I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Pt 8

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I Am the Coolest Man on Earth Pt 8

I worked with Haoui at the New School for Social Research in the fall of ’78. He was Howard then. They needed extra people (temps) during registration. The best part was in the evenings when women would come in after work to register. They’d bend over to hand you their check & paper work and you could see down the front of their dresses. If you were lucky they wouldn’t be wearing a bra. It was a value add to a boring low wage job.

At lunchtime I’d go to local record shops. A favorite was a second hand shop in the area called Second Hand Rose. You could get scratchy old Motown & Stax-Volt 45’s for 50 cents. More money would be spent at places like Bleecker Bobs, sometimes $7 for an import LP. I showed Howard the first Devo album with colored vinyl. He was a fan and talked about seeing punk bands in England. We talked about politics occasionally. I had backed out of politics, both as a result of high school scars and perceived punk nihilism. Politics was for hippies and hippies weren’t cool. Not Howard though. As for politics, he said “it’s in my blood.”

A few months later I went to see a band at an Upper West Side club called Hurrahs. Lo and behold there’s Howard at the door. We exchanged hellos. I didn’t get pushy, and in a minute or so I’m let in. I pay of course. I never thought people got in for free unless they were press, famous or local bands. I was a big oh for three on that account.

Over the next two years, I started to see him in local periodicals referred to as “Haoui.” He also moved onto different clubs, and now, two years later, after the Club 57 event, he was at the door of Danceteria. As one of the stylists was a graphic designer from the Soho News, we waltzed right in and didn’t pay. But what did happen was Haoui looked at me and did a double take. He was too cool to say anything like “What happened to you?” But something did happen. Was this what cool felt like?

© Curt Weiss 2014

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