Ever-relevant, ever-rubbing elbows, even at 70 years old, Glenn O'Brien embodied a bygone era in New York. Today, we heard the sad news of his passing. A writer, creative, and all around cool kid throughout his decades in the city, O'Brien ran around in a social circle that included Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry, and Madonna - but even among them he cut a striking figure. From his 1970s pubic access television show, TV Party, and its recent iteration dubbed Tea at the Beatrice, to his role at Warhol's Interview magazine just after its inception, to his column as GQ's "Style Guy," O'Brien wore, quite literally, many stylish hats - and always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.
He was an effortless chameleon, fitting in with the punks at CBGBs just as well as he did in the VIP section of Studio 54. He could talk to David Bowie and Grace Jones like they were mere humans, if anything, he was probably more important than they were. We were lucky enough to have experienced one of his masterful conversations firsthand, at the filming of his interview with Baz Luhrmann for M2M. Glenn turned everything into an art form - dressing, talking, even Tweeting. While there will never be someone quite like him again, we can only hope his words of wisdom keep his spirit alive.
[Photos via Glenn O'Brien]