| Print |

Michael Musto. Photo: PatrickMcMullan.com

Michael Musto. Photo: philadelphiaweekly.com

Profession Columnist
Best known for La Dolce Musto
Website http://www.dailymusto.com

Michael Musto’s venerable Village Voice La Dolce Musto column is chock full of pithy wit, scintillating scoop, and his fearless penchant for candor at all costs. He’s recently branched out into blogging, and in addition to memorable cameos in gay independent films, he can be seen on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann lancing hilarious barbs at the hypocrisy of everything from the George Rekers scandal to Miss California’s Christian boob job. Someone, somewhere, is sculpting his bust in the gay Hall of Fame!


Earlier this year you celebrated 25 years at the Village Voice with the best party New York City has seen in years! Do you feel like you just won the Academy’s lifetime achievement award?

I feel like I won the award, but I gave it to myself. The bash was supposed to be a book party, but when that hit a giant snag , I quickly transformed the event into my anniversary bash. It was a glorious night filled with everyone I’ve ever known kissing my shimmery hem on command. To have my mother, my boss, Joan Rivers, Michael Urie, Ronnie Spector, and 550 other close friends there made it way more special than the prom I never went to.

You’re not afraid to call things like you see them — after reading your dish, what’s one of the most awkward confrontations you can recall?

David Geffen flinched and said, “You’re the one who wrote those horrible things about me.” Whoopi Goldberg sent a telegram: “Get a sense of humor.” Carol Channing’s husband said, “He’s horrible.” An upset club promoter tried to serve me a mysterious glass of “champagne” (which I refused). The confrontations have gone on and on through the years, but so does my writing and my truthin’.

Blind items are so unnerving! Do you ever reveal the answers?

I never do! I keep up the tantalizing torture of driving people absolutely crazy. It becomes a very intense interactive guessing game, and people actually love becoming part of the process, offering their first-born for the answers, though it annoys them when I stick to not revealing any. But if you guess Lindsay for each one, you’ll probably score at least 80%.

What’s your favourite night to go out these days, and where?

Tuesday and Wednesday seem to be the best nights, because Beige [on Tuesday] brings out the cute twinks in droves and Amanda Lepore’s Big Top [Wednesdays at Carnival] is a fun, circusy atmosphere filled with games of chance – like trying to pick up the gogo boys. But there’s gay nightlife every other night too, from Barracuda to Club 57 and beyond.

How many nights a week do you go out?

Literally seven. It may not always be to a club, but I’m at something – whether it be a movie, play, dinner, fashion show, party, after party, or nightspot – every single night, with usually three or four things a night. I have no home life to retreat to – not even a potted plant and certainly not a boyfriend – so going out makes perfect sense for me!

Your writing has this amazing cyclical zing to it. Who are your literary influences?

I was influenced by the new journalism of the 1970s (Tom Wolfe, Gail Sheehy), but also by gossip writers like Liz Smith, Richard Johnson, and Rex Reed. I love a running joke to tie all the madcap fragments of that week in Gotham glory together.

You’re known for riding your bike absolutely everywhere. With Bloomberg’s addition of more and more bike lanes, are you trendsetting a bike-pedalling clubgoer craze?

Yep, once again I was ahead of the curve. And now that it’s so popular to ride a bike in New York, I’m almost finding it too banal to do so. But I’ll keep with it, since it’s fun and convenient and slimming – though everyone should know I’m not doing this for the environment. I don’t give a flying F about the environment (though I’m glad somebody does).

With the glut of technology, you still take notes with pen and paper. Can you tell us about your process?

I usually forget to even bring paper, so I often find myself writing notes on whatever stained napkins or invites I can grab! My process is to scribble down every thought that comes into my head or encounter I have, then when I get home, I transfer it into the computer. (Yes, I do have one.) Throughout the week, I’m either spewing it up on my fabulous blog or rewriting and refining the whole thing so by Monday morning, it’s a gem of a column.

Where is Michael Musto’s favourite place to travel?

I’m not big on world travel anymore, but I love day trips to Fire Island and the Hamptons and weekend jaunts to Miami, Vegas, or LA. Those are the places with the glitz and zing reminiscent of New York, but also with a marked edge that makes them feel like you’re not at home anymore. I like the combination of the familiar (the NYC gays parading up and down the Pines planks) with the different (there’s no culture there!).

When travelling, what are three things you can’t live without?

A really good show biz memoir, Vitamin E oil, and my cell phone charger.

Which pop culture story of today, if any, is most timeless?

The Tiger Woods and Mel Gibsons and Steven Slaters will come and go and their scandals will be pretty much forgotten, but I feel the Angelina-Brad-Jen story will remain the quintessential gossip story of our time. Every generation loves a naughty sexpot who steals a hunk away from America’s sweetheart. Captivates every time, especially when the three principals play their clichéd parts to perfection, as they did here.

You’re noted to for shamelessly outing closeted celebrities. Which are your biggest success stories, and which celebrity do you feel most needs to come out right now?

In the ’90s, I was fairly alone in running around screaming that Ellen and Rosie were gay, and when they both came out, I felt a combination of “Duh” and “I’m vindicated.” So many people have come out since then that the only ones left are either has-beens who don’t matter or people even I don’t know are gay. So whoever comes out next will be pretty surprising. And no, Johnny Weir wouldn’t be surprising.

Being a leader in the community, what’s the most important advice you can give to the next generation of GLBTQ?

Don't ever accept back-of-the-bus treatment! Assume the driver’s seat.

Enjoy more of Michael Musto’s quips at http://www.dailymusto.com and http://www.villagevoice.com/