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Monday, April 28, 2014

Barbara Sobel's ICONic Birthday Bash

The Queen of Dance Music, Sobel Nation's Barbara Sobel, held court in the cozy corner at the club, ICON, in Astoria, Queens, NYC, the evening of April 27. She was crowned and bejeweled by club owner and music producer ("Love Goddess") Nick Lion in our elite coronation ceremony.
On the ride in, my driver's radio played Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" just before my destination. It was a harbinger of Dj Ian Ford's hot stream of '70s-'80s-'90s dance hits. Indeed, "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" was one of them. We also heard Donna Summer, Dee-Lite, Pet Shop Boys, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Alicia Bridges, Pamala Stanley, Chaka Khan and so many other iconic divas of those decades. And Barbara is determined to bring a type of fun and exuberance back to modern dancefloors via Sobel Promotions, featuring a long list of the best remixers, of whom Ian Ford is one. (Check out our recent interview: )

I asked Ian about his name, which I've seen also spelled as "Fford." He told me the double-f spelling's old hat and that he only used it, initially, for distinction. But once his career ascended on the LGBT circuit, he no longer needed to do that and now prefers the original, traditional spelling of the name.

Ok, you djs out there, remember: Ford has a better idea when it comes to mixing a hot and seamless set as he did for Barbara's birthday.

I met Barbara's friends, Karla and Tracey. Tracey told me about her work with Timber-S Cat Rescue, having just returned from one of their events. Karla is the manager of Trylon Vet Care, where Barbara brings her cats. Unfortunately, none were present at the event.
Nick & Ben

It was a true pleasure to finally meet Nick Lion's husband, Ben, with whom I enjoyed chatting at the bar. Of course, ICON excels in its service and friendly, no-attitude staff of beautiful men. It was raining men at the club for Barbara's special night. In fact, Ian prominently played the Weather Girls' hit when the go-go god (a/k/a stripper) entertained us all, though he was most close-up and personal with Ms Sobel and her circle of friends. After all, she was the birthday girl and this night was in her honor, and that included having a groove thing shaking right before her.

Special thanks to our waiter, Martin. Queens born and bred, he is just a sweetie and quite guileless and unaffected, despite the stereotypes people might harbor about New Yorkers.

Eric, our bartender, was also especially friendly and exhibited such grace under pressure on the job behind the busy bar. Just as cute and cordial as can be.

Thank you guys. And thanks to all of the ICON staff. By far the best!
Eric, Buddy B, Nick & Martin

I left, taking a shot of our go-go god, my chariot awaiting. WKTU on the car radio, sailing home while listening to more blasts from the past; songs like "Rhythm Is a Dancer" and --  believe it or not -- "Heaven Is a Place on Earth." On this night, that place was called Icon in Astoria.

At home, of course, I listened to the music on Sobel Nation Radio over the Internet:

Our go-go god

To Martin, Eric and all the young men at ICON tonight, and also to my younger self, I dedicate this music video:

More pictures from Barbara Sobel's ICONic event below:

It's raining go-go gods, ladies & gentlemen!

Spin, Baby, Spin! Ian Ford (nee Fford)

Our bartender Eric & I. He's wearing the new Icon t-shirt

ICON's Marilyn-themed VIP Lounge

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