The details are very sketchy, but the pioneering Rock and Roll Fag Dean Johnson has died, cause to be determined by autopsy, in Washington DC.

We have absolutely no details yet as family members are en route to DC to identify his body.

As we try to comprehend this loss, we give thanks for such a singular being, born star, and great friend.

Mood: devastated
Music: Stevie Nicks
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Original Post
Dean Johnson passed away this week. Details surrounding Dean's
death, along with the death of another young man are still uncertain,
and an investigation is, as of this writing, still ongoing.

I have included details and links about Dean's life below.

Dean is survived by his father is Ellis Johnson and his sister is
Beth. For several years, Dean cared for and visited his mother
Linda, who succumbed to a battle with cancer in 2006. He was a
devoted son, brother and friend to scores of people who comprised of
Dean's chosen family.

Some sources:
History of Wigstock (update coming soon)
The crowd grows to a few thousand. John Sex works the guys (and girls)
a frenzy with his gyrating cover of "Secret Agent Man". 6'6" big, bad,
porn star Dean Johnson rocks the house with his original "Bourgeois
Underground band 3 Teens Kill 4, featuring artist David Wojnarowicz on
piano, hypnotises the masses with their trippy sound effects. John
Kelly as
Dagmar Onassis sings his version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" which
becomes the traditional Wigstock finale for years to come:

"By the time we got to Wigstock we were several thousand falls...
And I dreamed I saw the drag queens spraying hairspray in the sky and
made all the yuppies die"
The "Lady" Bunny is bewitching!

A-Listers in Mortar: The Velvet Mafia
Interview by Derek de Koff
When did you form The Weenies?
Back in '85. Dean And The Weenies. We were a club band. We used to play
And Roll Fag Bar and some of the other clubs. It became something of a
phenomenon. I did this song called "Fuck You" in the film Mondo New
From that I was able to get a recording contract with Island Records.
signed me based on my performance of "Fuck You" but when they realized
I was
a gay activist and a drag queen, they freaked out and found an excuse
dump me. They released my record in an unmarked brown paper wrapper and
said that they were dumping me because the album wouldn't sell.
They printed out thousands of CDs of "Fuck You" and then decided to get
of them. They dumped them into a dumpster behind the Island offices.
Homeless people pulled them out of the garbage and sold them for a
dollar on
St. Mark's and it became a huge phenomenon. That's how I really
myself as a performer back in '87.
by Walter Cessna

Dean Johnson has been so many things in his life, it's hard to keep
track of
them all. Besides fronting the band THE WEENIES, he was the first
doorman at
SAVE THE ROBOTS and also ran the legendary ROCK 'N' ROLL FAG BAR before
heroin addiction landed him in jail.

Staging a comeback, Dean started a new band called THE VELVET MAFIA.
looks at this band, as the first focused thing he's ever done. "I named
band after my idols Barry Diller and David Geffen because of how
they are. Like them, THE VELVET MAFIA is definitely a commercial
Geffen actually caught the band's gig at the nightclub JACKIE 60, but
didn't exactly rush backstage. "I heard he freaked when I sang a song
dedicated to him called 'Hello, Good-bye!'" As New York's reigning
6-inch bald drag queen (and that's without heels), Johnson gives the
sarcastically bittersweet songs an added punch.

Review/Film; Seeking the Outrageous In New York By WALTER GOODMAN

Trip Records Press Release 27 May 1998

NEW YORK -- With the founding of Rock & Roll Fag Bar over 10 years ago,
Johnson created a venue which quickly took hold and helped to define
growing East Village scene of the 80's. It's only fitting, then, that
Johnson leads his band The Vel vet Mafia onto the stage for the release
their debut album "We Know Where You Live" during the "Rock & Roll Fag
Reunion Party." A much-lauded event, the show will take place
Wednesday, May
27th at Lust for Life in New York City.

The Freak Shows of days gone by may never return as we knew them, but
Velvet Mafia weaves a circus side-show mystique, conjuring flashbacks
Siamese twins, Bearded ladies and unicorns that look mysteriously like

Refugee of the 80's Island Records act Dean and the Weenies, Dean
(New York's reigning six-foot-six-inch bald drag queen who also spewed
attention-grabbing tune "Fuck You" in the film Mondo New York) plays
ringmaster to his caustically catchy clan of degenerates and outcasts
in a
full frontal assault on 'normal' America. "We Know Where You Live"
stories of queer life in their own unique feisty and poignant
style - a Ritalin-free Dr. Seuss for adults.

As Head Mistress to his seven-member menagerie, Johnson is joined by
Mary Feaster (on permanent suspension from St. Ignatius School for
Girls) on
Bass and background vocals, guitarist in boy-drag the ever-evasive
Bettelheimer (aka Susanne Hassenstein), cellist from Hell Satan (aka
Spreitz), Holy Jazz-man and sexy-saxist Father Josh Atkins, nautical
percussionist and background vocalist Sailor McDrum (aka Tom McCrum),
the deceptively friendly and always firm-handed Nurse Wanda Hill (aka
Walsh). A true cacophony of irreverence which creates a recipe for a
in-your-face queerer-than-thou delivery that slams your brain and
leaves you
flying well above the carnival world below, all anchors of comfort
tossed aside.
Advocate, The, Dec 5, 2000 by Cathay Che
Queer club life is alive and well in New York City, thanks in part to
hard-rocking HomoCorps

Longtime New York club denizen and musician Dean Johnson is turning 40
year. Most infamous for New York City's popular late-'80s weekly party
& Roll Fag Bar, Johnson is now drug-free and in love, involved in the
healthy relationship of his life. He's also just started a new,
much-buzzed-about monthly showcase for queer musicians called HomoCorps
the legendary CBGB's. But don't suggest that this survivor, also
for his punk anthem "[Fuck You" (by Dean and the Weenies) and for his
current band, the Velvet Mafia, is now a gay role model.
"How dare you!" says Johnson, laughing. "I've never been accused of
before." As much as Johnson, who is bald and a striking 6 feet 7 inches
without heels, bristles at being anything but irreverent, he does talk
talk of a queer activist. "Well, I've always said that the recording
industry is like the Army: It's run by homosexuals and is completely
homopbobic," says Johnson dryly. "The fact that there are a lot of gay
people actually works against queer musicians because either they are
in the
closet and afraid of being outed or out of the closet and afraid of
accused of having an agenda."


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Poets and Priests of nothing... Legends

The lights went out for a few seconds and when they came back on Stevie now had on a white shawl.
The last song was "Has Anyone ever Written Anything For You" and it looked like she had tears in her eyes.
Maybe because this was the end of the show and she was sorry it was to end.
At the end of the song where she speaks, "And when they ask her about the men in her life she said,
"Well in answer to your question, they were poets, and they were priest of nothing, they were legends."
She follows that singing out in beautiful voice "legends"!!!
Stevie and the band walked up to the front of the stage and took a bow, then Stevie thanked everyone and ended the evening with,
"I miss you".


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hello family. I needed some community around this loss so here I am. dean dean dean , i love you. rhiannon is yours forever babycakes.
This Wednesday was going to be the next in Dean's reading series at RAPTURE.
I believe it's now going to be a very big celebration of a very big man.
Mr. Joe?
Yes. This Wednesday was schedule to be the first installment of Dean's reading series, READING FOR FILTH, and take place each Wednesday in October. We will celebrate our friend, our dear family member's glorious life here at Rapture. Wherever Dean is concerned, the show always went on.

Miss Webb (our very own DJ Baby K) has begun an honoring wall around the stage, and asks folks to bring any music Velvet Mafia or Dean and The Weenies; photos; DVD footage; or any other Dean-related memorabilia to share.
Deans death has hit me very hard even though I haven't even seen him for years.

I used to know him enough to say "Hi Dean" and have a brief conversation with him.

I was a teenager when I met him, and all the regulars at The Pyramid.

These memories are so concrete that it is hard for me to picture anyone from that time period in any other context. I adored them all when I was kid. I worshipped them and I considered them my parents as ridiculous as it sounds. No one understands either unless they were there.

I can see Wendy Wild in the coat check booth telling me about a new brand of hair coloring and smiling. I can see John Sex on the stage singing about Woolworth's. I can remember talking to Ethyl Eichelberger about a million things in the dressing room and there are many others who have passed that I remember as well.

I went to a lot of Dean's club nights over the years but still cannot shake one memory of him in the Pyramid basement.

I just wanted to share this memory with you all because it is how I remember him whenever I think of him, no matter in what context.

Here it is:

Everyone is in The Pyramid basement dressing room.

Dean is in his black spandex dress and wearing those big glasses. He is surrounded by all the wonderful Pyramid drag queens. They are all getting made up to go dance on the bar and Dean is sitting nearby chatting with all of them.

He is gonna perform with Dean and The Weenies later on and everyone is just having a fucking good time.

Sun Pk (formerly Peter Kwaloff who used to do Clitoris Gash, LaToilette Jackson and many others at (on stage at Mud Club and Pyramid) is there and he says something to Dean that makes Dean absolutely howl with laughter.

That is my memory of him, he is laughing and having fun, and he never leaves that place in my mind.
I met Dean in 1984 at Robots and worked with and around him on and off throughout the years. Recently we got much closer through myspace and our mutual love of writing and we joked that it was funny how after all these years we had become closer than ever over the internet. We made plans to hang out a few weeks ago at a birthday party, but they fell through and we missed each other. I had no idea that was the last chance I'd get to see him. I still have an email sitting in my mailbox wanting to know when we could try it again. I thought I had plenty of time to answer!

Dean was one of the people that made the city feel like New York to me. Even though we weren't super close in an every day kind of way, I consider him a member of my extended family. And the tragedy is that on top of the personal loss, it's also a huge loss to the artistic community. I am truly sad, and I send out my condolences to everyone who is grieving.

We love you, Dean. Probably more than you knew!
I am completely stunned and saddened by Dean's sudden death. I think I will always remember the last time I saw him, ruling the stage at Low Life.
This just out:

Daily Intelligencer
Edited by Jesse Oxfeld and Chris Rovzar with Michael Idov

5:00 PM
Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson Dies

Photo: Patrick McMullan
Downtown icon and gay performing artist Dean Johnson died last week, friends just learned. The 6'6" promoter was found dead by authorities in Washington, DC, but remained unidentified until this week. Police are still investigating the cause. Johnson, 45, founded the iconic weekly party Rock and Roll Fag Bar in the late eighties, and also started HomoCorps, a monthly gay music showcase at CBGB, before the punk club closed. At times a porn star and at other times a rock star (he fronted Dean and the Weenies and later The Velvet Mafia), he was always recognizable by his height (often augmented by heels) and brazen eyewear. Friends say he helped shape the growing East Village art and club kid scene in the late eighties, continuing through to today, with popular and notoriously raunchy parties he's hosted at dive venues like The Hole and The Cock. He had battled drugs "historically," said his longtime friend Joe Birdsong. "Bit in the past year he had cleaned that up." Friends will celebrate his life next week at Rapture Café and Books on Wednesday at 8 p.m


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by some magical synchronicity "live at red rocks" arrived from netflix yesterday. i put it on the queue because *musQrat hasn't seen it but also because i heard dean tell a story about watching it with clark (of the bankheads) and wanted to get back into it myself.
i'll be thinking of dean while i watch it today.
I thought some of you who knew Dean like I did might get a kick out of this. It was the last story I worked on with Dean while I was the Editor of Next Magazine. I'm going to miss him a lot, but I take some consolation knowing that now he's jamming out upstairs with Laura Branigan...and reading all the other angels for filth with Hilly Kristal between sets. Love ya, Dean...

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Thanks for posting that Gregory T.

I have a question that probably only Hattie Hathaway can answer.
As I remember it, Dean was the first one to put (the now ubiquitous) skinny East Village Rock & Roll boys in their underwear up on a bar.
I know it was first done at The Pyramid Club for sure but did Dean do it?



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Oh dear. Such sad news. Two of my old show-biz partners, Tabboo! and then Philly (notoriously famed for projectile vomiting in the Pyramid production of Attack of the Spider Crabs from Star Nebula), each called me yesterday to break the news about Dean. I'm so glad that someone here wrote about remembering his laughter in the Pyramid dressing room.

I remember that too, and his different laughs. He had a slow snickering laugh that could build into a bigger, volcanic eruption of laughter, sort of like laugh steam escaping from a place deep inside--where he did see the humor in just about everything.

I don't remember if he and I ever had a conversation about the topic or not, but it seems that we did share an understanding that nothing should be taken seriously for too long --- that everything was in life was easier to digest if we could find the funny side.

Dean always laughed at my jokes no matter how stale or how stolen they were. I always appreciated that about him, among many other things, his talents as a poet, a performer, a punk, a rocker, a fag, a porn star, a prostitute, an icon and a genuine and sincere person.

He and I were never close friends, but were both moths drawn to that flame that burned brightly for a magical period in NYC during the early 80s. (I think the flame still burns, though not so brightly, perhaps it's an ember just needing new fuel. One hopes . . .)

But, anyway From what I know about him, he seemed like many of us, some still here, others like Baby Gregor, Ethyl Eichelberger, Tanya Ransom, Larry Shox, Wendy Wild, John Sex, Craig Vandenberg, Ann Craig, David Crocker, Greer Lankton, et al, who are now gone; to have been raised with rules and regulations that did not suit the development of our inspirations and aspirations, and so one-by-one we shed those rules and regulations to create our own --or the bravest among us, to live without any whatsoever.

Amazingly this mass of people ho cherished their individuality and creativity migrated separately only to find each other and join forces, to experiment with our new rules or lack of rules . . . but to forge a society and, (dare I say it?) a movement.

I for one, was fueled by Dean's example to continue on with saying "fuck you" to conventions and rules of society and family that stifled my spirit and blinded my creative vision. Because many of us struggled with a dual citizenship of being partly the person we were born as and the person that we recreated for ourselves . . . we have lost one of our most glamorous generals in the battle for unique individuality. A loss that I deeply mourn.
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Yes daddy. He was the first to have boys in white jockey briefs - with tubesox and combat boots, if I remember correctly. It was also the uniform of the female members of Dean and the Weenies. But they wore bras. In fact, it might have been one of the female Weenies that came up with the look first, and Dean realized that it was the best look for his bar dancers.
so sad, to have lost such a wonderful person.

dean and i were friends at NYU and i was his first drummer in Dean and the Weenies. Over the last few weeks, I kept meaning to reach out to him and tell him the following:

Hi Dean - I wanted you to know I have been playing drums to your first Velvet Mafia record and listening to it non stop for the last several weeks. Despite marriage, kids, suburbia, and this BS called a career, I still manage to play and your record has been my first choice for the last several weeks.

The record is brilliant and Deli Boy is breathtakingly stupendous - one of my all-time favorite songs. It got me thinking back to the mid 80's when we started playing. Being practically the house band at Pyramid on Drag Queen Sunday nights, sharing the dressing room with Hapi, Lady Bunny, etc. was so fun. Playing with the Weenies has become an indelible part of me and I can never thank you enough for allowing me to share in that experience. You touched my life then and continue to do so now. Thank you for being you and allowing me to be a small part of your life.

I write the above in sorrow - we have lost someone so unique, so special, and it fills me with emotion. Regret that I never got to send the above email. Sadness that I will never be able to thank him in person. But hope that he will return and assault us again with his cutting humor, brilliant songs and wanton thoughts!

I will love and miss you forever Dean.

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An Historical Note...

In our culture it seems to be of paramount importance who was "the first," when in reality any ideas we might have are the result of a barrage of influences we receive from the cradle onward.

"You know you weren't the first bald drag queen, Dean," said Constance in the mid-nineties.

Likewise, the first boy bar dancers at the Pyramid in jockey shorts were Greg W. (a wall streeter by day) and Sister Dimension (!). This was in 1981, before Dean came here from the wilds of Maine.

However, whether or not Dean had ever seen Constance or those very first Pyramid bar dancers, or even knew about them, he took both concepts to the N-th degree, and made them his very own.

This is what makes a legend a legend. And Dean one of the most special in the pantheon of legends. He will truly be missed.
This sucks. This just plainly sucks.

Dean will be missed. He was always there- and now he's not. A movement all by himself.
You're right of course Hatch, the whole "being the first" is so "Francine 59" of me.
First or not, Dean took everything to the extreme.

I remember DJing at one of his parties.
There were HUNDREDS of guys totally naked going totally ape shit!
At one point he had at least 15 or 20 guys jerking off in unison on the bar (he told them all to come at the same time).
It was hysterical.
I got inspired and put on Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
With the lights out, its less dangerous
Here we are now, Entertain us.

They came together.
It was a high point in my DJ career and I'm sure Kurt and Dean are laughing about it right now.
This is so shocking. Ironically I'm reading this news from the Fairmont Hotel in DC as I type (here for work). I only knew Dean very casually, but he was always so kind and his sense of humor will be missed. Another piece of youth falling away ...
What a spectacular being Dean is/was.... We met 100 years ago when we both worked at the World.... had a lot of respect for each other, and always shared laughs... recently we reconnected via myspace and were writing back and forth.I adore you Dean, gorgeous and mean God Bless The Queen!
Thank you for your stories and words here, they are a comfort and I know our own "velvetmafiacapo" is reading every word.

For friends of Dean's who might not have seen him of late, I just wanted you to know that he went out at the very top of his game, creatively challenged, respected, even worshipped by new legions of fans, writing,!

His last performance, September 8 at Low Life in the Howl Festival was a complete departure from any of his usual schticks, and yet he made it completely his own. Knowing of his historically troubled relationship with the NYPD, we asked him to portray a crooked Irish cop from a century ago.

In his Keystone Kop uniform and gigantic pentagram, he TURNED IT OUT! On his blog, of his LOW LIFE show he simply wrote:


Like Pops, I will cherish that last memory of him, the humor and tongue-in-cheek glamour, the roar of appreciation from this VERY hometown crowd, till we meet again.


Photo by Mark Tusk


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From Mark Tusk:

sorry to hear about dean; i didn't know him well, but i knew him for
for a long time, i now realize. i so wish i'd taken photos at his
birthday in the courtyard of the world in a whole other era: someone
gave him a big bouquet and i remember joking how he beamed like little
(big) miss america. and, the guy grilling hot dogs said to everyone
"spread your buns and i'll stick it in." weenies, haha.

what's freaky about the attached pic is that after low life i came
across this, which i took one night at rock and roll fag bar and blew
up myself in my first apartment. i photographed the photo and it's
been in my camera since...i never thought i'd show it as any kinda
tribute, but there's something about his face being washed out, the
eyes peeking thru his shades and his loop earing blocking the eye of
the guy in the backround that i like. and yeah, that's young-er me on
the right, having shot it myself. i'm mystified how i got both
of us in the frame, but greatful i did.

anyway, i thought you'd get a kick outta that, and feel free to put it
on the motherboard if you like. i've got a few other r&r fag bar
shots, but that's the only one with dean that i blew up.

...and, i also wish the shot backstage of him giving me the finger,
which i didn't include in the flaneur pile, came out better. may have
to review the full set...

again, sorry how this turned out, but boy, did he go out with a bang:
his song in TSP totally rocked!



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Another one from Mark Tusk.
Dean as the crooked Irish Cop at this year's LOW LIFE @ The Howl Festival.


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I knew Dean as did many through the years via performance and always
viewed him as an exotic spider - gorgeous and terrifying. The physicality
alone was a phenomenon. When told 'his
body could not be identified for a week' ... I made a bad black-humor joke - "What fool couldn't identify THAT body?"

I only got to know the man personally very recently as a result of doing
editorial for our Verbal Abuse #5. Dean's submission was a masterpiece
of concision, mordant wit and insight... I barely had to do a thing to
'make it' perfect. Ask Chi Chi and she'll tell you how unusual that is.
... well now I can't resist relating something about it...

It's a zip-through the 80s, a 'Lost City' indeed, as per the various famous
types he rubbed up against. He always has something rude and hilarious to
say about them. The next-to-last entry for 1988 is appallingly awful...
I literally screamed when I got to the end of it.
That wicked humor and what my friend Carl Apfelschnitt would term
"tragic-pig grandeur" shines with a
hysterical gleam. I'm thrilled we have something of his for #5 and I'm
thinking Chi might have to make it a Memento Mori for The Johnson.

Dean does seem in himself one of those Utopian cities, a place where a
certain order and truth strained to be perfect, but always
with a black laughing edge slashing through the glitter.

In the course of our short correspondence I asked him if he had more
material about his life, since his mini-tour of the 80s promised so
much more thick and rich detail. He said he'd been wanting to write his
autobiography and had TONS of material. But that he didn't know how to get
started or get focussed. I offered to look through everything he had and
start editing it. He was excited to think someone would help him with this project.

This is another thing I wanted to say... Look around you, and tell the genius next-door HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM and appreciate them.... NOW. You'd be surprised to know how marginal and isolated ... Dean told me he felt! As so many of us feel.... SO DON'T WAIT until we're on our death-beds or as "a hot dame on a cold slab" to say you worshipped our asses! TELL US NOW.

Sorry to say, he did not get around to sending me anything. We decided to meet up first when I got to NY. So I hope this material for his Autobiography is right there on his computer desk-top, to be discovered, kept intact and
cherished. And if the executors decide to go for it and need an editor, I think Dean would have been happy with my red pencil.

Pax Vobiscum
Robert Coddington, who is the archivist for Nelson Sullivan's videos, wrote and asked me to let you all know that he has been posting clips of Dean on youtube.

This is a link to a video of Dean & the Weenies performing "Teri Toye" at the 5th anniv. of Pyramid . . .

Legends never die. Dean embodied everything that was authentic and necessary for downtown nightlife and its congregation. Thank you Dean, you will be missed.
Teri Toye was always one of my faves.

And I love how in "Fuck You" Dean comes down the stairs and has to raise the mic stand another foot.
I got the call from Walter on Friday and it took me a long while to process. Then I sent out an email blast to whomever I thought might not have heard. I got replies from Fenton of WOW and Danny Fields, as well as Tall Paul Gellman, and a number of others from back in the day. All were unanimous in saying it would be hard to imagine NY without Dean. My memories of him are also of his laughter...the loud percussive dirty cackle that he would often greet my snide commentary with.

He was one of the few people I would actually take the time to see when I visited NY (apologies to all others!) because I knew I could make him laugh and that would make me laugh.

I'd known Dean since the mid 80s...and he was always the same; ridiculously talented, hilariously opinionated, outrageously filthy, and way way way ahead of his time.

I hope the images I put together from my old vault below will bring some joy...I know I have more somewhere but these really caught him in his many guises from that era when I first met him.

Love to all of you who shared your love for Dean here.

Your old friend,

David Scharff
I only found out about this today! It's a very sad day in New York, we will all miss Dean and his incredible influence on the East Village gay (sub sub)culture. My fondest memory of Dean:

He was hosting that ultra notorious club night "Pubic Hair Club for Men" at the Comeback. Go-go boys were required to masturbate. To get to the dancefloor you had to climb a flight of stairs in a narrow hallway, and open a door. Just as I was about to open the door, the door flies open, and there is Dean, in a black dress, lipstick and those sunglasses and heels having a HUGE fight with his then boyfriend (let's just call him "Chris")they were wrestling with each other on the floor!, Dean pulling "Chris'" hair. I was speechless! and it finally sort of ended abruptly, neither of them any worse for the wear. The funny thing was Chris started working at Dick's Bar a week befor this happened, and he was the one who invited me to go see the place!
I will miss you very much Dean.
I wasn't planning on crying today...but when I heard this news, the tears pretty much took over. This is so very sad, and my heart goes out to everyone in Deans immediate circle of friends and family.

Dean was a very special and wonderful person. Although he wasn't someone I spoke with on a daily basis, I was honored to call him a friend.

He was without a doubt, one of the nicest, most sincere people in the downtown "scene". I first learned of his exsistance in the Eighties, the same way many people watching him serve up his own brand of bald fierceness in "Mondo New York". I was still in high school at that time; a gay goth loner stuck in the drudgery that was 1980s New Hampshire. It comforted me to know there where all these freaky people somewhere in the world that were doing something different, cool and vital with their lives.

Suffice to say I was totally star struck when I finally got to meet Dean in person, in the early nineties. But he was totally gracious and he made me laugh with his deadpan dry wry sense of humor. The Velvet Mafia was a great band. Such great songs and a live set that was packed full of pure fag rock energy. I loved every second of the shows I was privvy to see. I only wish I'd have gotten a chance to see them play more.

Dean will be missed. He will always be a rockstar in my eyes.
The one good thing (maybe the only good thing) about a tragedy like this is that it brings the family back together.
Just "seeing" so many familiar faces here makes me (and I'm sure Dean) very happy.
When we owned MOTHER I knew we had something very special because when something like this happened, MOTHER was where everyone would gather. It was where the memorial would be etc.
The torch has now (happily for Chi Chi and I) been passed on to Mr. Joe and The RAPTURE CAFE.
Same family (watched over by the dowager Hathaway) -different house.
Chi Chi had the idea of bringing the MOTHER community online. I, of course, had no idea what she and Rob were talking about.
Now I do.
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.
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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.
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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!
If you read his last diary entry,you'll notice he is currently watching"CRUISING the delux dvd edition".hmmmmm...a film depicting gay drug addict prostitutes being violently murded for fun...hmmmmm....coincidence????
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.
Boring, are you kidding me?
I loved your post and laughed out loud!
You really captured the Dean that we all knew and loved.

And Tabboo!, the "Cruising" thing is too weird.
Goosebumps here too.
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??
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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.
Dean must be thrilled that he got this much space in Page 6, and at the laughably outrageous tone of this item.
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I don't know about you guys but I don't think this story has even really begun.
There is so much we don't know.
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
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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.
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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.
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Tina and Arlene, those are gorgey photos!
We love you.
I'm sitting here in the sticks waiting for the dial-up to render up the ABC news report...
Let the Big Scandale roll!

.... hopeless. They make me wait for the Six Flags Fright Night ad, then I get connnexion error. bleh
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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!
Ryan, What the hell is wrong with you?
This topic has had almost 7 thousand page views in less than a week. Obviously a lot of people are sad about the loss of a true New York legend.
That is hardly "common".
Stick to things that you know something about, like the time you saw Amanda or Candis walk by.
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
Thanks for those photos Tina and Arhlene, they get my eyes to ride all Dean's vivaciousness.

And thanks Kelly for that close to the source info. Although I'm sure everyone wants Dean's truth, not the proprietary policy dictats of politicos and media announcers.
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.
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wanted to share this photo from Fire island - hiding his Big Johnson (for once!) in a coy umbrella dance. I will miss you my friend. Rhiannon now and forever more!
Dean is the reason I moved to New York. His son FUCK YOU at the end of Mondo New York changed my life FOREVER and made me wanna be a part of his world. The diva will live forevver in our city's collective memories of true glamor, grit and art.
Joshua - Your conspiracy theory is the most Dean-minded thing I've ever read - that wasn't written by Dean - and I got a great Dean-like cackle out of it. Priceless. Smile
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!
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Beams to Dean from Short Mountain! We will be holding a memorial circle here in the faerie woods of Tennessee in your honor tonight, sending love lust and light to you and all our sisters at Rapture Cafe and beyond. I miss you. Fuck.
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?
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Sending my regards to everyone gathered in
New York right now at Dean's memorial and to
all who are mourning this loss.
Rest in Peace Dean.
With Love, Jamie

Dean at CBGB's


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Christmas Day:
Sending my regards to everyone gathered in
New York right now at Dean's memorial and to
all who are mourning this loss.
Rest in Peace Dean.
With Love, Jamie

Ditto, couldn't say it any better myself...
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,
Thank you Joe and Hattie and Rapture for creating a shrine on Avenue A tonight... Dean's abundance was in the house and again we were the lucky ones to have him.

Beth, there was a recording.

Alice O
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
Originally posted by mr.joe:
Tonight's event still leaves me speechless.

Hi Mr. Joe:
I hope that by the time I visit your store you may have DVD recordings or CDs available of tonight's event. I wished so much to be there and was in spirit. Also, I mentioned Dean in a recovery gathering tonight; card to follow.
Best to you and Hattie.
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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