Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
Between 40 and death. "La Dolce Musto" columnist for Village Voice. Native New Yorker. Never left for more than a few days because I can't drive. I live in either Turtle Bay or Kips Bay--it's a neighborhood so vague I'm not even sure what it's called.
Three for You
1. When I moved to New York and first read your column it was my introduction to roaringly funny gay wit. Do you feel history will be kind in remembering your contribution to the craft of writing?
No, because I basically greased the wheels for others to soar. I was gay (and country) before it was cool, so my roaringly funny gay wit mainly served to pave the way for other people to cash in on their version of it later on. Unless someone puts my stuff into a book compilation--QUICKLY--there will be no record of my having even existed. But that's fine; I am deeply satisfied knowing that I helped push society forward a bit and don't want any credit whatsoever. (FUUUUUUUCKKKKK!)
2. You guest-hosted a show on Metro TV with a terribly annoying woman who stepped on all your lines! (That's totally false, I really enjoyed the chemistry.) Do you feel television gives us the most out of Musto?
That show, actually, gave me a really good venue, whenever I could get a word in. The Gossip Show on E! was also a great forum because we got to write our own items and perform them with some flair. But when you do talking head appearances for cable shows, they're generally cut-and-paste jobs that only give a choppy hint at what you can do. (But they're still fun to do.) Live TV gives you a much better chance to shine. The immediacy of it is potentially terrifying, but it also forces you to walk the high wire and sometimes sparkle. My favorite live show to be on these days is Countdown with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC because he has a great, knowing tone and gives you a whole segment on which to deliver your own goods, rather than have to scream against some family values council member for two seconds. I don't even care if anyone watches.
3. I think it was the mid-90's when I saw you (or someone who looked exactly like you) riding a bike on Avenue A. I have to admit, it was a somewhat disturbing sight for reasons I'm not entirely sure of. Are you still taking leisurely rides or do you prefer other modes of transportation these days?
I travel everywhere via bike, and I'm never sure why people find that so alarming. It's cheap, it's exercise, and you never feel stuck en route somewhere. I love showing up at a black tie event on my ratty, old Frankenstein monster of a bike and watching jaws drop. People waiting for cabs have actually scoffed and laughed as I've ridden by, but excuse me, I'm zooming right along and having a ball and you're waiting all night for some cab that may never come and if it does, will cost an arm and a leg. So ha ha ha on YOU.
Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
1986 because I was really famous then and got swept into clubs and given stacks of drink tickets. People even took my picture. Please, God--bring it back!
What's your New York motto?
"Don't fucking invite me to a party, then tell me I can't go up to the VIP room, Mick Rock!"
Best celebrity sighting in New York, or personal experience with one if you're that type.
You never see celebrities in New York except on the red carpet, where publicists are pushing you away from them. But L.A. is crawling with 'em. One time I went there, I was determined, not to leave till I saw Shannen Doherty. Well, the first person I saw on entering the hotel was Ms. Doherty herself screaming on the house phone! In New York? I saw Lou Reed once.
Just after midnight on a Saturday - what are you doing?
I'm generally cleaning up after my movie club. Five of us gather to watch the worst movies ever made, from the musical of "Lost Horizon" with Liv Ullman, George Kennedy, and John Gielgud to The Manitou, where Susan Strasberg gets pregnant on her neck with the body of an ancient Indian medicine man. Afterwards, I have to clean up all the vomit.
Just how much do you really love New York?
New York is my bitch. I'm so in love with it's endlessly edgy charm--especially now that you won't have to worry about those ice cream truck jingles anymore!
Medication: What and how much do you take?
I take tons of seizure disorder medication ever since I flopped around a Peggy Siegal party in '97 and had to be dragged into an ambulance. Peggy was horrified--that it might ruin her party. I haven't had a seizure since, though I avoid strobes--and bad parties.
Pictured here: our hero, Musto's Frankenstein.