Glenn O’Brien RIP


This was a shock, seeing that Glenn died yesterday at the age of 70. If you were any part of the art/club scene in NYC in the 1980s, Glenn was the guru of cool.



Glenn was, as his obit in New York magazine put it, a “rare polymath.” He edited Interview magazine. His TV show, TV Party, shot live at 12:30 a.m. and featured a rotating cast of downtown heavyweights like Robert Mapplethorpe and Debbie Harry, rolling joints more often than not. (We dinosaurs remember the joys of public access television back in the day, when basically anyone could rent a studio for a pittance and get a show on Channel J.) He worked in advertising. He was a journalist. He wrote books. He was the Style Guy for GQ before they stupidly got rid of him for someone younger and cheaper.


I saw him about a year ago at a screening of the film he made with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Downtown 81, which was incredibly awful and incredibly mesmerizing at the same time–let’s just say Jean-Michel could paint a lot better than he could act, but seeing him so young and vibrant, and SoHo the way it once was, when it was grungy and arty and louche, was rather unbearably poignant.


So is his death.

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