Monday, March 7, 2011

Gaiety & Fashion

In response to my recent post on the Gaiety Burlesque theater, vanished from Times Square, photographer and drag queen Linda Simpson was kind enough to send in a pair of photos featuring three vanished New Yorkers.

Linda Simpson, 1988

Taken in 1988, the photos show Gerard Little, aka "Mr. Fashion," aka "Mahogany Plywood," posing in leopard and leather in front of the Gaiety doorway where it pressed against the lost Howard Johnson's.

Here we see signage for the "Unique Futuristic Apollo Room" and "7 Boys 5 Times a Day." That week, the special film was 1983's "Tony's Initiation."

Linda Simpson, 1988

The Gaiety closed in 2005, the Howard Johnson's shuttered the same year, and the whole building was demolished in 2007. Mr. Fashion passed away a year later.

Michael Musto published a notice of Fashion's death in The Village Voice in 2008, 20 years after these photos were taken. It read: "He did a lot of performing at the Pyramid Club, Club 57, P.S. 122 (with Ethyl Eichelberger) in the '80s. He ran a guest lecture series at King Tut's Wawa Hut and appeared in several films... He died of an HIV-related cancer."

Said Musto, "Ciao, bella! It's the death of Fashion."

Linda Simpson, 1988

For more from Linda's 1988 Times Square photo shoot, check out her blog.

Read more:
The Gaiety Theater
1551 Broadway
Howard Johnson's


Melanie said...

WOW--this part of NYC vanished and became a mall. RIP Fashion. said...

I dont live in NY but i spend allot of time there i am sad to hear that the Gaiety closed; i was only there once but loved the sleazy feel and confused dancing of the guys .
I remember the first time i was ever in Times Square i was 13 with a group of friends, we got off the bus to this wonderus world of sleeze; the streets were littered with porn theaters and patrons it seemed if you wondered off from your friends you would of been picked up and sold, we walked to our destination with my mind soaking all in it was wonderious I wasnt sure if i wanted to be left alone or sold.
Now , well it is what it is some say progress and to a point I can see that, it is safer cleaner and i am sure brings in more revenu then in the past; but the carictor and styly and danger of the old Times Square I will always miss. The exploytation the not very pc attatude that once came with sex is gone iam just glad i was able to experience it.

BrooksNYC said...

The yellow Gaiety sign is fantastic. Love the old lettering.

Thanks for sharing your great photos, Linda.

greg said...

Wonderful photos of a fascinating time. Thanks for sharing, Linda.... and thanks for posting Jeremiah!