Tag Archives: Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen 5PM !!

Lunch was great. Sandra was awake and up and about, so she hopped a Lyft and joined me & Wayne.

We went to the West Bank Cafe. I hadn’t been there in maybe 25 years— something like that. From before my marriage to Wayne. Back when I was having an extremely intense short-lived affair with a bass player who was engaged to be married. He mistakenly thought I was a dyke so he used to flirt with me rather recklessly. I guess I turned out to be not such a dyke…

Anyway, it turns out that— lo! —  these many years later, Wayne is friendly with the owner there and he introduced me today as his wife!! It was weird. Both Sandra and I were, like — actually we didn’t know what to make of it. Right away, I said that I was his ex-wife, and then I felt kind of bad — you know, the blinding speed with which I clarified that. Like, you know, please don’t think for a fraction of a second that I’m married to this perfectly reasonable, well-groomed man sitting here or anything. I did feel kind of bad.

Yes, I did talk a little tiny bit at length about Nick Cave during lunch, but only because they FINALLY got around to asking me how the show was last night. Wayne, of course, knows at least some of Nick Cave’s music, so that was cool.

Now I am back in my room. I have been quite busy! I’ve taken about 30 naps; looked for photos of Nick Cave on Instagram— of which there were many; not just from the show last night but because it’s also his birthday today, so everyone’s posting his photo and wishing him a happy happy.

I also spoke at length on the phone to Valerie, even though I’m spending several hours with her tomorrow.  Luckily, even after nearly 40 years, we still don’t run out of things to talk about.

I’m not sure I will make any progress on rewrites of the play today. I just want to lay in bed, drift in & out of sleep. Listen to all the crazy traffic outside.

Here is what it looks like directly across from my (extremely filthy) window at the Airbnb.

    Outside the filthy Airbnb window. The no longer quite so hellish Hell’s Kitchen. 5 pm.

Okay! Have a terrific evening, wherever you are in the world, gang!! I love you guys!

My Very Favorite One from Hell’s Kitchen!

(If you’re viewing this on your phone, you gotta turn it sideways to see this!)

Today marks the 38th anniversary of my first wedding day!

Yes, on April 9th, 1981, in the late morning, I took the RR subway train (now just called the ‘R’ train) to City Hall in downtown Manhattan and married Chong Foun Kee. I was 20, he was 25. It was a cool but very sunny day. Spirits were high! We had lunch at Dolly’s Diner afterward with our two witnesses — a gal who was studying at Vidal Sassoon’s to become a hairdresser. She was originally from Pennsylvania. And just some guy we knew from Australia, whose name I do not recall, but I think it was something like Keith.

After lunch, my husband accompanied me back to our apartment. For him, it was move-in day. He was very old-fashioned and did not move in with me until we were legally married, although several weeks prior to the wedding day, he had picked out our apartment in The Camelot Building, on the corner of W. 45th Street and 8th Avenue, in the heart of the theater district, just off Times Square.  This area was also known as Hell’s Kitchen, but it was at the edge of it; much nicer than where I had been living prior to that — on W. 50th and 10th Avenue, which, back then, really was “Hell’s kitchen”. It was poor, violent, wretched, bleak. I had moved into our new apartment almost immediately and was already calling it home on our wedding day. (The Camelot Building is still there, btw.)

We stayed married for 9 years, although for a good chunk of that time, I lived by myself down in the East Village (called Alphabet City back then) and went positively haywire. But in a good way, overall, I think. However, during that marriage, I wrote my absolute best songs.

This one here, She Ain’t No Virgin At All, was hands-down my favorite song of all the songs I ever wrote. I wrote it in 1982, when I was 22 years old and had been playing the folk clubs in Greenwich Village (more commonly known now as the West Village) for several months by then.  Maybe close to a year.

This demo was made in my drummer’s bedroom, on his 8-track. He played a synthesizer and some sort of percussion – maybe a drum machine, but when I played it live, it was some sort of acoustic percussion instrument. I played the acoustic guitar on this demo. It’s just me singing. Lots of reverb, though. Anyway. I just love this song. It’s about guilt and infidelity and the question of redemption. The demo is analogue and obviously really old. You need to turn up your volume.

Enjoy, gang. This was a period of my life that really was truly magical.

One More from Hell’s Kitchen

Yes, it’s that time! When I regale you with another one of my songs from my Hell’s Kitchen singer-songwriter days. (If you’re on your phone, you gotta turn it to the side to see this post correctly.)

This is a song I wrote in 1982.  I wrote it primarily for Blare N. Bitch (who was not called that back then, and back then, she played bass) because I was indescribably in love with her, but I also wrote it for all the other girl-musicians around the Lower East Side back then, who all had dark hair, played punk rock, and wore black leather motorcycle jackets. And, of course, played around with all that heroin until it became a really bad habit.

I never, ever touched heroin because I knew I would be a prime candidate for becoming an addict. Plus, heroin seemed to be better suited to the girls who played electric guitars.  I already had a ferocious problem with pills and bourbon.  But I played folk-country music in Greenwich  Village (the lower West side), so pills and bourbon fit in just fine there.  (I’m only partially kidding.)

Once again, this is the only digital demo of this song that I have. It’s not my favorite because I prefer the very first, homemade demos, of all the songs I wrote. But it’s an okay one.  I definitely love the guitar work here, just not crazy about the vocals.

Blare N. Bitch of course got clean, moved to LA, stayed clean – lo! these many decades later – got all inked up and is a truly awesome heavy metal guitar player, even though all of us are now pushing [WHISPERS]: sixty!