In April 26, 1977 - just off Broadway, at 254 W. 54'th Street, Manhattan, New York - THE most
well-known Disco of all times opened up its doors for the very first time. The club would soon
become the "home" of the rich, the famous and the fashion pack. The club was (of course) -
But... Even before the club and its prominent guests "moved in", this now legendary address was
already the home of one of the world's greatest Disco labels - West
Have the Studio 54 DJ mix for you
The Club was located in an old theatre and TV studio. In 1927, when the building was just built
it was the home of the "San Carlo Opera Company". It was then followed by theatres like "the New
Yorker", "Casino the Paris", "Federal Music Theatre" to finally in 1943 become a TV studio of
Columbia Broadcasting Co. (CBS). CBS used the place as a soundstage for radio and television
and from this studio successful shows like the Johnny Carson show, Beat the clock
and $64000 question were broadcasted. The CBS people called the place Studio 52,
since it was their 52'nd studio (and it was not called Studio 53 as stated by many sources').
Because of the premises former use as a TV studio the name for the new club was first meant to be
just the Studio, but since it was used to be called Studio 52 by CBS and it was located
in W. 54'th Street someone came up with the name Studio 54. The choice wasn't hard - this
WAS the name!!!
Many people had been interested in turning the old theatre into a nightclub. But it wasn't
until the two (to become) owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, saw the place
something really happened. They loved the place at once and only a week after they first saw it they
had signed the lease.
Both Steve and Ian had been working in the nightclub business before they managed to hit it off big
time with "the Studio". They had also been in the restaurant business for a long time and they currently
owned a club in Queens, called the Enchanted Garden.
In the Enchanted Garden Steve and Ian had a very talented DJ playing, a guy who is the pioneer DJ -
Nicky Siano. Nicky started playing at Steve and Ian's club in
1976 and about two weeks before they opened up Studio 54 they hired Nicky as one of the new clubs
two resident DJ's. The other resident DJ was a guy called Richie Kaczor.
Steve and Ian also had a third partner, Jack Dushey, who was a professional retailer and in real estate.
He was the new club's financial backer.
Ian and Steve had first met Jack in early 1976 when he held his kids Bar Mitzvah in their club - Enchanted Garden.
The guys had started talking and they told Jack they wanted to open up a club in Manhattan. Jack, as the real
estate man he was, said he was interested in being part of that.
When Rubell and Schrager had found the location they approached Dushey again and he gave the guys a couple of
hundred thousand dollars and said; "Take the money and I'll get 50% of the net profit."
Demolition and construction work took about a year and by the time Studio 54 opened, some $600'000 -
$700'000 had been spent to get the place ready to party.
For the Premier night of the Studio 54 the guys hired this girl and party promoter named
Carmen D'Alessio to invite the "right" people for the grand opening. Steve and Ian had met
her at their former partner Maurice Brahms' club Infinity. Carmen got the job as the new
clubs PR manager and she had also been working with Steve and Ian earlier at the Enchanted Garden.
Time went closer and closer to the opening night, some 5000 invitations were out and people were
working day and night to get the place ready in time...
Then in April 26, 1977 - THE day was there. People were still working in the club when some of the
invited people started gathering outside the club. And about half an hour late the club opened up its
doors for the first time. There weren't much people entering at this "early" hour, but within a
couple of hours the place was crowded and outside the doors it was chaos. Even people with invitations
couldn't get in!
The club was huge, about 100 meters long and 80 meters wide, but it still had its theatrical feel, not only
by the spectacular people who went there, but also because of the balcony and stage was still there. In the
balcony there were sitting areas with tables and beneath the balcony was the huge parquet dance floor with all
its strobe-lit columns that descended from the ceiling and its pumping music. Around the dance floor there
were silver banquettes and the mirrored diamond-shaped main bar was located under the balconies, close to the
At the top of the club, in the 3rd floor, overlooking both the balcony and the huge dance floor was the infamous
Rubber room. The room had a High-Tec bar and was designed with thick rubber on the walls to be easily washed
down with water and soap after all the sex and drugs going on up there. Some people used to refer to the Rubber room
as "Upstairs", but there were actually more secret places above the Rubber room were more private sex took place.
Those areas were the real "Upstairs" to the initiated.
In the ceiling above the dance floor there were cat walks for the maintenance of the lightning. It's said that the
owners used to spend a great deal of time up there doing drugs and having sex above the heads of the hundreds of
dancing people beneath.
In the basement was the room not anyone could enter - the VIP room.
I [Discoguy] got a chance to talk to Paolo Miranda, who started working
as Busboy, and later Head Busboy, in the club in July of 1978 and was there for about 2 years. Paolo, or Paul-Michael
as he was called back then, fills me in on the VIP lounge...
"I wouldn't really call it a VIP lounge, it was the basement. There were wire chain link fences all around with
all the supplies for special decorations behind them. There was an Elton John pinball machine down there and a few
white plastic lawn chairs. But I was down there all the time. Also there was the 2-year anniversary party down there,
full of lots of celebrities."
Richie Kaczor was the DJ playing this opening night and the first song he played was "Devil's gun"
by C.J. & Co.. Richie was also the DJ playing in the weekends and Nicky Siano played the second
night and in the weeknights. Nicky couldn't play weekends at "the Studio" since he owned his own
popular New York club - the Gallery and was playing there in the weekends. It was also Nicky
who played the night of the famous Bianca Jagger birthday bash in May 1977, in which she rode
into the club on a white horse led by a naked body-painted guy.
What's surprising is that while a DJ like Larry Levan was
well-known among the crowd of the Paradise Garage, not many people
knew the names of the resident DJ's of Studio 54.
Paolo adds about the DJ's: "Richie Kaczor was THE DJ during the time I worked there. He was
truly amazing. He would blend a song for a good 10 minutes. It was seamless. You would never know the
song changed. Now a days, they blend for about 10 to 30 seconds and not very good. I got really spoiled
Nicky worked at Studio 54 for about half a year, then he actually got fired because he preferred to spend
hours in the bathroom getting high on drugs instead of getting high on playing records in the DJ booth.
This Nicky told me himself when I got the chance to speak to him, but for the record I also wanna tell
that he stopped taking drugs many many years ago.
Nicky also had so many memories from the Studio that it would take a whole book to tell it all,
but when he played the famous Birthday bash for Bianca Jagger was probably his most precious
memory. That night was really a blast, he told me.
He also told me a little about the owners of Studio 54, Steve and Ian. "Steve was straight when
I met him...? Ian was always the level headed business man, and he was straight, all the time...
I love them both, Steve and Ian were really good to me, and I will always consider them great
supporters and friends."
He thinks a little more and continues; "Yes, there was also this celebrity lounge at 54 that made
Sodom and Gomorra look like kindergarten!" (the VIP lounge!)
The Studio also had it own door policy, they wanted to get a perfect mix of people which actually
meant that even celebrities was stopped at the door and didn't get in.
This young guy, Marc Benecke ruled the door and was instructed by Steve to mix a perfect salad
every night. That way it didn't really matter if you were famous or not - you just had to fit it at this
The doorman Marc even became more famous to the guests of the 54 than Ian Schrager.
Steve was also often in the entrance selecting people to let in and it's said that Steve once didn't like
the shirt a guy was wearing. He told the guy he wouldn't get in with that shirt on, the guy asked if he
could get in if he took it off. Steve said yes and the guy took it off and was allowed to enter the club,
So it was basically just a question of matching what Steve and Marc were looking for to add to their salad for
Some people tried desperately to get in and there's actually another true story about this guy who
got stuck in the air duct in his attempt to enter the club - one way or another...
I asked Paolo about the 'salad' door policy and as he says; "It's what made the club so popular.
Working there meant I had no worries, and it made me feel special at the time."
Not matching the 'salad of the day' was what happened to Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of
Chic, when the guys were contacted by Grace Jones
who wanted to work with them for her next album...
Grace invited them as her guests to her gig down at the Studio 54. It was New Years Eve in 1977, the
guys were all dressed up and it was snowing and freezing cold... When Nile and Bernard got to the club
the doormen couldn't find their names on the guest list. Nile and Bernard explained that they "were"
Chic and that Grace was expecting them. But the doormen just wouldn't let them in...
In anger they went back home to Nile and in just 25-30 minutes they wrote a whole song they called
"Fuck off". It went like this... "aaahh Fuck off". They just know this was a hit song and they (of
course) had to change the title to be able to release it. So they changed the text and that line to
"aaahh Freak out" and their biggest hit was a fact - "Le Freak". The song topped the US charts
for 6 weeks and "Le Freak" became Atlantic Records biggest selling single ever. It also became
the 3'rd biggest single in the music history. It's still the most sold record ever in Canada and the
single sold over 6 million copies only in the US. But after 6 million copies sold of the single, Nile
and Bernard choose to stop the single to not have it cut down the album sales. Who knows how big it
would have become if they hadn't stopped it!?
But Nile and Bernard got their revenge... About one year later to this episode at Studio 54, everything
related to the club and its name was a big industry and at this time Ian & Steve were credited as
Executive Producers of this Casablanca Records double LP called
A night at Studio 54. The top tune and first song out of this album was no less than - "Le Freak".
Ian & Steve thanked their guests like this in the album; "To all our guests at Studio 54, whose energy
made this record possible... Our sincere Thanks!"
Beside the great Chic track the album included other great Disco songs regularly played in the club like;
"I Love the Nightlife (Disco round)" (Alicia Bridges), "Let's All Chant" (Michael
Zager Band), "Y.M.C.A" (Village People), "Last Dance" (Donna Summer),
"I Love America" (Patrick Juvet), "Instant Replay" (Dan Hartman) and
"(Push, push) In the Bush" (Musique).
One fun detail to know about the Patrick Adams act Musique
(with Jocelyn Brown on lead vocals) was that they shot their video for "(Push, Push) In the Bush",
in the club.
Paolo remembers the music played: "It's still the best dance music around; 'Last Dance', 'I love the
Nightlife', 'Born to be Alive', 'Push, Push in the Bush', I could go on and on... What made the music so
special was the light show that went with it. As the music became more alive, so did the light show."
Another fun detail is that besides "Le Freak" which originally was a hate song of Studio 54, there were
also many other songs mentioning or referring to this "Disco Mecca"...
In Dennis Parker's "New York by night" he sings; "At Studio 54, they're waiting at the door,
can't get in - just can't win... This is N.Y. by night, this is N.Y. by night so get ready for the time of your
Amanda Lear got famous for her song "Fashion Pack" in which she sings; "Hustling at the door
to get into Studio 54... Liza dancing on the floor and Bianca walking through the door".
Mick Jackson, writer of "Blame it on the boogie", wrote the song
"54th Street" in which he sings about a club in Manhattan, USA where they are dancing in a Studio on 54th
As said before, everything related to the club and the Studio 54 name was a big industry. You could even
buy yourself a pair of Studio 54 Jeans. The stitching on the back pockets, which every brand try to
find its own unique one, even said 54 in the studio's logo style.
The name and the special Studio 54 logo became well-known in no time all over the world. The brilliant
logo was designed by a guy named Gilbert Lesser.
Almost as famous at the logo was this sign of the "Man in the Moon" inhaling cocaine (???) from his
silver spoon that was hanging on the wall in the club. Unfortunately inhaling coke and using other drugs
was quite common in the club, but this wasn't something special for Studio 54. At this time drug abuse
was kind of common in all clubs. Drug use was like a lifestyle back then. Probably all the money and all
the clubs famous and regular guests attracted people selling them.
Some of the regular guests at Studio 54 were people like Andy Warhol, the designer Halston,
Diana Ross, Liza Minelli and lots and lots of others. Other people seen at the club were;
Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Brooke Shields, Warren Beatty, Calvin
Klein, Bianca & Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Madonna and Elton John.
Not all of these famous people had to try to get in through the main entrance. No, there was actually a
VIP entrance on the back side of the club, from 53'rd street. This was the entrance where the staff and
the true VIP's got in.
As so many Celeb's frequented the club, I had to ask Paolo, who actually had met most of them, if he had
any comments on some of them. Paolo; "Every celebrity was extremely nice. All except Sylvester Stallone.
He was on some sort of ego trip. He had body guards all around his banquet wearing bell bottom jeans with
'Rocky' embroidered on their ass. He didn't want to be bothered by anyone. Not even me, who was his busboy.
He didn't want me in 'his' area cleaning up.
Robin Williams was a hoot.
I danced with Valerie Harper for half an hour, a sweet lady.
Margaux Hemmingway gave me her plastic heart on Valentine's Day. She was there before the club opened
and I got there late that night and there weren't any left. They were part of our costume that night so I
had to have one, so she game me hers'.
I saw a political daughter (I won't name names, but her family is mostly not around any more) wearing
a white t-shirt and baseball cap, snorting cocaine. And I thought, if I had a camera right now, I'd make
a million dollars selling the picture."
Have you got any other special memories of some Celeb's?
"Elton John was there one Saturday night and tried to pick up Patrick Taylor, another busboy - who was
straight, and I guess I was the next best thing. He asked me to go to his hotel with him, I said thank you
as it was a Saturday night and only around 1am and told him I had to work all evening. About 5 minutes later,
Michael Overington came over to me, tapped me on my shoulder and told me to go get my things because I was
leaving with Elton John. I did and had a wonderful time. That's all I'll say about that evening.
Liza Minelli cornered me in the employee dressing room and told me that one time she was in a limo going
to do a concert at Madison Square Garden. She was drinking some champagne, and all of a sudden a disco
version of 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' came on the radio. She said it made her furious and threw the
glass of champagne against the window between the front and back of the limo. She then said she realized
how much the public loved her mother to contemporize the song, she burst into tears and cried all the way
to the concert."
Many celeb's kept coming back to '54' and in an interview, August Darnell, cofounder of Dr.
Buzzard's Original Savannah Band and leader of Kid Creole and the Coconuts remembers: "We
used to hang out at Studio 54 so much that we should have been paying rent. In England, now, they have
all these rave parties, but when people say there's nothing like a rave, I say I saw all this in 1977 at
Studio 54. I'd have to say my favorite club was Studio 54, it was so decadent and so exciting in that
period to be part of something you knew was a world movement. The good thing was it gave people a reason
to say 'Let's get dressed up and go out!'"
Beside all the famous guests of the Studio 54, the club also managed to get all the best DJ's to play
there as well. All of the famous DJ's like; John "Jellybean"
Benitez, John Ceglia, Tony
Humphries, Sharon White,
Kenny Carpenter, Robbie Leslie, Tony Carrasco and many
others, moved the crowd from the clubs legendary horseshoe shaped DJ-booth.
One guy everyone think DJ'ed there, but who was actually never a DJ at all, but who's mixes were always
played in the club, was the legendary remixer Tom Moulton.
The club had a superb sound system, built and designed by some of the best people in the business - RLA
[Richard Long & Associates]. Richard was also the one who was responsible for the sound system at the Paradise
Garage, a system that still today is said to have been the best system ever in the world.
The equipment at Studio 54 were comprised of 6 3-way "Waldorf" horn loaded/bass reflex main bass boxes, 6 "Bertha/Levan"
bass horns, 4 "Z" tweeter arrays & 2 "Ultima" 3-way full range boxes. This system also included the now famous
RLA X-3000 DJ crossover. This sound system was the reason for this and many other clubs during this era's success.
Richard is unfortunately no longer with us today, but some of the RLA designs, electronics and speaker boxes are
available from the New York based company GSA [Gary Stewart
Audio]. GSA can help you if you're interested in building a sound system similar to the one in '54'.
Also, in the GSA shop they still have a bunch of things from the original Studio 54.
By the way, the original "Man in the Moon" sign is told to be installed in the existing Studio 54
club in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas these days.
Paolo (Paul-Michael) was hired as a Busboy by the clubs manager - Michael Overington. Here
Paolo shares his memories from his years as an employee of Studio 54...
What did you think of the club itself?
"I thought it was amazing. Other than having my son, it was probably the most fun I had in life."
Have you got any memories of club's owners?
"Stevie was sweet and always had a Michelob in his hand. He always seemed a little bit drunk or Quaaluded out.
Ian was the silent partner, not around much but I knew who he was. Jack Dushey, the financial backer, I had
never heard of at the time.
Another thing... When I started working there I went up to Stevie every night for two weeks and asked him if he
knew my name. It took him two weeks to get it right. Then he thought that I would sleep with him because he
remembered. I didn't."
How many people were working in the bar?
"I would say there were 4 bartenders at the main bar, a few bar-backs, 1 bartender up at the bar in the
lounge. There were probably 5 to 6 busboys on a busy night. Less when it wasn't as crowded. There were 2 busgirls
upstairs in the balcony when I started and they were there for a while. After a while they put in another bar
on the right side of the dance floor, so there was 1 bartender there as well."
Do you recall how many people were working the club at a busy night, all areas?
"Yes, there were lots more employees. 2 coat check girls, 1 light man, 1 to 2 people working the pulleys at
the back of the dance floor. The front half of the dance floor lights were electronic, in the back, such as
the moon and the spoon, light poles, etc., were moved up and down on pulley's by 1 to 2 guys. Mark B and Stevie
were up front at the door as well as probably 4 to 6 bouncers."
How many guests were there in a crowded night?
"I could only guess on the number of people in the club on a busy night... I'd say around 500, this is only
a guess, could be more, could be less. On a Friday and Saturday night there were probably also around 500 people
outside trying to get in. I do know that if you didn't get picked by the time you walked up to the ropes you
probably did not get it. I would see people walking up to the ropes and when Stevie and/or Mark looked away,
they would stop and walk in place until they looked over again and then continue up to the ropes in the hope
of getting in."
Were most of the employees gay, as you told earlier that Elton tried to pick up a straight
"Most of the employees were gay. There were a few straight boys mixed in."
So, were there many people trying to pick you up?
"Yes, all the time. The busboys were looked upon as like 'playboy bunnies'. Everyone was always trying to
The Balcony has become legendary through the '54' movie, any comments on what went on in the
"Not much went on it the balcony that I was aware of, some making out and a bit more but it was nothing like
You must have lots of other memories and stories from the club, anything else you can tell
"Well one morning as I was leaving the club, Saturday morning after a Friday night, and as I left through
the back door I opened it and Ian was coming from the right with a 3-ring binder under his arm, and from the left
were 2 men in suits and trench coats. I let them in, closed the door and went home. Ian had a lot of cocaine
and drugs for that Saturday night, he put the binder down on the speaker near the back door thinking that both
the FBI agents would follow him upstairs to look at the books. Only one went with him. The other stayed down
stairs and sat on one of the banquettes at the back of the dance floor. The guy got bored and started flipping
through the binder and found the drugs... And the rest is history."
Have you got any contact with any of your former colleagues at '54'?
"I found a website where Sandt Litchfield was listed with some friends, and I tried to contact him
but never heard back.
Mark Beneke seems to be Ian's eyes and years at the Clift Hotel here in San Francisco. I spoke to him and of
course he didn't remember me. He was hot stuff back then and I was just a peon.
I am also in contact with one of the busboy's Jeffrey, he's here in San Francisco as well."
Download the FREE basic RealPlayer...|
CLICK to hear some Studio 54 classics...
Dance, dance, dance
Disco night (Rock freak)
Don't leave me this way
Fly Robin Fly
Haven't stopped dancing yet
He's the greatest dancer
Heart of glass
I got my mind made up
I love America
I love the nightlife (Disco Round)
I will survive
I'm coming out
If you could read my mind
(Push push) In the bush
Keep on dancin'
Keep on jumpin'
Knock on wood
Let's all chant
Michael Zager Band
Move on up
Native New Yorker
New York by night
Que sera mi vida
Relight my fire
Jimmy "Bo" Horne
Take your time (Do it right)
Turn the beat around
Vicki Sue Robinson
We are family
You make me feel (Mighty real)
Click to buy from
Click to buy from
Studio 54 - The 54 Allstars
Keep on dancin' - Gary's Gang
the Boss - Diana Ross
Dance dance dance "Yowsah yowsah yowsah" - Chic
Vertigo / Relight my fire - Dan Hartman
You make me feel "Mighty real" - Sylvester
Move on up - Destination
Love machine (Pt.2) - the Miracles
Contact - Edwin Starr
Knock on wood - Mary Griffin
Let's start the dance - Bohannon
I got my mind made up - Instant Funk
Young hearts run free - Candi Staton
Native New Yorker - Odyssey
Que sera mi vida - Gibson Brothers
Wishing on a star - Rose Royce
If you could read my mind - Stars on 54: Ultra Naté, Amber & Jocelyn Enriquez
Haven't stopped dancing yet - Gonzalez
Heaven must have sent you - Bonnie Pointer
Loving is really my game - Brainstorm
Disco nights "Rock-freak" - GQ
Found a cure - Ashford & Simpson
Don't leave me this way - Thelma Houston
Come to me - France Joli
Take your time "Do it right" - S.O.S Band
Please don't let me be misunderstood - Santa Esmeralda
Spank - Jimmy "Bo" Horne
Galaxy - War
I need a man - Grace Jones
Heart of glass - Blondie
Cherchez la femme / Se si bon - Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band
Fly Robin fly - Silver Convention
Click to buy from
I love the nightlife (Disco 'round) - Alicia Bridges
I'm coming out - Diana Ross
Got to be real - Cherel Lynn
Good times - Chic
He's the greatest dancer - Sister Sledge
I don't know it it's right - Evelyn "Champagne" King
More, more, more (Pt.1) - Andrea True Connection
Doctor's orders - Carol Douglas
Everybody dance - Chic
The love I lost - Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
Let's all chant - Michael Zager Band
Got to have loving - Don Ray
Shame - Evelyn "Champagne" King
Knock on wood - Amii Stewart
The oogum boogum song - Brenton Wood
Love train - O'Jays
I love the nightlife (Disco 'round) - India & NuYorican Soul
Click to buy from
Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs
Interview with Bill
Click to buy from
Studio 54: the Legend
- Written by Anthony Haden-Guest, Niels Kummer and Domitilla Sartogo
Click cover to buy
Fabulous! A Photographic diary of Studio54
- Photos and writing by Bobby Miller
- Signed copy $190 + shipping
Click to buy from
54 - the Movie
- the Movie about this legendary club on DVD
- with Mike Myers, Neve Campbell, Ryan Phillippe and Salma Hayek
Later I got in touch with Miestorm, who was also working along with Paolo and others at Studio 54.
Miestorm tells me;
"I worked, but mostly played at Studio (as everyone who went there called it), from 1977-1982 and I was known as
Lenny 54. Stevie didn't like the name Miestorm because he said it sounded too foreign and we already had Weego
I was originally hired as a busboy and bartender, but, I was an entertainer and was instructed by Steve Rubell to wear as
little as possible plus flirt and be as sexy as possible with everyone. The movie '54' was a Disney movie compared to
the real Studio, the place was so decadent that my grandfather (who spoke only Italian) thought I was working in Satans
During my first few years of working there, Stevie would instruct the security to watch me carfully and report to him
on what drug I was seen taking, if I drank booze and if I was seen having sex with anyone or leaving with whoever. He
wanted to know my every move, so, I would be as bad as possible and he loved it!"
Miestorm also sent me some of his own personal
>> photo's from inside Studio 54 << .
The party went on great for the club and people were saying this was the best thing that had ever happened
and this would last forever... But as everything else, the success story of Studio 54 also had an end.
Jack Dushey had tried to convince Steve & Ian to give up the black economy of the Skim and go legit, but they
just wouldn't listen. Then in 1979 Donald Moon, a former employee who had been "not very tactfully fired"
by Steve, used his knowledge of the black money to turn the Feds and IRS on the owners.
In late spring 1979 Jack approached the feds and pleaded guilty to one single point of tax evasion and in
the end of June Steve and Ian were charged with skimming $2.5 million.
In December of 1979 the IRS arrested Steve and Ian for withholding of taxes and the club was also said to
be a central for cocaine distribution. The two owners never thought they would have to go to jail, but they
were sentenced to three and a half years in prison and in February 1, 1980 they were in behind bars.
After having informed on and turned in some of their ex-partners and competitors they got their time cut
down to 13 months.
The clubs liquor license expired in February 28, 1980 - just 28 days after Steve & Ian went to jail and a
new license would take 18 months to get. This was devastating to a club like 54: No booze = No guests. And
papers claimed it was Sylvester Stallone who had the last legal drink. Then in March, just days
after the license expired the club died and was closed down.
The club was then sold to Mark Fleischman who re-opened Studio 54 in September 15, 1981. Steve
and Ian were out of jail and were even working in the club again for a while as consultants, as part of the
deal. But the club never could revive its former popularity and lots of the famous people seen in the studio
before Steve and Ian got busted, were never seen there again. Mark run the place for some four years and
in 1986 he decided to close down the Studio 54.
Steve and Ian had left long before this to get into the hotel business and they where also involved as
consultants in some nightclub projects. But they never got the same attention as they got at the "original"
Studio 54. And in July 1989 Steve died of AIDS related complications.
Ian Schrager is still active in the hotel business and owns a chain of 5 star Hotels over the world, called
Ian Schrager Hotels. Among these hotels are the famous Clift Hotel in San Francisco, the
Paramount Hotel in New York, Miramar in Santa Barbara and The Sanderson in London.
Photographer Bobby Miller entered the '54' in its first days and stayed there over the next couple of years,
always with his camera ready, through which he catched all these Fabulous! photos of the people frequenting
the club. His legendary pic's have been seen in lots of magazines all over the world and in this book he has put
some of them together, with his own notes and memories attached to them.
This book is an excellent timeline and it catches the magic of the club's first years and the photos portraits famous
people like Christopher Reeve [actor], Dustin Hoffman [actor], Grace Jones [model & artist],
Elton John [artist], Jerry Hall [model], Yul Brynner [actor], Mikhail Baryshnikov [dancer],
Gloria Swanson [actor], Martha Graham [dancer/choreographer], Eartha Kitt [artist], Olivia
Newton-John [artist actor], Bette Midler [artist] and of course "inventories" like Steve Rubell,
Andy Warhol, Liza Minelli, Disco Sally and Truman Capote. But there are LOTS of other famous
persons as well in the authors Fabulous! book.
Here's your chance to get hold of Bobby's out-of-print book - Fabulous! - A photographic diary of
Studio 54 [St. Martin's Press]. Bobby himself is offering the viewers of Disco-Disco.com
brand new and signed copies of his wonderful and hard-to-find hardcover book for only $190 + shipping. Note that used
signed copies of this book go for up to $250 on e-bay.
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What happened to the club? Well it actually became a strip club for a couple of years. But in October, 1994
it was re-reopened as Studio 54 again. For this re-opening the new owners managed to bring in old Disco
stars like Gloria Gaynor, Vicki Sue Robinson
and Sister Sledge to perform. The new opening was a success and the club runs for some
months when the owner suddenly took all the money and left. And the club went into bankruptcy in the beginning
It was said the place would be turned into something else, but the club was still there and it was used for
special occasions. I know for example that people like Gloria Estefan made special
performances in the club.
I was in New York in October, 1998 and I just had to walk by this famous address and at that time
- the 54 logo sign was still there above the entrance. But just some weeks later the sign was torn down and
was replaced by a sign for the 'Cabaret' musical that was playing there for some years.
Since talking 'bout Studio 54... There were 2 movie releases out in 1998 trying to capture the magic and
the great music of this famous Discotheque. One was a film called The Last Days of Disco and
it was directed by Whit Stillman (director of "Metropolitan" and "Barcelona"). The story is about
Studio 54 in the late 1970's/early 1980's and the people who hang there. The soundtrack, however, is
the star of the film: featured prominently are "Good Times", "Le Freak" and "Everybody Dance"
by Chic, as well as "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross and "He's The Greatest Dancer"
by Sister Sledge and some other classic Disco songs. The film is a veritable
Nile & Bernard tribute in itself!
The other movie was just called "54" and was the life story of the late Steve Rubell with most attention
on Studio 54. Steve was played by Mike Meyers (Waynes World) and the ever so great Neve Campbell
also had a leading role in the picture together with Lauren Hutton. Some of the scenes for the movie were
actually shot at the original Studio 54, that were some exterior and lobby scenes. With this movie it came no
less than 2 albums with great music, of course there was one Chic track - "Dance, dance, dance".
Other of the great Disco songs on the albums were; "Keep on dancin'" (Gary's Gang), "the Boss"
(Diana Ross), "Vertigo/Relight my fire" (Dan Hartman R.I.P), "Move on up"
(Destination), "I got my mind made up" (Instant Funk), "Don't leave me this way"
(Thelma Houston), "Come to me" (France Joli), "Take your time - do it right"
(S.O.S Band), "Spank" (Jimmy "Bo" Horne) and "Heart of glass" (Blondie).
With the "54" album came also the new hit "If you could read my mind" by Stars on 54. A
constellation of Ultra Naté, Amber and Jocelyn Enriquez. This is actually a cover of an
old Viola Wills song with the same name.
Many people has also asked about an instrumental song that is played about 7 minutes into the movie, just when Shane
enters the club for the first time. The song is "the Break" by Kat-Mandu and it's not featured in any
of the two soundtrack CD's.
VERY inspired by the "54" movie was Pet Shop Boys' video to their hit song "New York City Boy",
released in October 1999. The storyline is similar to the movie - This guy dreams about going to Manhattan and to the
Studio 54. Finally he gets there and everyone is there, Bianca Jagger on her white horse, Andy Warhol - yes, everything
you could expect. It's a great video. The song itself is (according to the guys) a tribute to Village People
and it is really breathing classic DISCO. The "Boys" have been working with famous remixer David Morales and
together they have made a GREAT song!
It's not only the Pet Shop Boys who has been inspired by this legendary club. Even Madonna's 2006 world tour -
the Confessions Tour will be a celebration to the club and the Disco lifestyle. It has been announced that
Madonna will be recreating hedonistic scenes from the notorious nightclub in a stage set for her tour along with loads
of Disco mirror balls. '54' will make a great background set for her Disco influenced music from her most danceable
release for a long time, the Confessions on a Dance floor album.
Madonna first performed in the legendary club in 1983 in a party for the Italian fashion house, Fiorucci. At that
time she remarked to actor David Alan Grier: "You and me are going to be big stars, baby,
and leave these other suckers in the dust." Indeed she did, and it seems the wheel has come full circle when
she now, 20+ years later, return to Studio 54 where part of her success started.
Another Studio 54 DJ mix
Even though Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager's empire only lasted for 33 months it was an orgy in music, money,
glamour and drugs. There were endless number of unforgettable parties and all the "right" people were there.
Studio 54 is an Icon of the Disco era and it was without any doubt as important to Disco as the engine
is to a car, without it - it wouldn't run. The club was the Center of the Disco Universe, along with some other
clubs and of course all the great artists and labels whom the club would have been nothing without. But without
clubs like Studio 54 the whole Disco era wouldn't probably have been as huge as it really was. The suites of this
great era still influence the music and nightlife today. The Disco era set the standards for the clublife and
Many people have wanted to open up the club again and in May/June of 2001 part of the legendary club was re-opened
as Upstairs at Studio 54.
It's the former balcony which, back in the clubs later days, were strictly celeb's only that has been turned into
a club again. Saturdays at the club has been told to be among the best places in town.
Again, it's not the complete legendary club that's re-opened and the space has been used for conferences and special
appearances as well as a theatre. The Broadway success Cabaret was played there for a long time and in April
2005 A Streetcar Named Desire was set up in the former club.
This was the story about THE most famous club of all times...
the Center of the Disco Universe!