Scene spotlight: Night of a Thousand Stevies

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  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Gusty Winds, 40, performer, Hell's Kitchen "I grew up in a household where...

    Gusty Winds, 40, performer, Hell's Kitchen
    "I grew up in a household where certain music was banned. Stevie Nicks was thought to use the devil's magic, Madonna and Prince are immoral, and of course, I love all of that. My father found Stevie Nicks's LP in my room and he wanted to have a talk with me about demonism. He said, 'You know she's a witch and I can't allow this in my house.' The Bible instructs us to burn instruments of the devil, and so we did. I was watching the LP burn and thought, Oh shit. I was going to cry. But, that Friday, I got my allowance and I went out and bought that LP again and hid it at my neighbor's."

    "Last year, a girl did this aerial-hoop thing. That was amazing. Overall, I love that everyone brings their own interpretation of a Stevie Nicks number. I love Lady Gaga and it's like all of her different takes and recordings of 'Born This Way.' It's the same thing here."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Justin Vivian Bond, performer, East Village (center) "It started out at Jackie...

    Justin Vivian Bond, performer, East Village (center)
    "It started out at Jackie 60 when it was practically full of tranny hookers. It's such a great idea. I always thought it was bigger than that stage and the party outlived that. The reasons I love it are because (a) Stevie Nicks is amazing, and (b) performers who are obsessed---from all levels of expertise and talents---come from all over the country. They can be in the spotlight and live their Stevie Nicks fantasy."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Erika Belle, editor-in-chief, West Village "I've been coming to this since it...

    Erika Belle, editor-in-chief, West Village
    "I've been coming to this since it was at Jackie 60. It was so dark and small. You could barely see anything, but it was all fabulous. I'm an ex-dancer, so I really loved when the New York City Ballet opened Night of a Thousand Stevies one year. There was also a trapeze artist, that was great."

    "I'm most looking forward to Carlos Alomar. He's done everything from being David Bowie's guitarist to playing for the Scissor Sisters. His wife Robin [Clark] and their daughter are going to be up there tonight and I seriously can't wait. There's God, there's Jesus, and then there's Robin and Carlos."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Jamie Slater; performer; Toronto, Canada "It all started three years...

    Jamie Slater; performer; Toronto, Canada
    "It all started three years ago---[although] Stevie Nicks has been my idol for, like, 100 years, since I heard the song 'Dreams.' I saw the movie Gypsy 83, a documentary about going to Night of a Thousand Stevies and I had a thought about performing. I created [this act] Crystal Visions over three years of performing in Toronto. If you're a Stevie Nicks fan, this is Xanadu. It doesn't get bigger than this. Now we're here, it really is a dream come true."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Charlene C., 37, performer, Colorado "I'm one of the performers tonight. This...

    Charlene C., 37, performer, Colorado
    "I'm one of the performers tonight. This is my fifth time. I'm a little nervous. I'm doing something that's different---more creative. I'm going to go on stage and sing 'Somewhere' and it's just going to be an echo with no music or anything. It's going to be really cool. My first time performing was in 2006; I sang 'The Chain.' Afterwards, I went backstage and started bawling my eyes out. People were wondering why, and it's because it was the most special moment of my life."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Machine Dazzle; performer; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn "I've come here every...

    Machine Dazzle; performer; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    "I've come here every year since 1994. When I opened up four years ago, we did a song called "Nightbird." It was very empowering. I had never performed at one of the shows before, and I've been go-go dancing since."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    James Vincent, makeup artist, Lower East Side (left) "I think it's amazing...

    James Vincent, makeup artist, Lower East Side (left)
    "I think it's amazing music. The night has brought people from all over the country just for Stevie Nicks. I actually just met her. I did Joan Jett's makeup for Oprah a few weeks ago and Stevie was there. She was talking about how cell phones are making kids rude and how rock & roll is changing. It was amazing."

    Gabriel Roman, prop stylist, East Village
    (right)
    "I love the song 'Storms.' It represents how I feel I'll never become...good enough. It talks about how life is stormy and chaotic."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Zazoo; creative director; Park Slope, Brooklyn (left) "I'm wearing a tambourine...

    Zazoo; creative director; Park Slope, Brooklyn (left)
    "I'm wearing a tambourine on my head and the rest just goes with it. We made everything ourselves. We've got a big closet with all sorts of things in it. [As far as] past performances [go], Poison Eve last year was really great. There was also a good range in songs and I loved the aerialist. There's always a surprise guest, too!"

    Satori; account director; Park Slope, Brooklyn (right)
    "I'm an exploding heart. And it's an actual exploding heart. I constructed it with scraps and things I found around my neighborhood."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Kindra May, 32, creative director in advertising, Chelsea "I'm from Seattle. I...

    Kindra May, 32, creative director in advertising, Chelsea
    "I'm from Seattle. I moved here because New York's the dream. I've been stalking this party for years and years. It's magical. The performances are amazing and the crowd is an unusual mix. It's the most mixed party in New York. Twirling is my favorite part about it, along with all of the lace and capes. My favorite song is "Gold Dust Woman," of course. My best friend lives next to Courtney Love and I saw Stevie for my first time last year [when I was] visiting her. It was so exciting!"

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

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    Nef Stresen-Reuter; video editor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (right) "I've been...

    Nef Stresen-Reuter; video editor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (right)
    "I've been here for the past three years. I love a night where people celebrate personal freedom. There are so many good songs that I can't choose one. They're all the best."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

    Keith Mosberger, visual artist, East Village (left) "I like being in a place...

    Keith Mosberger, visual artist, East Village (left)
    "I like being in a place with all Stevie Nicks. My favorite song is probably Fleetwood Mac's 'Fireflies.' It reminds me of being little."

    Mark Rorusek; fashion designer; Bushwick, Brooklyn (right)
    "I really like the song "Wild Heart." I can relate to it."

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

  • Photograph: Michael Alexander

Photograph: Michael Alexander

Gusty Winds, 40, performer, Hell's Kitchen "I grew up in a household where...

Gusty Winds, 40, performer, Hell's Kitchen
"I grew up in a household where certain music was banned. Stevie Nicks was thought to use the devil's magic, Madonna and Prince are immoral, and of course, I love all of that. My father found Stevie Nicks's LP in my room and he wanted to have a talk with me about demonism. He said, 'You know she's a witch and I can't allow this in my house.' The Bible instructs us to burn instruments of the devil, and so we did. I was watching the LP burn and thought, Oh shit. I was going to cry. But, that Friday, I got my allowance and I went out and bought that LP again and hid it at my neighbor's."

"Last year, a girl did this aerial-hoop thing. That was amazing. Overall, I love that everyone brings their own interpretation of a Stevie Nicks number. I love Lady Gaga and it's like all of her different takes and recordings of 'Born This Way.' It's the same thing here."

When: May 6, 2011
The scene: This party's name might seem like hyperbole, but it isn't. Everyone donned feathered hats, corsets, lace or hoop skirts at the 21st annual homage to Fleetwood Mac's leading lady. The Highline Ballroom's concert-friendly venue offered vantage points for all as Nicks fanatics—including ballet dancers, drag queens, downtown legends and David Bowie's guitarist Carlos Alomar—performed their favorite hits all night long. With devout followers trekking from across the country solely for this bash, it seems you really can never break the chain.

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