[Over the next several months leading up to the celebration of our 15th Anniversary in October, Joe’s Pub will be highlighting drawings from archival artist Michael Arthur who has captured the likes Amy Winehouse, Pete Townshend, Alicia Keys, Carly Simon and many more on our stage. Read about Michael’s story, and stay tuned for details on how you might earn the opportunity to work with Joe’s Pub as an archival artist by submitting your artwork via Tumblr.]
DARRYL MCDANIELS (DMC)
There weren’t a lot of people at Darryl McDaniels’ Pub show, but I remember it as a night of good fun. It was one of those shows that everyone who worked at the Pub was really excited about and—even though there wasn’t a large turn out—we ended up turning it in to a big party. That’s one of the great things about working with Joe’s Pub—the staff is anything but cynical and we were all completely psyched to have DMC for a party night. I do remember that McDaniels launched in to a long impromptu monologue of appreciation about Sara McLachlan. I don’t remember exactly why, but it was amazing.
KIKI AND HERB
The first time I met with John Seroff—the man who invited me in to draw at the Pub, he described Joe’s as the club that would have a band on the stage at the end of the universe. For some reason, that really appealed to me and flavored a lot of my early Pub drawings. Before I started at the Pub, I had been drawing a lot of ballet and modern dancers in large, well-lit rehearsal studios. The pub changed all that, with its dark interior and late nights; it absolutely changed everything about the way I draw. Kiki and Herb (Justin Bond and Kenny Melman) really epitomized what the Pub was in those early years for me. They had such an eclectic and breath-taking repertoire. Both of them had (and still have) amazing musical tastes and appetites. A Kiki and Herb show had no structure to speak of. Once started, their show went wherever it was going to go and lasted as long as it was going to last. I only saw them a few times there before they stopped their collaboration—I really caught the tale end of their years together—but they were absolutely the duo I think of when I think of the club at the end of the universe that I had joined.
Neal Medlyn is one of a kind. Anything I say about him won’t do him justice. He’s a fearless performer with a sharp brain and child like enthusiasm and every time I draw him, I feel like I’m looking at something I’ve never seen before in my life. For years, I got to draw him as one third of the hosting crew for Our Hit Parade—nowadays, he’s making his mark as Champagne Jerry, the world’s greatest rapper. It is a point of pride with me that I cannot hear the Black Eyed Peas I Gotta Feeling without thinking of the night Neal Medlyn performed it entirely nude with his penis painted in red glitter. It was the first time I heard the song and that sort of thing stays with you.