were told I'd be in a "bloggers' lounge." I asked around and no one knew anything about these details, so I was kind of wary I'd get in at all.

IMG_3062Madonna husbandry

At the last second, I asked and was put on a list plus one and told to arrive by 9PM, so I had to take my "Madonna husband" Jason. José likes Madonna but will not foolishly stand around for hours on end just to be near her. Whereas Jason (and I) would still be there now if Madonna had never left the premises.

IMG_3061Madonna diehards

We got there around 7:15PM for an event with 9PM doors. Small line of 100 people or less. IMG_3060Ran into my Facebook friend (and now friendship friend) Delvin (pictured) and his buddy Willie; my Sticky & Sweet chum Brad and his better half Louie; John, one of my most reliable Madonna-info hook-ups ("Did you hear there's a W.E. test screening?") along with his friend Stephanie; and also Marcus, an advertising wiz who's always inviting me to cool stuff and who loves Madonna. Sadly, there were some...weird...people going up and down the line playing "Give Me All Your Love" on a transistor radio, attempting to rile us up, and there were some Smirnoff cameras capturing our middle-aged screams.

IMG_3072Delvin & his pal Willie, who you might know from I'm Going to Tell You a Secret (below)


IMG_3069Stephanie & John, who are one degree of separation from Martin Solveig

We'd been told over and over there was only one line (I was going to check if I was on that "bloggers' lounge" list), and a woman I spoke with told me point-blank that the entire event was general admission, and the only difference between being media and non-media would be checking in on a different list. I apparently was not on that media list, but I felt good about being on the general list...until they separated all the Icon winners into a gargantuan line alongside us and they began going in. Madonna fans are a mixed bag of types, and it can not be said there are no douchebags who love Madonna—lots of people jumped the line and several tried to cut in front of us in spite of it having been a single-file line for over two hours by then. Oh, did I mention we weren't even going in until closer to 10?

IMG_3053Fans came bearing ghosts of Madonna past

Finally, we made it to the very front, where the exasperated guards in "STAFF" T-shirts were openly telling people no one had any idea what was going on. All I did was flash my ID and hand in the releases we needed (to be on camera—the event was filmed) and we walked straight in and onto the main floor, five or so people from the side stage. The main stage looked nice and all, but being old, we were smart, like ancient dogs who remember the crinkle of a food wrapper even if it's of a variety it hasn't encountered in a while, and knows it's time to beg. So we huddled near that side stage, which was set up with luxurious white couches and looked ot us like the place where Madonna would sit and judge the contest.


IMG_3071(How great was Robert Patterson's shirt?)

1Insider info

It wasn't uncomfortably packed, actually, nothing like her Sticky & Sweet Roseland gig. But it did take an uncomfortably long time before anything happened!

111Madonna and her boy toy in the mezzanine

1111Madonna next to Guy Oseary

11111These opening performers were from Thailand...

111111...this eye candy was not!

Guy Oseary, Liz Rosenberg, at least two yarmulked Kabbalists and a host of trendy-looking entouragers emerged and filled the couches before us.

QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz003
QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz002Madonna's braintrust—Guy & Liz

Then when announcements began from the stage regarding the dance-off, Madonna came out into a VVIP section of the mezzanine with her boyfriend Brahim Zaibat and sat almost out of view. It was such a bummer! Was Madonna really going to sit up there the whole time?

Luckily, after some opening dances from around the world (something about "black, white, yellow, high-yellow, fierce, not so fierce" was being said), we saw Madonna put on her coat (uh, it wasn't cold in there) and disappear, so we knew she planned to come into view. What nobody suspected was that she would soon emerge from under the stage, rising like Venus from the sea in a cute little outfit that included shorts so short they're probably illegal in parts of the South and over-the-knee, studded black boots. That plus her David Letterman-style magic hair gave her the look of a fetching minx, albeit one who would not hesitate to kick your ass all the way home.

Madonna posed, hands on hips, then preened her way to the side-stage where she spent most of the night trying to hide from all of us fanarazzi so as not to distract from the hard-working dancers who were dancing on the main stage.

111111111Making her way to her throne

It was off-putting that she didn't really acknowledge us, but it was understandable because these poor dancers were doing the fancy footwork version of lip-synching for their lives and all eyes (and flashes) were on Madonna. So she had her dancers and associates kind of cock-block us as best she could, at least while the dancers were performing.

I had such a great view of Madonna! Dancers came out on the main stage and on the edge of the side stage, so she kept having to turn back and forth to watch, at one point lying on her tummy and smiling like a little girl watching her favorite cartoons.

QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz001
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QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz004a
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QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz006When she was first seated, she was in full view and a huge distraction

One of the dancers—I don't know which, I never took my eyes off the prize—apparently fell, which made her laugh and mouth, "Oh, shit!"





QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz007Madonna studies the wannabes

Lola was up there, too, paying close attention and evaluating everyone amongst her friends.

1Above: Lola now. Below: Madonna then.


2She took her judge job seriously

This went on for what seemed like a zillion years (it was hard on the feet), but culminated with Madonna coming forward and coyly choosing the four finalists.

Once she'd accomplished that—after admonishing us for taking her picture instead of paying attention (shades of her Bedtime Stories party at Webster Hall!)—she sat down with her boyfriend to watch the four dance one more time. Then, when handed the mic again, she was clueless about what she was expected to do. I'm tellin' ya, the event was loose!

ZaaaMadonna & child (And child, he is really cute in person!)

She eventually figured it out and walked onto the stage to banter with some of the dancers, most memorably Scorpio, a Frenchman living in England who I thought might win. I loved that Madonna was pulling a partial Paula Abdul over all of this; she'd even told them all not to take not being chosen personally. Ultimately, it was Li'l Buck from Memphis who won, and he was blown away, telling the crowd he'd come from the hood, the streets.

QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz001
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J1After choosing finalists, before choosing the winner

Madonna hugged him and then the evening entered a phase reminiscent of an Andy ZZWarhol movie; she walked around her little be-couched nook speaking to people and pointedly ignoring all of us gawking at her from a few feet away. She encouraged Lola to dance, which she did, and then others danced, forming a wall around Madonna and making it hard (but not impossible) for us to see her busting a move.

AfterfReminded me of her AIDS Dance-a-Thon days

But bust she did, dancing with Brahim and loosening up to a "Rolling in the Deep" mix after seeming unwilling to dance to her own tunes ("Music," "Hollywood" and "Like a Prayer" were played in part).

AfterPeople are right—Madonna's cheeks ARE bigger lately!


IMG_3184A drink in-between dances

Finally, Madonna seemed to think someone should've scheduled some audience time and she looked out at us and taunted us with some robotic dance moves that everyone immediately mimicked (well, not me; I was losing circulation in my arms from holding my camera aloft). She laughed and then took off, walking back across the stage and scaling some stairs to the DJ's exposed booth, where she threw her arms around DJ Martin Solveig, who of course is responsible for her next single, "Give Me All Your Love."

At this point it was past 1:30 and I was dying for her to leave. One definitely questions one's priorities in life when one finds oneself willing to stand in one place filming Madonna for as long as she cares to remain in one's view.

222Two hot dancers including one talking to Brahim

But Madonna was getting a second wind, dancing wildly next to Solveig to his "Hello" and things like "New York State of Mind" and a techno track by Benny Benassi called "Satisfaction." The highlight of the whole night was when Solveig, while playing Madonna's own "Hung Up" (she did some moves and sang along to it), sang into the mic, "L-U-V Madonna..." and Madonna chimed in, "Y-O-U You wanna!" So much for being pissed about the leak!

Then, on a dime, Madonna said good-bye to Solveig and strolled down to the stage and out of view. It was weird when she had ignored us early, but it seemed like the event just hadn't really planned out what the fuck she'd be doing so it wasn't too bad. But when she walked away without so much as a wave, it was kind of a bummer way to end everything.

Still, we got hours and hours with her and for a Madonna junkie, that's a pretty sweet high.

22222Give me all your dough

After, Jason and I left and ate some disgusting pizza at an all-night joint in Times Square before bumping into Stephen Guarino and Joe Conti of BearCity fame. They'd just seen SNL and told me they'd wrapped BearCity2 a month ago. Small, hairy world.

I downloaded my video and walked home surrounded by people, always surprised that New York really and truly is the city that never sleeps, and is still the city where you might get a chance to share air with Madonna every few years.

Nov 06 2011
Boy Culture Turns 6: My Favorite Posts Comments (13)

IMG_7536Prove it!

As of midnight last night, it was exactly six years since my first post. It's been a tough thing to keep up with a dayjob and outside activities, and just when I think I might walk away, a valuable connection or interesting opportunity or a kind word comes my way. Thank you all for reading me.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef014e89143e3e970d-400wiOf whom are you more jealous?

Here are my favorite 100+ posts out of nearly 11,000. Please take some time to read (or re-read!) a couple and tweet or Facebook any you like.

xoxo Matt

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54ff027a28833-800wiThe pocket pool championships were intense this year



FROM BOY TO MAN: BC B.C. (2007): The entire history of my novell and novel Boy Culture as well as the movie version; might be my ultimate post.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f5599878833-800wiJonathon Trent & Derek Magyar make an Allan Brocka sandwich

BOY ON FILM (2006): An account of the NYC launch party for Boy Culture as it played the TriBeCa Film Fest.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f7f18238834-800wiI was left "Reeling" by the experience

FRIENDS AND "FAMILY" (2006): The movie version of Boy Culture hits Chicago.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f5ebead8833-800wiNo one would've mistaken me for Taylor Lautner

RAPT PUPIL (2006): The final night of Outfest with Boy Culture; I was fat but on the other hand got to meet Bryan Singer.




PreviewScreenSnapz001Construction worker (shot this week) vs. James Dean

GUYDAR (since at least January 17, 2008) & ENDS OF THE WORLD (since at least January 13, 2008): Attractive men of the world—I got your backs. Your fronts, too.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0120a5347f59970c-400wi11i-i-i (phone)

Img_0330Not totally built

6a00d8341c2ca253ef0120a58f680c970bUnaltered iPhone image that still blows me away

"Your pictures suck" (2008): An art critic attacks me, but not without sustaining some hits in return.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e551ff08528834-800wiLet's call it a draw

DRAWN TOGETHER (2008): How my desire to draw related to my secret desire. One of my absolute favorite posts.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01156faa215c970cThe shirtless one

LOST ANGELES (2009): My favorite photographic travelogue of L.A.

Img_0986_1Even then, New Yorkers feared 9/11 was the beginning of the end

ART IMITATES LIFE (2006): My 9/11 and my distaste for grief tourism.


6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f435c1a8834-800wiDeath of the party—Jeff in high school, already halfway through his life

BURNING MAN (2007): Tribute to my late high school friend and first romance.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef014e862b4a41970d-400wiSigned, sealed (eventually) delivered

LOST BOY FOUND (2011): There is a book in here somewhere.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef01538f1f464a970b-400wiBe Italian

CIAO HOUNDS: OUR TRIP TO ITALY (2011): Finally got José to Europe.

6a00d8341c2ca253ef00e54f10b4de8833-800wiDeath becomes here

ILLINOIS DEATH TRIP (2007): Ruminations on death while revisiting a past home, and the past.

Zehnders Life is short...and meaningful

PASSING BY (2008): Mourning the loss of a person I only met once.

Lots more...

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