I was trying to find out from a very harried looking cameraman why a full film crew was following around the worst dressed group of young people at last night’s packed Semi Precious Weapons show at Rebel.
“They’re nobodies,” said the cameraman trailing them around the club. A friend whispered to me that they weren’t just any nobodies, they were the cast of the new The Real World in Red Hook. The lights, cameras, VIP status, bottle service and fawning by wannabe socialites was explained.
MTV had the kids well trained. “I’m sorry I can’t divulge that,” the cast members would tell me when I pressed them for any details on life in the Pier 41 house. But Chet Bannon, the Mormon who the producers are trying to have de-flowered, was too nice not to talk. By far the most suave of the yahoos, he was wearing an H&M scarf, Elvis Costello glasses and had his short blonde hair spiked. Best of all, he admitted that they were indeed the cast of The Real World.
“I love glam rock,” Chet told me as he sipped a Shirley Temple, “you just don’t see anything like it in Salt Lake.” As if on cue, Justin Tranter, the mascara-wearing, teased, peroxide-haired frontman of the Weapons, put a medallion around Chet’s neck, whispered something in his ear, then strutted off.
“Wow, that’s just so cool,” Chet—who’s engaged to a girl back home—gushed.
There was trouble in paradise, however, and the young man needed to get something off his virginal chest. “When we go to Williamsburg we get harassed. The hipsters throw things at us and say ‘Why are you here? Go home! Ten years ago none of them were there either.’” He looked hurt and wondered, “Why are the hipsters so small minded?”
I could only nod sympathetically but my friend, a Brooklynite, wasn’t even going to pretend, “I can understand why they don’t want you there.” Chet thought about it for a moment then nodded, “Yeah, I guess.”