Agatha Blois

turning man-on-the-street into rockstar, and rockstar into icon

the oddest thing about meeting agatha was that we hadn't met before. it took no time for us to realise that we had lived parallel lives in new york for years, a city much more like a small town than anyone acknowledges, where street life dictates that there are no degrees of separation.

years of dealing with the same musicians and motorcycle clubbers, and no face-to-face yet. it was weird and impossible, like fate made a rain date until the climate was perfect.

the climate WAS perfect for us to meet, it was summer on ludlow street. everything slows down in august in new york, our shops were across the street, we spent days watching each other work and alternating lunches between our little shops.

i think before we opened our mouths we knew we were soulmates, so filling in the details was purest pleasure. we had been lost and found and lost again, and now we had finally found each other somehow. the inexplicable delay of our closeness became irrelevant immediately as we compared notes and observations, jokes and jerk-offs, losses and gains, and our personal evolutions against the backdrop of a city in a similar evolutional arc - from an innocent stumbling lawless happy brutal decadence to a intuitively sophisticated, bittersweet, open system of free choices and happy accidents, fate and luck, all resulting in at least one beautiful fact: i was a good friend and peer of agatha blois in new york city. we looked the same truths in the eye every single day. we laughed and cried together. we hashed out a rough philosophy, and hammered it into shape. we were learning to live together.

she gave me a pair of pants one day, on a whim. this was no small gift and we both knew it but she pretended it was nothing. her pants cost more than i could afford and they were worth it, because every single pair cost her 30-odd years of her life and she put every intuition and hard-won piece of street knowledge into every single pair, but for me they were free.


they demanded a change from me. a change in my ability to face...everything. it was a big-ass change, a quantum leap of faith, and the pants made it easy. i wore 'em every day. they were my heroin and my handgun. i was blunter than ever before, i walked into back doors, walked up to the hottest women, walked past security, took what i wanted when i wanted it, lost regrets and found a tougher self with a larger life.

the pants confirmed what i already knew about agatha, the hugest and most unavoidable fact about her life and her work, which are really the same thing:

that she possesses that rarest, deepest, transformative ability:

that she can turn man-on-the-street into rockstar, and rockstar into icon.

-blackie pagano