Anita and I have a drink together
(The Second Round Was On Me)

Sometime in the late 70s I was at the Mudd Club, which was enjoying its reign as one of NYC's prime celebrity watering holes. The owner liked Punk Magazine and let us in free, so I spent a fair amount of time there. There was a narrow strait between the entrance and the rest of the bar/dancefloor where I happened to be standing on this particular night. In walked Anita Pallenberg, the stunning femme fatale of Barbarella. But Anita wasn't stunning anymore, at least not in the sense of "having strikingly attractive appearance." Age and drugs had caught up with her in a major way. Although previously reclusive, she had recently attained enough notoriety through a local scandal (her young live-in lover had died under suspicious circumstances involving an overdose and witchcraft) to feel OK about venturing out into the nightlife. I wouldn't have recognized her, but somebody pointed her out as she made her entrance. When she got to where I was, she had to get through a narrow opening between me and the wall, thanks to the endemic overcrowding along the bar. The squeeze would have been an easy one for the svelte, lithe Anita of yore, but she had left that one behind long ago, and the current Anita was a tight fit. Feeling that her celebrity status had been reaffirmed by New York Post front page mentions, she was none too courteous in making the passage. Having been jostled, I made a comment she probably considered uppity. She turned her best Great Tyrant glare on me, jammed her spike heel into my Converse All-Star and twisted it, a wicked "see-there" sneer twitching its way across her lips. (For a fleeting moment I could see her former beauty peeking out.) Fortunately for me, the heel had gone between my toes, so I didn't have to move a muscle. I smiled at her and said "Didn't hurt." She tried to stalk off, but the packed aisle made a royal exit impossible. As she waited for the crowd to part, I poured some of my beer on the back of her head. Sure enough, her hair was so greasy that it just rolled right off. Much later, as the night made its way into morning, I was taking a break at the bar from dancing. I didn't have enough money for a drink though. She was across the bar talking to Steve, the owner. She saw me and made some angry comments to him. The music was way too loud to hear what it was, but it looked like she was demanding that I be tossed out. Steve just smiled and nodded, but didn't do anything. He tended to like such confrontations. Having failed along that line, she decided to take a more direct approach. She threw her drink at me. The glass whizzed by my head, but the icy contents got me good. (After all, it was her shout.) It felt great. I said thanks, and went back to dancing.

NOTE: I wouldn't want you to get the idea I made a habit out of pouring beers on celebrities... nevertheless, you might want to check out a similar encounter with Lester Bangs here.

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