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Gay-Porn King Michael Lucas Picks Wrong Time to Laugh at Death

Michael Lucas
We were a little surprised yesterday when the image to the left appeared in our in-box. It's purported to be a photograph of New York gay icon and porn star Michael Lucas. Along with it came a press release that announced: "Michael Lucas Found Dead in Manhattan Apartment." As you can see from the shot, it's actually just a sort of sexy publicity stunt for a new project (a call to Lucas Entertainment went unreturned), which isn't particularly out of character for Lucas. But since Dean Johnson, another New York gay icon and (sometime) porn star actually was found mysteriously dead in an apartment just last week, it seems extraordinarily tasteless. You know, even more tasteless than a pornographic fake-death publicity stunt normally would be. Earlier: Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson Dies

Promoter and Queer Icon Dean Johnson Dies

Dean Johnson
Downtown icon and gay performing artist Dean Johnson died last week, friends just learned. The six-foot-six promoter was found dead by authorities in Washington, D.C., but remained unidentified until this week. Police are still investigating the cause. Johnson, 45, founded the iconic weekly party Rock and Roll Fag Bar in the late eighties, and also started HomoCorps, a monthly gay music showcase at CBGB, before the punk club closed. At times a porn star and at other times a rock star (he fronted Dean and the Weenies and later the Velvet Mafia), he was always recognizable by his height (often augmented by heels) and brazen eyewear. Friends say he helped shape the growing East Village art and club kid scene in the late eighties, continuing through to today, with popular and notoriously raunchy parties he's hosted at dive venues like the Hole and the Cock. He had battled drugs "historically," said his longtime friend Joe Birdsong. "But in the past year he had cleaned that up." Friends will celebrate his life next week at Rapture Café and Books on Wednesday at 8 p.m The Velvet Mafia [Official site] Dean Johnson – Death of a Legend [Motherboards] Related: Party Favorites [NYM]