GLENN O'BRIEN
art by FRED TOMASELLI

Like a Milk Fed Calf

It's a no brainer
Don't move a muscle
You're in the tender trap
The best things in life
Will fall outside your lap
There's a man with a hammer
And a housewife with a mallet
The world will bread you lightly
And serve you on a pallet

American Express Expires

Last day of the year, Big God in a mood
so I prayed to the little ones on the sly.
Bassmasters was silent on the tube,
Catch 'em, release 'em, let 'em swim home to die.

Walter told of the Edo rhubarb bubble
When the Japs saw the Commodore eat a pig's thigh
they knew only red stalk would save whitey from trouble
Though they didn't know doodleysquat about pie.

The Christmas tree was alean to the right, looking funny
So I slipped "The Quiet American" under the stand
Illusion, reality, responsibility, money...
College notes in pencil in my ex-wife's hand

Outside barbarians tiptoed through black tulips.
Under a moon not so close since 1866.
Hooman smiled, a Turkish cigarette in his lips
Smelling perhaps like Vercingetorix.

This year we'll get black cards he said, raising a glass
Yes 2000 was burned out, I threw a log in the grate
The fog rolled on in and an angel passed
And the New Year was already five hours late.

Bush Drives on Deep into Afghanistan

They're putting a TV camera up the President today.
He's gone introspective in a scientific way.
They're viewing the first colon to see if it is bugged.
So Dick will be the chief while George lies there drugged.
Bin Laden is gone, no one's seen hide nor hair.
Today they will have looked everywhere.

It was great working with Linda Evangelista, Steven Meisel and Ronnie Cooke Newhouse on this series. What an incredible bunch of male models. When Tony Bennett worked with us Steven said to me in a whisper "He's stoned out of his mind on pot." Not long ago a friend told me that Tony stopped speaking to Rodney Dangerfield because Rodney impugned his herb. Linda was single at the time and we were all betting on who she would take up with. Would it be Val Kilmer or Kyle McLaughlin or Ryuichi Sakamoto or Fred Ward? Fred just sat around the studio reading a book. We knew it was Kyle when he came back the next day with Linda wearing the same clothes as the day before.

Girls who can't afford a Chanel suit can afford their lipsticks. This season's ads were shot by Nick Knight, who can really light.

Linda looked different in every shot on the contact sheet. A real silent screen star. She complained that the chimp was making more money than her.

The model is Diane Kruger who went on to launch 1000 ships in Troy, opposite Orlando Bloom as Paris (not to mention Bana as Hector and Brad as Achilles.) I was tired of "a fragrance by" so I wrote "a provocation from Giorgio Armani." That's what Homer would have done.

Ronnie Cooke (now Newhouse) and I shot in London with Corrine Day, the original "grunge" photographer who was best mates with Kate Moss. We hung out with Kate in London. Corinne, who sadly passed away last summer at a young age, was a real oddball. I loved the unusual models. The older guy was a lord or something. The younger guy was a waiter Ronnie discovered one night. He was waiting on us and Ronie realized he would be a great model. I think I didn't notice because he had B.O.

I like Bill Blass. Always wanted one of those Bill Blass Lincolns as second car. Or third. I figured "Why should snob appeal be subtle"

One of my better brand names.

Patrick Demarchelier shot the campaign with older models: Isabella Rosselini, Nastasia Kinski, Arianne Koizumi, who was in The Year of the Dragon with Mickey Rourke. They were fun. I'm still friends with Arianne.

They asked me if I wanted to fly to Mongolia to see where the cashmere came from. I said yes and then I heard that the pilots turned off the jet engines when they were landing there to save gas.

I wanted to do something people would look for every day in the Times, and since they don't have cartoons, I thought we could do the next best thing.

I didn't do the Tom Brady, just the Jen campaigns. I had worked with Darius Azari back when he started Glacier Water, with a bottle by Philippe Starck. At that meeting I had said, "The water tastes like plastic." Our agency guys kicked me under the table, and everybody said "No it doesn't!" Later I heard they dropped the Starck bottle because it tasted like plastic. I like Darius. He thinks big. I had to talk to Jennifer Anniston on the phone to get her ideas. I would have rather talked to 50 Cent to get his ideas on VitaminWater.

We had four new models shooting with Steven Meisel: Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Rachel Williams. I think they were all teenagers, except Linda. They were all amazing. Rachel became a very good friend. It was like being on the All Star Team.

I didn't do the Tom Brady, just the Jen campaigns. I had worked with Darius Azari back when he started Glacier Water, with a bottle by Philippe Starck. At that meeting I had said, "The water tastes like plastic." Our agency guys kicked me under the table, and everybody said "No it doesn't!" Later I heard they dropped the Starck bottle because it tasted like plastic. I like Darius. He thinks big. I had to talk to Jennifer Anniston on the phone to get her ideas. I would have rather talked to 50 Cent to get his ideas on VitaminWater.

I loved working with Aurelie Claudel, whose as beautiful inside as out, and Gabriel Aubry. (Before he was famous.) It's about as close as you get to intellectual models. He's a reader. She's descended from Camille Claudel.

They were a great client, especially when they had Steve Rechtschaffner as a creative director. He left for Propaganda Films and the brand got boring.

They asked me if I wanted to fly to Mongolia to see where the cashmere came from. I said yes and then I heard that the pilots turned off the jet engines when they were landing there to save gas.

We shot this with Timothy Greenfield Sanders and the 20 x 24 large format Polaroid camera. I was the test subject. I believe this campaign directly "inspired" the GAP campaign that won all the awards.

Sometimes we started with a drawing. Sometimes we started with a copy line. It worked equally well both ways.

Why not funny ads. I mean intentionally funny.

Eureka! The perfect readymade sale ad.

We had four new models shooting with Steven Meisel: Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Rachel Williams. I think they were all teenagers, except Linda. They were all amazing. Rachel became a very good friend. It was like being on the All Star Team.

I did this with Sam Shahid. Why he never hired me for Abercrombie & Fitch, I can't imagine. Maybe he blames me for Steve Hiett calling him Full-Bleed Shahid.

This is my Taoist copywriting style. I worked with Craig McDean on the TV commercials, Craig's first. My back went out and I was laying on the floor, loaded on Percocets, talking to Christie and waving a sword cane around.

I did this with Paula Greif. Nike had never done anything in the field of fashion and this brand was their first venture in that area. They flew us to Portland. Paula was scared of flying. It was little turbulent and we were sitting in first class and she was grabbing my hand, asking me if everything was alright. I said, "Of course everything is fine." Just then the cockpit door opened and the pilot came out holding the biggest wrench I'd ever seen and walked to the back of the aircraft.

"Get It On!" I can't believe nobody ever used that before. I like the way it's kind of "Do what you're told, kid!" Bang a gong.

From the TV Party Archives



I did a Christmas window display for Kate Spade.

I'm holding one of Edo's robots on the roof on West Broadway.

Richard "DNV" Sohl, the keyboard player of the Patti Smith Group, and me on a Halloween TV Party. Later we went to the Mudd Club so attired. Richard pushed a baby stroller with a lifesize doll in it. He had great legs.

Portrait by Peter Ross, 2009, taken at John Giorno's on the Bowery.

Walter Steding and me at Hurrah. This raincoat was also iridescent sharkskin. Wish I still had it. I think Calvin Klein knocked it off.

Edo shot me doing my usual cowlick pull. Cigarette by Marlboro.

My last haircut before I went nuclear.

This was an outdoor campaign when Barneys was opening uptown.

The night I launched my stand up comedy career, doing B.S.Pully's 1960 Copacabana act. I got the idea Pullymania because "Beatlemania" was playing on Broadway. After the show David Johansen came up and said "I'm getting a lounge act together and you're my opening act." I spent the next two years opening for Buster Poindexter.

My band Konelrad backstage at C.B.G.B.

Chris Stein and me on TV Party.

This is a Polaroid taken by Andy Warhol in the Interview office when I was posing in my briefs for the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers record sleeve.

On the roof on Bond Street, 2008, by my late pal Shawn Mortensen.

G.O'B. circa '79.

Grace Jones after one of Konelrad's shows at C.B.'s.

Kristin Johnson with me in Montauk. She was an illustrator, ex-wife of Martin Mull. I used to claim that I invented the ripped clothes look. Richard Hell disagreed.

David Bowie came to TV Party when we shot it at the club Hurrah. At one point he put on Walter Steding's hat and disappeared into a bathroom with a girl for about a half hour. Walter was worried about his hat. I'm wearing a Dickies jumpsuit.

Andre Martheleur dyed my hair jet black, one time only, in '77.

On the roof on Mott Street in an iridescent sharkskin dinner jacket. I wish I still had it.

Moi as Le Roi, taken in Paris by mon ami Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Bad boys Joey Freeman, me and Edo Bertoglio. I believe we were up to no good at the time. Joey now works for Daytop Village.

Heavy Metal night on TV Party.

The Story of My (Work) Life
[Long, Stalker Version]

I am a writer, editor, copywriter and creative director. I have also worked as a grocery clerk, demolition man, steelworker, waiter, bartender, convention salesman, needlepoint painter, art director, singer, stand up comedian, and record producer.

I'm a Pisces with Aquarius rising and a Cancer moon. I'm also a Fire Boar and right handed.

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio during a blizzard and attended public and parochial schools in Ohio and New Jersey and the Jesuit-run St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. I studied at Georgetown University, where I edited the Georgetown Journal (founded by Conde Nast when he was a Georgetown student) and Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts, where I studied film. I joined Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine, which was one year old, in 1970, as Assistant Editor and was made Editor & Art Director in 1971.

I left Interview and became New York Bureau Chief of Rolling Stone in 1974, and then took the position of Articles Editor at Oui magazine with the Playboy Corporation in Chicago 1975. In 1976 I returned to New York, accepting a position as Articles Editor of High Times, then enormously popular, which I held into 78 when I served briefly as Editor-In-Chief, until fear and paranoia caused me to begin working outside the office and take the title Editor-at-Large, serving in that capacity from 1979-1982. I believe I was the first magazine editor to hold that title.

Also on my return to New York I formed the band Konelrad with artists Douglas Kelley and Neke Carson. We described ourselves as the world's first socialist-realist rock band and rather than the usual themes of sex, drugs and teen angst, our songs were more concerned with politics. We played venues such as CBGBs and our repertoire included songs as Industrial Accident, Seize the Means of Production, Hardcore Melt Down, and I Don't Want Your Germs.

In 1978 I began writing "Glenn O'Brien's Beat" column for Interview which ran until 1990. Also in 1978 I began producing and hosting

the cable television show "Glenn O'Brien's TV Party," which David Letterman has called "the greatest TV show ever." It ran until 1982,

In 1981, I wrote and produced the film "Downtown 81," starring Jean-Michel Basquiat. The film fell victim to its backers financial woes and although I managed to resurrect and eventually release it. It premiered at Cannes Film Festival. Also in 1981 I was one of the founding editors of the arts publication Bomb which recently celebrated its twenty fifth anniversary.

I wrote a column on advertising for Artforum from1984-88 and I worked as stand-up comic, opening for Buster Poindexter, from 1984-86. I was also one of the founders of Spin Magazine, working with the magazine from 1985 to1988. I began as Editor-at-Large but after a while I changed my title to Tri-State Editor. Some interpreted this as referring to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but I intended it to mean sleep, wakefulness and intoxication.

In the mid-eighties I collaborated with David Johansen in the group Chad and Sudan. I produced our recording "Cheap Energy" which was released on the compilation "Smack My Crack" by Giorno Poetry Systems in 1987.

I began working as copywriter for Barneys New York 1986. In 1988 I was made Creative Director of Barneys New York, supervising all store advertising and communication as well as handling the advertising of outside accounts including Ian Schrager Hotels and Glacier Water. I left Barneys in 1996 when they experienced financial difficulties.

After Andy Warhol's death Interview magazine was sold to Brant Publications and I was offered the editorship there, but because of my position with Barneys I recommended another editor-in-chief and took the position of Interview's Editor at Large, 1989-1990, producing numerous stunning issues.

I edited and co-wrote Madonna's SEX book in 1992, followed by her Girly Show book in 1994. In 1992 O'Brien I freelance copywriting and creative direction for Calvin Klein. I worked on virtually all the brands, including underwear. I did the "Marky Mark" underwear campaign with

Kate Moss, and the jeans campaign that President Clinton demanded be investigated by the Justice Department. I worked on all the fragrance brand, Eternity, Escape, cK One, cK Be, Contradiction and Truth, and have continues to work with Calvin Klein. Since then I have worked as a freelance creative director and copywriter for many clients and won all the usual awards, including Clio's and Fifi's. The 2007, Dior J'Adore campaign wins "Fifi" named best TV fragance campaign.

From 1992-96 I was Contributing Editor and Columnist for Allure ("Not & Hot".) From 1993-1994 I worked on Mirabella, redoing the front of the book ("Mira!) in collaboration with Sam Shahid and Steve Hiett. From 1994-96 I was a consulting editor for Harper's Bazaar, collaborating with editor Liz Tilberis on concepts, titles and coverlines, as well as consulting with the publisher on sales materials.

I became Contributing Editor to Details in 1993 and I began to write the "Style Guy" column there in 1996. In1999, when Mark Golin of Maxim was appointed Details' editor, I moved the column to GQ where it runs today.

From 1996 to 1998 I worked as Creative Director for Island Records, producing a film history of the company, setting up a web site, working on videos, album covers and marketing with such acts as U-2, Pulp, and Willie Nelson. I also worked with Chris Blackwell on his hotel group and Island Trading Company, and named and positioned the interiors company owned by Blackwell's wife Mary Vinson: Royal Hut.

In the late 90s I wrote a monthly column for Paper magazine. From 2000-2004, I worked as Editor-at-Large of Arena Homme Plus. In 2002 he founded the arts and literary magazine, Bald Ego. In 2003 I began writing the "Il Grande Glenn" column in Vanity Fair Italy, a weekly, which continues today and is one that magazine's most popular features.

In 1998 I published the collection SOAPBOX: Essays Diatribes Homilies and Screeds 1980-1997, (Imschoot). In 2001 I published "Human Nature (dub version)" a book of poems from Greybull Press, with illustrations by Richard Prince. 2005 saw the release of documentary film "TV Party," which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Jerry Stiller said "This belongs in the Smithsonian Institution!" Subsequently the beginning of

a TV Party DVD series which consists of seven discs in addition to the documentary.

I have been writing about art throughout my career and I have written monographs and catalog essays for many artists and exhibitions including: Jean-Michel Basquiat (several,) John Baldessari, Beat Culture and the New America 1950-1965 (Whitney Museum,) The Warhol Look (Bullfinch,) Unseen Warhol (Rizzoli), Richard Prince (Whitney Museum 1992 and Guggenheim Museum 2007,) Christopher Wool (Taschen), Jeremy Blake, Keith Sonnier, Georg Herold, Tom Sachs, Jane Dickson, Stephen Ellis, James Nares, Alix Lambert, Roxanne Lowit, Mati Klarwein, Patrick Demarchelier, Edo Bertoglio, Ron Galella, Sante D'Orazio, Ricky Powell, Les Rogers, Jerry Schatzberg, Toland Grinnell and Jessica Craig-Martin.

Other books by Glenn O'Brien include: SOAPBOX: Essays Diatribes Homilies and Screeds 1980-1997, 1998, Imschoot; Basquiat, 2000, Tony Shafrazi Gallery; The Style Guy, 2000, Ballantine Books; Human Nature (dub version), 2001, Greybull Press; Shriners, with Lisa Eisner, Greybull Press, 2004.

I feel like I have written for every magazine there is, but I haven't. I have been writing fairly regularly for 10, 10 Man, Another Magazine, Another Man, Harper's Bazaar, L'Uomo Vogue, the New York Times, Numero, Parkett, Purple Fashion, Self-Service,Vogue Nippon, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, etc.

In 2008 and 2009 I was editorial Director of Brant Publications, running Interview, Art in America and the Magazine Antiques. I'm not allowed to talk about that, but the magazines speak for themselves.

In 2010 I began editing the texts for the Bergdorf Goodman magazine. I also hosted Rob Pruitt's second annual Art Awards at Webster Hall, and could wind up being the Billy Crystal of the Art World.

My new book "How to Be a Man" will be published by Rizzoli on April 5, 2011.

Commercial Client List:

Magazines: Allure, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, HG, Men's Health, Radar, Sports Afield, Village Voice, YM.

Beauty & Fragrance: Aramis, Beauty.com, Biotherm, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Cerruti, Clinique, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Elizabeth Arden, Emporio Armani, Estee Lauder, Giorgio Armani, Guerlain, Guthy-Renker, Helena Rubenstein, Jil Sander, Kiss, Lagerfeld, Lancome, Lanvin, L'Oreal, Paco Rabanne, Paloma Picasso, Perfumer's Workshop, Prescriptives, Pucci, Revlon, Shiseido, Sundari, Tom Ford

Fashion & Luxury: Ann Taylor, Asprey, A/X, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Mara, Barneys New York, Company, Benetton, Bergdorf Goodman, Boo.com, Brooks Brothers, DKNY, Dunhill, Ellen Tracy, Esprit, Express, Federated, Fila, Giorgio Armani, Hickey Freeman, H & M, ICB, Iceberg, Issey Miyake, J.Crew, Jil Sander, Johnston & Murphy, Kate Spade, Kenneth Cole, the Limited, Mexx, Naturalizer, Neiman Marcus, Nicole Farhi, Nike, Ralph Lauren Jeans, Rue La La, Sisley, Supreme, Target, Theory, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Tse, Uniqlo, Williwear, Victoria's Secret, David Yurman

Beverage: Absolut, Fruitopia, Glacier Water, Grey Goose, Smartwater, Penfolds, Tanqueray,

Miscellaneous: Air America, Andre Balazs Hotels, Casio, Epoch Films, Go Silk, Harry Winston, Herman Miller, Ian Schrager Hotels, Island Records, NFL Properties, Nokia, Palm Pictures, Royal Hut, Song Airlines, Sony, Swatch,

Pro Bono: Amfar, Coalition for the Homeless, Rock the Vote, New York Academy of Art, Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Downtown for Democracy

Biblography:

Wild History, (contributor) Tanam Press, 1985
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Baghoomian, 1989
SEX, Madonna, 1992, Warner Books
Keith Sonnier, Leo Castelli Gallery, 1992,
Madonna: The Girly Show, 1994, Callaway Editions
Peep Land, Paintings by Jane Dickson, University Galleries, 1994
Patrick Demarchelier, Little, Brown & Co. 1995
Beat Culture and the New America, Whitney Museum/Flammarion, 1995
Cinderella, Visionaire, 1995

Unseen Warhol, (contributor), Rizzoli, 1996
Rizzi, John Szoke 1997
Glamour, Style, Fashion: The Warhol Look, Andy Warhol Museum, 1997
Blank Generation Reviseted: Early Days of Punk Rock, Schirmer, 1997
SOAPBOX: Essays Diatribes Homilies and Screeds 1980-1997, Imschoot, 1998
Artist/Author: Contemporary Artists Books, (contributor), DAP, 1998
Basquiat, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, 1999
The Style Guy, Ballantine Books, 2000
Human Nature (dub version), 2001, Greybull Press
Anh Duong, Assouline, 2001
People After Dark, Roxane Lowit, (introduction,) Assouline, 2001
New York Beat, Petit Grand, 2001
New York Expression, Bergen Kunstmuseum 2002
Photographs of Ron Gallela, Greybull Press, 2002
Tom Sachs: Nutsy's, Guggenheim Museum, 2003
Shriners, with Lisa Eisner, Greybull Press, 2004
Andy Warhol: The Late Works, (contributor), Prestel Verlag, 2004
Yours In Food, (contributor), John Baldessari, Princeton, 2004
Maripolarama, Powerhouse, 2005
People, Roxane Lowit, Assouline, 2005
Public Access: Ricky Powell Photographs 1985-2005, Powerhouse, 2005
Pam : American Icon, Stellan Holm Gallery, 2005
James Nares: New Paintings, Kasmin, 2005
Warhol's World, Steidl, 2006
The Jean-Michel Basquiat Show, Skira, 2006
Katlick School, with Sante D'Orazio, TeNeus, 2006
Jean-Michel Basquiat: 1981, The Studio of the Street, Charta/Deitch 2007
Richard Prince, Guggenheim Museum, 2007
Out of Mind, Shawn Mortensen, Abrams, 2007
Leadbelly: A Life in Pictures, Steidl, 2008
Warhol by Gallela: That's Great, Monacelli, 2008
John Lurie, A Fine Example of Art, Powerhouse, 2008
Acid Candy, Miles Aldridge, Reflex Editions, 2008
Christopher Wool, Taschen, 2008

Penthouse 40th Anniversary, Assouline, 2008
Dennis Oppenheim: My Mind is My House, Edelman Arts, 2008
Backstage Pass: Rock and Roll Photography, Portland Museum of Art, 2009
Bande A'Part: New York Underground 60s-80s, Gingko, Press, 2009
Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture, Rizzoli, 2009
Jessica Craig-Martin: Privilege, Image en Manoeuvres, 2009
Jean-Philippe Delhomme: The Cultivated Life, Rizzoli, 2009
Supreme, Rizzoli, 2010
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Hatje Cantz Verlag GmbH & Co KG, 2010
Street and Studio: From Basquiat to Seripop, Verlag Fur Moderne Kunst, 2010
Lynn Goldsmith: The Looking Glass, Palace Publishing Group, 2011
The Alphadicks, with Mathias Augustiniak, M/M (Paris), 2011