Bio: 1955-2008Baird liked to tell people he was conceived in Rio de Janeiro where his father was the Bureau Chief for Time magazine and reportedly a CIA operative. He attended the Buckley School, then graduating with honors from the Groton School where he won the Groton reading prize for this speed reading abilities. He spent his junior year studying in France. After racing through Columbia College in 3 years on a fully paid John Jay scholarship he graduated from NYU Law school. He then earned a Master of Social Work at Masters in Developmental Psychology at Columbia, and finally a Masters in Computers, Communication and Psychology at Columbia. For a time he was a practicing psychologist on Ward's Island. But he the daily grind of facing long lines of serverely impaired mental patients turned out not to suit his temperment. He began a career in the nightclub industry organizing countless soirees from black tie events at the Savoy immediately following new wave concerts, to Studio 54 and then the Underground. At his early parties Baird, who then did not drink, would work the room frenetically, introducing Andy Warhol to his prep school crowd. At Studio 54 he worked as a doorman-publicist where his father was a regular. His father, Cranston Jones, was one of the founders of People Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler (then called Conde Nast Traveler and Camera). The last page of People magazine which Baird's father oversaw regularly covered the comings and goings at Studio 54. Baird was a member of the Mayflower Society with two ancestors who made the crossing. He never missed an issue of Mayflower Magazine, reading it cover to cover. Among his memorable evenings was his birthday party hosted by Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols at night life legend Rudolf Pieper's Danceteria. Here's the invite:
Baird Jones Birthday Party at Danceteria - 2/03/83
In those days Danceteria was white hot with then unknowns like Madonna coming every night to dance for hours. Baird appeared over 50 times on daytime TV shows, including The Joan Rivers Show, Phil Donahue, Jenny Jones, Richard Bay, Geraldo and The Joe Franklin Show. While promoting his evening parties he often took on the persona of a Borat like character who claimed to be a virgin night club promoter rapidly creating local chastity associations on American college campuses. (Baird told me he actually lost his virginity at the age of 17). He would parry audience barbs at the height of the AIDs crisis by saying it was better to be a 35 year old virgin than a gay having unprotected sex. More recently his club events included avante guard films and art shows. His first art shows were in East Village galleries followed by Museums in the New York area. His popular midget bowling nights provided much needed employment for little people until the Cuomo administration sued, shutting these nights down after a two year legal battle. The little people were propelled down the bowling alley headfirst, strapped to a skateboard, until they struck the pins. From 1987 to 1989 he was co director of the Fashion Moda Gallery (in the South Bronx). From 1996 through 1997 Baird lived the life of a 9 to 5er working on staff at the Rush and Malloy column at the Daily News. Finally he worked as a publicist for Webster Hall while submitting a constant stream of short interviews to the top gossip columns in New York City. His short interviews tracked the comings and goings of celebrities at New York media parties. He wrote independently for dozens of outlets around the globe from Artnet.com to the London Telegraph. Baird was the author of Mark Kostabi and the East Village Scene 1983-1987. Matteo Editore, Venice, Italy, 2002 (translated into Italian) and d Sexual Humor, Philosophical Library: NY, 1987 Mark Kostabi and the East Village Scene 1983-1987. Matteo Editore, Venice, Italy, 2002 (translated into Italian) and Sexual Humor, Philosophical Library: NY, 1987 He periodically guest curated shows at the Paterson Museum, the Stamford Art Museum, the Trenton Art Museum, the Long Island Museum of Science and Technology, and the Chelsea Art Museum.