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Chelsea Hotel Manhattan, A Selective Glossary, Part One

Joe Ambrose’s Chelsea Hotel Manhattan is out now from Headpress. In this exclusive extract from the book’s Selective Glossary, Joe provides brief pen pictures of some of the characters, institutions, and phenomena mentioned in the book.

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by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2008
Joe will be launching the book at the Chelsea Hotel, W 23rd St. New York, on April 18th at 7.30.
by Joe Ambrose, Literary Editor for outsideleft.com
originally published: April, 2008
Joe will be launching the book at the Chelsea Hotel, W 23rd St. New York, on April 18th at 7.30.

Joe Ambrose's Chelsea Hotel Manhattan - extreme travel writing concerning the time that Joe spent in the legendary boho hotel - is out now from Headpress. In this exclusive extract from the book's Selective Glossary, Joe provides brief pen pictures of some of the characters, institutions, and phenomena mentioned in the book.

Joe will be launching the book at the Chelsea Hotel, W 23rd St. New York, on April 18th at 7.30.

Panna Grady had as much money as Peggy Guggenheim. She was very much taken with William Burroughs and, allegedly, had designs on marrying him. In New York she so readily gave away her fortune to the Beats that she was nicknamed "Pan of Gravy". Andy Warhol wrote in POP about film work he did with Edie Sedgwick in 1965: "One of the last movies we made with Edie was called Lupe. We did Edie up as the title role and filmed it at Panna Grady's apartment in the great old Dakota on Central Park West and 72nd. Panna was a hostess of the sixties who put uptown intellectuals together with Lower East Side types - she seemed to adore the drug-related writers in particular."

Paola Igliori was born in Rome and moved to New York in the mid Eighties. Her first book Entrails, Heads, and Tails contained photographic essays and conversations with artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Cy Twombly, Francesco Clemente and Julian Schnabel. In 1990 she became the publisher of INANDOUT PRESS, which did beautifully designed books like Paul Bowles' last collaboration with Mrabet, Chocolate Dreams and Dollars, and American Magus Harry Smith: A Modern Alchemist.

Neon Leon. At the time of New York's punk explosion, there were ads in New York Rocker magazine for shows at CBGB's and Max's Kansas City where Neon Leon was listed, usually supporting better and more famous acts. He got started around 1973 when, as a young musician in South Jersey, he opened up for the New York Dolls. "Backstage," he recollected, "I was like, you know, 'I wanna make it, blah, blah blah, what should I do?' And they said, 'Well, you gotta get outta here.' I said, 'Yeah, but where should I go?' And they said 'You should come to New York.' And I said, 'But I don't know anybody in New York.' And they said, 'Well, you know us.' And I said, 'Yeah, can I have a number or something?' They said, 'Yeah, of course, of course, no problem. Take this number, come in to New York and call me.' Me and Johnny [Thunders], we got along, so, I could believe it, you know, I thought they were just being nice. But then we played around for another year and we got a lot better doing South Philly and things like that, so finally, I said 'Wow, its time. Lets go.' We went up there, the Holiday Inn wouldn't take us; we looked weird. So I said 'The Chelsea Hotel, they had Jimi Hendrix and all these people.' So we parked our car in front of the hotel and there was a sign saying 'No Standing.' But being from South Jersey, we didn't know that meant 'No Parking.' 'No Parking' means 'No Parking,' and we thought 'Oh, you can't stand there.' So we parked the car there, of course the next day we thought it was stolen. The police stole it. So then we were kinda like homeless, you know, because we didn't pay our rent, and the money was the car and the car was towed. But actually, it was a blessing in disguise, so I called this number (of Johnny Thunders) what the hell, right? I called, and he says 'Hey, come on, over,' and he remembered who I was. They had a loft right next to the Chelsea Hotel, and in that loft also was this new group called Kiss rehearsing, who were like the rejects..."

Pantopon is a remedy for pain, bellyache, spasms, and anxiety. It contains all the opium alkaloids in a standardized form free of inert material. Pantopon is still sold in a few countries, making it Roche's longest-selling product.

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Joe Ambrose
Literary Editor

Joe Ambrose has written 14 books, including Chelsea Hotel Manhattan and The Fenian Reader. Joe is currently working on his next book, Look at Us Now - The Life and Death of Muammar Ghadaffi, which is an expanded version of a story first published in the anthology CUT UP! Visit Joe's website for all the latest info: JoeAmbrose.co.uk.

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