James St. James
|James St James|
|Born||August 1, 1966|
|Occupation||Party promoter, novelist, television personality|
|Genres||True crime, fiction|
James St. James (born James Clark August 1, 1966) is an American television personality, author, celebutante, frequent collaborator with Mathu Anderson, and former Club Kid of the Manhattan club scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
James St. James was notorious for a lifestyle of excess that included heavy drug use, partying, and bizarre costumes that first brought him to national attention as the subject of Club Kids television appearances and interviews. He wrote Disco Bloodbath (now published under the title Party Monster) that was later made into the feature film Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin as Michael Alig and Seth Green as St. James. His life was the subject of the 1998 documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary.
Early life and education
James grew up in a "well-to-do" family in Saginaw, Michigan where he lived with his mother after his parents divorced. In the summer he would stay with his father in Fort Lauderdale, Florida until he moved to Fort Lauderdale for high school. After reading Andy Warhol’s book, Popism: The Warhol Sixties St. James moved to New York in 1984, where he studied performance art at New York University for two years before being absorbed into New York's club scene. St. James lived a celebutante lifestyle after becoming a close friend of nightlife icon and columnist Michael Musto.
St. James became a mentor of sorts to Michael Alig, although at first he and the other club personalities shunned the newcomer. Undeterred, Alig soon created his own scene by gathering up other creative rejects of the nightlife world, copying St. James' flamboyant style with self-promotion and innovative themed parties. Alig eventually grew on St. James, and St. James morphed from celebutante to Club Kid while helping Alig create the new scene. Alig and St. James threw many parties together, eventually setting up the Disco 2000 club night at the New York City club, The Limelight. St. James wrote several columns, most famously for the short lived New York City-based gay publication OutWeek during the magazine's two year life span from 1989-1991. St. James has appeared many times on television many along with the Club Kids on talk shows during the 1980s and 1990s, including The Jerry Springer Show, Geraldo, and the Joan Rivers Show.
Disco Bloodbath, late 1990s
As Alig got more into drugs, he infamously murdered his drug dealer roommate, Andre "Angel" Melendez. St. James' debut book, Disco Bloodbath, documents the infamous rise to fame of Alig and the murder. A documentary and feature film both used the book as their basis.
Freak Show and the 2000s
St. James published a second book, Freak Show in 2007, a comedy/romance about a teenage drag queen who attends a new school and forges a relationship with the quarterback of the football team. Freak Show was named to the American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults list. James curates art shows at the World of Wonder Gallery for the production company World of Wonder Productions, makers of both Party Monster: The Shockumentary (1998) and Party Monster (2003), and blogs regularly on World of Wonder's website, the WOW Report. In the 2000s St. James has made regular appearances on America's Next Top Model, cycles 5, 7, & 11 presenting contest skill challenges to the aspiring models.
- James St. James. Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland (August 11, 1999 ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 288. ISBN 0-684-85764-2. (Now published under the title "Party Monster")recreated as the feature film Party Monster starring Macaulay Culkin as Alig and Seth Green as St. James.
- James St. James. Freak Show (May 17, 2007 ed.). Dutton Juvenile. p. 298. ISBN 0-525-47799-3.
- 1998 documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary ; Extensive Interviews describing clubbing in the 1980s/1990s directed by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
- Peter Rivendell (August 1, 2007). "James St James". gayfortoday. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- Steven Frank (May 16, 2007). "Interview With James St. James". afterelton. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato; (1998) Format:Documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary
Party Monster (1998) at the Internet Movie Database
- "outweek magazine". gabrielrotello. 2008-01-29. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- James St. James. Disco Bloodbath: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland (August 11, 1999 ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 2222. ISBN 0-684-85764-2.