Good news: the world of letters, though it mourns the loss of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Czeslaw Milosz, is about to gain a new member. Tommy Lee, formerly of the group Motley Crue, will publish "TommyWorld" at the end of next month.
Ironically (and irony is all you can use in a Tommy Lee story), the new author shares a book publisher with his ex-wife, "novelist" Pamela Anderson. Both "TommyWorld" and Anderson's "Star: A Novel" come to us from Atria, a relatively new imprint from Simon & Schuster.
It's hard to say whether or not S&S's famous editors Alice Mayhew and Michael Korda have looked at this part of the catalog or even been privy to Lee's manuscript.
Of course, Korda has published lots of commercial fiction, especially that of Jackie Collins. But even she never attempted to pull off the literary device of having a penis narrate a whole section of a book. Tommy Lee, according to my sources, does exactly that.
"TommyWorld" also includes Lee's answers to his line editor at Atria just as he wrote them in the margins of the manuscript. "It's amazing," a source told me, "the line editor would send changes to him like 'Make this clearer,' and Tommy would write back, 'I don't have to.' And they left it in the finished manuscript."
Among the topics Lee tackles is his long running on-again, off-again relationship with Anderson, including the famous sex video they made, which later became public. He also addresses the story of a child who drowned in his swimming pool, plus the numerous women he's been Motley with over the years.
"He dedicates the book to all the women he's ever loved, and, surprisingly, Pink is on the list." Lee and singer Pink were an item for a short time last year.
You may be wondering how Atria Books could be publishing books by both Lee and Anderson. (It's a little like Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett, no?) Apparently Lee's deal was done first, after which he recommended Atria to Anderson for her "novel." Each book had a different editor.
"There was a total separation of church and state," my source said. Lee's editor, however, has already left Atria to pursue "other projects."
Both authors, it should be noted, are available to appear at November's National Book Awards.
Robin Bronk and her gang of actors from The Creative Coalition got a rude awakening the other night at Newsweek's big RNC party. In fact, Bronk's gang almost got arrested when writer Lally Weymouth, who ran the party, didn't recognize the celebrities, decided that they must be protesters and that they had to go. Security was called and explanations ensued.
"It took some footwork before she realized who they were," my source said. I guess Weymouth, daughter of the late great Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham (the Post owns Newsweek), doesn't keep up with all things Hollywood.
Meanwhile, The Creative Coalition kept busy yesterday with three events, two in the afternoon and one late at night. During the first one, a panel discussion called "Art$, Education and the 21st Century Economy Forum," Coalition co-president Joe Pantoliano had quite a wardrobe malfunction. The co-star of Rob Lowe's new TV series "Dr. Vegas," wandered off to the bathroom at Caroline's Comedy Club unaware that he had a live mike attached to him.
"Everyone heard me in there," said the actor who truly cemented his nickname, Joey Pants.
"Everyone'" included a governor and a congressman. Luckily it was a short sojourn. "I got more applause for that than I do sometimes for my acting," he reported with his usual wide grin smile.
Later at Caroline's, Pantoliano did give a lovely introduction for retiring representative Amo Houghton of New York's rural upstate 31st congressional district. He's stepping down after 18 years to spend more time his second wife and children.
Both Fox's Geraldo Rivera and E.D. Hill were there, as well as "Cheers" star George Wendt, actor Richard Kind (who will take over the role of Max in "The Producers" beginning Jan. 1 and should be terrific), actor Giancarlo Esposito and many members of the co-sponsor, Congressional Quarterly.
Actress/writer Anna Deavere Smith also toasted Houghton, who hosted her at his rambling Corning, N.Y., manse while she wrote a play a few years ago.
I got a chance to walk around Madison Square Garden yesterday in the evening hours before the TV networks began their broadcasts. What a difference between Boston's Democratic Convention! Unlike Boston, when the convention was called to order at 7 p.m., the number of seated delegates was sparse, to say the least. Where were they, I wondered? "At parties, having dinners," suggested one I ran into on the floor. In fact, throughout the night there were many bald spots in the stands, whereas in Boston you could barely move sometimes for the number of people jockeying for seats.
The result was most delegates missed speeches by Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Liddy Dole, two dynamic women with important things to say. What a shame.
There was little buzz in the Garden yesterday. Outside of the Arnold anticipation, mostly the feeling was flat. In the corridors of the media hallway — a regular meeting and greeting place in Boston — you could feel a sort of whooshing vacuum of interest. Miscellaneous celebrities wandered around offering themselves for interviews, including New York Giants star Jason Sehorn and his actress wife, Angie Harmon, both of whom looked like they were dressed for a date at the Rainbow Room on prom night compared to the rather dowdy fashions otherwise spotted in the arena.
Crews from the "Tonight Show," with the "Sopranos" Steve Schirripa, and "Letterman," were literally tripping over each other trying to find people of note to tape for their various comedy bits. Sadly they missed one weird scene involving boxing promoter Don King. King — still with the wild hair — was waiting to go on TV, an elderly woman walked by and stuck out her hand. "I have a lot of your records," she announced, "I'm a big fan." The perplexed King shook her hand, and when she was gone, he said, laughing: "She thinks I'm B.B. King!"