The Very First Edition:
Column Inches #1 with The Tribeca Film Festival

by Tony Phillips

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Column Inches. There’s nothing Republican about this new column, so Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan will not be performing. However, space permitting, we will share Bush Twins’ tips on down-low handbag vomiting. If you’re industry, you already know the only thing anyone cares about is Column Inches. If you’re not, and took it for something pervy, you’re not far off the mark. Think of us as the love child born from Liz Smith gang-banging the crew of CBS’ Shame on You. We climbed to the top of the partial abortion heap and lived, damn it, lived to bring you highlights from our week — art openings, premieres, fashion shows, black tie galas, sex clubs, all our dashing about town — but if that’s sounding a little too queen of nice, hold up. We close each edition with The Angry Inch: a weekly excoriation of somebody who done us wrong and we’re done wrong more than country western sensation Tammy Faye Starlight, so they’ll be no teeny shortage to close Column Inches.

Since you’re already in that “little dick” head, there’s a good place to start: The Tribeca Film Festival. We’ve always dreaded this annual dirge downtown with its AMEX-only red carpets and Olsen Twins’ opening nights, but this year a gem twinkled atop the mountain of cat poop: Andy Warhol superstar Taylor Mead. William A. Kirkley dusts off the legend walking among us and chronicles Warhol’s Lonesome Cowboys star as he wrangles with eviction notices, a dead cat he tosses into the East River and dish about his fling with matinee idol and Elizabeth Taylor confidante Montgomery Clift in the new documentary Excavating Taylor Mead. In short, Mead says things didn’t work out with Monty because he was hung like a bug. We were so devastated, we ran home and burned our copy of Raintree County.

From Raintree County to the steamy rainforest, two of our favorite blondes were gigging in town this past weekend: Sting and Kristen Chenoweth. Kristen knocked the City Center Encores! folk flat on their ass with her triple threat role in Harnick & Bock’s Fiddler follow-up The Apple Tree, but she already won us over last month remembering her start in the biz at age twelve. Sister Kristen got up in front of the entirety the Southern Baptist Convention and belted out “I’m Four Foot Eleven and I’m Going to Heaven.” She’s not much taller now. “Cab drivers ask me where I go to school,” the petite blonde laughed, “high school! But there are worse things, they could think I was 40.”

Closer to 60 — October 2, 1951, if you must know — Sting wowed a packed house with repertoire stretching back to Police albums we still can’t pronounce at intimate Irving Plaza. Taking the stage in a smart, navy pinstriped suit with a light blue shirt unbuttoned to the navel, his look was very Dune meets GQ, but we’re not complaining. Claiming the venue was hotter than the rainforest — a place he knows something about — Sting ripped through his encores sans jacket with shirt ripped open wide proving whether it’s the yogic headstands, hours-on-end sex or picture of wife Trudie Styler in the attic, the man is doing something right.

He did both Sandra Bullock and Grace Jones proud with a killer rendition of “Demolition Man,” slowed down “Invisible Sun” until it was pitch perfect for tantric buttfucking and introduced “Spirits in the Material World” with a friendly jab at his pal Madonna. There was even a Beatles’ cover. We only wish there were more days in the life with Sting. One complaint: the crowded VIP balcony. Wedged between wife Trudie and David Bowie, we had to move. It was impossible to maintain focus on the stage. And Mr. Bowie didn’t take kindly to inquiries about his wife. “Yes, we know she’s not here,” says we, “but where is she?” Sting, we love you, but we’d be taxi bound in a heartbeat to chase down lovely and legendary Iman.

We were taxi-bound soon enough for a post-Sting evening that included his after-party at the Bungalow, The Crystal Method at Crobar (crystal in Chelsea on a Saturday night, imagine) and up-and-coming legend Jared Abbott spinning at the attitude strewn Misshapes party. Relax kids, it’s just a bar in the West Village. We’d love to tell you all about Meryl Streep’s relentless voiceover work, Susan Morabito landing on Planet Banana, Cyndi Lauper’s upcoming gig with Sandra Bernhard and Nellie McKay this Monday night at Irving Plaza, Aaron Krach’s silver leafed beer keg, glory holes and Easy-Bake Oven at his SoHo art opening at Paul Sharpe’s gallery, Flotilla DeBarge spinning “Me and Mrs. Jones” at Bill T. Jones’ silent art auction at Diane Von Furstenberg’s meatpacking love nest, the good twin’s mysterious absence from Patrick McDonald’s birthday bash at Fluid and our very own brass band date with Marga Gomez for Christina Applegate’s Sweet Charity, but it’s time for…

The Angry Inch: Rubenstein Communications, Inc.
Who does Rupert Murdoch’s homophobic Newscorp turn to when their New York Post starts asking Big Brother type questions online and runs afoul of public opinion? Who does Lizzie Grubman call when she wants to go driving in reverse? Who helped the Republican Convention slither into Manhattan last summer? Who treats returning press to the Tribeca Film Festival like cattle on a Crawford, Texas ranch? If you guessed Howard Rubenstein and his Republican felching Rubenstein Communications, Inc. for any of the above, you guessed this week’s Angry Inch.