My first encounter with Michael Musto was, as it is for many, reading his La Dolce Musto column in the Village Voice. At the "alternative" bookstore near Atlanta's Piedmont Park (near which I lived in the early early nineties) his vivid descriptions of vivid people would lighten my day. For the most part the people mentioned drew a collective blank in my mind, but also created a desire to fill in the blank.
After moving to New York, our paths would cross occasionally. Eying the crowd in a VIP room at Webster Hall or Tunnel. Waiting for a ferry to Fire Island. Standing in a darkened corner of a sex club. For the most part smiles would be exchanged and there was no certainty that he knew my identity, although he did do an MO Interview.
And now, for the past week, he's been in my bed.
Most nights Michael is to the left of me, but occasionally he sleeps on the right. Invariably though, when he sleeps on the right, he can be found on the floor in the morning. He's been riding the subway to work with me in the mornings and at times riding home with me at night (although sometimes the iPod is turned on and the eyes closed, ignoring his presence).
Granted, this is not Musto in the flesh, but rather Musto on the printed page. His latest tome, La Dolce Musto, is a collection of the columns of the same name from 1980's to the present. From stories of junkets afar or clublife anear, from the freaks to the headliners (also freaks) Musto's inimitable whirlwind writing style is always a jaunty ride.
Particularly fun given the range of time they cover are the fifteen pages of 'blind items'. Although some are quite dated, the author still doesn't give an update. (Surely the fabricator of the Richard Gere "gerbil rumor" can be revealed by now?)
A compendium of (counter) culture history, the book is sort of a must. Why it was released as a post-holiday book and not as a summer beach read? Unsure, but the short vibrant articles are great commute reads or bed-time stories. Let Michael Musto into your bed. If you grow tired of him, he'll sit on the nightstand and wait for you until morning.