DEAN JOHNSON, R.I.P.
Dean Johnson, the six-foot-six bald-headed, HIV-positive, meth-using porn star and glam-rock frontman known for his New York events such as C.B.G.B.’s “Rock ‘n Roll Fag Party” was found dead in D.C. last week. Sadly, his body laid in a local morgue for days before being identified. According to the New York Post, Johnson was routinely visiting Washington to run “weird sex parties” for an unidentified Saudi millionaire. (not surprising)
Think what you want about Dean and his life - but the fact was, Dean was a integral part of the NYC Downtown Scene in the 80s and 90s. I first met Dean in the mid-1980s at a few NYC parties and he was truly one-of-a-kind. Each time I would be in the City and we would cross paths, he would remember my name and our friendship. When he produced The Velvet Mafia's CD "We Know Where You Live", I was happy to be in a position (both at WXPN and nationally with Music Choice) to spin his music to the masses. His persona lit up a room and he was always creative and his unique level of wackiness will be missed by many.
In his memory - I am linking to a page within The Velvet Mafia website - it is Dean's raw story of arriving in NYC in 1979 and being there - smack-dab in the middle of the whole New Wave explosion and learning how to make the decade his own! Reading this page really gives you an insight on just how f'n cool NYC was back in the early 80s and one of the reasons I enjoyed going there so much back then!
(click the CD cover to go to the diary page)
Oh - and even the one and only Nelson Sullivan crossed paths with Dean while living in the darkness of NYC nightlife. Here he caught Dean live on stage at NYC's Pyramid Club back in September 1985 - check out this look back 22 years!
(click to watch the vid - qucktime required)