When I talked to James St. James last week, he was puking and I was high as a kite. Before you get the wrong idea, James had the flu, and I'd just returned from the dentist. But there was a time, though, when everyone around this fey fellow was at least one of the above. That's because St. James used to be one of New York's finest—a club kid. Playing "Ethel" to Michael Alig's "Lucy," St. James was known for his excessive drug use, out-there behavior and even more outrageous ensembles. That came to end when Alig murdered his drug dealer. You can see it all in Party Monster , the film version of St. James' first book, Disco Bloodbath . Now St. James has a new book to promote, Freak Show (Dutton, 298 pages, $18.99), which tells the story of 16-year-old drag queen Billy Bloom. Instead of going to a boring ol' bookstore, St. James will "perform" passages from his book this Saturday at CC Slaughters, even though its intended audience—teens—will not be allowed to attend. Here's what he had to say in between spurts of vomit:
WW : What do you miss most about your club-kid days?
James St. James: I wouldn't go back for anything in the world, [but] it would be getting ready every night with a bunch of drag queens. We'd get a bottle of vodka, put on some Madonna records and just laugh as our outfits got progressively sillier. I don't have that anymore, and I miss that.
To the best of your knowledge, have you ever had, or are you willing to have, sex with a man from Iran?
I've had sex with possibly hundreds of Muslim cab drivers in NYC (they love the trannies!), and you'd think a couple of them would be Iranian—so I'm going with YES. And if I haven't yet, go ahead and bring one on. I love those swarthy, repressed Middle Eastern types.
Will Michael Alig become a blogger when he gets out of jail?
He's like one of those Geico cavemen. He's never been online, used a cell phone or an iPod. I wonder how long it will take for him to catch up.
Do you feel any responsibility to protect your younger fans from the more unsavory aspects of your illustrious career?
I try to live my life as openly and honestly as possible, without apologies—but on the other hand, don't want to seem like I'm advocating or glamorizing drugs and murder to young kids. I was very worried that teens might not get the irony or black humor of [i]Disco Bloodbath . That's why I wrote Freak Show —to have a sweeter, more innocent alternative to offer my younger fans.
What are you Tivo-ing right now?
Kyle XY , Battlestar Galactica , Another World , Robot Chicken , Harvey Birdman . Oh, my God...I'M SUCH A BIG, GAY NERD!
St. James performs with Logan Lynn and DJ Mouse at CC Slaughters, 219 NW Davis. St., 248-9135. 8 pm Saturday, Oct. 6. $20.