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Club Kid Founder Michael Alig Released From Prison, Finishing New Memoir “Aligula”

michael-aligClub kid co-founder and undisputed king of 1980s New York nightlife, Michael Alig, was released from prison yesterday afternoon, having served 17 years for the 1996 murder of drug dealer Angel Melendez.

Though Alig, now 47, was up for parole multiple times during his sentence, he was allegedly denied release after a judge had seen Party Monster, the 2003 film inspired by Alig’s life. According to USA Today, he was freed on a conditional release yesterday and will remain on parole.

Following his release, Alig tweeted that he was “happy to be free and so grateful for this second chance.” He was picked up from prison by friends and a film crew from World of Wonder, and taken to eat a burrito as his first post-prison meal:

Last night, he reconnected with “frenemy” and former club kid James St. James at a Manhattan dinner celebrating his release:

Yesterday, St. James penned a “welcome back” letter to Alig, now published on the WOW blog. In it, he explains how technology has advanced in the last 20 years and cautions against using “the t word.” (“It’s ‘trans’ now. Also: ‘cisgender’ is a thing”):

Speaking of clubs: You’ve become a bit of a legend since you went in (YOU’RE WELCOME) and you WILL stop the room the first few times you go out. It’s an odd sensation, but even odder is when it doesn’t happen. See, you’re old now, and although many of this generation were raised on Party Monster , sometimes you’ll find yourself in a room where everybody is completely CLUELESS. They’ve never seen the Geraldos or Phil Donahues or Jenny Joneses. They’ve never heard of Angel. They don’t know or care who Julie Jewels was. They don’t even know who Andy Warhol was. A 21-year-old at WOW had never heard of Moby. MOBY. It’s weird. The generation that has the greatest access to knowledge in the history of mankind is the one that cares the least about it. So there will be places where you go where NOBODY WILL RECOGNIZE YOU and NOBODY WILL CARE. And because you are no longer a cute little twink, 20-somethings will LOOK RIGHT THROUGH YOU. Or worse: SNEER at the old man. Joy Behar once said that after 35 nobody looks at you on the beach anymore, no matter how good you look. It’s true. And it’s true everywhere. My point: Enjoy the times people recognize you, because not being recognized when your old SUUUUUUUCKS.

Though Alig hasn’t announced his plans for post-prison life, he’s reportedly finishing his first book, Aligula.

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