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Logan Lynn: Lightning Strikes – An Interview With Living Legend Joey Arias

(Originally Published on The Huffington Post on 1/28/2013)

New York City cabaret/performance-art/drag icon Joey Arias hits the road next month with fellow East Village art scene veteran Kristian Hoffman for a West Coast tour called Lightning Strikes, so… get ready, America! Borrowed from the title of German countertenor Klaus Nomi‘s song by the same name, Lightning Strikes marks the first collaboration between Arias and Hoffman, both having been dear friends and collaborators with Nomi until the time of his death in 1983.

I had the chance to catch up with Joey last week to chat about music, love, Lady Gaga vs. Madonna, how the gay rights movement has changed and what magic is in store for us as Lightning Strikes rolls into cities across the western United States.

Logan Lynn: As you already know, I adore you. To me, you are everything that matters about New York.

Joey Arias: Thank you, Logan, for that lovely compliment. New York is a state of mind. The Empire State: that’s me! [Laughs.]

Lynn: The last time we saw you in Portland was a couple years back, for the premiere of Arias With a Twist at QDoc: Queer Documentary Film Festival, where you famously performed with Pink Martini frontman Thomas Lauderdale on piano at Mother’s Bistro. How was that friendship formed? Are there more Joey Arias/Pink Martini collaborations in store?

Arias: I guess I love meeting beautiful people. You have been super-sweet to me, as have Thomas and Hugh and many others in Portland. As far as Pink Martini goes, I’d been a huge fan, and it was Kim Hastrieter of Paper mag that introduced us. Thomas came to my apartment and dropped off his CD and hugged me and said how much he loved me, and then he ran away. We caught up that evening at Kim’s for dinner and got into a great conversation. I’ve been invited many times to perform with them. It’s been an honor to grace the stage with them! We’re all so busy, and I don’t know when the next time will be, but I’m sure in the future there will be more collaborations.

Lynn: That is very exciting! Speaking of collaborations, many folks remember your famous performance with David Bowie and Klaus Nomi on Saturday Night Live in the ’80s. Your new tour is named after one of Klaus Nomi’s songs. Is the tour a tribute to your old friend, in part?

Arias: The tour is a celebration of friendship. Kristian Hoffman was part of the original East Village scene. He Read the rest of this entry »

 

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