Michael Schmidt Responds To Don Hill Tribute Controversy

Categories: Nightlife

DON_HillWEBvoice-1.jpg
Julian Ungano

I recently blogged about a brouhaha that emerged out of the December 15 tribute to late club impresario Don Hill at Irving Plaza.

The event's producer, Trigger, felt he'd been screwed over by two very well-known promoters he worked with on the night.

According to Trigger, the guys ended up planning a pre-event at another club that Trigger says stole the big night's thunder.

The blog drew a lot of heated response from both sides, everyone only agreeing on one thing: We all loved Don and feel he deserved the best.

But while I'd asked one of the promoters, Lyle Derek, to respond to Trigger's fumes, I didn't get ahold of Michael Schmidt.

Well, I've since gotten Schmidt's contact info and apologized for not having done so before.

Here is his letter to Trigger, which he has just supplied to me.


"Trigger-

"You have launched an attack upon me directed toward the readership of the Village Voice, various online outlets, your extensive email list, and to anyone within earshot. This has been as irrational and unprovoked as it is vitriolic and disturbing. While it is not my habit to do so, your offenses ranging from petty accusations to threats of harm toward my loved ones have left me little recourse but to respond.

"Three months ago, you reached out to me to be a part of a tribute to someone I loved and continue to love very much, Mr. Don Hill. You claimed the night 'wouldn't be the same' without SqueezeBox, that we must be a part of this tribute to Don. You then shared the list of 17 (which was eventually edited down to 15) bands you already had lined up before SqueezeBox was even to take the stage.

"Just one of those bands had a list of over 17 performers. The date, Dec. 15, fell on a Thursday night, at an enormous (by Don Hill's and SqueezeBox standards) venue, Irving Plaza, and that you planned to charge $35 at the door. In that conversation I told you of my many concerns, most of which were commonsensical:

"-I felt the night was overly ambitious. There were simply too many bands. You explained that each band was doing only 2 to 3 songs each, had a time limit and that you would keep the train on the tracks, without exception.

"-You 'allowed' me to have the door from 12:30 am, at which point to begin charging $10, with a showtime no later than 1:30, a most undesirable time slot. I explained that it was unlikely that people from the SqueezeBox scene of fifteen years ago would want to go out at 12:30 anymore, especially on a Thursday night, most having to work the next morning. I feared many of them would want to come earlier to see the Toilet Boys and Bebe Buell and then need to leave, if they could even afford to pay $35 right before the Christmas holiday. You later lowered the price to $25, which I said was still too high.

"-I expressed skepticism that people would pay 35 or even 25 to see a band they loved do only two songs

"-I also explained to you that I no longer considered myself a promoter; I have not lived in New York for twelve years and do not have access to any email list of SqueezeBox regulars. Also, most performers who made my club great either no longer perform, are no longer in the city or have guarantees too high to be accommodated by the $3000 budget I was limited to.

"I voiced all of these concerns to you, Trigger, and you claimed you weren't worried; there would be a packed house anyway, so I should do what I could to make a great show and let the chips fall where they may. You reiterated that you didn't care if it made money; that as long as it was a great night to celebrate a worthy man you were happy to do it. Despite the odds and against my better judgement I agreed to take part, as the SqueezeBox family certainly wanted to be a part of any tribute to Don, and said I would do my best.

"I did everything in my power to book a great show and promote it to the best of my abilities, despite the limited budget (as I've explained to you, 3000 doesn't go far when you have a four-piece band, six performers, a dj, a hostess, airfares and rehearsal studio to cover). I contacted Jayne County, a great friend to Don, myself and to SqueezeBox and an indisputable legend in her own right, and asked her to fly in for this special event. Despite ill health, she agreed to perform, and at a rate far lower than her usual get. I created a flyer and blasted Facebook as one does, as did all of the principals involved with SqueezeBox, going out to thousands of people. I launched a storm of photographs and fond memories to my followers on Twitter.

"On the evening of Sunday Dec. 11, I received a phone call from Lyle Derek. He told me he had invited Jayne to perform one number at DropOut, his weekly party, on Tues, Dec. 13th, two nights prior to the event at Irving Plaza, and asked if that was all right with me. I told him I had reservations but he could have her perform one number (not a number she's renowned for) on three conditions-

"One, he had to pay her. I certainly was not going to begrudge Jayne making a small bit of money beyond the tiny amount I had offered her, especially having traveled despite her health as she did.

"Two, he could not announce her as a performer. She could be billed as a Special Surprise Guest and the night had to be billed as a Pre-Party for the upcoming SqueezeBox event at Irving Plaza.

"Three, he had to send out my SqueezeBox invite to every avenue he had at his disposal, to people I had no access to otherwise, which amounted to over six thousand people. All of which Lyle agreed to do and did do. I agreed to cohost the night to help generate interest in the event at Irving Plaza which was clearly not selling well. It's called promoting. Incidentally, and my phone records confirm this, my very next phone call that evening was to you, at which point I told you all of this. On the evening of the DropOut party, Jayne spent her few moments on stage talking about her love of SqueezeBox and Don and her excitement about the tribute night, promoting the hell out of it and I was proud of her for that.

"You have somehow come to the conclusion that Lyle and I conspired for weeks to use his evening to bring about the downfall of 'your' night at Irving Plaza. To what end? I spent months of my time preparing a show befitting a tribute to a man I love. What possible motivation might I have for ruining a tribute to Don Hill? I was not paid for my appearance at DropOut, nor did I ask to be. It makes no sense on any level. I only wanted in every way for the tribute to Don to be a resounding success. I received no compensation whatsoever for my participation in this tribute event. I initially asked only that my airfare be reimbursed, yet when it became clear that was not to be forthcoming I paid it myself.

"The evening at Irving Plaza started at 7pm. The SqueezeBox portion of the evening, from roughly 1am to 1:45am, was not even one seventh of the entire night. Why do you blame the poor attendance of the entire night on me? You take absolutely no responsibility for your part in the failed six-sevenths of this event; I had no part in that. Ultimately, my portion of the evening failed to draw to my expectations as did yours, for exactly the reasons I've elucidated above, not because of some pre-party.

"In looking for others to blame for your failings you have publicly called me manipulative, sleazy, a phony, a loser, a creep, a selfish, classless prick, and many other things. Your hate-filled rants are licentious, libelous and under the review of my lawyers. Your infantile references to Jayne County as Wayne are homophobic, transphobic, and vile. You've asked why I won't respond to your emails; had you come to me as a peer rather than as an aggressor you would have received a response. I have never shown you anything other than professional courtesy only to be met with derision and malice. I will have no further correspondence with you.

"Michael Schmidt"


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85 comments
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Ellennv
Ellennv

haha I am not surprised.  Don was surrounded by dirt bags in the end.  Nur.

tantara
tantara

Schmidt is spectacularly verbose (I'll have to wait till I'm retired to read the whole thing) and and florid.

Guest
Guest

Wow. How sad that something that had good intent has turned into this. The very reason nightlife used to be amazing is that there was an across the board sense of community and respect for each others talent and creativity. Now it's just become a shell of what it used to be, Mostly because of the judgy, bitchy, ego driven bullshit that is mostly displayed in these comments. Honestly if you actually gave a shit about honoring Don Hill, this is sure not the way to do it.

Michaelglenwood
Michaelglenwood

Dear MR MUSTO:Being a New Yorker for almost 38 years and very involved in the arts and music scene and a well known screenwriter myself. From the sound of over 100 comments I have just read on both posts have gotten on your sour boards and on almost twenty different FB pages I have counted from Jayne County's to an art writer at The NY Times, to the lead singer who played on the shows it is obvious to many many folks in NYC can not stand this bad dark evil figure that is Trigger and he has done nothing but bad things to bands and many artists for many decades so my question that everyone in town and in LA is asking....  "Nightlife Hero" ???? LOLARE YOU THAT OUT OF TOUCH WITH A CITY YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE MOUTH PIECE FOR??? And The Village Voice pays for this? Sounds like you should be ashmed of yourself and you owe us all an apology and we want it in a new blog!

Musto
Musto

Trigger has been a nightlife fixture for many years. He's done many terrific things. Just recently, he helped organized the nightlife community against the community boards who keep citing "noise violations" as ways to shut down nightlife. YOU'RE out of touch if you don't know about horrible developments like that and the fact that people like Trigger have led the fight against the oppression. But I also left the field wide open for others to chime in with their own stories and points of view. It's called free speech.

Michaelglenwood
Michaelglenwood

Dear MR MUSTO:

Being a New Yorker for almost 38 years and very involved in the arts and music scene and a well known screenwriter myself. From the sound of over 100 comments I have just read on both posts have gotten on your sour boards and on almost twenty different FB pages I have counted from Jayne County's to an art writer at The NY Times, to the lead singer who played on the shows it is obvious to many many folks in NYC can not stand this bad dark evil figure that is Trigger and he has done nothing but bad things to bands and many artists for many decades so my question that everyone in town and in LA is asking....  "Nightlife Hero" ???? LOLARE YOU THAT OUT OF TOUCH WITH A CITY YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE MOUTH PIECE FOR??? And The Village Voice pays for this? Sounds like you should be ashmed of yourself and you owe us all an apology and we want it in a new blog!

Lisa Lightning
Lisa Lightning

I cannot BELIEVE this show wasn't sold out!!!  I was stuck here in Chicago and almost flew out for it; in Chicago an equivelent lineup would have cost $50. I almost flew in for this; I just can't believe it didn't sell out. Makes me sad. I loved Don and his club AND Squeezebox; had my best times in NYC there.

Rocker
Rocker

I love Jayne County, but does anyone really think she's a huge concert draw in 2011? What planet are some of these arguments coming from? Yeah, it was probably wrong to do a pre-event with Jayne and be so shady about it, but would it make THAT much difference either way?? Sounds like really big names needed to be lined up for Irving Plaza. Some big bands and Courtney Love types. Just because Don Hill died doesn't make anyone want to pay to see Jayne County any more than before.

DJJason
DJJason

Squeezebox & Don Hill's in general was really awful, even if Don Hill, himself, was a nice person. 

Denisesmith224
Denisesmith224

another idiot who's stupid opinion doesn't belong here.

Guest
Guest

Spoken like yet another who was never there. Now that I know you've trolled this, I can rest easier. Thanks.

Sylvia
Sylvia

First, thank you Michael M for giving Michael S a chance to respond to Trigger's public attack. I don't know that Steven Lewis has done the same, which in my mind, whatever side you're on, is bad journalism.

Second, I agree with HeroesForever. The fact that Trigger insists upon calling Jayne "Wayne" does speak volumes. 

Third, maybe I'm from another planet, but in my mind Jayne County is one of the most talented performers I've had the pleasure of seeing on stage. She might not have the best voice in the land, but her timing and originality cannot be denied. And Sherri Vine, Jackie Beat, Formika, the whole Squeezebox crew as well. Whatever you want to say about Trigger's tantrum and the subsequent fallout, I don't understand where these attacks on the performers are coming from. Seems like maybe some personal axes to grind? 

Roy Rogers Oldenkamp
Roy Rogers Oldenkamp

Sylvia, right on. One quib: since when does punk rock require a classic rock voice? Jayne is the real deal, and we are lucky she is still performing at all! Happy New Year!

Sylvia
Sylvia

Oops, sorry for using the phrase "in my mind" twice. Bad commentary form. ;-)

Gary Fury
Gary Fury

And my last comment would be that if this event was about Don Hill than people should act like Don Hill. No one who has a life in the club business is a saint but as far as Don hill is concerned I can tell you one thing I know, he never took his beefs public. Just wouldn't ever do it under any circumstances. Since the night was all about him why don't people just respect him and do it his way.

MsMascara
MsMascara

Thank you Gary Fury. Thank you for everything you have said in the comments under this article - you have saved me some serious typing, and you have said all of it, correctly, and better than I ever could. Happy New Year.xoxox

Gary Fury
Gary Fury

My pleasure MsMascara, I'm on Facebook under the same name feel free to be a friend.All The Best and Happy New YearGF

Gary Fury
Gary Fury

Wheew there is some really nasty stuff turning up in this thread. Karmalifer In order to face the facts you 1st have to know the facts and secondly you shouldn't state opinions as if they were facts. Jayne County whether you think she's talented or not is a performer who was a part of New York's musical history and punk rock history. A lot of people do think she's talented and would certainly argue with you about your opinion but let's put that aside. There are artists whom promoters rely upon to sell tickets and artists whom promoters use because they add cache or prestige to an event. Jayne County is more of a prestige artist at this point in her career and would be more suited to being part of an overall promotion in a venue which is not so large as Irving Plaza. To make the claim that because she played at the dropout party on the Tuesday before the Don Hills tribute and so she ripped off the promoter is just not being aware of the facts. As an artist she can help the overall promotion because of her prestige but she's not the act to carry the weight of filling a venue the size of Irving plaza and whether she performed at dropout or not it wouldn't be able to seriously change the results. As far as the shows are concerned the dropout gig probably made a lot more sense because Jayne added the prestige that a promoter who already has a show with it's own following would be looking for and there was the chance that her and Michael might have pulled some more people over to Irving plaza. This idea of having bands play 2 or 3 songs each and having a bill overloaded with talent is something that used to be used in smaller venues like The Continental and CBGB's. Typically those nights didn't pull so much weight with the door they filled the venue with a combination of paid admissions free guests and a lot of musicians who played on the bill because of the high number of bands and so the club made a lot of bar business. Large venues typically don't do well at the bars and make their money from the door. It's an ill conceived event to begin with however well intentioned. To carry that venue the bill needed a serious heavyweight ticket selling act. Didn't have it? Show doesn't succeed. Don't blame Jayne. A squeezebox revival would probably do just fine if it was in a smaller more intimate club like it was when it was running back in the day.

Laraby
Laraby

It upsets me that this is all happening.

Don would NOT have taken this shit "public" like this. NEVER. I have literally known Don Hill my entire life, over 40 years. 

Trigger should have had NOTHING to do with the event. Don and Trigger were NOT "close friends" at all. They knew each other because they both ran rock clubs. End Of. Don got along with everyone - even people he did not particularly like, because he was a gentleman. 

Michael T., Michael S., Guy, Lyle, and Pat B., THE SQUEEZEBOX CREW, should have been in charge of the event. BECAUSE DON HILL LOVED THEM. THEY WERE HIS REAL FRIENDS. They loved Don. The Squeezebox crew should have been in charge of it - No one else. If they had done it, it would have been done in the correct spirit, with the correct results. It would have been a success, and the money would have been donated to the proper causes. Don loved the Squeezebox crew, and that party. That party, THAT crew, saved the club from closing - they, along with Don, MADE that club what it was. They MADE that club a success. I know this because I WAS THERE. So, why was Trigger even INVOLVED?????Therein lies the major mistake in all of this.

Karmalifer
Karmalifer

Face facts,  This so called talent ( Jayne County). Ripped off the promoter for a free airline ticket to promote a show for someone she claims to hold dear.   Why   would anyone  pay to see a has been that does nothing but stab people in the back and rip off prometers and then rants on her wothless Facebook page ( which only a handful of never was/ wanna be's follow anyway)  He/she dosent even have the balls to allow people to comment on her page because she is a vicous, two faced hack who cut her balls  off a long time ago.  She preaches tolerance but post hate speak and then ask others to attack people in her behalf......  Class act!    Tell you what Jayne just keep hiding that double chin you two faced heathen.  

Bill R.
Bill R.

Have you read any of the comments breaking down this situation on Michael Musto's original post?

It appears that you have not and that you (and others), ignorant of the details of this situation, would prefer to personally attack the peripheral people who took part in this event or the event itself.

If you have a personal ax to grind with these various secondary characters, I recommend you do it elsewhere, preferably in the privacy of your own home.

By the way, if you libel someone on one of these discussion boards, most sites maintain the IP address of posters, and you can be found and sued.

Therefore, if you feel like attacking someone personally and you feel the need to do so in a public forum, you could end up finding yourself in court defending statements that you state as fact that are untrue. Please don't try to cover up such statements using phrases like "in my opinion" because juries have found that such phrases do not automatically make libelous statements opinions.

By stating that Jayne County "Ripped off the promoter for a free airline ticket," you are stating something as fact that does not appear to be true (which could be viewed as defamation). I do want to reiterate that I am not a lawyer, but if I were you, I would not be making such statements on a public forum because most of these discussion boards are not truly anonymous.

And please do not think you are protected by the First Amendment because you are not. A person has just as much right to the protection of their reputation and ability to do business as another person has to free speech, and if you tread on the other persons right to reputation et al., you may find yourself being sued for defamation.

Perhaps it is best to follow the old axiom - if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. 

Heroesforever
Heroesforever

the bottom line is this was a show to CELEBRATE A GREAT MANS LIFE. I have no idea who this trigger person is......However I do know Guy, Schmidt and Jayne for over 20 years. These are true artists who give everything they have for Rock and Roll. History has  show evidence of this over and over.

Michael Schmidt has had a non stop legendary career designing clothing for the last 20 years for acts such as Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Black Eyed Peas, Iggy Pop, Lady Gaga , Tina Turner, Cher and Blondie to name a few. You don't work at this level for this amount of time so closely to artists of this caliber without the highest level of integrity.

For this Trigger person to keep calling Jayne as Wayne speaks volumes.

He clearly is an ego maniac and blinded by ego. Squeezebox went on at 12:30 this was just part of a very long tribute.

If this Trigger didn't book or program  the room properly for  the night it is his own fault.  In the end we come out as a community to do these things for the love of it when it is a Tribute and know that we may loose money.

We hope to just  break even but take the chance because we are compelled to do this unselfish acts of kindness. Clearly this person is not a pro nor has his head in it for any of the right reasons.

with all the love for Don,Bryan RabinLos Angeles

Marcus W.
Marcus W.

The bottom line of the business end of all this-NOBODY WAS INTERESTED IN GOING TO THE TRIBUTE. And nobody went. There are many reasons for that. And after reading ALL of these letters and comments-It's quite clear why. Yuck.

Karmalifer
Karmalifer

True, nobody cared to see the so called talent

Renne101
Renne101

NEW YORK IS ALIVE MORE THAN EVER YOU SWEET LOVER! AND THIS SHIT SHOW SPARKED SOME FUN IN IT ALL AGAIN! THANK YOU SCHMIDT, DROPOUT & MISS GUY SEE YOU TUESDAY...WE ARE COMING TO CHECK IT OUT...LOVE FROM HARLEMPS TRIGGER GO TO HELL

Karmalifer
Karmalifer

Oh Vernoy, you claim to be a Christian and yet you show how bad Christians are.  You exemplify the bullshit hatred your type spew witihout allowing people to comment.   Remember:  Let those without sin cast the first stone.   I guess your in the front of that line.      Drugs are bad. 

Uriah_mind
Uriah_mind

Point is Jayne County and Miss Guy fucked the show up by putting on a free show 2 days prior.  Jayne got payed  to fly in for the Don Hills show and proceded to screw it over by performing for free  2 days earlier. The fact is she cant draw flys to shit.  Everyone all 50 of them wants to be on her/his gust list.  If she/he wanted to remember Don's legacy she would not have done what she did .   But as usual Miss/Mr County fucked over yet another promoter and then asks all her/his cronies to attack him on Facebook without the balls to allow people to comment.    ( Jayne/Vernoy---- lay of the drugs)

Miss Understood
Miss Understood

Calling someone she/he is disrespectful to anyone who cares about transgender people.  It instantly negates anything you have to say. You might as well be a klansman as far as I'm concerned.

Prince
Prince

miss understood, you've misread the post.

The poster wasn't calling Jane  she/he,  they were referring to Jane/Miss Guy. simultaneously.  Understand?

Miss Understood
Miss Understood

Hmm, I guess it could seem that way since it's so awkwardly written but the post also contains the phrase " But as usual Miss/Mr County fucked over yet another promoter"

Brian
Brian

For the record, Miss Guy has been involved with Dropout since it started at Don Hill's before Don's passing. He has been and is the resident DJ of Dropout since it moved to its new location at WiP. So the mistaken intimation that Miss Guy's presence at Dropout has anything to do with the lack of audience at the Don Hill Celebration is flatly not true. The fact is Toilet Boys drew one of the largest crowds of the night.

Karmalifer
Karmalifer

100 people At irving Plaza is not a crowd

Brian
Brian

According to one of the posts, the event drew a total of about 500 people. Over the course of 6 hours total (7 PM - 1 AM) and considering people were paying $25 to hear a band play 2 songs ... I would say that one-fifth of the total night constitutes about as much of a crowd as a anything.

Frankly, I don't know too many people in this economy willing to spend $12.50 to hear any band play two songs live. So I would say that 100 people (half of which paid $25 to hear a band play 2 songs) is actually quite impressive.

Jeffnow
Jeffnow

Damn! I hope I get a tribute that generates as much controversy some day!

Trigger
Trigger

Tonights a big night for all of us in this biz so here's just a couple of thoughts for now before i respond to Michael Schmidt's truths and his untruths in a day or two.

I want to apologize to all for my harsh language. I grew up in a fairly rough neighborhood in Brooklyn and that part of me obviously, hasn't fully evolved yet. I was feeling gut shot when i processed all of this especially when i went on line and saw dozens of links and mentions of this supposedly "secret" Jayne County performance and Michael Schmidt Hosting at Dropout and my language was accurately but inappropriately expressing my rage but it was wrong and I'm sorry.

Lyle- I'm also apologizing to you. This was between me and Michael. I don't blame you for asking Michael and I certainly don't blame Jane for doing another show. Performers perform and promoters promote. That's what they do. it's up to us in charge to set boundaries and be respectful. He simply shouldn't have agreed to it especially without my say so. In fact- had you not brought it up to me actually, 3 not 2, days before your Dropout Night I probably wouldn't have ever known why our Squeezebox failed so miserably cause Michael sure as hell didn't bring it up to me.

but for now here's some food for thought- Yes, Michael did express some concerns re doing SB before he finally confirmed so why then would he did make it even more of an uphill battle for SB to succeed by putting, virtually the same event, with him hosting and Wayne performing two nights prior FOR FREE and not even ask me??? btw- there never was a "phone call" from him re this. I will prove this next time.

and lastly for now anyway- has anyone else, besides Schmidt, gotten the slightest homophobic vibe from me? I have NEVER said or even hinted at anything even remotely, resembling anything homophobic in my entire life!!!

I don't know if any of you saw this but when someone from the audience threw a beer at Miss guy i immediately went to the front of the stage to try to figure out who did it cause I would have thrown their ass out of Irving Plaza. I have always been protective like this with my friends and even strangers.This is an unfair accusation from someone looking to sensationalize this simply because of their having nothing else.

Please Michael don't get legal here. You would lose. I offered to settle like adults from the same Community with one of our Nightlife legends as mediator and you never responded.

more later on... Happy New Year! Trigger 

Bill R.
Bill R.

Mr. Trigger, thank you coming forward and apologizing to Mr. Derek. It shows that you have the courage to admit your mistake in this regard. As I believe I had mentioned on a previous post, Mr. Derek really had no culpability in this situation being he had no real part in the Don Hill Celebration and had no obligation to not include Mr. Schmidt and Miss County at his Dropout.

If anyone knows Mr. Steve Lewis of BlackBook, you might alert him to this apology and to the analysis of this issue as stated on these comment boards.

Mr. Lewis' rush to judgment on his Blog at BlackBook could be seen as defamatory against Mr. Derek and, at the very least, appears to have shown disregard for the journalistic integrity of BlackBook. Mr. Lewis might want to seek legal counsel and from what we now know, he may not be protected by free speech and press due to his apparent rush to judgment coupled by his disregard for the facts of this situation.

If I were Mr. Derek, I would sue BlackBook and Mr. Lewis for libel. At the very least, Mr. Lewis and BlackBook should retract the statements he made against Mr. Derek and should be print a public apology.

Mr. Trigger, as I previously mentioned, I am not a lawyer, but I hope you have sought legal counsel in regard to this situation. As I stated in another post, unless you have an exclusivity contract with Mr. Schmidt, it does not appear you have a case (in court or in arbitration). (Unrecorded phone conversations will not help your cause.) However, Mr. Schmidt does appear to have a libel case (and a rather strong one), so I hope you have "lawyer-ed up" at this point.

Frankly, if I were Mr. Schmidt, I would not choose arbitration. I would choose legal remedy with regard to this situation and seek damages for libel and slander (if you verbalized these complaints as well).

As I stated in another comment, perhaps the biggest lesson to learn in all of this is two fold:

1. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all.

2. If you do have to say something, do it in private and not in a public forum

I wish all of the players in this event a happy new year and hope that everyone has learned something from this experience.

PS. Mr. Musto, I loved the latest volume of The Voice "A Rich Year of Gossip." You are a hoot!

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

Too little, too late. Go to hell...youre washed up in this biz by your own greedy hand. You made your bed...now go ROT in it.

Gary Fury
Gary Fury

As a former band booker I can recall a rather unsavory experience with trigger when I was offered the chance to book bands for Don Hill and chose to do that instead of The Continental. And years later when I tried to bury the hatchet I can recall Trigger blasting me again. I don't particularly ever recall any loving feelings for Don Hill coming from Trigger honestly. I really feel for Michael Schmidt because once you have been out of the game and you have to come back you have to deal with all the craziness that you left behind and it's a lot for a person who's been out of that life to handle. One forgets that it's par for the course. I had a similar experience of having to handle such craziness when I dusted myself off to host a benefit concert for the artist ? of ? and the Mysterians 5 years ago when he lost his home in a fire. People come together under the auspices of trying to create something for a good cause and then we find that it also opens the door for some people to show us their worst. Squeezebox was a one of a kind groundbreaking event which has never had an equal in NYC and besides that was just a damn good time. Nothing anyone can do now is going to tarnish that. Michael Schimdt when people launch attacks in a public way as you have just experienced it's usually the attacking person who makes themselves look bad. Thank you for giving us Squeezebox and F$%# the haters

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

ya cant argue with an egotistical, sick mind.

Victoria Greyson
Victoria Greyson

I would pay to see Jayne County read the phonebook, but at 1:30 on a Thursday night there was no way I was going to go. Sounded like a shitshow from the very start which is why I didn't buy tickets. For most of the Squeezebox crowd, the Squeezebox reunion show at the Gramercy when the documentary premiered at Tribeca was unbeatable - it was literally one of the greatest nights of performance I've seen in many years in New York. Can't nobody say nothin bad about Michael Schmidt in my book...

Jimi  LaLumia
Jimi LaLumia

WoW....FABULOUS...what a way to end 2011!!!...Jayne County WILL return to NYC for the Max's Kansas City Easter Festival(5 Days!) in May 2012, and things will run much more smoothly...Happy New Year, Michael !!..xoxox

guest
guest

I'm glad that Schmidt was finally invited to participate in this forum. Despite his apologies, Michael Musto should have made a real effort to contact him before running Trigger's typical, insane and slanderous diatribe. Didn't have contact info for him, really? I find that amusing considering everyone's reliance on social media outlets such as facebook and twitter to communicate with one another. Great response Schmidt! You provided an eloquent and factual account of the course of events surrounding the benefit for the great and much loved Don Hill.

Roget
Roget

Oh shut up. He contacted Lyle, who basically said nothing. And Schmidt also decided not to say anything until it blew up and he was contacted.

Terresastanton
Terresastanton

MICHAEL SCHMIDT YOU ARE A CLASS ACT. CAN YOU BE A WRITER ALREADY??? WAY TO GO! AND SOUNDS LIKE NEW YORK IS GETTING FUN AGAIN!!!!

yourdumyourdum
yourdumyourdum

ha ha. stupid egos, including Michael's and all involved. fighting to revive a nightclub that was really only impressive and important in their own heads/circle of friends. fighting (with long winded letters) in the press like anyone cares, or like they are real celebrities instead of the washed up, old wannabes they are, doing half bakes cover versins of real rock and roll. i've seen better on the carol burnette show. all parties (including the desperate performers clamoring to be a part of it) deserve the stress. that's what you get when you have low talent bands, mediocre drag queens .who really cares about sherry vine or the horrible and mean spirited jackie beat? and the toilet boys? suck. the show is exactly the same everytime, non evolving, with a front person who couldn't sing it's way out of a paper bag. putting the stamp on wanna-be, poseur rock n roll. seriously, who cares?

DJJason
DJJason

As a fairly neutral party, I'd have to agree with most of what you said.  One exception; Jackie Beat was/is really funny.  I was unaware of any squeezebox connection, though.

MartinNYID
MartinNYID

asshole. Scenes that invigorate nightlife are rarely 'big' like the crap churning out of the booze saloons now. Your argument is thin, and just as egotistical as the people you slander. They were/are not perfect. Neither was Max's Kansas City, CB's, Danceteria, Paradise Gaage, or any other venue that provided a catalyst for some sort of downtown culture.

The people you attack are a mere few (albeit prominent) people that created things at this particular venue. You seem to know nothing about Marc Almond's incredible dare I say 'revival' show. You fail to mention the fact that Deborah Harry/Blondie, one of the most successfully sustained Rock bands of the last 40 years, in music and sales/business, rekindled on Don's stage. You are ignorant of the fact that a small, but new way of transmitting the very shit you watch on Youtube, and that the great charlatan Steve Jobs used, was developed at this club.

I guess you didn't know that the very last appearance Joey Ramone made with the Indepepndents was on SB stages. Let's see, who else came through? Boy George, Green Day, Marilyn Manson, Ronnie Spector, ah right, one of the longest running off-broadway plays, Hedwig, was inspired by and debuted at where? Squeezebox, just before it got made into a feature film. That's not even 10%.

My message to you: put up and shut up. I hate all this high-school prom promoting of polished up partys for things that 'once were'. A lion's share of the people who made Squeezebox the important venue it was are either no longer around, naturally progressed in their lives to other things, or unfortunately died. So to it from your little safe, computer pedestal and throw cheap shots is the mark of a coward.

And the reason New York is Dead to real culture right now, is that it was overrun with corporate jerks interested in, as this whole issue here stems from: money. Now, promoters and venues regurgitate whatever MTV tells them to. They're all as cowardly as you, sitting back, telling themselves how great everything is. Sure, the people involved with Squeezebox did the same, but for some reason, it had a consistent following at least up to '01, provided incomes for around 20 people, not to mention the bands and such that played, and a guest list that would make the biggest PR promoters in the world salivate. Why? It was a 'plural' group effort, and allowed people to flourish, in their own way, at their own time. Perfect? no.

It saddens me that what was once the free-est, most creative city in the world has succumbed to charlatans, and seething, libelous bottom feeders like you - who jump in just to jump in, have no fact or information, let alone a marginally interesting premise to argue.

The point you could have made, was the point too many others in this on-going debate also miss: the 'big names' and all that were not the reason Squeezebox!, Jackie 60, et. al. were great AND important. They were important because they allowed the freedom for people to create, big time, rinky-dink, or otherwise. That no longer exists in a me-me-me society where people are too busy parading around in off-the-rack clown suits taking picture of each other for facebook.

You could have argued that well, but nonetheless, you didn't. And I can't blame you that most of this culture-killing was brought on by the likes of Rudolf Giuliani, Bush, Bloomberg, HBO and Merrill Lynch. However, you could choose not to tow their line.

latenitebump
latenitebump

have to disagree: THE GARAGE WAS PERFECT!

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

can YOU do it? Then siddown and shutup. Jeez...everyone's such a trendy know-it-all...whaddaya think RocknRoll has an expiration date? IT DOESNT. Whats YOUR claim to fame? Being a no-talent hack who knocks people who wrote the book on vital rocknroll? Ugh...get lost. 

Jeremy Davis
Jeremy Davis

You should obviously leave NY. This group had more attention and press and talent than you ever will. And of course Schmidt would respond with class the way he did to a madman. Shame on me for responding to a sad negative person like you. You were probaly not allowed into what they had going which was one of the coolest happenings in NYC--history would tell that. Toilet Boys, toured the world with Red Hot Chili Peppers and had fans of the likes of Blondie, Joey Ramone. Sherry Vine has fans in Lady Gaga and one the the most watched youtube artists in history. Jackie Beat is an A list performer who sells out all over the world to this day. Michael Schmidt left his hot club he created to go on and design clothes for Madonna, Lady Gaga and more. What do you do? Write nasty bitter comments on a blog no one really reads. Happy New Year and lets see what witty comeback you have nerd

Marcus W.
Marcus W.

Please... Sherry Vine is a train wreck. She relies on making fun of and hurting A-list celebrities to get attention. My mom could post a parody of Lady Gaga and get the same amount of responses on youtube. (You can see what a bore she is when she is trying to be original on youtube.) And just like Jackie Beat, they rely on negative, childish, unimaginative 3rd grade humor. Sure, that kind of quick and disposable humor makes people laugh, for a minute. After coming away from their shows, and remembering the money I spent on "entertainment" like these "headliners of Squeezebox" is disappointing (and they want me to come back and spend more money?); I have to say I can't remember one joke, or one decent song that just "blew me away". And I went to Squeezebox more than a few times. As a consumer and patron of the arts, I am very aware in what's going on in the scene in NY and globally, and no Jackie is not an A-lister. (It's a well known fact that she has a hard time selling out basements and dingy small gay clubs.) Sherry Vine (who also can't sing) who? Wow, Schmidt hires people to make bedazzled skulls for celebrities. Skulls. Most of this pool of performers and club kids from NYC is full of itself, and it has self propelled it's junk on to the world. Any claim to fame it has received has been on the coattails of another, original celebrity. Squeezebox was where they all converged to commiserate, co-loathe, make fun of people and think they were really, really entertaining.  Very few of their contemporaries like Antony and the Johnsons, Kembra Pfahler, Scissor Sisters continue to make new art and survive in a world where people, though they may laugh spontaneously at a crude joke, can see through to real talent and progressive art.

Denisesmith224
Denisesmith224

you sound like an idiot. sherry vine is a funny and talented performer. squeeze box was the best party in new york during the nineties. lots of people from nonfamous to famous hung out there and performed there. you must have gone on any other night but friday because fridays at don hill was the best.

Miss Understood
Miss Understood

"Hurting" A-list celebrities?  Are you 14 years old? Gaga  tweeted about Sherry Vine, she loves her.  Geez, what a negative nancy you are.

Marcus W.
Marcus W.

When nobody shows up to a show... its usually because the line-up SUCKS - HELLO! 

Littlejohnnyjewel
Littlejohnnyjewel

what does any of your blind criticism have to do with the subject at hand?

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

go crawl back under your rock, worm. WHO NEEDS YA?

Miss Guy
Miss Guy

Thank you Jeremy Davis!

I always laugh when people like "yourdumyourdum" post mean things while hiding behind a fake name... to afraid to back their bullshit posts with a real name.

And although I might not be the world's greatest singer... my voice has taken me around the world many times while this loser could only dream of living the exciting life I lead.

xxMiss Guy (Lead singer of Toilet Boys)

Denisesmith224
Denisesmith224

you obviously don't know missguy he has always been nice to me and my friends over the years when we see him out. he and many of the others that ran squeeze box were very friendly. maybe he was rude to you because you hate everybody and acted like an asshole to him. i'm sure hecould care less about what you think anyway. you sound like you need a good shrink.

Brian
Brian

Nyclover78:

I appreciate your explanation, but it still seems like there is a lot of hostility over someone you consider an egomaniac.

Unless this individual killed someone you know or did some other reprehensible harm to you, your lashing out seems to be the exact same thing you are complaining about, which does not lend credence to your argument. The apparently pent up hostility your words are expressing appears to be something that you have been/are holding on to from some incident/incidents that perhaps should be forgotten and frankly do not belong in this discussion on a completely different issue.

Furthermore, your perception of a situation is not a fact. It is your perception of the situation as judged through your eyes, which makes it opinion.

The same goes for your perception of my statement "Good luck in the New Year," which you chose to read as sarcasm (displaying the bent of the lens through which it appears you see life) when, in fact, it was meant exactly as it was stated... Good luck in the New Year.

So once again, good luck in the New Year.

Nyclover78
Nyclover78

Dear Brian,

Thank you for the "good luck in the New Year", but oh the condescension of it, really. I consider myself a reasonable person and obviously you didn't get the sarcasm with my "I hate everybody" comment, but whatever, I should have been clearer about that and do take responsibility for it.

This said, I do actually like and respect quite a few people in that scene, but on the other hand, certain individuals together are just a gathering of self-absorbed egomaniacs who managed to agree with other another on certain things.

Now you don't know the full story (and it is not your fault), but I and a few people I do know had experiences with Guy where they were treated disrespectfully on a totally gratuituous basis and I speak from facts. It is not "so-so plays a character" thing, it's outright hatred and hostility from a frustrated hateful individual and guess what, you disrespect people, they will say something about it.

This person never saved lives or found the cure for cancer...you're some over-indulged, over-rated piece of shit who gets hard-on from treating people like trash.

I'm aware my "stupid town" comments are not what you want to hear but then, how come so many New Yorkers moved to L.A? Hello.

@b9fabd2ea6d892dd00157a51a9655458:disqus Now Happy New Year and thanks for your contribution to the conversation (without condescension or irony from my part). :)

Brian
Brian

Nyclover78,

It appears that you have a personal vendetta against Guy. As others have mentioned, it's not clear that a public forum such as this is the best place to deal with such anger and frustration.

I would surmise that you have been slighted by him in the past and now you are taking the opportunity to anonymously attack him after he posted a defense of himself on this board. It is unfortunate that you feel such vehemence towards him that you need to write such a scathing diatribe that has no merit toward the actual topic at hand.

In Guy's defense, the Miss Guy character can be over-the-top at times, but it is just that, a character created as part of an act for a club or performance venue. Just like you shouldn't attack Anthony Hopkins as a cannibalistic serial killer (a la Dr. Hannibal Lecter) because it was a character Anthony Hopkins portrayed, perhaps you should understand that nightlife performers/DJs are playing a role as well. The role they play is not them. It is part of the act.

Your statement about hating everyone along with your venomous rants against "this stupid town" compels me to suggest that you seek psychological counseling. If these individuals and this town have so traumatized you that you must explode like this (assuming that you were slighted years ago based on the verbiage of your post), you probably need help working out all of the emotional damage that must have befallen you at the hands of the nightlife world.  

Good luck in the New Year.

Nyclover78
Nyclover78

PS: For you, of all people, to comment on people who say mean things, when YOU are known for being gratuituously disrespectful and condescending to people for no reason whatsoever (apart for them not being immediately and directly useful to you), that's rich...

Nyclover78
Nyclover78

Although I disagree with "yourdumyourdum", there is a part of truth in what he says. I happen to be a fan of Squeezebox; Michael Schmidt's accomplishments are admirable indeed and I happen to like Jackie Beat, Sherry Vine and their friends. The club managed to pull people from different walks of life and create sheer magic.

However, Guy, you seriously need to pull the head out of your ass; you're a hateful, condescending, self-absorbed piece of shit who's not particularly talented and yes, you may have been the only rock'n'roll DJ of the 90's, but times have changed in 2000 and many other people came out and pulled interesting DJ nights (and no, I ain't referring to the Misshapes).

According to you, the person above "could only dream of living the exciting life I lead", wow, I don't know how someone is so self-absorbed they believe everyone has the same aspirations and ideas or goals as they do. Believe it or not Sir, not everyone wakes up every day and go "what is the most horrible thing I can do to somebody today". You're a frustrated, angry gay man who feels entitled to treat people like trash, that's all you are.

Anyhoo, I'm not prejudiced, I hate everybody! This Trigger dude is onviously psychotic, but who isn't some sort of psycho, greedy egomaniac, living-legend-in-their-own-minds in this stupid town...get real.

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

BS! The Miss Guy is one the best rocknrollers around. Tough luck if ya dont get it; your loss.

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

...and if you didnt go, what's your opinion/comment matter. I SUPPORT MY ROCK N ROLL. You...you just gave up on it & THAT is SO weak.

Robbzamsky
Robbzamsky

turned your back on rock n roll, eh? Whatta quitter.

Brian
Brian

Sorry, Candace, but you are obviously oblivious to what Miss Guy plays.

Marc Spitz (formerly of Spin and now at Vanity Fair) states, "The DJ, Miss Guy was a genius in that he mixed new songs like The Toadies’ “Possum Kingdom” or Whale’s “Hobo Humpin’ Slobo Babe” into the retro glitter rock mix of “Ballroom Blitz” and “Rebel, Rebel” and its 80s compatriots like “Damned Dog,” from the excellent Times Square soundtrack, or The Cult’s “She Sells Sanctuary” or the Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now” as if to say, “As long as it’s good rock n’ roll, it’s coming on.” Most DJs to this day don’t employ such a sound philosophy."

So your claim that he plays A-side rock over and over again is obviously an attempt to discredit him as a DJ and it's BS.

Candice
Candice

I have to agree. Nobody I know wanted to go to this event. It might have been a fun night out once or twice while it was going, but by no means was it groundbreaking or truthfully that memorable. Mostly because it was just an imitation of rock and roll. Every night, the same gag. DJ's (including Miss Guy) playing the same A-side rock over and over and over again is really not very exciting. What? We were supposed to show up and listen to Cherry Bomb and Fox on the Run again? The great thing about time and history is that it really discards those who don't make any attempt to be original. 

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