"Eric would be doing windows inside a display, doing the whole thing himself," Hausman says. "I'd be managing a crew of 20 people. Maybe Chris would be taking care of the business end, which we weren't prepared for at all. Darius was the mechanical one; he did effects. He was also the cheerleader. If you came by on Wednesday at 3 p.m., we'd be in despair saying, ˜There's no way this one is going to get done,' and he'd be insisting, ˜We can do this!"'
The art department had wild imaginations and the obsessive ability to work three days straight. "I eventually found out half of them were junkies," Goode says. "But I always liked reckless abandon." A quality shared by each and every one of them. "It didn't look fake because it wasn't," Goode says of each theme's castings. "For ˜Gnarly,' we got real bikers; for ˜Sex,' we got real perverts." Other key players included Joe Dolce, now the editor in chief of Star magazine, who wrote crazy press releases and did guerrilla P.R. Eric and Christopher's sister Jennifer was the team researcher and designated shopper. Her list for "Suburbia" included 100 boxes of cereal, Fluffernutter, Goobers, a washer and dryer, plastic pink flamingos, an oak-veneer bedroom set, a toilet, Astroturf, Spic and Span, and Tide.
And then there were the regular performers: Bernard Zette, a man who appeared variously as Marie Antoinette, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy; Jeffrey Strouth, whose repertory included characters from John Travolta to Lewis Carroll's Caterpillar; the ultravixen costume artist Christina Downing; Michael Anderson, later the midget on "Twin Peaks"; and the almost equally diminutive David Yarritu, who went on to play with the band ABC. The artist Jeff Vaughn created ingenious, otherworldly slide projections. Johnny Dynell, Anita Sarko and DJ Red Alert frequently spun records, but sometimes Jean-Michel Basquiat worked the turntables for fun, playing Miles, Duke and Bird.
Clockwise from top left: Jean-Michel Basquiat; Sally Randall and Ellen Kinnally; the scene.