The History of LBV from Victor Magnus

Heya everyone, I had this interesting article submitted to the LBV website for our appreciation for the origins of our beloved vampyre haven.

For the links included please check out http://www.longblackveil.com.

LONG BLACK VEIL - UNCOVERING THE LEGEND
By Sir Victor Magnus
The remarkable Long Black Veil or "LBV" events truly hold a unique place in the history of New York City's nightlife. LBV began in 1997 as "Long Black Veil & the Vampyre Lounge" on the second Wednesday of each month at the legendary MOTHER nightclub on 14th and Washington Streets in New York City's meat-packing district. Empress Chi Chi Valenti, one of the owner's of MOTHER and her life mate, the famous DJ Johnny Dynell, conceived and named the event after the mournful song "Long Black Veil." LBV was intended to be a unique themed night where "fangs were preferred in the Vampyre Lounge."

The song "Long Black Veil" was written in the late 1950's by Nashville songwriters Marijohn Wilkin and Danny Dill, who were inspired to write it by the real life murder case of a New Jersey priest, combined with newspaper stories of a woman in a black veil who regularly visited Rudolph Valentino's grave. Mostly associated with Johnny Cash, the song has also been covered by many artists including Lefty Frizell (actually the original singer), The Band, Joan Baez, Nick Cave, and the Dave Mathews Band. However, it was the 1995 version of the song recorded by the the celtic/Irish traditional music group The Chieftains with Mick Jagger's vocals which proved to be the inspiration for the name.

In a historic meeting in August of 1996, Father Sebastian of Sabretooth fangsmithing fame was hired by Johnny & Chi Chi as their "vampyre son" to host this evening after hearing of the success of the "Vampyre Ball" events at the Limelight, Coney Island High and The Bank (now continued as Albion NYC) nightclubs earlier that year. The Empress Chi Chi invited Sebastian to become involved with MOTHER, and to contribute with expanding the concepts at their nightlife utopia.

Inspired by other MOTHER events such as Jackie 60 (Tuesdays) and Click + Drag (Saturdays), Father Sebastian insisted on the same "template" of these events for LBV. This template for success relied on décor, an exclusive door policy with a strict dresscode, stage performances every week, and the magickal energies of the MOTHER venue itself. DJsIan Fford , Lestat, and Johanna Constantine presided over the dance floors. Initially the main attendees were the fang clients of Sebastian and his apprentice Father Vincent. This core element formed the foundation of became known as "Clan Sabretooth".

Eventually LBV ˜s success required it to become a weekly Sunday event at MOTHER in late 1997, along with the inclusion of co-producer Father Vincent and DJ Delchi under the name of Fang Club Gotham. This was intended to unite NYC's vampyre subculture with the Los Angeles club known as Fang Club in Hollywood, owned by Jack Dean Stauss.

Also in 1997, Anne Rice's biographer Katherine Ramsland made contact with Father Sebastian and asked him to serve as a consultant for a book she was writing entitled "Piercing the Darkness: Undercover with Vampires in America Today ." Her intention was to follow in the last known footsteps of investigative reporter Susan Walsh, who disappeared around the same time as the historic Vampyre Ball at the Limelight in July 1996. A release party for the book was held at LBV in 1998, where Ms. Ramsland read excerpts and signed copies for the attendees.

Also in 1998 came the release of the first printed edition of "Sabretooth's Vampyre Almanac"and the original Sanguinarium Ankh pendants. These were sold around the world through various retail outlets such as Hot Topic. The worldwide release of VA and Piercing the Darkness brought international attention to the culture if the night and to the name "Long Black Veil." That year LBV took up its traditional place as on Thursday evenings at MOTHER, which it remained until the final days of the club in June 2000.

During this "golden age" of the vampyre scene in Gotham, many legendary events such as 1999's Endless Night Festival, the annual Lost Boys' Beach Party, the Blood Letter's Valentine's Ball and the fetish/body arts Xorvia events were spawned. Guests who entered the gates of MOTHER included celebrities such as Blondie and world renowned fangsmiths such as Reverend Crudelia, Dnash and Maven of Dark Awakenings. 1999 also marked the year that DJ Jason of Alchemy became the host DJ in the Vampyre Lounge.

Probably the most important legacy of LBV is that it was there that the original "vampyre code of ethics" was developed. Inspired by the etiquette employed by the fetish/BDSM subcultures and renaissance faire etiquette, this code became known as "The Black Veil" and was used house rules of the club and now is accepted worldwide as a standard code of ethics amongst the vampyre/vampire subcultures. "The Black Veil" code was revised in 2002 by Michelle Belanger of House Kheperu from Ohio, and it has even found its way into mainstream popular culture in episodes of C.S.I. Vegas and mentioned as a "sacred script" by Don Henrie on the Sci-Fi Channel's reality show Mad, Mad House.

Another lasting legacy of LBV is the Bloodbath cocktail. Created by the resident mixologist at LBV, the Alchemistress Ambrosia , the Bloodbath is now the most popular drink enjoyed by vampyre subculture around the world.

With the closing of MOTHER in the year 2000, Father Sebastian chose to continue the event by relocating to True nightclub on 23rd Street near Broadway in Manhattan. LBV remained there for two more years until Sebastian finally decided to end the evening in the spring of 2002 in favor of throwing future reunion parties instead.

LBV had lasting impression and it resonated in the minds of many in vampyre subculture throughout the Gotham Halo (New York City area), North America, and the world. So the prolific NYC events promoter Master Steelow (who began his career as a go-go boy at Long Black Veil) and Sebastian teamed up to do a series of reunion LBV parties at Flamingo East nightclub on 2nd Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan starting in the fall of 2002. When Sebastian finally moved to Europe in the fall of 2002, LBV hosted her last reunion for almost a year.

That is until October 2003 when, at Master Steelow's Flesh Theatre , Father Vincent hosted a celebration to honor the return to Gotham of Father Sebastian, and the publication and release of his special edition anthology book "V", which includes the Black Veil code and the Strigoi Vii edition of Michelle Belanger's Vampyre Codex. This special reunion attracted guests such as High Priest Peter Gilmore and Magistra Peggy Nadrima, the successors to Anton LaVey's and Magistra Blanche Barton's positions as the High Priest and Priestess of the notorious Church of Satan.

Again, LBV proved itself as a gathering that the vampyre community desired and missed. Feeling this outpouring of support Sebastian once again joined with Master Steelow to create another legendary LBV evening at Rare nightclub (just down the block from the original MOTHER venue, thereby returning LBV to its roots) on April 19th, 2004 . This night LBV hosted by non other than Michelle Belanger of House Kheperu and Don Henrie of SciFi Channel's Mad, Mad House. Hundreds of faces which have not been seen in years joined in this immense celebration, including D'Drennan, the Regent of the Court of Gotham, Magdalena & Christian Blood from the Court of Lazarus and the elders Xanatos and Lord Zillah of House Hidden Shadows.
With this success Sebastian decided to do one more reunion again at Rare in October 2004 with Master Steelow hosting, before announcing that LBV would be coming back regularly as "Long Black Veil, the Vampyre Ball of New York," a bi-monthly event starting around Valentine's Day 2005!

Throughout LBV's history, knowledge of the event has spread into the mainstream by word of mouth and through various media outlets, including publications such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan, InStyle, the New York Times, Time Out New York, the book Piercing the Darkness, and on television's Travel Channel, History Channel, The Learning Channel and others. Even still, LBV has managed to maintain its true underground integrity through strict media policies against exploitation and sensationalism of the vampyre, fetish and gothic communities.


OTHER INCARNATIONS
Long Black Veil has also inspired many other events including Hidden Shadow's Realm of Darkness, the Court of Gotham and the Court of Lazarus and the many noir havens throughout the world including Black Trillium (Toronto), Black Sunset (Miami), Black Xion (Amsterdam), Black Atlantis (Atlanta) and many others.

In addition to Long Black Veil's solid place as the "Vampyre Ball of New York", Sir Victor Magnus is now hosting the monthly lounge version of LBV called Invokation, a salon noir and quabal which is a more intimate edition of the larger event with rituals, cocktails, great music and much more!


THE FUTURE
So the future looks bright for this latest incarnation of Long Black Veil, which will be held five times in 2005 at Club Rare (416 W. 14th St. and Washington St. New York City. Trains: A,C,E, L to 14th St. station. Phone: 212.696.7340), once again in the newly-trendy meat-packing district. There are several changes to look forward to this year. First, LBV will be adding the requirement of a theatrical masque to the dress code. Just like the Venetians of old, you MUST be masked to be admitted. The schedule for the LBV will be decided according to the cycle of Strigoi Vii (living vampyre) holidays as detailed in the book Black Veil. Also, the LBV krewe will also be slowly moving the event towards a "members only" policy to insure a more intimate and personalized enviroment.

Now that Long Black Veil is back on a regular basis, we can all enjoy many more years of nightlife bliss for the Gotham vampyre community.


Long Black Veil (Lyrics)
(Danny Dill/Marijohn Wilkin)
Ten years ago, on a cold dark night
Someone was killed 'neath the town hall light
There were few at the scene, but they all agreed
That the slayer who ran looked a lot like me

The judge said, son, what is your alibi
If you were somewhere else, then you won't have to die
But I spoke not a word, though it meant my life
For I'd been in the arms of my best friend's wife

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

Oh, the scaffold is high and eternity's near
She stood in the crowd and shed not a tear
But late at night, when the north wind blows
In a long black veil, she cries o'er my bones

She walks these hills in a long black veil
She visits my grave when the night winds wail
Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me

Nobody knows, nobody sees
Nobody knows but me


© '59 Cedarwood Publishing
---------------- Father Sebastian Sabretooth.com - custom made fangs LongBlackVeil.com - bimonthly vampyre/fetish event.
Original Post
What a well-researched and factually correct article - the author really knew his stuff! Thanks for posting this, Todd, there are many LBV fans here on the boards who will enjoy it, and we look forward to the new masqueing requirement in the dress code of future editions.

Eternally yours,

Your Vampire Mom
Thank you Chi, Victor is a big LBV fan and we are moving to a new venue and revamping the night. It is our 9th Anniversery this coming April and hosting a special event at what we hope to be our new home. I hope you and Johnny Can join us. Father V is back on the team as well.

All the best, (I stole that from you! years ago!)
Sebastian Todd

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