Thursday, January 30, 2014

Beautiful Darling

It's hard to pinpoint exactly when my obsession with Warhol muse Candy Darling began. It must have been sometime in the mid nineties when college graduation was on the horizon and the crisis of my twenties set in (okay, not so difficult to pinpoint after all). Finding myself became more and more of a nightmarish prospect so I threw myself into the art history throes of Warhol and all his glory. Darling was A GEM in my eyes. A drag queen so beautiful, no one could believe "she" was a "he." Hand me the check - where could I pay this bill?

When I actually did start to find myself, working as a struggling, albeit up-and-coming, pop culture journalist in Boston, Massachusetts, I fervently inhaled newly released books with the finger crossed intention of interviewing every author. When former New York club kid (and Geraldo guest - remember the awesomeness of pre Fox News Geraldo?) James St. James released his sex, drugs, and murderous memoir DISCO BLOODBATH, I faxed my request for a press copy faster than you could say: CLUB U.S.A. 

The book, which later became the subject of the cult classic Macauley Culkin/Seth Green movie PARTY MONSTER, was delicious. I read the whole damn thing in two sittings and could not WAIT to interview St. James. It was a "phoner" (industry speak for interviewing someone on the phone - I know, I was in the "inner circle") and St. James and I hit it up like two club kids on a mutual quest for Ecstasy. Of course, I finagled the convo towards Warhol and his factory crowd and without missing a beat, St. James schooled me in not so subtly implying that they were all "a mess." I nervously laughed and told myself he was probably right but I didn't want to fully admit that because, well, the illusion of Ms. Darling, whom I had coined my pen name after - I was Lulu Darling, her illegitimate daughter - was so beautiful, she couldn't possibly have any flaws.

Or could she?

I remember seeing clips a few years ago of a documentary called BEAUTIFUL DARLING. "Finally!," I thought. "Candy is getting her due." Then I put it in the back of my mind file with all of the books/films/documentaries/Carl Sagan articles that I would get to some day. This happens when a woman finally finds herself. She doesn't have one god damn free minute to catch up culturally!

As luck would find me, BEAUTIFUL DARLING recently became available on the Netflix stream. After an epic fight with my better half, I decided to hunker down and learn from this beyond beautiful creature. All I can say is, St. James was kind. "Mess" is a gentle term to describe what went down with Candy and all of her shenanigans in Union Square and at Max's Kansas City.  It left me feeling empty and a little depressed. Depressed mostly for her but also, for all that time I wasted on a complete and utter fantasy of a world in my head. Good thing I kind of found myself. 

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