Even before Michael Alig, 48, was released from prison on May 5, after serving 17 years for first-degree manslaughter, speculation had turned to what the most notorious club kid of the 1990s would do for his next act. Based on interviews with friends, Alig, who pleaded guilty in 1997 to killing his friend and drug dealer Andre “Angel” Melendez, is seeking attention of a more respectable stripe. He is circulating a memoir to agents and pursuing writing assignments.
Earlier in the year, there was press speculation that Alig might star in a reality show when he was released, but club promoter-turned-Blackbook writer Steve Lewis tells Billboard it’s not likely. “I think Michael would rather work for a big media outlet,” he says. “He wants to write about fashion and cover events. He doesn’t want to throw events.” Fenton Bailey, the co-owner of World of Wonder, the production company behind a 1998 documentary about Alig, 'Party Monster: The Shockumentary,' and the 2003 movie, 'Party Monster,' says he’s heard that Alig was in talks to write for Vice magazine, but editor-in-chief Rocco Castoro denies this. “Guess it’s just a rumor,” he wrote in an email.
Another insider says Alig, who did not respond to requests for comment, is not talking to Vice but has two to three writing jobs in the works and is circulating a memoir to agents that includes details about Melendez. The book’s tentative title, 'Aligula,' is similar to Alig’s Twitter handle, Alig_Aligula.
It remains to be seen if a mainstream media brand would hire a convicted killer, but club-kid-turned-journalist Ernie Glam who briefly lived with Alig in the early ‘90s, contends his former roommate deserves a shot. “He’s got to do something,” Glam says. “Should it be something he’s already skilled at or should he be working at McDonald’s?”
— Michael Alig (@Alig_Aligula) May 5, 2014
Alig may have a fallback position. Bailey says the ex-con is exploring selling the Warhol-esque paintings he made in prison of club kids, such as transgender performer Amanda Lepore, and his friends (and even himself). Lewis says there has been some interest from gallery owners.
On his first night of freedom, Alig attended a dinner at Almond restaurant in Manhattan with about a dozen friends from his nightlife days, including Glam, DJ Scotto, and James St. James, who chronicled the rise and fall of his “frenemy,” as one source put it, in the 1999 book 'Disco Bloodbath.' Camera crews from two different documentary productions were on hand for the dinner. World of Wonder captured the reunion to augment 'Shockumentary,' and actor Ramon Fernandez recorded the gathering for the documentary he is producing, 'Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig.' Fernandez says he is shooting Alig’s first two weeks of freedom for the film, even taking the subject of his documentary to the former site of his old haunt, the Limelight nightclub. The deconsecrated church-turned-nightclub closed in 2007 and has since been converted into a boutique shopping center.
Alig, who’s bunking with a friend in New York as he figures out his next movie, is going to have a difficult time nightclubbing anytime soon. Glam says the dinner at Almond was hurried because an 8 p.m. curfew is among the conditions of Alig’s parole. “He also has to go to job readiness training, drug counseling, anger management counseling --and I believe there may be drug testing,” says Glam, who adds: “He wasn’t drinking [that] night.”