On Friday we dropped by the Plumm for the memorial celebration for Baird Jones — the promoter, art collector, and gossip reporter who was a New York party-scene fixture for three decades before being found dead in his apartment last month. We expected a sea of eighties clubbers, fellow gossip writers, and open-bar-hoppers. We did not expect Lindsay Lohan.
Yet as the aging crowd nursed its final free drink, the starlet arrived and installed herself on a couch in the back. It was surreal yet, in a way, the perfect homage to a man who devoted himself to celebrity gossip and often put random kooks in the same room as A-listers at the parties he threw.
So on Friday night there will be a big, open-to-all bash to celebrate the memory of New York nightlife mainstay Baird Jones at the Plumm. The art collector, promoter, and gossip stringer died two weeks ago of a heart attack, and now everyone's invited to toast his memory. Except, according to Grub Street, the venue might not be one that Baird himself would have been too happy about. In fact, at times he even worked to shut the club down. Baird called New York to complain of some of Plumm owner Noel Ashman's poor business practices, including paying for underage models to visit the club and ripping off promoters. (He didn't complain about how Plumm publicists incessantly exaggerated celebrity items to gossip columnists, but we'll throw that in there because it's always annoyed us.) Baird's fellow promoter, Ivy Supersonic, says that she and the Webster Hall curator had a whole bunch of correspondence over the issue. Click on through to Grub for the whole story and Noel Ashman's response.
Baird Jones's Memorial Party to Be Held at Club He Secretly Tried to Close [Grub Street]
Related:Gossip Guru Baird Jones Reported Dead
Yesterday "Page Six" touted a farewell party for Baird “Bucky” Jones, perhaps the most ubiquitous person on the party circuit until he died of a heart attack last month. It will be at the Plumm, but there’s evidence the Yankee-capped art collector and gossip wouldn’t have wanted it that way. Last November Jones called to tell us that the Plumm’s owner, Noel Ashman, was ripping off promoters and paying wranglers thousands of dollars to bring underage models into the club (take this for what it's worth: Jones himself promoted parties that were “easy on I.D.”). At that time Baird was corresponding with Ivy Supersonic, who goes to court today for vandalizing the club after (according to her) Ashman stiffed her on $1,000 she was owed for promoting a Halloween party (Ashman has refuted that claim and others).
According to Ben Widdicombe, the New York gossip world has lost one of its enduring fixtures. Baird Jones, the "Webster Hall curator" who supplied items to "Page Six," "Rush & Molloy," Gatecrasher, and Cindy Adams, was found dead in his apartment yesterday, a friend says. The death isn't yet confirmed by authorities (we are waiting to hear back from the NYPD, who told us they are looking into it), but Widdicombe's source is a close friend of the reporter. If it's true, we are saddened by the news. We knew Baird from the party circuit and he was an odd duck, but always very friendly and helpful. He had an uncanny knack for getting celebrities to tell funny stories, and an incredible memory for odd details. He also used to sneak us beers if the party we were at only served froufrou cocktails. We'll let you know if the NYPD will confirm the report. We, and surely Cindy, Ben, Richard, Paula, George and Joanna, are hoping that they won't.
'Baird Jones Has Passed Away' [Ben Widdicombe's Oscar blog, via Gawker]
Update: The NYPD confirms that Jones was found dead in his East Village apartment last night around 10:30. They were unable to determine the cause of death, but they detect "no criminality at this time." His family has been notified, and the investigation is ongoing.
John McCain has RSVP'd for the Puerto Rican Day Parade, but Rudy Giuliani has not. Lorraine Bracco will be a onetime co-host of The View. Baird Jones will celebrate Dr. Kevorkian's release from prison tonight by exhibiting his paintings at Webster Hall. Kevin Costner ate at Michael's. John Travolta may be in denial about his son's autism because of Scientology. Paris Hilton plans to keep a diary when she's in prison, which she can later sell. Sharon Stone is set to star in mock political ads to be unveiled at the upcoming Venice Biennale. Charlie Palmer's Kitchen 22, on West 22nd Street, closed.