Tuesday night at Santos Party House, owner Andrew WK appeared on stage in his trademark white jeans and white T-shirt after keeping a mostly-male crowd stewing in unlit silence for 45 minutes. They were waiting for a night billed “Ask Andrew WK Anything,” a chance to kibbitz with the mysterious man and pick his brain about topics large and small.
Sounding like Stephen Hawking’s voice simulator and moving jerkily, he nervously assured the crowd that he “had not been replaced by another person playing Andrew WK.”
This was reassuring, since rumors that he is a Milli Vanilli-like producer’s construct have plagued the guy since his blood-spattered visage exploded onto Billboard’s #1 spot from nowhere in November 2001.
Indeed, his party anthems appeared in scores of ads and video games, leading to critics and bloggers accusing him of being a corporate puppet. MTV has floated a less sinister theory, which involves WK being a stand-in for pal and collaborator Dave Grohl. WK has not exactly been squashing these myriad suspicions. After telling a London audience in 2008 that he was “not the guy you’ve seen from the I Get Wet album”—in September 2009, he explained why he hadn’t released any new rock material to the Guardian. “[I’m] in a debate about who owned the rights to my image,” he wrote. Last month WK even released a statement strongly protesting a slew of rumors floated on the wackier end of the blogosphere, including one that he’s a “talking head for some secret conspiracy to corrupt people’s morals.”
This night, no morals were being corrupted—or at least no more than usual at the Lafayette Street nightclub—and WK only sent his audience hurtling further down the rabbit hole when he tried to put the issue of identity to rest. His sophistic circumlocutions went something like this: “Andrew WK” is a creation of his parents and “business advisers,” but that doesn’t mean the speaker isn’t Andrew WK. By the time he mentioned promises made by “the part of me that’s not Andrew WK;” my head was spinning so much from the disinformation that I was ready to believe anything about the man— including that he’s a front for both Scientology and the Illuminati (an allegation he has incidentally denied).
When WK, who will be playing his first NYC show in five years on Mar. 16 at Irving Plaza—opened up the floor for questioning, a young joker inquired, “What do you think of dark matter?” After some science-based non-sequiturs, the Hawking voice came back to add, “A lot of my training has come from politics.”