To coincide with the launch of the Bid 2 Beat AIDS auction Bradford Shellhammer chatted with Chip Duckett, legendary NYC party promoter and the man behind the auction.
Chip, how did you get involved with LIFEbeat and who came up with the Bid2Beat auction?
I’ve worked with LIFEbeat for over eleven years, and we’ve done many benefits together, from after-concert parties to dance nights, so we know each other very well. And I’m an admitted eBay addict, so it just seemed natural — and happily, LIFEbeat agreed. This will be the ultimate celebrity tag sale!
Can you explain to our readers what LIFEbeat is all about?
LIFEbeat was founded in 1992 when Bob Caviano, Grace Jones’ manager, wrote an editorial in Billboard disclosing the fact that he had AIDS and challenging the industry to mobilize. The response was terrific, and LIFEbeat was born. Over the years LIFEbeat has raised millions of dollars, which has gone to help small AIDS organizations nationwide, among other projects. Most importantly, it uses the power of music to reach young people. One of the coolest things LIFEbeat does is distributing HIV/AIDS information packages and condoms to hundreds of thousands of kids at concerts and clubs nationwide. Think about it — many young people don’t have access to this at school, and would be intimidated around their parents. At concerts, they are free to get this info!
What are you expecting to get the biggest bid in the auction?
That’s hard to say — there’s a 2006 Vespa LX-50 sitting in the lobby of Sirius Satellite Radio, signed by Kanye West, Gloria Estefan, Garth Brooks, and about 50 other stars. But some wealthy, drunk drag queens may just battle it out for J. Lo’s signed jogging suit or Beyonce‘s signed jeans and top that Vespa! (That means YOU, Dina Martina and Jackie Beat!)
Info on gay icons Lindsay Lohan, Madonna, and Bea Arthur after the jump.
What is the rarest item that will be on auction?
Without a doubt, Joni Mitchell’s original art and paste-up for her Court and Spark album. It was accidentally left in a closet at the printer for 25 years until it was returned to her manager, and he donated it to us. That is absolutely historical — a one-of-a-kind piece from the most iconic album by one of the great performers of all time.
In the early 90’s Steven Meisel made a series of beautiful “Safe Sex is Hot Sex” posters for the Red Hot AIDS organization. There are four of them (two gay boy ones and two lezzie ones), and they are inconceivably hot. I did the release party for them, and they gave me signed posters as a thank you, and I’ve added them to the auction. Totally NSFW!
What is up with the Lindsay Lohan ketchup?
Isn’t that a scream? Last year Lindsay licensed her name for a limited-edition celebrity ketchup, and when I saw it in a supermarket in Georgia I grabbed one. She’s a hoot with a great sense of humor, and she signed the bottle at TRL one day. Rock on, Lind-Say! This is probably your one chance to own Officially Licensed Limited Edition Lindsay Lohan Burger-licious Heinz Ketchup — signed by The Lohan herself!
You are not only the man behind this auction, but you are also a well known dj and party promoter. Your party 1984 is legendary. What is the key to its success?
The 80’s were stupid, the music is retarded, and it’s fun to jump around at the Pyramid Club to “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” on a Friday night. That’s about it. Come during December — every week I’m showing such 80’s holiday treasures as Tis the Season to Be Smurfy, The Star Wars Holiday Special, and Care Bears Christmas!
Do you read blogs?
I spend so much time obsessively reading blogs it is a MIRACLE this auction is even happening. Aside from Queerty and Jossip (with whom I check in constantly, and who are sponsoring Bid 2 Beat AIDS), I read Towleroad, Gawker, Defamer, the WOW Report, Radar Online, Proceed at Your Own Risk, Oh La La Paris, Lady Bunny, RuPaul, Screenhead…okay, I am a blogslut. I’ll read ANYBODY, but Queerty is the only one I kiss. Well, you and Queerclick.
Will Bid2Beat return next year?
Maybe in two years. The staff at our sponsors like MTV and Borders have been chasing celebrities down their hallways with Sharpies for almost a whole year to get some of this stuff. They deserve a break!
What are your five favorite items in the auction?
Aside from the things we talked about already…
1. Madonna’s signed Next Best Thing movie poster. Because not since Citizen Kane has there been a film of such scope and depth…
2. Chita Rivera’s goblet — she painted gorgeous art all over a wine goblet as a gift for Terrence McNally, who donated it.
3. The Simpsons signed script — Yeardley Smith, who plays Lisa Simpson, got it for us, and the episode hasn’t even aired yet!
4. The Noah’s Arc signed script. If you don’t watch it on Logo, you should, cuz Noah is H.O.T.
5. The Bea Arthur signed TV Guides — she signed vintage Maude and Golden Girls covers. Christmas is around the corner, gays!
Finally, what is the one item you think Queerty should bid on?
I can already see you prancing around Manhattan in that Mariah Carey-signed “Honey B. Fly” t-shirt, Bradford. And then I wake up screaming.