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Vienna Life Ball Brings out the Glitter to Fight AIDS

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The 15th Annual Life Ball took place in Vienna on Saturday night, drawing 4,000 partygoers and more than 40,000 spectators to its opening ceremony. The Ball, which last year, according to the International Herald Tribune, raised $1.5 million to fight AIDS, featured a fashion show by Heatherette and musical performances by the Scissor Sisters.

Scissor Sisters photographer Kevin Tachman sent us these shots. Above, Lance Bass is kissed by Traver Rains, one half of Heatherette, as he ends his runway walk.

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Scissor Sisters' Anamatronic and actor Alan Cumming. Amanda Lepore prepares for her walk-on.

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Another Heatherette Life Ball model.

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The Scissor Sisters perform. Porn star Jenna Jameson (left) takes the stage.

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Jake Shears makes some adjustments.

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Seth Kirby and Ana Matronic with musical group The Ones. Heatherette's Richie Rich, Mario Testino, Sharon Stone, Traver Rains. Stone told the crowd: "It's very important for us to remember that the AIDS and HIV situation is a situation that began from love, and it's a situation that will end with love...We have to constantly remind ourselves and others that there is no shame that love cannot cure; there is no hatred, no controversy and no walls that cannot come down when faced with the power of love and dignity."

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Amanda Lepore walks the walk.

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All photos: Kevin Tachman / WENN

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Comments

  1. That one Life Ball model doesn't look too alive...he needs to eat a hamburger and a milkshake or something. being able to see abs because you can also see ribs is not sexy.

    Posted by: nycredneck | May 29, 2007 11:05:13 AM


  2. I am with you on that one NYCredneck. I thought damn he needs to eat when I saw that picture. As always, Amanda Leper (pun intended) is making a spectacle of her/him self.

    Posted by: Matt | May 29, 2007 11:12:22 AM


  3. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the fall of Rome.

    Posted by: Becks07 | May 29, 2007 11:16:27 AM


  4. Am I just really missing something somewhere? These glorified parties with million-dollar price tags that supposedly go toward fighting AIDS seem to be nothing more than media events. Don't get me wrong. I applaud the continuous media circus for at least keeping the issue alive, but for all of the millions of dollars that have been raised in the last 15 years alone, where's the fucking CURE? Fucksake, polio got "cured". One outbreak of polio and the world found an immunization and millions were spared a horrible existence. It all just makes me sick to think that growing up during the Reagan era's special brand of "wha?", twenty years later there are just specialized pills to help people live a little longer...but not without a few charming side-effects.

    So, Amanda gets to show off her silicon for the world again and who know what the fuck Alan did...yawn. And when is someone going to tell Sharon to shut her friggin' piehole? "It's very important for us to remember that the AIDS and HIV situation is a situation that began from love..." WTF? Nice spin, sister, nice.

    Posted by: FizziekruntNT | May 29, 2007 11:28:22 AM


  5. That just looks tacky. I'd rather have been at Truman Capote's black & white ball in the '60's. (Not to take away from raising AIDS money, which is always good).

    Posted by: MJ | May 29, 2007 11:29:41 AM


  6. Fizziekruntnt,

    We don't have a cure for AIDs/HIV yet because we don't want one. Hear me out. Big corporation and big pharm make a hell of a lot more money selling pills to keep us alive over 20-30 years than selling us one pill that will make us well. I know I sound all conspiracy theory but when was the last time a cure was made for anything. A cure not an immunization.

    Posted by: Matt | May 29, 2007 11:31:45 AM


  7. Fizzie, apparently AIDS is harder to cure than polio, so it's important for the money to keep rolling in. BUT, to your point...

    Why don't all these B- and C-list celebrities just stay home and save some carbon emissions from their flights -- and ask everyone to give what they would have (or more) anyway?

    Yes, that means no campy, one-joke music acts (sorry, Jake), no campy, one-joke fashion shows (sorry, Heatherette), no campy, one-joke "models" (sorry, Amanda), and no -- well, I don't know WTF Sharon Stone is these days.

    How could we possibly live without this in our lives? We need these sorts of events to inspire people to give...

    Well I'll give you inspiration to give -- come with me in the way-back machine, Sherman, and we'll take a look at my friend Henry, or William, or Ken, or Marty or...well, you get the idea...as they lay gasping for breath, dying an ugly and painful death. All young, all talented, all worth having on the planet.

    I know, I know...these common "nobodies" dying is so not Austrian castle ballroom gala...but it's been good enough to inspire me to fight AIDS for the past 20 years.

    Fuck the parties and the self-involved crap. We're dancing to the brink...

    Posted by: Becks07 | May 29, 2007 11:43:04 AM


  8. It was actually a remarkably elegant event without the usual insistently obsessive and sleazy sexual vibe that most western gay events have. Sexuality was certainly there but it wasn't the primary deal.

    Plus, Sharon Stone may have been semi coherent but she still managed to speak really well about the issues at hand and only slurred once...or twice.

    After all that though, I do agree kind of. Where is the freaking cure? It's about time.

    Posted by: Matt | May 29, 2007 11:44:04 AM


  9. "Began from love..."???

    Posted by: anon | May 29, 2007 12:09:52 PM


  10. This reminds me that I'd like to invite everyone to another extremely worthy community fundraiser. It's the Telethon for Reichen's Red Carpet Withdrawal Treatment AKA Post Traumatic Bass Syndrome. Not only have 99% of his Red Carpet invitations evaporated since heartless Lance dumped him over that little thingy in Atlanta with Davis but the few times he does get invited Lance is there, too, which just makes it worse. Add to that the fact that "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight" and "Inside Edition," and "US Weekly," etc., must have stopped taking his agents' calls, and, well, you can understand our concern. The therapy and medications are very expensive and those $495 FLY NAKED bracelets apparently aren't selling very well and he's done so much for us so please, please, give as much as you can.

    Posted by: Leland | May 29, 2007 1:37:42 PM


  11. The skinny boy is hot. Amanda Lepore, on the other, I could joyously live never seeing again. Events celebrating the club kid aesthetic of the early 90s should have good freaks, like Kevin Aviance (who is adorably out there), instead of Amanda (who is not there at all). As for Sharon Stone, I believe she was trying to say that HIV began from sexual encounters. That statement is scientifically dubious, and rhetorically unfortunate. To say the least.

    Posted by: Paul H. | May 29, 2007 2:07:15 PM


  12. The skinny boy is hot. Amanda Lepore, on the other, I could joyously live never seeing again. Events celebrating the club kid aesthetic of the early 90s should have good freaks, like Kevin Aviance (who is adorably out there), instead of Amanda (who is not there at all). As for Sharon Stone, I believe she was trying to say that HIV began from sexual encounters. That statement is scientifically dubious, and rhetorically unfortunate. To say the least.

    Posted by: Paul | May 29, 2007 2:12:48 PM


  13. yopu have to enjoy yourself andpharmeceutical companies don't invent cures just ways to keep you alive so you need their medicine Pay up.Plus they do monoplies on medication to make up for research and development thanks to the government who will not let them do so on whatsome see as a moralit disease herpes has'nt been cured either syphillis yes because you die i know aids kill but its different syphillis rots your brain huntington style.
    That skinny dude is hot he belongs in a band unwashed hair and tight pants

    Posted by: sasha | May 29, 2007 4:41:15 PM


  14. God.

    Its a party ot raise funds for a good cause. Tacky to trash it. And I bet you if Truman capote was alive today he's be the first one at the bar.

    Posted by: Wolf | May 29, 2007 5:01:49 PM


  15. That's true, Wolf. I'm sure Capote WOULD be right at the bar, knowing him. But I bet he'd still wish for the more interesting crowd of his own ball (everyone from Claudette Colbert to Talulah Bankhead to the Maharajah of Jaipur to the sheriff from "In Cold Blood", all in that elegant black and white with those cool custom-made masks). But, you're also correct, it's just a party, and if it raises money for AIDS, however it's done, it's cool.

    Posted by: MJ | May 29, 2007 6:02:59 PM


  16. Great coverage on this amazing event Andy!!! Check more out behind the scenes at Life Ball 2007 http://ryanelitemodel2.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/05/behind_the_scen_1.html

    Posted by: Ryan Brown | May 29, 2007 7:01:07 PM


  17. No, I agree ... without subscribing to any "conspiracy theory" I think that pharm companies don't want a *CURE* for HIV/AIDS ... they are making too damn much *GOVERNMENT* money by developing pills that must be taken on time day-in and day-out or else virus-resistance will develop.

    I'm thankful that these medications are usually available for those who need them in the United States, but that is no reason to deny what a money-making racket it is. "AIDS INC" is a multi-billion dollar per year industry, and certain stock prices would plummet if HIV/AIDS could suddenly be *CURED* once and for all.

    Posted by: caveman | May 29, 2007 9:43:22 PM


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