BY BOB KRASNER | When Larry Krone first spotted his future husband Jim Andralis in 2004, the man was playing an accordion in the now-defunct Starlight bar on Avenue A. Fortunately, Krone needed an accordion player for his upcoming debut at the same venue and, as luck would have it, he had a Friendster account (go ahead kids, look it up).
Krone contacted Andralis through that equally defunct social media outlet, offered him the gig and they’ve been making music together ever since (when Krone is not designing stage clothes for the likes of Bridget Everett and Andralis has time away from his psychotherapy practice).
Krone had been working odd jobs — waiter, art handler, painting — and performing with his ukelele in art galleries and museums in performances that involved “country music cover songs and costume changes,” he recalled. Andralis was a bartender in “various gay bars,” going to grad school and playing music with his band the Isotoners, which he describes as “adolescent gay gross out songs — but pretty.”
Krone had come to the city in 1989 to go to NYU and after moving around the East Village for a number of years he managed to buy a place east of Avenue B in 1998. Andralis, who was living in Queens when they met, eventually bought an apartment upstairs in the same building.
“That’s how I knew our relationship was serious!” says Andralis. “But first I thought, Is he f—ing with me? He wants me to live in his building?”
Having two spaces in the same building was perfect for them, as some of their friends understood.
“Half the people we knew thought it was a dream situation,” noted Krone. “The other half just didn’t get it.”
Andralis’ apartment came with an additional burden though — the crazy next door neighbor. “The whole building put up with her for eight years!” he related. “She would bang on my door for hours. And she refused to repair her toilet, which overflowed constantly.”
Continuing their walk through the corridors of places that are gone, they recalled when Krone was the opening act for the Isotoners at Fez, duet shows at the Starlight and others over the years. These days, whenever one does a show the other is always in it.
“Jim is a better singer than I am,” admits Krone, “so it took me awhile to be confident onstage.”
“You had to raise your game!” interjects Andralis, then admitting that he has stage fright, so he makes it a point to do a duet with Krone early in his shows. “When I sing with Larry, I relax,” he says. “It feels fun and easy.”
Alternative cabaret star Bridget Everett has long been a part of their musical circle, going back to her collaborations with the Isotoners. “Whenever there was crazy, big singing necessary, she’d be that person,” recalls Andralis. “She wasn’t any more well-known than any of us,” notes Krone. “We were all so poor together.”
These days, Everett can be seen regularly on the Joe’s Pub stage, draped in a “House of Larréon” creation (the nom de couture created by Krone for his designs). She is also a part of their monthly songwriting group, which also includes Neal Medlyn (a.k.a. Champagne Jerry) and David Clement. “It forces us to each write a song every month,” notes Krone.
For Everett, the pair offer more than a creative outlet and a source of stage wear. “Jim and Larry are very open, loving and present together,” she confides. “Their music can’t help but be a reflection of that. It celebrates all the things in life that bring us the most joy. And it feels like home.”
Krone mentions that, “our time together is at night, enjoying each other’s company. It’s really lucky that we can do something creative together.”
“It’s all integrated,” he says.
Ironically, Andralis and Krone have only written one song together (for Molly Pope) and they did it via email. It’s called, “Keep Your Distance.”
Jim Andralis and Larry Krone will be performing a free show with special guests (and cake) in celebration of their 50th birthdays at the 11th St. Bar on November 19th at 9 pm.