>By King Ralphy
What was the time when you realized you were ‘Mark Nelson’?
I was checking into the Winter Party in South Beach and told them my name and they said, “You’re Mark Nelson? Hold on, please. We have your VIP tickets.”And my friend who was with me was very impressed by that, which I had never given any thought to before.
Tell me about your first night out.
My first night out at a gay venue was when I was in college.It was the Gay ‘90’s in Minneapolis. And it looked like a Vegas casino from the outside. I met a man and he asked me to dance, which I was very uncomfortable with, but did anyway. It was a Dead or Alive song. I went home with him. I didn’t really distinguish the type of guy I‘d sleep with.
If they were breathing…
What would you tell your 16-year-old self?
Don’t take life so seriously. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Save your money–you will need it when you get older. Be careful of who you let into your inner circle. You will live a full life, and please don’t have any regrets.
Please provide your input on how you think social media and apps like Grindr affected nightlife.
My feeling is that in the beginning, Scruff, Grindr and other apps severely took a toll on gay nightlife and parties in general. We are, as a group, ‘sexual orientation’-bound. Guys want to hook up. So, the apps and Internet made it simple and in many ways cheaper. Though, as the years go by, we’re showing a resurgence in nightclub attendance. Take the NYC Eagle and their new dance floor area. Packed! Maybe the large venues such as the Roxy, Palladium, Exit, and Limelight will be of the past. Medium sized venues seem to be doing well, though. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. But you can’t get a chemical reaction to another man from tapping away at your app.
What’s been your weirdest celebrity encounter and/or friends and your favorite celebrity encounter and/or friend?
I was in L.A., nursing a friend who had some elective surgery. He was invited to a celebrity’s house for Easter brunch and took me with him as a guest. I cannot reveal his name or the celebrity whose home it was, as I got into a shitload of trouble for blogging about what happened at the brunch. Demi Moore was there and had just had some elective surgery herself and had no problem sharing that and showing that to a complete stranger (me). She also took me out to her car to show off her custom made Red Bull trunk cooler. She was very into Red Bull, and they did this for her.
Later in the day, we were all standing around. Guy Oseary was there and a publicist who, upon learning I was a gay promoter, took me aside to push Party Monster starring Macaulay Calkin as Michael Alig. I told her straight up that there wasn’t anything to celebrate about that movie. I had been an acquaintance of Angel, who had been murdered and dismembered by Mr Alig. Gross conversation.
As we were standing around…Demi’s dog started sucking on the host’s dog’s penis! It was jaw dropping, and everyone was in a bit of shock. I wrote about the dogs in my weekly newsletter, and it got back to the host and Demi AND the publicist! Needless to say, they went after my friend for bringing me and not letting them know I was a blogger or something to that nature. Though Demi stood out in my mind; she was a wonderful person, and I was thrilled to have spent time with her.