Long Live Kiki and Herb

Kiki & Herb Will Die For You

If the conservatives really wanted to eliminate the subversive homosexual menace, the best way to do it would be to blow up Carnegie Hall tonight, where a great throng of us (and a great many sympathizers, no doubt) will be gathered to honor our beloved, bedeviled Kiki and Herb.

Originally, I’d decided not to splurge on tickets for the show, since I had seen them so often from mere inches away and couldn’t imagine enjoying the spectacle quite as much from across a concert hall. When I first heard about this show, though, I didn’t quite realize it was supposed to be not just the biggest, but the last show (except maybe there’ll be a Kiki & Herb Resurrection Special someday). When Andy informed me of this, and mentioned he had two extra tickets, I knew I couldn’t miss such an event, even if I had to experience it from the cheaper seats.

It’s been nice to see the Times giving some press to Kiki/Justin and Herb/Kenny this week. I was startled to see the interview mention the infamous “Last Thursday Ever” show, which remains one of the most visceral theatrical experiences of my life. (It was also the first time I saw the Scissor Sisters, and even though they were fun I still find all the fuss a little inexplicable.) I’m amazed how many people seem to remember being at one of the two tiny, drunken shows at the Knitting Factory that night. I remember all the usual suspects being there — including Glenn, who couldn’t have gotten a better introduction to the terrifying magic of Kiki and Herb — but I regularly meet people who also caught that show and were more than usually affected by its darkness and cynicism, and its surprising call to count your blessings in a troubled world. And the drunken fan kicks, of course, were hard to forget if you were too close to the stage.

As a special treat for those of you who love Kiki and Herb but are sick to death of listening to your copy of Do You Hear What We Hear?, may I offer this brilliant recording of Kiki performing at the Losers Lounge 1996 Nilsson tribute (taken from Simply Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad About the Loser’s Lounge):

Coconut — The Losers Lounge featuring Justin Bond as Miss Kiki DuRane