cocaine


An old set of Limelight flyers (above) that take us back to better days.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/limelight-no-simple-pill-to-swallow/

I like the careful consideration to the subtext of the film– without calling the feds to the mat, the film suggests that there was massive misconduct. As someone who lived through the experience first hand, I know just how horrific the prosecutor side was because the initial indictment had claims that turned out to be false, and yet they did not drop the case but instead added murky charges like RICO. And once the headlines were printed, there was no way to recover from the damage. The feds lied repeatedly (and without any recourse) and said they while doing surveillance that my father took cocaine from his desk drawer and laughed as they put this in a report which was in his first indictment. Try defending yourself in federal court and in the court of public opinion when the NY Post read like a Giuliani newsletter.
My dad wanted someone to get answers from the prosecutors and the DEA agents because they never took the stand– I was hoping they would trust that the director was law enforcement friendly and could give their perspective. Sadly, I still want answers. Even without realizing that I was part of the film, no one on the government side would speak to rakontur– even a DEA agent who participated in a puff piece book (where no one from the defense side was ever asked to counter what he claimed) refused to be interviewed– he must have been too busy playing golf with Lord Michael (I am being literal and not facetious). DEA headquarters only agreed to an interview if “Gatien” was not mentioned– so basically we got nothing to explain how they could in clear consciousness proceed with the case knowing that every witness was lying to get a 5K letter (not one person who cooperated did ANY time despite mandatory minimums for their crimes which were on wiretaps and undeniable, and most significantly HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MY FATHER but their own profit making schemes).
Incidentally, my dad’s disappointment in the film is authentic and not some marketing ploy. He felt that the feds got away scot free once again.

It isn’t very often that we write something that doesn’t head directly into oblivion, but lo and behold, we were enormously gratified at the notice that Jen Gatien, who we consider royalty, has given to our Twitter and to this little page of ours.  Above appears Ms. Gatien’s very much appreciated comments on our thoughts on Limelight, as well as some of her personal feelings about the hardships her family suffered at the hands of the federal government.  It was also wild to have some very nice words tweeted about us by the film’s director, who’s films we absolutely love, Billy Corben.

Billy Corben ‏@BillyCorben
Fascinating comprehensive analysis of @rakonturmiami movie LIMELIGHT: Rise & Fall of Peter Gatien https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/limelight-no-simple-pill-to-swallow/ … via @crackbillionair

What a tremendous thrill to be noticed by Jen Gatien and Billy Corben.  We are very grateful to them for taking the time to read what amounted to a voluminous stack of text, some 4,000 plus words.  We had felt any real readers we have, appreciating the nature of this site, would want to know our take on Limelight, and so, when we lost the original critique during Hurricane Sandy, we endeavored to reproduce it.  By the way, we should thank our readers as well, who have pushed us up to 2.1 million views since we clicked on in March of 2010.  Thanks all.

Still, had we known that Ms. Gatien and Mr. Corben would grace us with their time, we probably would have primped the piece up some more.  We definitely meant Mr. Gatien no disrespect whatsoever.  We’d like to be clear on that.  Peter Gatien is a hero of ours who symbolizes all that is great about NYC and what NYC should be about, minus the fascist element.  As always, we only mean to speak candidly here in this space, and hope Mr. Gatien can take some solace from the fact that we did indeed understand the outrageous persecution he was subjected to, and thought the film did a good job portraying it, even without the participation of the persecutors, who frankly, had nothing to gain by going on the record.

In fact, their silence only underscores their maniacal intent, devious perversions of the law and the news, and acts to verify their standing as the true villains, the overwhelming face of evil.

When we look back on better days, the preferred memory is Limelight VIP all the way, lounging in that little glass room in the steeple, or surveying the dance floor from our convenient perch.  It was a very lucky thing that we were a part of.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

“I ended up that day finally at the federal lockup in Brooklyn.  The lights went on at 6 O’ Clock the next morning and within ten minutes I was approached for any drug I wanted.  Heroin, coke.  I’m supposed to be able to prevent it, but meanwhile, in a place where you’re strip searched 6, 9 times before getting to your bed, it’s okay for them to have it.”

                                                                                                     — Peter Gatien

“You go to any rock concert, for example, at either The Meadowlands or Madison Square Garden and you are gonna have hundreds if not thousands of people using drugs and you’re not gonna see the management of The Meadowlands or Madison Square Garden indicted.”

“There was a young prosecutor, very little experience.  Her name was Michelle Adelman.  I mean, she was obsessed with Peter.  She had a big picture of Peter behind her desk in her office.  I remember going in there one time and saying, ‘This is not healthy.  Get a life.  This is just a case.'”

“…regardless of how prominent the individual is, I had never seen such a scorched earth mentality.”

                                                                                                    –Ben Brafman

“The motto was get Gatien at all costs.”

                                    –John Dabrowski (P.I. & former Nassau County Cop)

We understand Peter Gatien’s criticism of Billy Corben’s 2011 documentary, Limelight.  The legendary club owner was hoping that the film would be less of a monument to him than a cautionary tale of governmental overreach, or so he told the New York Times in September of 2011.  We’re not sure if Corben meant it to be, but the early minutes of the movie nearly present Gatien as both the finder and the founder of the club scene.  We would think, even in a movie about The Limelight, that Corben has some obligation to at least mention the genesis of the club scene.  The creator of the modern dance hall/dance club genre was Bill Graham, a holocaust survivor and transplanted New Yorker to San Francisco.  Graham had observed the radical success of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author Ken Kesey and his crew, The Merry Pranksters, with their Acid Test parties, held during the mid 60’s at roving locations in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and later, Mexico, when Kesey became a fugitive from the law for violating his probation (he was arrested for possessing approximately 3 grams of marijuana).  Graham rented out San Francisco’s old Fillmore Auditorium in 1968.  The Fillmore was depicted in the Hunter S. Thompson book and subsequent movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, in a most memorable scene, when Thompson, played by Johnny Depp, drops part of a hit of LSD, paper form, onto the sleeve of his coat in the Fillmore’s bathroom, where another club patron seizes on that opportunity, and proceeds to suck the acid off of his sleeve.

Bill Graham, who was born Wolodia Grajonca, was unpopular with some of the celebrities of the Haight-Ashbury counter culture movement, like the Pranksters, because he didn’t deem them worthy of free admission.  Graham, who earned a business degree from City College, understood invariably that The Fillmore was a business.  He was an excellent businessman who also gained prominence as the manager of Jefferson Airplane.  When some Haight-Ashbury residents pressured the police to crack down on his establishment because of the notorious hippie element, Graham bought a suit of clothes, slicked his hair, and went door to door to all neighborhood businesses, to explain to local businessmen how much opportunity for revenue that hippie element created for the neighborhood.  When asked how he was able to persuade the local community not to pursue their complaints about The Fillmore, he replied, “Pressure.”

Bill Graham is well chronicled in The Haight-Ashbury: A History, by Rolling Stone reporter Charles Perry.  Perhaps the best work to date on Graham, if less comprehensive, is Tom Wolfe’s amazing nonfiction novel, The Electric Koolaid Acid Test.

We were also left unimpressed with Corben’s depiction of the beginning of Ecstasy culture in NYC.  We’d characterize crediting “Lord Michael” for essentially bringing MDMA to New York as a convenient truth for the purposes of this film.  While MDMA was first created by German scientists trying to develop an appetite suppressant for plump housewives, it was America who put the chemical on the map, thanks to our good friend Dr. Shulgin, in large part.  Ecstasy scenes in California and Texas were thriving throughout the 1980’s and a great deal of their Ecstasy made its way to NY, though Lord Michael seems to be the only chump to get himself on the map for transporting a substance, and in small numbers mind you, that was not yet illegal.  But Lord Michael’s tales of bringing in several thousand hits from England, if we can agree that such piddly “smuggling” is small potatoes, is an argument which would refute Gatien’s criticism about the essence of the film.

We love Corben’s body of work, which includes Cocaine Cowboys and the lesser known Square Groupers, a compelling collection of stories from 70’s era marijuana traffickers.  We’d have to applaud Corben for Limelight as well–especially for Limelight–because this was an establishment very near and dear to our hearts, and because any governmental over-reach is too much.  In fact, we feel no need to be as diplomatic as star club owner Peter Gatien.  This movie is about tyranny to us in a very obvious sense, and the subject of that tyranny is our very demographic–the liberal intelligentsia.

The Limelight’s venue (above), which had to rankle conservative types because it was a former church, though officially deconsecrated.

What’s most germane to this story is that Rudolf Giuliani, whom Gatien supported in his bid to become mayor, whose first wife was also his cousin, made a target of Gatien when Nicholas Marinelli supposedly died the night after supposedly purchasing drugs at The Limelight.  Marinelli, from a privileged background, whose family had the personal ear of then NJ governor Thomas Kean, called Giuliani personally about Gatien, who then unleashed the DEA upon Gatien, an easy target because of his success, notoriety, and villainous eye patch.  We also do not think it helped Gatien’s cause the way the club was portrayed in the 1992 movie, The Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Keitel as a dirty cop who went to the club to score drugs (frankly we are surprised Limelight made no mention of that, though Corben may not have had permission to use that movie for this film.)

If you read that as a joke, it’s not how we meant it, though we get how preposterous that should be to you.  There is no greater danger to our liberty than inbred mayoral scum doing favors for mush mouthed cronies along political back channels that seek to destroy the lives of people according to their looks, lifestyle, and progressive attitudes.  And oh, by the way, Marinelli committed suicide, and the official cause of death is listed as death by asphyxiation.  But the government was not about to let a good scapegoat be obscured by mere, actual FACTS.  In making the case against Peter Gatien, the state was also putting a sinister face on Ecstasy, a “new” and little known drug, giving our great nation a leg up in the Machiavellian propaganda machine that is the war on drugs.

While on the topic of facts, how about USADA Linda Lacewell’s oh so ignorant claim that Ecstasy commonly contained heroin and PCP?  Frankly, that may be our “favorite” bit of drug war propaganda of all time.  Ecstasy databases like DanceSafe, EData, and even the woefully disgraceful PillReports  have thousands of lab results including chemical compositions, Reagent test results, and failing those, user reports.  When one searches those databases by chemical, or should they even go report by report, dating back to the 1st published information on specific Ecstasy, there is approximately 1 pill per 1000 (0.1% of all Ecstasy) suspected to contain PCP.  We’d estimate an even smaller percentage suspected to have heroin.  Granted, the Ecstasy information available is still flagging, but only because the establishment prefers us to believe what they want us to believe as opposed to what’s true.  A person like Linda Lacewell, a Draconian moron of her ilk, would like us to believe that there are serial killers out there whose modus operandi is death by Ecstasy, preying on people by giving them heroin or PCP, which, are not even deadly drugs necessarily.  When pressed however, Lacewell and those from the same school of drug war propaganda, attempted to connect MDMA with cardiac arrest, before the weak declaration that MDMA causes…heat exhaustion.  Ecstasy has been classified as non lethal, and benign by main stream medicine.  Please recall Peter Jennings’ ABC special called Ecstasy in which Jennings declared on national television that a person could use MDMA sporadically throughout their entire life while suffering zero long term effects.

Now, can an Ecstasy pill contain heroin?  Absolutely.  Have they?  More myth than fact, and we’ve never seen a legitimate composition report of a pill sold as Ecstasy that contained heroin, in 2 decades of analysis, but it is possible.  It’s also possible that the Jets can win the Superbowl.  But can we all appreciate the chances of it happening are about the same as a snowball’s chance in hell?  For we are not able to call it a reasonable assertion that heroin and PCP routinely make up Ecstasy with statistical significance based on scientific data.  Then again, how much scientific data is really being consulted by men who marry their blood relatives?  How much scientific data was used in consultation with the Salem Witch Trials?  And how often really, does this government tell, we the people, the truth as opposed to crude distortions?

On Giuliani’s marriage to his second cousin, which lasted 14 years, FYI, before being annulled, in grand Roman Catholic style reminiscent of the warrior popes of the middle ages, which were just about on Giuliani’s same wavelength:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=2395516&page=1#.UJsZf442UqY

http://www.cousincouples.com/?page=famous

http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/entertainment-celebcousinpairs/7/

http://www.realchange.org/giuliani.htm

Or Google it yourself.  There are only 722,000 search results that pop up when one searches “Giuliani married cousin.”  We thought it a very interesting use of device the way that Corben pulled the story of Gatien’s drug case together.  Raconteur indeed.  At the very outset of that portion of the movie that gets into the drug charges levied against Gatien, the first round of charges that is, Brafman, the best criminal attorney in the country, bar none, who has won acquittals for Gatien, Sean Combs, a laundry list of mafioso, as well as sweetheart plea arrangements for Daphne Abdela (“The Baby Faced Killer”) and Chris Paciello (who participated in the home invasion murder of Staten Island housewife Judy Shemtov), in addition to other star clients like Michael Jackson and Plaxico Burress, released a statement saying that Gatien ‘at no time in his 20+ year career owning clubs ever condoned drug use.’

Hold the thought.  Because when informant, murderous scum like Michael Alig and Sean Kirkham brag to the Feds that Gatien personally binged at drug parties that he organized, the law, having caught Gatien in an apparent lie when he wasn’t even under oath, expanded their charges to include ones that claimed that Gatien used such parties as a reward for his employees for allegedly excelling in his alleged criminal Ecstasy drug distribution operation.  Brafman had a responsibility, pre-trial, to counter the massive public relations blows coming at Gatien, rapid fire, from the inbred mayor, the NYPD, the DEA, and the federal government.  If Brafman was indeed correct in his exchange with ADA Adelman (“this is just a case”), then we may conclude that tactics like the pile on effect–creating a litany of tack on charges that give the appearance of guilt–is standard operating practice for “the people” (*cringe*).  Trustworthy prosecutors (oxymoron) may charge people with multiple counts where truly applicable, but the pile on effect does, as Gatien said, run counter to a most basic right of the actual people, which is the presumption of innocence.  For is it not more difficult to maintain the presumption of innocence when a person is facing 5 charges as opposed to 1 or 2?

What about Gatien’s specific remarks about the charges that connected his sporadic drug use to racketeering?  Isn’t he right when he says that a jury of working class, middle class people, tasked to deliberate on his freedom, will be pre-prejudiced by the fact that on occasion he binged on cocaine while frequenting prostitutes, if they were in fact prostitutes?  How is Peter Gatien, multi-millionaire/captain of industry/playboy/hotel drug partier, going to get an unprejudiced jury of his peers, in a drug case, when somebody like that has no peers?  Peter Gatien as the original Peerless Price.  Precisely why it was so imperative that Gatien retain Brafman in the first place.  An attorney like Brafman can create peers from the unlikeliest jury pools, and only one steadfast juror who follows the judge’s instructions closely, is needed to render a not guilty verdict.  As Brafman said in Limelight, after inquiring as to a possible plea arrangement, the best option was to represent Gatien in court and take their chances with the jury system.  Brafman:

“I went down to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and said, ‘this is like, crazy.  If we wanted to resolve the case, what would be the sentencing guidelines that you would think was appropriate?’  They looked at me and said ’11 years.’  They assessed Peter Gatien criminal responsibility for every pill sold by anyone that they seized in the course of the investigation.  They multiplied out the math and it came to 11 years.  I looked at them like they were nuts to suggest that Peter Gatien, who was running 4 venues at the same time, could be criminally responsible for what went on at any given moment at any one of the venues was something that I thought I could win in a court room.”

Super heavyweight criminal attorney Ben Brafman (above).

To keep suit with the very logical Brafman, should any crime be committed in a club, the club owner is not automatically criminally responsible for conspiracy to commit such a crime.  The nuisance abatement laws in NYC which permitted the police to shut any business’s doors in which there were 3 incidents in one year, if applied to strictly to clubs, would see every club shuttered.  Let’s be completely honest.  There are thousands of drug deals going down on any given night in any major venue, club, concert, festival, and so on.  The irony is, The Limelight was not nearly the drug supermarket, “a drug buyer’s paradise”, that it would become after Gatien had relinquished ownership.  Drug use should be an indicator more as to what is likely in a free society, not an indictment on that society, and never an indictment against the operator of the venue, unless truly warranted.

Sean Kirkham, in fact, conspired with the authorities (who, by the way, were so unreliable and were guaranteed to be ruined on the stand by Brafman that the prosecution could not allow their testimony) for the purposes of creating the charges against Gatien.  As Gatien explained, “the only way to prevent those drug deals from happening on those nights was to not open the doors.”  How do you, after all, prevent the DEA from running their own drug ops at any given place at any given time?  One has to consider exactly why then, do the nuisance abatement laws exist if not as a tool for tyranny, which is defined as an arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic use of authority.  But then, Sean Kirkham re-flipped, and claimed that prosecutor Eric Friedberg, who was brought in to buoy the government’s case as it headed to trial, because Adelman and her little crony were essentially amateurs not fit to duel Ben Brafman, was someone with whom he had had a homosexual relationship.  Friedberg, who was the chief of the Federal Narcotics Bureau.  LOFL.  Though probably not a guy who hooked up with a gay club kid who dabbled in counterfeiting, a clown nontheless, so that was a nice laugh which came around the one hour mark of the film.  But when the trial began, it was Michelle Adelman, who in the opening statement, admitted to the jury that the government had exactly zero evidence linking Gatien financially to any of the crimes he was charged with.

So why then would a person conspire to distribute Ecstasy and throw parties to reward his Ecstasy salesman, if not for profit?  Because Gatien had an overwhelming interest in seeing club patrons high?  High people do not spend money.  But that’s besides the point, really, because not only couldn’t the government make any sense as to what Gatien’s possible motives could be, but also, by the time of the trial in 1998, there was exactly one major witness left to their case trying to implicate Gatien, the infamous Michael Caruso (“Lord Michael”), whom Ben Brafman not only exposed for the scumbag he was on cross examination, but also, raised the spectre of possibility that Caruso was a murderer, when Caruso broke down in tears on the stand, begging the court to believe that the questionable circumstances surrounding Caruso’s roommate’s suicide were indeed true, and to believe him that he did not participate in that roommate’s death.  The government’s case was essentially blown in the course of that cross, if not by Adelman herself during the opening statement, which is precisely the reason why Brafman is known as the best attorney in the world at cross examining witnesses.  Brafman, who has made an extraordinary career at criminal defense, is practiced at exposing liars, breaking down snitches by the dozen in your average mafia case.  And it all begs the question, as Village Voice reporter Frank Owen (who authored The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture) put it in the film, “then what the hell are we doing here?”

But you had an overzealous prosecution emboldened by a hell bent, inbred mayor, who had essentially struck out with their over-riding strategy, which was, as Gatien said, ‘to break him and make him plead’, and now had to take its chances with a couple of sketchy, unscrupulous criminals, against the Ben Brafman because there was no backup plan (*at that time*).  Brafman should have won a dismissal, but we’re sure he was happy to settle for not guilty on all counts.  But at the end of the day, those not guilty verdicts read by the Gatien jury in 1998 were not by any means the end of the government’s persecution of Peter Gatien.  Also, it was where Corben’s film takes a stunning turn in complexity.

One of Michael Caruso’s allegations, shoddy as they may be, gave us pause for consideration.  Caruso alleged, and though it was not even illegal at the time, to have once given Gatien 20 hits of Ecstasy, as a “display of respect.”  It was not necessary for Brafman to disprove that statement, and, it could very well have been true.  Gatien was an imperfect man, a real human being, and we thought the film did an excellent job of presenting a very complicated figure in Gatien, in a way that did not sanctify him.  Gatien said he had never used drugs in his clubs, ever.  Okay.  So maybe he got some drugs at the “massive drug supermarket” that was The Limelight, or Tunnel, or Palladium, or Club USA.  Again, he’s not under oath when he makes a statement like that, and it’s not unreasonable to think that he may have gotten drugs from Caruso.  I mean, who didn’t get E at a club like that at some point, if you are in the scene?

The implication, whether true or false, does “dirty” Gatien, and frankly, one of the things that drives us here on this page and in our other projects and in life is to legitimize the use of psychedelics, so a Gatien or his patrons, people like me, do not face damage to their reputation for using them.  But we aren’t there yet.  We aren’t even close.  So there is Gatien, the deceptive drug user, but also, Gatien, the irresponsible business man.  In watching this film, who out there feels that Gatien’s explanations about how much it cost to run his empire were valid?  I do believe they were true but at the same time, not valid, if that can make sense.  Hiring teams of artists, architects, and decorators to constantly transform and remake the club, from party to party, is not the way to run a successful club.  We hate to malign Gatien, but we are compelled to be honest.  Every successful non Vegas club we’ve ever seen has put on the show with minimum frills, save for the act.  You must spend on the music and the sound, and not necessarily on the decor.  Gatien’s style was garish which happened to work well in Atlanta where he had a campy dance floor built over a shark tank and whatnot, and for the 80’s and 90’s in NYC we see why a similar approach helped attract patrons.  But at the end of the day, you are there for the music.

Bill Graham understood the importance of keeping costs down, something that Gatien doesn’t get.  Had he gotten it, he would not have had to sell his clubs for what amounted to a song, even in the face of mounting a 5 year defense against the federal government.  To do $25M in revenue a year for ten years or whatever the numbers were, is ridiculous, and very hard to sell to me when it’s done and there’s no money that it wasn’t wasteful.  Also, hard to sell to the owner of Circa in Toronto, which Gatien ran for a while, before the ownership tired of his wasteful spending practices.  And why was NYC’s King of Clubs relegated to Toronto in the first place, having hit a home run against the government in his drug case?

Well, that’s because Gatien, a Canadian citizen, never naturalized as an American citizen, despite having an American wife and children.  One of whom produced this film (Jen Gatien, DeerJen Productions).  So when Gatien was convicted of tax fraud, which Brafman and Gatien admitted he was guilty of, the US government, still with a healthy hard on for Peter Gatien some 5 years after Brafman beat them clean in court, exercised the right to deport Gatien, as President Bush, another Republican who does not know who inspector Javert is (we loved the story relayed in the film by former mayor Ed Koch, who told Giuliani “Rudy, you are pursuing people like inspector Javert with an intensity that is not acceptable”, to which Giuliani replied, “Who’s Javert?”) gave some quid pro quo to America’s mayor, who we again remind you, is inbred trash.  (After 9/11, the Patriot Act was passed, which allows the government to deport non citizens guilty of fraud.)

Gatien somehow did not see this coming?  The government’s war of attrition took a turn in the Al Capone-esque direction, when they couldn’t get Gatien for drugs and racketeering, and frankly, he needed to be beyond reproach having had such a large bullseye drawn on his back, a “scorched earth policy” the likes of which his attorney had never before seen.  Then again, when the government crawls up your ass for ten or twelve years, they are eventually going to find something that stinks.  Who among us has never broken the law?  Then again, are we all out there committing fraud, which in this case, was a willful misrepresentation of his business’s tax records?  Would we be stupid enough to do so after seeing our freedom already so vehemently threatened?

The government aimed to get him and they got him, and what difference did it make to them really if it didn’t happen on the first try?  Well, the difference it made was that it strengthened their resolve and fortified their approach to where there wouldn’t have to be a trial next time around.  They would still find a way to see Gatien go to federal prison and then unceremoniously deport him from the United States.

Though the prosecution admitted that they had no evidence that Gatien had profited from the sale of drugs in his clubs, they hardly needed proof to levy the accusation.  It was like this: ‘while we don’t have proof, um, the guy wears an eye patch, for the love of God and country.’  The refute was like this: ‘why would Peter Gatien, grossing a zillion dollars a year, risk his freedom and the life as he knew it in order to make a few extra dollars selling Ecstasy?’

Indeed.  So why would he run a tax scam for a few extra dollars then?  Is the answer a study in complexity, a testament to human fallibility, or an indicator that the government was right all along that Gatien was indeed a criminal?  We think it was two out of three.  We don’t think Gatien a criminal.  We think, in the end, that this film was such a profile of tyranny, of the arbitrary wielding of might, wreckless and whimsical and incompetent and blatantly sinister and yet successful, all at once.  Gatien is perhaps too close to the matter to assess Corben’s film properly.  Or, rather, Gatien had a hand in the making of the film, and that in his assessment, the best way to see it to success was to be critical of his portrayal.  For why would a man assail the work of his own daughter publicly, if not for a ruse that could lead to financial prosperity?

In the end, the government was not about to get beaten again by the Gatien/Brafman dream team.  They have to live with getting beaten by Brafman when they are foolish enough to take him to court, but not by Gatien, who in the end, does get to go down as a criminal in the version of the story as they choose to tell it.  Because he “allowed” people to do drugs in a place when we live in a society where people are doing drugs anyway, everywhere, and who do not need our permission.

In the end, Gatien is a phenomenal interview and Brafman a legendary one, and Corben a genius at bringing their story together, and the government’s, the grandest of long cons, a coup d’etat by which they broke a man at a trial they lost so that he wouldn’t have the power to fight another fight.  And Gatien, banished, in exile in Toronto, essentially because despite the tremendous opportunities in America, he never loved America enough to join it, always leery of the mechanisms at play which generated those opportunities.  With good reason.

We say to Peter Gatien, “THANK YOU!”  That the money is no great loss. Can’t take it with you.  Gatien not only provided establishments for people like me, but also, for all the people, no matter their color, their sexuality, their age, their dress, what they looked like or spoke like or whether they were from Brooklyn or Jupiter.  We hope he truly takes heart in his freedom as he says, and that he isn’t the lonely Canadian outcast, a media distortion to this day.  Gatien was a wild success in his industry and in life who conquered NY and embarrassed the government.  He may no longer be peerless, but it is only a precious few who has withstood what he has and came out as well, alive to tell.

From a child of The Limelight.

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon), who was not reprised in Viva La Madness.

Sidney (Ben Whishaw) and Tammy (Sienna Miller) who also weren’t reprised.

Near the start of Layer Cake, [xxxx] and Morty go to lunch with Geno and Jimmy Price at Pepe’s Barn.  As far as we are concerned, that scene and the conversation between [xxxx] and Price at lunch, and then in the bathroom, were outstanding, having perfectly conveyed the path of the book, overall.  They are just two scenes of many outstanding ones in Layer Cake, as Connolly is most genius at language, obviously proving that out with giant scenes for Eddy Temple, and Geno and frankly, most of the people who had speaking parts.  When [xxxx] gets kidnapped and filled in?  Phenomenal.  And then again, when Eddy fills [xxxx] in with the layer cake speech at the end.  And then, in the movie, [xxxx] shows why he’s already up the layer cake farther than Mr. Temple knows, or Mr. Ryder, in the movie.  You know we are bigger on the movie’s ending, where he leaves with a leg up, than the book’s most disappointing outcomes.  And you know why.  So we’ll not get into that, though as always, I would certainly entertain comments, as it has become a spirited discussion between the fans of the book.

There was no big setup moment.  Or good setup moment.  And frankly, we thought the first 100 pages were extremely tedious and uninteresting.  But the sequel, Viva La Madness, a good ten years in arriving after Layer Cake, perhaps got it done in other ways, as we have walked away about as best we could be satisfied with a story in which Connolly skunked nearly a dozen worthy characters.  It bothers us also that he didn’t really write any that were that stirring either.  Viva La Madness opens slowly and leaves you wanting for old characters.  Look, I think you knew I’d be honest.  Gene, Mr. Temple/Mr. Ryder, Tammy, Trevor & Shanks, Tiptoes, Billy Bogus, and many of the flashback characters, in the very least, were all compelling characters who all the fans have really gotten attached to.  How could you not?

Here’s another thing, while we are airing the complaints.  It doesn’t sound like him in all parts.  I don’t really know what’s going on there.  But Connolly was using phrases that seemed out of character.  Again, comment me on that if you like.  It would be too difficult to explain and we do not wish to be so overly critical.  We said what we needed to say on that.

But the book does start to satisfy.  And when you are in full clip, you are reading this beast furiously.  Because Connolly is that kind of writer.  He writes a good, compelling, fun story.  And because the characters are a bit too drab or a bit too “heads the balls”, you want the two good characters, our man [xxxx] and Mr. Mortimer to win more than ever.  Anything else will be indecent.  And that is what we always said from the start was the problem from the first book, then corrected in the movie, and then seen to not need correcting in the new novel.  The good guys win.  Finally.

And they get laid.  On my word, [xxxx] gets laid, finally, and the pussy is very good.  That’s great.  We who are rooting for him want him to get laid.  So they gave us that as well.  The book is really not as colorful as the first.  It’s also not as black and white.  It’s quite grey, in fact.  And that should be one’s outlook, and perhaps not so black and white.  Remember, they are commodities traders, and they do make fair compensation.  It is a business at which men like them are successful.  That they do not complete the $100M score, and only come out with a several million dollar score is really nothing to cry about.  This book goes down over a period of about twenty days.  So if you are getting 3M to walk away with, you have been fairly compensated for those twenty days worth of work, especially if you are already a murderous drug dealer.

We have to say we really like it.  We liked the ending.  More grey.  That black and white first book, was really tainted in our mind, by the ending.  You don’t have that here.  The characters we like are rich and safe.  Yay.  The plot is well developed, and complicated, and it is a real page turner.  Exactly what you want.  But we just weren’t feeling these new characters.  We are sure that Connolly and Vaughn will punch them up better if/when the movie becomes a reality.  So we are not gonna cry about that.  If a book is not perfect you are going to have to live with some flaws.  Connolly might have had the one truly great story that made Layer Cake the lightning bolt it was.  That is not going to be easy to duplicate.  But it’s a good sequel to Layer Cake and was well worth buying and reading and anticipating as we did.

Smiler’s alright, but the Venezuelans and the other Brit’s were just brutal, not interesting.  Sonny and Roy? The Toff?  Ih.  He’s alright.  Ted Granger?  Not really impressed.  But this book was funny, and was compelling from about page 100 through to the end.  We did not expect this book to be better than or equal to Layer Cake.  As we have suggested, that may be impossible for Connolly.  But if you like this kind of fiction, drug crime fiction, it’s really the only game in town, and the very big boys who Connolly describes are doing very similar things to the things that Connolly describes, especially in business.

So we have to say kudos.  We were immediately satisfied.  We sat on writing this for many months, as we read it fairly immediately upon release.  And our opinion hasn’t changed any.  We’ve seen a lot of people reading the ‘Layer Cake Sequel Approaches’ post, so we may as well let you know our thoughts.

Viva La Madness should be a satisfying read for Connolly fans.  And they should want to see it on the big screen, where once again, the book will outdo the movie.  But we say all this while fully acknowledging that Connolly is a master in the genre, and we have to thank him for bringing some compelling stories to us.  Thanks JJC.  But if we could suggest for next time, please bring back some of the old guard.  There would be no questions as to any book’s interest level with some of those characters in the mix.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)       

George Harris and Daniel Craig in Layer Cake (above).

“This monkey business is in your blood, under your skin.  You aren’t getting out, you’re just getting in.  You’re only getting started…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnUUuPUmq6w

Eddy Temple, or Ryder is it?  We hardly knew ye.  For it is fact, now confirmed, the rumor that author J.J. Connolly has only reprised one other character in his soon to hit sequel to Layer Cake, Viva la Madness.  That character, as we have speculated, is Mr. Mortimer, pictured above with [xxxx], played by Daniel Craig. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/welcome-to-the-layer-cake/

It’s not as though we have a problem with Morty by any means, but some might ask how dare he skunk so many other dynamic characters, especially Eddy Ryder and Gene?  Well, we’ve got other news also gleaned from Connolly interviews.  He has not sold the rights to Viva la Madness and doesn’t sound positive that it will make it to the big screen.  Connolly said he hopes to hear from Matthew Vaughn who he hopes will ring Daniel Craig.

Everyone should remember that Layer Cake was done on a tight budget, that Craig was not yet a movie star at that time and that Vaughn was a rookie director on the film, most certainly an expense saved.  And now, Craig is just about the biggest movie star on the planet.  That Layer Cake helped get him the role of 007 though does in no way ensure that Craig actually reprises the role of [xxxx].

If your return visit to the Layer Cake has been decidedly negative so far, take heart.  Whatever the machinations are of Hollywood and big business, we are very confident that this sequel will do what is almost impossible in the realm of entertainment, which is to succeed on an artistic level.  But Crack, haven’t you trashed Connolly for being a cheap artist who uses cheap tricks like the unrevealed narrator, and who writes in the first person, making for standard junk fiction?

Yes and no.  We aren’t expecting the second coming of War and Peace, some great achievement in high fiction.  What we are expecting is the second coming of Layer Cake, only more expansive.  Layer Cake goes international.  Connolly might not write high fiction, but he is definitely in the Premiere League of regular fiction.  We have missed his sterling dialogue and have waited anxiously for this sequel, which you can pre-order now in advance of its September release. 

Crack, didn’t you pan Connolly for Layer Cake’s inconsistent ending, crediting Vaughn for cleaning up the story and making for a better film than book, something rarely done in the history of fiction to motion picture?  Yes.  Connolly though also had a major hand in the way the story was reworked (he wrote the screenplay), and while we don’t necessarily agree with what he did with [xxxx] at the end of the book to get an innocent American tourist killed in the park instead of Klaus, the Amsterdam pill syndicate’s gruesome henchman, we do now understand his logic, as a major advocate of legalization, that the illegal drug world is chaotic and violent and that the more involved people are in it, the less control they will have over their lives.

Obviously that is true, and is perhaps an even better rationale for legalization than financial exploits.  After all, a book is a different entity from a movie, and Connolly didn’t have the same interest in keeping [xxxx] likable as say, Sony and Columbia Pictures did.  Connolly does have a keen interest in presenting his world, where the dons are the least trustworthy of all, and we feel he has a lot to work with even without the embarrassment of riches that were the bulk of his original book cast.  With Mort having sufficient connections in the Caribbean and in the cocaine world, with that world being [xxxx]’s only real trade, and now having him relocated to Venezuela, a stone’s throw from the coast of Colombia, we are expecting to see all the tricks on the highest level of that trade, including the latest in international smuggling and money laundering that Connolly has now had about ten years to research and write up.

Whether he makes it to the big screen again or not, take heart friends, for [xxxx] is indeed alive.  Watch the alternate endings on your DVD!  Sidney does not kill our protagonist on the steps of Pepi’s Barn with that gun shot.  As you may know from the end of the book.  And as you also may know, [xxxx] is forced to relocate to the Caribbean or risk being prosecuted for killing an American tourist. 

It all makes for a great beginning for Viva la Madness, which we think will provide us with a look into a world which combines gritty London gangster, tropical locales, and an episode of Locked Up Abroad in South America.  Jimmy Price, London’s godfather and chief rat, had his brains and those of his boxers splattered all over his backyard.  The London underworld is out of whack, pardon the pun, and coke prices, even at insane wholesale levels, have skyrocketed, as Connolly also set up well at the end of Layer Cake.  Re-enter [xxxx] later this month.

How does [xxxx] actually re-enter the United Kingdom?  And how are we to forget the characters we have come to love?  We’re confident leaving all that to Connolly. 

Crackbillionair (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

A personal picture of ours of the infamous and dangerous Blue Fleur di Lys (above), almost 2 years old.

A pic posted to pillreports, we believe, by mustafa91 in recent days (above).

Light Blue Fleur di Lys, it would appear, have made their way down the East Coast from New York, according to a recent pill report.

http://www.pillreports.com/index.php?page=display_pill&id=24530

Saint / fleur di lis  
 
Date Submitted: June 9, 2011, 12:22 am GMT
Last Updated: June 10, 2011, 1:31 am GMT
Submitted By: mustafa91 (member since May 20, 2011)
Name: Saint / fleur di lis
State/Province: Washington DC
Logo: Blue Eagle Saints fleur-de-lis
Colour: Blue
Shape: circular
Texture: slightly grainy – smooth
Edges: slightly thick
Report Quality Rating: not rated
Description: My man got these “blue eagles” for me — said he’s rolled on these in the past (of course, no guarantee they’re still good). I’m basically trying to avoid piperazines and other bullshit, because I just don’t have the time to waste tripping and recovering at work the next day. Guess the only way to find out is by consuming it…
Suspected Contents: Unknown
Rating: Unknown
Warning: yes
Tested: no
Consumed: yes
User Report: Consumed at + 0 hours. I chewed pill and to my surprise it broke apart pretty easily in my mouth. The taste is very bitter, almost metallic. There is a strong aftertaste lingering on my taste buds.t + 0:05 no effectst + 0:12 no effectst + 0:15 Is it getting hotter?t + 0:21 Pulse is 84 bpm.. my normal resting heart rate is 60-65

t + 0:24 My stomach is churning

t + 0:30 Feeling some obvious physiological changes. Hands are clammy, feel kind of faint.

t + 0:36 Listening to atb – 9 pm. Music is enhanced. Feet and hands feel colder. Dick has receded.

t + 0:45 Heart rate is steady at about 85 bpm. Music sounds better.. almost suspended in a sense. It also feels good to.. feel .. my biceps. I’m an amateur bodybuilder, so this is not uncommon. I’m pretty sure there’s no mdma in this pill, though I’m also pretty sure there’s no pipes because this isn’t unpleasant, per se.

t + 1:10 Laid back.. relieved that I’m not about to get caught up in some pipes (pun intended)

t + 1:24 I feel some jaw tension. The effects seem a tad more potent, in proper perspective, so it probably merits the rating of adulterated. Not sure what this shit is and I couldn’t be motivated to give a fuck.

t + 1:40 Went out to get some fresh blunts and as soon as I was outside, noticed that I’m much more spun than I thought. A little input generates a lot more output, in terms of physical strength. I could glide a flight of stairs like it’s nothing. My pupils are really dilated. This pretty much snuck up on me.

Trying to find mdma (east coast) is like .. mining for gold — almost like you’d be hard pressed to prove the existence of mdma out here. At least with cocaine I can get some shit before it’s cooked and not that cut, and I know there will be ~50% coke, albeit at a very high premium. Ya feel me? With the crackheads out here, the coke market will ALWAYS be alive in some form.

As far as the search for good pills, the only good news is that I can return the pills and get my money back.

Though mustafa91 has apparently misidentified these pills as Eagles, and has a warped view of the benefits of the Cocaine market, he does give a description of the pill’s taste and consistency.  Even before testing, we were a bit put off by the fact that these pills broke so easily.  Not crumbled, mind you, but broke, into hard pieces. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/06/10/piperazine-fleur-di-lys-still-a-plague-in-north-america-our-analysis-of-recent-trends-in-ecstasy/

Along with the Green FDL’s that popped up in California, this makes two sightings of these volatile pipes in one week, on both coasts.  Now, a message to mustafa91.  There are excellent dance clubs in Washington D.C. and House Music is extremely popular.  DC is where several prominent acts rose up, including one of our favorites, Saeed and Palash, as well as the legendary duo, Deep Dish, the fact that they have now sold out many times over not withstanding.  Sure, we have a problem with how t hey make tracks with Puffy and the whole name change nonsense.  Dubfire…your name is Ali, moron.

Anyways, there are plenty of good drugs in DC.  You have plenty of college kids and lots of young, affluent professionals in the market for designer drugs and psychedelics.  Wasn’t a group of enterprising young Hoyas busted a few months back for making DMT in their dorm?

http://abcnews.go.com/ad/gmaintroad.html?goback=http%3A%2F%2Fabcnews.go.com%2FHealth%2FMindMoodNews%2Fgeorgetown-university-students-busted-illegal-drug-manufacturing%2Fstory%3Fid%3D11963382

Mustafa91, get yourself out to the right clubs, and get rolling in the right circles.  Everything that’s available in NY is available in DC, and vice versa.  It’s a four hour ride, son.  In fact, we’d venture to guess that mostly everything available in DC came from NY, and you can get shit here.  And listen to those telling you to get a test kit.  The pill scene is bleak, but not quite as bad as you make it out to be. 

www.eztest.com

Don’t Be A Quitter,

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

James Blake and Novak Djokovic (above).

There are going to be some very interesting matchups on Sunday for the true tennis fan.  It’s not like we didn’t enjoy watching Roger take Radek Stepanek to the woodshed this afternoon, or that we weren’t interested in the troubles of both of the Andys, but tomorrow is to be quite the day.

It gets started early with a very intresting matchup on Stadium, Mardy Fish vs. Richard Gasquet.  Back to the scene of the crime for Gasquet so to speak, whose career was derailed in Miami when he exchanged fluids with a Miami woman on Cocaine.  That interaction led to a failed drug test which has since been set aside, but the net effect essentially set him back 2 years.  The promising Frenchman with the game’s most beautiful one handed backhand took a while to get back on track, but it appears that he is in fine form again.  Recall that Gasquet is a Wimbledon semi-finalist who beat Andy Roddick in that quarter-final, coming back from 2 sets to love down.

We love Gasquet.  And Stacey Gardner (below). 

We try to love Mardy too, but it’s hard.  Especially tomorrow.  Gasquet, blessed with incredible talent, seemed like a guy who’d never put it all together.  We think the brush with the Coke rap has forced him to to appreciate the game more, and we’ve never seen more heart  or fire from him lately.  Key Biscayne’s Agile court surface would seem to favor both players and their aggressive games.  We’ll take the one-hander.  We still expect the big things from Gasquet that we’ve always expected, and like that he’s back on the right path.  And his recent drubbing of Andy Roddick was very impressive, which we’re sure good friends Fish and Roddick discussed.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/roddick-vs-gasquet-live-beginning-right-now-nadal-federer-also-in-action-tonight-indian-wells-see-vegas-match-odds/

Major champions are in action on the women’s side with another one-hander, Francesca Schiavone, and Kim Clijsters both featured.  But there will be heavyweights going all day.  Beat this: Juan Martin Del Potro versus Robin Soderling.  Talk about ball crushers.  Great for the game that Del Potro is becoming a factor again, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he was a little too hot for Soderling to handle tomorrow.  Soderling, having a great year, is yet to produce much on American soil, and JMDP might just thrive in this environment. 

Giant John Isner in action against Murray’s slayer, journeyman Alex Bogmolov Jr.  Interesting that Murray has given career best wins to Donald Young and Bogmolov Jr. in successive tournaments. 

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/donald-young-records-first-ever-important-win-defeating-andy-murray-at-indian-wells/

How charitable is the Scot?  That’s what happens when you keep pushing balls back and you never take any initiative.  Speaking of charity, the very gifted but now scorned James Blake, will take on Novak Djokovic, still undefeated this season.  If Blake ever wanted to do something, having let myriad opportunities just slip away, tomorrow night might be a good time to go for for broke.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/layer-cake-author-on-the-drug-problem-we-should-be-more-grown-up-about-it/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/welcome-to-the-layer-cake/

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