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I'm devastated to hear this. I first met Dean when he moved into the then-cheap set of tenement buildings on 163-167 Ludlow St. I was working at McGregor's Bar on St. Mark's Place. Richard Meyer, a bartender there, came up with a formula to keep the bucks flowing for Paul's primo location, and Boy Bar was born. Dean worked the door, and over the years we would cross paths and work at some of the same clubs, mainly (the original) Boy Bar and (the original) Save The Robots.
Dean was a very alive and intense, no-BS kind of person, much like the legendary David Wojnarowicz, who Dean knew casually and references in his amazing
diary/blogs on the Velvet Mafia webpages.
Physically unique and very noticeable, a great voice that ranged in intensity from silly giggling to deep, commanding bass-tones.
A sharp sense of humor, extremely intelligent, and not afraid to call things as they are, politically and otherwise. A true master of "edutainment".
Dean, I'm glad that you spotted me on the street before Howl and that we were able to chat.
I'll always remember you as a funny, luminous, lively and lovely being!
Last edited by JohnHall
Like Kelly, I too have been returning to this message board. With all the apathy in this world it's comforting to know that people can still band togeather and say "YES...THIS PERSON WAS HERE. HE WAS LOVED. HE WILL BE MISSED"

Even though Dean wasn't someone I spoke with on a daily basis, he and I bonded pretty heavily over the whole escorting thing. I just quit escorting in January after years of working, and Dean and I had some serious yet hysterical phone conversations about it.

And so it really breaks my heart. I wish he'd had a chance to get out of that life too. It makes me ask God (once again) why shit like this has to happen to such great people. And of course it makes me realize how much I fucked with my own safety over the years; going off to cities to hook up with strangers I knew nothing about, letting them drive me god knows where.

Every minute of that life puts the people working it at risk. Yet even with all the horror stories floating around, when you're immersed in that life you tell yourself "nothing like that will ever happen to ME". And then...when bad stuff DOES happen (and it does) it's STILL such a hard lifestyle to leave. At least for me it was. I had to physically remove myself from New York City to quit.

And so... even though Dean wasn't one of my "best friends", or someone I talked to on a regular basis, I considered him...scratch that...I WILL ALWAYS CONSIDER HIM... a kindred spirit and friend. He was a fellow singer and a fellow escort. He was open about who he was, and he made no apologies for it. He lived a life that many judgemental idiots would frown down upon, but he still went on living it with guts, gumption and laughter. The loss of that laughter will weigh heavily on the night.

Dean Dean Dean....I wish I could be in New York for your memorial service at Rapture. Thank you for the great talks. You will be missed...and from the looks of this message will never ever be forgotten. Hugs to everyone who's written stuff here...except the idiot who made that "how commen" remark. What was THAT all about?
Last edited by Daniel J. Cartier
Today in Woodstock I typed the words "Dean Johnson Murdered?"-- then I meditated and researched on the news development, it's just one day since it was announced on Page Six. Tonight at 8 p.m. at 200 Avenue A (LES) there will be a memorial...I found this article, Dean was cool--

Stacy Fine's Journal_Dean Johnson or "how I knew Dean Johnson"

Missing Dean Johnson. He was cool. He used to practice his act-(pre-Vevet Mafia, pre-Dean and the Weenies (remember them? massively good NYC rock n' roll band featuring Perry Masco and some other really cool mates)--Dean used to sing in front of me and a mirror with his tape, a mic, he would dance and sing. I was 17, he was 20. Letting you know I was a big fan of the Rock n' Roll Fag Bar and one of the practice audiences for Dean Johnson. In a Ludlow Street apartment during 1983, back when he was often hanging out with Rachel, David Ilku and Clark Render (Dueling Bankheads) and their friend from California Tommy Rush. Prez Raygun called 1983 "The Year of the Bible. I found such richness in Dean Johnson.

(At that time I was not affected by this Bible thing at all-- I took that year off from study specifically to leave home uptown and live/work in downtown Manhattan. My own assignment: to see how truly rock n' roll it was. Dean Johnson was a reification that it was still there--real rock n' roll. (r.i.p. Dean Johnson Truly Cutting Edge. Avenue A tonight should be as far out as Jackie Curtis' memorial/funeral was.

" To all of Dean's friends and family in NY -
My name is Beth and I am Dean's sister. I understand your confusion and hunger for information surrounding Dean's death. His death is currently under investigation and I don't feel comfortable discussing the details of his case until the conclusion of that investigation....but rest assured that they do know who Dean was with and that I have every confidence in the DC Det. investing the case. As soon as the case comes to a conclusion, which I am told will be soon ( although not sure what soon is in cop time....) I wil reveal every detail I know. Hang in there.
Dean has been cremated and will be layed to rest next to his mother in Maine soon. They loved each other very much and I know they are together now somewhere.
I can not express the depth of loss I feel. But to hear your stories and see your pics is a comfort. Keep posting the pics, I love them. Thanks to all of you for loving Dean so much. He would love the buzz going on about him now. :-)
With much love and gratitude....
Beth Johnson "
Beth sweetie- please let me know when he will be laid to rest in Maine. I have a house in Maine and if it is okay I would love to be there.
I think Dean had you come see my band play in Portland Maine- if you are in the area please get in touch. I would love to give you a big hug.
Just send me a note on here and I'll email you.
Lots of love,
I've been very disturbed by all of this since my friend Roger DeGennaro, a Howl festival organizer, told me about Dean's death last night. So I must, like all of you, share my memories of Dean in order to ease the sadness I feel.

I met Dean when he was doorman at the Boybar back in 1983. You couldn't NOT notice him, with that too-tall, lanky frame and basso profundo voice (he could have been the bastard son of Living Theater co-founder Julian Beck!)--not to mention his cutting wit and searing observations on all the wackery going on around him in those madcap EV days. My friends and I used to feel sorry for him standing out there on the cold sidewalk, and we'd often stop and chat, and more often than not dish about the cummings-and-goings of clientele of the St Marks Baths, then just up the street.

Once I remember we were both broke, he was hungry and I shared a slice of Stromboli pizza with him and some Marlboros.

Later, of course, he became a big (pun absolutely intended) star of the lower East Side, moving on to to tend door at Robots (I lived just up the block then, dodging the same junkies and needle-hawkers on 4th and B every goddamned day--"bohondo!" I can still hear them yelling to warn of oncoming cops), and the World. Dean always remembered the lowlier cast of us in the EV hierarchy, always offering good cheer and a free "in" to the club of the moment.

I remember going to the Quad to see "Mondo New York" when it came out, and I was thrilled to see his larger-than-life persona flouncing across the postage-stamp sized screen (which you can bet could barely contain it!). My first real-life movie star! That I ACTUALLY KNEW!

Then of course, Dean doored the World, which also was the site of his first Rock and Roll Fag Bar event, which I attended. While sparsely attended that night, the event as we all know became an institution that allowed all of us queer boys who didn't fit into to the disco-clone culture that pervaded that era then a chance for a piece of the action (and a chunk of the slutty glamor of it all). Once, I remember being at my friends' Bill and Loren's East Houston apartment just across the scraggly empty lot in front of the World, tossing through a pile of castoff clothing the pair had collected from the rag piles of the lower East Side. I mean just a mountain of stuff. We cobbled together outfits--I wore a white ruffly shirt with a beige blazer, some sort of pants, and something that resembled a dead beaver on my head, and adorned myself with ropes of fake pearls, cameos and other cheap baubles. Off we went--on acid or sh'rooms no doubt--to the World. I wasn't a dresser, and usually sort of tried to fade into the background but Dean noticed me that night in the crowd clamoring to get in and parted the hordes like Moses, beckoning me forth. He didn't recognize me, and when I revealed my "true" identity he lauded me on my fashion sense and shrieked that I looked "FABULOUS!" We never had to wait among the minions to get in ever again.

But then Dean was like that. No matter how (in)famous he became, he always took the time to say hello to me, stop and chat, offer some friendly words. I often went to see him perform at Pyramid (hi, Hapi Phace!--I was there at Whispers--de rigeur on Sunday nights for us sillies back then--when Dean unveiled "Terri Toye"--that YouTube clip brought it back oh so home!), Limelight, Brownie's, et al, alone or with his bands The Weenies and later of course Velvet Mafia.

As the 90s closed in, the EV changed irreparably, much of my circle was decimated by AIDS and other demons, and I myself retreated into my own drug-induced hell. From what I've heard and read here and elsewhere, a similar fate befell Dean for a time. I finally left in 1999, leaving the EV to the spoiled NYU brats, the Armani-suited hedge-fund studs and the Ferragamo-heeled Sex in the City sluts that rule those historic streets today.

Dean was a constant though. While I didn't see him again after I left, I noted on visits that he was still up to something outrageous, whether it was music, parties or performance, keeping that old spirit alive. Dean took what most people would consider liabilities--his awkward height and cadaverous looks--and made them assets wholly owned by himself and produced art with them. If Dean left any legacy at all, it was that anyone could find acceptance, contribute and be themselves regardless of their looks (ever so over-important in the gay subculture, even today). As well, Dean made it acceptable for gay men to love and dance to rock and roll at a time when the corporo-disco scene ruled full force.

While I haven't seen Dean in years, I've known he's been around--and a still-vital part of that magical (yes, it was) lower East Side scene of the 1980s that with his demise has nearly all but disappeared. He followed--and respected--the traditions of Ginsberg, Jack Smith, and so many others now gone before him. Hopefully, they are putting on a hell of a performance somewhere tonight.

While Dean's death is shocking and disturbing, and even confusing to us, the best thing we can do is to try to heal in a positive and loving way, not strike out at others or ourselves. Rest in peace, Dean, you big weenie!
Tonight's event still leaves me speechless.

Beth, I am deeply grateful to you; the love with which the Johnson family supported Dean fuelled this gorgeous creature, who has made this world such an incredibly magical place for the legions of us lucky enough to have found ourselves in his orbit.

One young man, who posted on the myspace page, drove in from Philadelphia to attend; the beautiful Basil Twist cut short his Paris gig to fly home and surprise us all (as he is wont to do); one young man, Eric Leven (a talented, passionate up-and-coming writer and activist reading for us next Wednesday) turned to me and said, "I wish I had met this man who made all of this possible. I'm just really glad he lived." And, for the record, when I told Dean (who had not met Eric yet) I had booked Eric to read on Oct. 10th, Dean asked me, "Is he hot?" "Of course he is," I replied, "it's YOUR reading series!" Shrieking laughter from Dean. So, naturally, we used Eric as the Reading For Filth model stud in the ads. Dean was rehearsing with Velvet Mafia the night we did the photo shoot in the Rapture bathroom, and it didn't come out in Next until this past week. I am certain he's loving the final results.

Dean, you inspired so much!


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Last edited by mr.joe
It seems , tragically , as though foul play was INVOLVED in Dean´s death , as well as that of another young man several days before.

Hopefully < the autopsy > will reveal the true cause of death in both cases.

oh dear , how I remember doing his eye make up for night of 1000 Stevies at Jackie.

Dean wanted a glamour look , so I gave him big doe eyes , and he actually looked so pretty onstage that everyone complimented him on his lovely eye makeup.

Oh Dean , you even let me jump in and sing on one of your tracks in the studio, Fierce Ruling Diva.

Thank you.

....did you all happen to know that Dean was the only person Page ever had sex with when she was still a young white male ?

yes it´s true....

and know they are possibly together , their souls are mingling with the digital signals that jet around our world ,

I hope that Page is helping Dean to cross over

on microwaves carrying data in desperate need of a chip to rest on

that is all we are

000001 1111 0001

0101011 1111 00000

10101 001

james f murphy
Tonight @ Rapture was awesome. Personally the grief hit me kind of for the first time seeing everyone together. I nearly dissolved into a puddle, but just before I went on I went into the back yard, got down on my knees and prayed, and asked Dean for a little help with the reading. And he gave it. Everyone thought that I was helping Dean but in truth he helped me more.
Last edited by aka Dominick
Dean was a legend for me and we were in contact a lot lately. He had a cat named after me,Luther, for years. I actually did not know that he had passed until tonight... Some of the best conversations of my life were with Dean. Playing the Pyramid and every other club worth playing was a blast. I would play guitar solos and Dean would lick at my guitar while I held it like a dick! I'm so sad but he knew how to live and that is who I am thinking of. I'm sorry for all of our loss...
Sept. 7th, 2007 - Dean's blog:

"The show tomorrow should be hysterical. It's about trannie hookers on the Bowery in the who do I play? An Irish cop! I'll be wearing a polyester uniform from head-to-toe, white gloves and I'll have a plastic helmet GLUED to my head in stifling heat. Fun fun fun.

I wouldn't miss it for the world. Smile"


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oh god/goddess!!! tonite's celebration of dean was so lovely, so much gratitude to everyone for testifying and witnessing! Beth it was amazing to read your post, thank you for yr generosity, and im so so so sorry for your loss. he alwasy held you in the highest regard when he'd speak of you. you will be happy to know there was some true love and joy in the room for having known him, or even those who didnt know him, and who were still influenced and affected by Dean, everyone celebrating him. it gave me some peaceful feeling to swim in that. And it was so fun to see everyone turn OUT for it, i think dean would have been thrilled! i too kept thinking he was gonna stroll in at some point, weirdly. the lights were flickering at the early part of the night and i of course thought that meant dean had entered the building and was waiting to see who was coming to pay tribute. Keeping track! hello! I thought it was nice of dale to share what he read , and so i'm taking his lead. love you dale. love you dean. we all were beach buddies together, at dale and tony's homebase in cherry grove. the following is a short interview/questionnaire i did with dean a few years ago for the notorious fanzine Scumbagfagmag, i am their staph writer. the issue topic was SLUTS.

SLUTTTTT. I dont know, calling someone a slut is like calling someone an alcoholic. It's something a slut has to admit themsleves, a self diagnosed state of being. so, i took an educated guess over here by asking dean.i have been to the beach with him many times, and i'm telling you there must be some pretty good conversations or something in those dunes, at 20 minute intervals over the course of 5 hours. Gods bless you big dean johnson, rock n roll superstar of the universe, a NY legend, and also my pal. Thank you Dean!

1.define the word SLUT
*********A slut is someone who puts out without getting paid for it

2.are you a slut?
*******I am now. I used to be a consummate professional but my work ethic has waned

3.assuming the answer is yes, please list some "sluts" you may have been inspired by in the past
***** mae west, JFK, tonya harding, elizabeth dole

4. what might a typical day of a slut look like?
******* there is no typical day...sluts follow the whims of their own sexual impulses and life is always an adventure

5. is it possible to be a slut in a committed relationship? hmmm?
******well, to paraphrase a famous slut, it depends on what yr definition of "commitment" is

6. do you think there is one group of people in particular that are predisposed to being sluts? like gay men? and why is that?
*****For some reason, anyone raised in a religious enviroment turns out slutty , i dont know why

(*note* viva has lived through 13 years of catholic school)

7. some drawbacks to being a slut , if any. feel free to leave this blank. i mean if you cant find any drawbacks.
**** sometimes sex can conflict with your television viewing schedule. a lot of sluts are getting tivo

8. advice to emerging sluts in the east village of new york city?

***** call me 347. 528. 3700

( that was his real # originally but i changed it around cuz im not sure whats happening w his phone right now. fuck. reality check. this sucks.)
thank you to johnny mcgovern for playing the role of dean in this reading tonite. i know they were great friends too.
it was quite a lovely night. xavier sang RAINBOW CONNECTION! oh boy. dean is really so loved. i hope you can feel that dean! i really didnt get enough of you dean but what can i say? i was so lucky to have gotten some of you up close and personal. i miss you. i want more. dean, you are awesome and you will stay that way in me forever and ever amen.
Last edited by viva domination
From Her One and Only Jayne County on the Myspace blog of The Velvet Mafia:

When the Velvet Mafia were at CBGB*s I missed the beginning of their show! I was downstairs doing coke and giving a blow job Richard Hell!!! By the time I had snorted three bags and noticed that Richard wasn*t ever gonna cum, I ran upstairs just in time to sing a few songs with the band! They were great! Like passing out in a toilet at the Cock and waking up next to Lady Bunny! A real Rockin Shockin band! The Velvet Mafia are the real NYC! And they are for real. No phony pretend bi sexuals or glamed up straight men on steriods!!! (Styriods?? Fuck it!!) I love the soon to be recorded song I wrote, just for them! It*s called *I Belong To The Spank Generation!* Rock on!! Hmmmmmm beat on those drums till they bleed!!! Rock on!!! xx Jayne County!!! PS. I give the beat a 98! Now BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED FOR ME!!!

Posted by JAYNE COUNTY ™* on March 17, 2007 - Saturday at 11:28 PM
Beth - thank you for coming on here and reassuring all that you will let us know everything once you know yourself. My heart goes out to you, whatever sadness his friends feel I am sure yours in tenfold in losing a brother.

A big thank you to Joe, Hattie and all that spoke and shared their thoughts, memories and private (or not so private) moments with Dean last night. I wasn't sure I was up for attending but it was good to see other people grieving and celebrating Dean. It was really beautiful to see how many people Dean inspired. Although there were tears it was great to hear the laughter, applause and the "woo dean!!" - that was the best part.

Like Viva said - I am sad that there will not be more of him, more times shared, more conversations, more laughs but I am grateful for the memories I have. I will never be able to wear chandelier earrings now and NOT think of him.

Special thanks to Clark for his re-do of "FUCK YOU"
Last night was magic.
When I walked by with the dog a half hour before the party and saw the nightclub legends lining up outside I knew it was going to be over the top.
And it was!
Nightclub royalty came out of the woodwork for Dean.
I haven't seen anything like it since Andy Warhol's memorial.
Dean must be very pleased.
It looked like a block party outside in the street. (Inside got too crowded)
Dean sure was loved.
Now that last night is over - and I do mean
tens across the board -

I just wanted to reach out and thank everyone who has shared and continues to share memories of Dean here. We are getting email and private messages from old friends and FODs (Friends of Dean) from as far away as Japan and South Africa who have visited and read every word. Though some havent posted and may never do so, they are being helped by your stories, words and pictures, and your warmth as a community.

Because, no matter what, Dean was just that way.

Daniel Cartier, I really admire your courage in posting here about your difficulties in leaving The Life - so many of our friends have dealt with that turning point in various ways and others are going through it now, or will face it in future.

And Beth, we totally understand why you do not want to compromise the investigation, and no true friend of your dear brother's would want you to.

To all who continue to mourn and celebrate, carry on..
All of the posts here have been very comforting.
I remember when I was the chef at MK. David Ilku and that crazy Rachel were always there and I was always giving Rachel dinner for free. David would always tell me about Dean's thing at the World in great detail.

I met Dean in a recovery room. He was just the best. I would always try to stay sober but it never took with me either. Anyway Dean really could tell an excellent story. Always. This room was one of the funnest rooms around, on 4th Street and Ave B, I think. NA.
I really vented here when I first saw this. Thank you for having these boards. And all of his friends.
I wish I could have come to the city for the memorial. At least people from all over the world can look here and read about it, and grieve.

And who is this weirdo who keeps popping up like a cartoon character saying "How common."
Like a little fly that you want to smash. Nobody likes little flies and that's why fly swatters were invented.

It's nice to know that Dean has a loving sister. and Daniel Carter,
wow, it's pretty cool that you spoke out about your own escorting.

I don't know what else to say......sad
As I walked over to Rapture last night with Barb and saw the huge crowd outside I got a lump in my throat. Dean is so loved. Reading through here, so many memories are flooding back. Thank you Daniel for reminding me of Dean as Elanor Mondale and for the performance we did together for one of the Stevie nights way back when. Dean was alawys so supportive of me, as he was with so many performers on the scene.

I just keep staring at his myspace page and reading posts here. I hope he knew how many people truly adored him.

I remember meeting Dean in 1991 in the pyramid dressing room. I was with Antony and He was with Page. It was all so new to me then, being in an environment where I could be myself. I thought about that last night at the memorial as Barb said to me, "This is our Family"

It's true. We might not see each other all the time or even keep up that much, but the loss of someone so central to this community makes me just want to say how much I love you people.
I just arrived home from my long drive to NYC and Dean's amazing memorial. It was sad and joyfull to see so many of Dean's friends there. I will write more laterwhen I havemore energy but just one story before I go: As I was heading up 195 I couldn't get a radio station to come in clear..Just then a huge truck came barreling right by me and just as I saw the name on the back of the truck " DEAN trucking company" the radio cleared up instantly and Stevie Nicks came on. I got goose bumps and thanked Dean for the help with thr radio reception. Amazing!
And to think I almost didn't go last night. I've been traveling for nearly two weeks and returned earlier this week to my busy job and school work. Last night I was tired and on the verge of crashing. But I got online and read, like, 2 posts in this forum and instantly changed my mind. My wife said "hon, if you're tired you don't have to go." I didn't even know Dean that well, though he was a huge inspiration naturally. But no, reading these posts turned me, I have to go, I thought .... this is my family, and I have to be there. And sure enough, that's exactly what it was. Thanks Joe and Hattie for having all of us. Rest in Peace Dean!

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