Party Monster. Almost everyone in the New York City scene has watched the film. Some of us are old enough to have lived and partied during the '90s reign of Disco 2000 at the infamous church turned nightclub, Limelight, which is now a strip mall. And now, one of the pioneers of the era, Michael Alig, has been released from prison. Alig served 17 years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his friend and drug dealer, Andre "Angel" Melendez. The gruesome murder was committed by Alig and friend Robert "Freeze" Riggs over many things, most notably, a long standing drug debt.
Any of the details of the elaborate nightlife, crimes committed during that time, and the closure of the Limelight club, can be found with a simple Google search, reading the memoir 'Disco Bloodbath' by James St James (from which the film Party Monster was derived), or watching many of the documentaries created around the subject. It is May 5, 2014, and 17 years have passed. The New York scene is a very different place. And this morning, Michael Alig was released from prison.
The local scene is abuzz with the news. There are many people of the subculture, especially in the newer generation, who look to the films as inspirational, and they even look to Alig specifically, as a kind of anti-hero. Many others, however, are reeling with the news of his release. Some are vocally reproaching the justice department, and crying out for his release to be reviewed by the Parole board.
A local subculture supporter and alternative lingerie designer, Chadley B., expressed her views online today, "I can't imagine what it's like to be him... coming out of jail after so many years... to what the New York City scene has become. [Regardless of] what he did, he was also a pioneer in the NYC party scene."
James St James stated on his Twitter account, "As for Michael, the state has said he's done his time. Let's see where it goes." He posted an incredible open letter to Alig on The Wow Report, which can be found here.
What are your thoughts on the release of Michael Alig, the Party Monster, one of the very first Club Kids? Tell him yourself. He's on Twitter, too, of course: Michael Alig on Twitter.