Halloween, like everything else in this city used to be a lot more fun. There were always parties, like the one I saw Steven Kramer (the first artist to show at the Fun Gallery and later a member of the Contortions) fall off a window ledge while doing the old soft shoe– he landed on the roof of an abandoned building several stories below having shattered both legs and his face. There were great gigs– usually Iggy or the Cramps played (one year they did a double bill together at the old Academy Of Music, in the same building that housed Julians Pool Hall, now torn down to make way for NYU dorms that look like they were designed in post-WWII Eastern Bloc style)
Take the Halloween parade for example. When it started out it was just a bunch of crazy drag queens on acid. It had no set route, it would wind through the through the streets of the West Village, stopping at bars and bodegas for booze, going every which way until the paraders were to drunk to walk and then kind of peter out. Now it’s run by the city, a million mall refugees from the suburbs show up pushing their $2500 baby strollers violently through the crowd, yelling into their cell phones trying to find each other. The parade itself goes straight up Sixth Ave. and is full of smarmy politicians smiling their greasy smiles (there’s an election coming up!) and the streets are full of cops just waiting to bust heads. Pop open a beer can and you’re hauled off to the pokey. Not much fun at all, just another reason to stay in an watch TV. I stopped going out on Halloween in the early 90’s, usually leaving town for New Orleans where they still knew how to throw a good party– but we know what happened to New Orleans.
Top- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, not sure who took this one. 2nd from top: Cute kids from down the block. 3rd down: Danny Fields and Legs McNeil man the treats basket. 4th down: Legs compares costumes with Space Kid. Bottom: Tyke with Slut costume and friends.