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what a life lived to the MAX...flaming out like his wild life...another dionysian explosion in our midst....

Dean was brilliant at creating his scandalous "mexican prison" backroom scenario at the black party a couple of years we did cavity searches on the "incoming incarcerated" causing some qeen to swallow all her drugs 'cuz Dean's required "uniform" gave too much realness - so much so that the po-po in Roseland forced the party to shut down our scene...or we'd all get arrested for impersonating the po-po...

So twisted - so perverse = So much fun!


rosie d.
For me and hundreds of others, this death has left a huge hole in my heart. At times Dean's shadow, suivante, confidante, alter-ego, giggle partner, partner in crime, and groupie, 21 years later, I've lost a major role model, a friend who was more like the older brother I never had. A true meanie at times, Dean nonetheless always tried to point me in the direction of personal freedom and happiness. For whatever reason, he took me under his wing in the mid 80's/early 90's era that he described as colorful but not warm - overwhelmingly sad, in fact - an era he didn't much like being reminded of. But we both survived that. And I too try to avoid thinking about the pain of that era, no matter how exciting it felt at the time. My regret is that I didn't respond to his latest email of Sept 5, in which he told me about his roaring return to prominence on the "scene", his joy and happiness at being back in the recording studio, and all the good things that were going on in his life. Moral of the story: if you love someone deeply, remind them of that as soon as you possibly can.
Last edited by friendofdean
dean...dean...dean...thanks for choosing me to be the hostess at Rock&Roll fag Bar at the WOrld and later over on Hudson Street,then years later again at that sleaze hole "THE COMEBACK"over at the Jane West Hotel..."those were the days my friend we thought they'd never end...". I'm sooo glad that the last time we spoke I was in drag at of all places THE PINES (not espeicially "drag friendly") what a unexpected joy to see you! you're laughter stills ring in my head when I think of you.such kooky shows we did together my Christine to your Stevie,OUR ABBA,my halfbreed while you and chris played my Horse!!! I loved that photo shoot w/ walter s. and all the drag lovlies(Connie,Cotie,Chryssis,Clark,Perfidia,LaHoma,Misty,Robbie,you & I ) for yet some other gig.(TUNNEL?UNDERGROUND?) Always getting work for the trannys and gays!F*CK UNION CARBIDE,F*CK THIRD WORLD GENOCIDE,F*CK thermonuclear WAR,F*ck MARY TYLER MOORE!!!!!! r.i.p.xxxooo Tabby
I am still trying to take this all in. When I heard that Dean had died I was in shock. I had literally just heard from him on My Space and he had written this wonderful blog a few months back paying tribute to me that he wanted me to see. It made me cry. I was touched and moved that I had made a mark on him.
We were bonding and being sad together about CBGB's closing- that is where Dean and I met. He then went on to invite me to play his Fag Fest/HomoCorps there. We of course ran into each other all over the place in the City but CB's was where we made music together.
We had some fun times at Don Hill's too.
He was a big, gloriously cut, ripped washboard stomach of an alien.
The Dean he let me see was sweet and kind. Funny and dry witted.
I really loved him a lot.
This is just so sad.
God bless you Dean and RIP. Maybe you will go to that planet where all the other cool aliens live.
If anyone gets anymore info about this please let us all know what the hell happened to him and the other fellow.
Last edited by Bebe Buell
wow,mammories,I mean memories...I forgot that we tried r.r.f.b. at Don Hill's also...and that shoot included Guy and Shannon and that CCRRAAZZY faghag of David "Carol Channing Rocks" Illku,or was it his bisexual lover?!? the club was REDZONE(another hellhole!) and that freaky photo w/ clark ,david,chrysis and hapi and me in "scary clown" mode? I also came across an incredible poster that Leslie Alexander did of us as cartoon Supervixons!!!
Such sad sad news.
Dean to me epitomized that true "downtown icon" - what a generation of artists(including myself) was inspired by to move to NYC. Visually beautiful in his brazen baldness and shades, aurally assaulting, verbally sharp as a razor. He embodied that true "punk" aesthetic of not only saying "Fuck You" en flagrante, but living it moment to moment. He will be sorely missed. Thank you Dean for Red Rocks, thank you Dean for your Wild Heart!
To Friends of Dean,

I didn't know Dean Johnson. Until this summer, I had no idea who he was. But one week end in early August, my boyfriend and I went to the Belvedere, a clothes-optional guest house on Fire Island that looks like something Cecil Beaton might have designed for Liberace during a bad acid trip.

On our first (only) afternoon there, one guy who was just monstrous (and monstrously hung) was lounging in the pool, making sympathetic noises about the blackflies. No one was being particularly formal, so I don't recall his name, but I believe this was Dean. He hung out with us in the pool and the hot tub, chatting about his work as a singer and a concert promoter and part-time escort. None of this information was offered as boast or aggression; these were simply the things he did. Maybe sex was on the table, but he wasn't pushy about it.

Unless you're an aficianado of decaying camp, The Belvedere isn't good for much except hooking up, and that night the pickings were slim. As it happened, Dean was staying in the room right beside ours. He had his door open and we chatted about the horrible heat (he lent us his fan) and storms of mosquitoes (he lent me his bug spray). He said he'd just been on the phone to a client--maybe in Paris?--and that they were falling in love. I felt very shy around this man, but I also liked him; he had an edge but he wasn't frightening like some of the tweakers out there. There was something comforting about him, the way all big men can be comforting when they don't take advantage of their size to be intimidating...

It was an unbearably hot night, the bugs fussed in the air, and a terrible storm blew in our open door and soaked the rug. At around two in the morning, I heard the unmistakable noises of someone being pleasured. At around three, I got up to pee and Dean said he'd just blown one of the hotel's maintenance guys. He seemed to think this was the perfectly sleazy and ironic and hilarious and perfect, and I agreed.

It's terrible to think that this big man I saw only a few weeks ago and laughed with and shared mosquito repellent with is gone. I wanted to write this (sorry if boring) note to his friends, because he was a person who, even in that small period of time, left an impression.
I feel so sad that I took Dean for granted. You just never think something like this will happen to a friend.

My earliest memory of Dean is of my band Hermie the Dentist sharing the bill at Squeezebox with what I believe was the 1st Velvet Mafia gig. My bass player was 45 minutes late to the gig and we lost our spot. Dean was understanding and a bit of a bitch at the same time.

Over the years I'd hang out at his parties, or my 2nd band, sir, would play Homocorps. We also pursued other avenues of generating revenue - some more nefarious than others. The last was a couple years ago, going to Logo to pitch an idea for a TV show Dean had. We managed to convince him not to go into the meeting with us because we were afraid he'd tell them to fuck off the minute they suggested something he didn't like!

After 20 years in NYC, I got civil unioned this summer and now live in Asbury Park, NJ, 60 miles south of Manhattan, in a big, old Victoria house that's 9 blocks from the ocean. I invited Dean to the wedding, but he wasn't able to make it. I don't know if that was true, or if he just couldn't bear the thought of watching me take the ultimate suburban step of conformity.

We all grow older, but we don't all "grow up," and I don't say that judgmentally. Over time, the fire of unorthodoxy and rebellion cools for most of us. It never did for Dean, and it makes me feel sorry for him and love & applaud him all at the same time. That fire may very well have been his undoing - and yet, it was also the driving force that made him so unique and so loved and so ALIVE.

I lost my best friend from high school to cancer when he was 18. As painful as his death was at the time, I sometimes get even more overwhelmed now when I think about him. It's only as I'm entering middle age that I truly understand what he's missed. It makes me so sad to think that as much living as Dean had done, there was potentially so much more for him to experience and do. Someone will fill the void his death has left on the NYC scene, but no one will fill his shoes in the world.

I'm so glad I knew you Dean. It's people like you that I moved to NYC to get to know. And I'm sorry I never gave you a hug to thank you for that, and to let you know I cared about you.

You fucker... you're making me cry...


There is something on Page 6 today. Sadly it says he may have been murdered in DC. You can go to scroll down to the Page Six link and read it if you don't have the paper.
The poor gentle giant was found with no ID so it took days to identify his body.
He was found with another young man.
Now I'm really angry. I want to know who did this and why.
I don't want to say anything out of line- just read the item.
I want to send my love to his family and friends too- know that he was loved and special.
I'm so sad I won't be in NYC tomorrow to go to his tribute. I hope that something can be put together at Don Hill's maybe to really give him a grand send off. We once joked that he was going to go to Don Hill and ask him if he could do a night called "Dean Box". Personally, I loved the idea.
Dean Box anyone??
Last edited by Bebe Buell
Good Lookin' out Bebe.

October 2, 2007 -- DEAN Johnson, a legendary promoter of gay parties in downtown Manhattan, was found dead in Washington, D.C., last week and pals fear he was murdered. Lower East Side photographer John Penley told Page Six that e-mails from Johnson's computer reveal he'd been going to D.C. regularly "to set up weird sex parties for a wealthy Saudi guy. Nobody knows his identity, but it's all very suspicious." Dean, who had a history of drug use, had no ID on him when his body was discovered, and stayed in the morgue for several days before he was identified. His death in under investigation. Johnson, 45, promoted the weekly "Rock 'n' Roll Fag Party" at the old CBGB. "There probably isn't a single gay in the entire city who hasn't been to one of Dean's parties," Penley said. Dean, with his shaved head and 6-foot-6 frame, also fronted rock bands and starred in porn flicks. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at 8 p.m. at Rapture Café & Books, 200 Avenue A.


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I already wrote something here yesterday...but later on I recalled my favorite Dean Johnson memory of all time and had to impart it; his hilarious portrayal of Eleanor Mondale in the Blacklips production of GODZILLA. Dean Johnson playing Walter Mondales wife? HILARIOUS!

My second favorite Dean memory was performing at A NIGHT OF A THOUSAND STEVIES with him. 5 of us acted out an exerpt from (I think) Mick Fleetwoods autobiography. Dean played Mick Fleetwood (and narrated the piece), I played a drunk beligerant Lindsy Buckingham, Lily of the Vally was a mystical Stevie Nicks, I actually think Ebony Jett was John Macvie...and Clark Render was unforgettable as Christine Macvie in a getup that made him look more like Carol Channing.

Good times. Really good times. I miss them.
GAY LEGEND IN MYSTERY DEATH??!!!! I think it was Dean who actually wrote that, and put it into some writer's head at Page 6. Genius! Work it out Dean Johnson. Feeling you my brother, FEELING you. Yes, I am so so so heartbroken, but any thinking about you leads to laughing my ass off remembering how fucking funny you were. You have me on NYC subways crying one sec, then laughing the next. FUCKING GEMINI! So much love...
The death of Dean Johnson is untimely and a great tragedy, or shall I say murder.

I'm glad everyone is paying tribute to him.
Myself, I hope the sons of bitches that did this to him and his friend are caught and tortured.

Very sinister these Saudi's who come here where they can drink and spend pennies (in their minds) for sex.....virtually do anything they want. I know when I was very young, I saw a few Saudi's. They called the girls cattle and would ply them with drugs while making them stand around to be riciculed and finally being picked from a line. This would go on in big hotel rooms, LA in particular.

I did this twice and got copious amounts of money both times, but it left a bad mark on my pysche. The girls I knew that would go for it on a weekly basis were struggling artists, and some
just became junkies for the money, got into drugs and if I could find the guys who did this to Dean and others................

I doubt it will ever happen. In Wa DC???? Dirty secrets like that? Never.

Dean left a comment on my friend's myspace page
a few weeks ago, as the 'Velvet Mafia'. Said "I'm glad u r still alive."

Three recent emails I received regarding Dean show the breadth of his regard amongst Downtowners...

I am beyond upset. Ages ago when the East Village News existed, I was Entertainment editor... I do remember that the saving grace of that film (Mondo New York) was Dean and The Weenies.
I fell in love and remember making a point of going to his shows... All I know is that he was the most brilliant entertainer and I can't believe he's gone. My condolences to the family. Eva Heinemann


I was so happy to see him on stage at Howl just a few weeks ago. It brought back memories of some of my most favorite dance memories, the late 80's at the World and Rock & Roll Fag Bar. Dean really brought joy into my life and I am sure that of so many, many others. As long as I have those souvenirs, Dean will always be dancing. Bless him.
With love,

Veronica Vera
Dean of Students
Miss Vera's Finishing School
For Boys Who Want to be Girls


...Although I never knew him personally, he was a bit of an icon to me and all my college friends. I found the 12" of Dean and the Weenies doing "Fuck You" at some downtown NYC record store in 86 or so, and bought it based on the cover. It became the party anthem at all my college parties, and everyone I knew at Boston University knew all the lyrics. No party was done til we played "Fuck You." LOUD.

"Fuck the Third World War!
Fuck Mary...Tyler....MOORE!
And fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck YOU!"

Such funny memories. Thanks Dean. And thanks for honoring him.

cheers, Nicole Blackman
Last edited by hatches
Ah, the mainstream media! NBC Washington called us at Rapture to "let us know that there was another man involved." And I am sure, to pump us for info. Genius Linda James took the call.

NBC:... and we just wanted to let you know this...
Linda: uh... I think we already know that much...
NBC: Gee you guys are really plugged in.
Linda: Well, hon, the gays always know first.

It went right over the reporter's head.
Last edited by hatches
Dean was such a fantastic person to meet hap hazardly on the street or in a club. He always made me feel important just to be near him and our conversations lasted much longer than I ever expected because I never wanted to stop hearing him speak. He was so smart and beautiful, crazy sexy and god damned real. I'm angry that he's gone and there's a hole in my heart. This is a big loss not just for us, but for the rest of New York too.
Thank you for making this forum. It's really helpful to read everyone's posts.
One more time, details for tonight

Please forgive me if you have heard about this over and over, but I am still getting email from people asking about Dean's memorial celebration tonight at Rapture.


Wednesday, October 3 would have been the season opener for DEAN JOHNSON'S smash literary series "READING FOR FILTH", at RAPTURE CAFE & BOOKS. Instead, a memorial and impromptu celebration of his life will erupt, in addition to the always commanding regularly scheduled readers.

Organizers including Rapture eminences JOE BIRDSONG and HATTIE HATHAWAY ask you to bring "photos, music, writings or any other Dean Johnson-related memorabilia for the Honoring Wall which has already sprung up around our stage." Footage from Dean's quarter-century of nightclub performances will be screened, and music will include his own DEAN AND THE WEENIES and VELVET MAFIA.
Hey Ryan... that was hurtful. Notice any disconnect between your post and ALL of the others? I hope people are kinder on your memorial forum!
In any case, for those of us too far away to make it to tonight's Reading for Filth, I thank everyone for their memories and photos and links. I lost all of my photos and records and diaries in a house fire a few years back - You all have helped me replace lost memories and images of Dean and the Weenies. Though the forum-based memories have sent me into a million crying jags over the last few days, I very much needed to cry about such a huge loss in my life. Love to you all, except perhaps Ryan.
Last edited by friendofdean
May I indulge in a bit of fantasy? Let's just assume there is a Saudi connection here. Let's say there's a prominent Saudi involved, maybe Prince Bandar, known as "Bandar Bush", friend of the Bushes.

So here's the fantasy: Dean knew he was at grave risk, but made sure that if he died, the Saudi-Bush connection would get widely noticed and help take down the House of Bush. The attention fueled, of course, by his sensational life and death. This brings down the House of Bush, deals a mortal blow to the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Executive complex, Evo Morales becomes the next UN Secretary General, and in general saves our asses long enough to save the planet and the species. Dean saves the world.

I saw him at Low Life after many years. And I thought he'd always be there. RIP or if not resting, or in peace, then however you want to be Dean!
I've been visiting this board often since I found out sunday night. I have a strange empty feeling and knowing others are sad about this I guess provides some comfort. Those lucky to know dean, whether it was for 2 months or 2 decades know how he just had a 'presence'. There are many things I will miss about him - the conversations, the humor, the blogs, the exchange of creative ideas, the performances, the inspiration, the fearlessness and gusto that he put out there daily. If there is an afterlife I know he is really having a grand time right now with Charles Nelson Reilly, Brett Sommers, Tammy Faye and Anna Nicole (and Mrs. Astor is relieved to FINALLY have someone who REALLY KNOWS HOW TO THROW A PARTY!)
This is a comment posted from this website:

The story made DC's Fox 5 News at 10 last night. And this morning my city councilman (I live in the same Ward as the crime scene) emailed this out...

>I wanted you to know that this >morning I spoke with Commander >Anzallo, who heads up detectives for >MPD, concerning a report of two >deaths at the Envoy at 2400 16th NW.

>On two separate dates--September 16 >and September 20--just four days >apart the tenant called 911 to report >an unconscious man in his apartment.

>In both cases, the individual was >unconscious but dead on scene, there >were no visible signs if trauma or >foul play and each person had been >invited into the apartment by the >tenant.

>Police executed a search warrant, and >are treating this as highly >suspicious. They are awaiting further >medical reports.

>The first death involved someone who >was 26 years old, and the second >someone who was 45 years old.

>That is all there is to say at >present.
Chris | 10.03.07 - 11:13 am | #

If this is true this guy in DC should be arrested for the deaths of two men
WOW...The malefactor in question must be completely out of his mind... tweaked... to call in two deaths from his apartment on two separate days!

And why was Dean NOT identified?
"Oh I just happen to have this dead guy in my place and I don't know who he is?"

As per the Saudi fantasy -- as far as the insider gossip goes, this was not the work of some mythical Bedouin... where that spin came from "who knows..." But we'll find out who he is very shortly, I am sure.
Last edited by S'tan

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