Each week, Lizzy Goodman guides you through the dirty streets of rock and roll.
I really hope John McEnroe is stalking me. Last time I saw him was at an art gallery on the far west side of Manhattan where Metallica was playing. This time it was at an art gallery at the far west side of Manhattan where Blondie was playing. I really wanted to go up to McEnroe, who looked slick as usual in a perfectly fitting but still casual in that tie-less I-just-threw-this-on-after-showering-at-the-gym kind of way, and ask him what he thinks about Roger Federer’s recent resurgence. Could Fed be making his push for one last major? But McEnroe makes me incredibly nervous, so first I had to have a cocktail or ten.
“How many open bar art gallery openings can I attend with John McEnroe as my shadow before I eventually get up the nerve to talk to him?”
Everyone at this event — a benefit for Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper alliance — swirled around pretending not to look at each other but raising eyebrows at particularly bad outfits (the neon sportswear-inspired spring collection stuff is going to be with us for a while, I’m afraid) and whispering to each other. Read enough record reviews and you’ll come to lament the seemingly limited number of adjectives available to describe guitar solos: Searing, epic, soaring, etc. Similarly, the art on the walls at the gallery — which featured works by Marina Abramovic and the evening’s co-host Jeff Koons — was, according to the neoprene-clad women milling around the room: Moving, striking, and extraordinary. I guess every subculture has a shallow key-word pool to pull from.
Have you noticed that wellness has become the new materialism? Charity has always been de rigueur in high society but, as I understand from reading Bonfire of the Vanities and watching American Psycho, a decade or two ago you’d give back to impoverished children while wearing rhinestone encrusted blazers with giant shoulder pads, glossing up your fake lips and doing blow in the bathroom in between sips of Diet Coke and vodka. Now you give to protect the world’s waterways from polluters while wearing sleek (if brightly colored) outfits and discussing spring cleanses while sipping Biodynamic chardonnay and munching on sustainably grown hors d’oeuvres.
Fueled by all this decent taking care of myself plus the sight of Debbie Harry in a refreshingly rocked out hot pink sequined dress, I finally got up the courage to … go stand in the vicinity of McEnroe, who was talking to Koons. Once the band began in earnest, I realized I’d missed my window, but I feel like tonight real progress was made. I mean, how many open bar art gallery openings can I attend with John McEnroe as my shadow before I eventually get up the nerve to talk to him? They say three’s the charm. So next time, it’s on.