Everything You Always Wanted To Know About STUDIO 54
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Author:  Pete Denis [ Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Everything You Always Wanted To Know About STUDIO 54

" Everything You Always Wanted To Know About STUDIO 54,With THE INSIDER"

You ever wonder what STUDIO 54 was really like?
Well, we have in this site an INSIDER- Someone who worked there. He was such important part of the World's Most Famous Club, that he was partly responsible for the movie "54". You want to know something, ask the question, I will print his answer. Think about it. From busboy to bartender to celebrity; his rise to his 15 minutes of fame came because of his years working under Steve Rubell. He saw it all, was a vibrant part of it all. And we got him here with us! The celebrities he partied with, the people he met, the great times he had, and the whole incredible story is right here!! So, go ahead and ask your questions, this is where you will get the REAL STORY and the true answers!

Author:  DJ Ed Martin [ Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  I got a Question or two?

Dear Insider,
How much was a drink at 54? How Much was the drawer at the end of the night? Your Tips??

Author:  Pete Denis [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:34 am ]
Post subject:  The Insider replies:

In an answer to DJ Ed Martin's Questions, our INSIDER responds, "if my memory serves me drinks were reasonable-under 10 dollars-exactly I am not sure-champagne was 100 dollars a bottle-I could be wrong but thats what i remember-the cash drawer was never counted by me-as the story goes it was later investigated but I do remember making anywhere from 300 to 500 a night in tips not counting some of the goodies we received(coke, Quaalude's)".

ED, it figures that you would ask a question about how much money he made!! Somethings never change!!-Pete

Author:  djrayj [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:43 pm ]
Post subject: 

Did the DJ's have many babes in the booth? or were they all gay?

Author:  Pete Denis [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:09 pm ]
Post subject:  The Insider says:

Now I could have answered that question, THE DJ'S WERE GAY!! SO NONE!! NO SEX, there!! But in the INSIDER'S own words,"Women did hang out in the DJ booth-gay men like women too-i think it was probably about conversation not sex. as far as sex on the dance floor,it would have been sneaky sex, like holes in the clothing but not open fornication if thats what you are asking. I only know from my experience and I am sure there are others who know different after all there were some very high profile people who might not be comfortable with it. All you had to do was go to the balcony or the bathrooms or if you were an IN person go downstairs under the club."--- I expanded Ray's question to include about sex on the main dance floor.-Pete

Author:  Starr Inc. [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

There is a "54" in Vegas now. Are there people involved from BITD and do they manage to capture a little of the spirit from the original?

Pete, did you ever play at the "54"? Was there space for rare Disco or did they always play what was in "vogue"?

Author:  Pete Denis [ Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Studio 54

NEVER, first off, it did not pay enough for me to miss a day At The Copa. The tips at the Copa could be larger then most deejays made. Some nights I walked out with over $1000 in tips, some for playing songs I would play anyhow. Some tips by the "Friends" of the club, simply for use of the corner, and ignoring what was going on at that part of the "booth". Then I wasn't GAY, and I did no "favors" for any job!!. Not sure if everyone did the favors, but that was the "word" I heard. Probably true at times, not true at others. Wasn't interested. Too much fun elsewhere. I was into the music, 54 had too many distractions.------ As for the VEGAS version. From What I have seen, It is a Vegas thing. No one from BITD, but I could be wrong. In the original 54, I, believe that they played both , classic disco, and progressive disco. I believe that if Steve , or someone told Steve, that such and such club played this song. He wanted it to not be played anymore (could be a myth). He wanted to be known for"breaking" songs. In reality, all progressive deejays played the latest stuff. but because it was 54, credit was usually given to them, and not Binghampton's Ferry Boat in Jersey where DJ Ed "The Worm" Rothstein had been playing it for weeks. (ED WAS INCREDIBLE, but you never heard of him!) Now, I do know for a fact, that many huge records made their "debut" at STUDIO 54. The artists and promoters and record companies were smart enough to go there first. But the next day, everyone would be playing it. They, in fact, did that way more then any other DISCO. I will pass that portion of the question to The INSIDER, and see what he remembers.

Author:  Pete Denis [ Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:46 am ]
Post subject:  Studio 54

Let me really, truthfully give that last question a proper response. While what I said above is true. Who am I kidding by bullshitting everyone and deny that I didn't care. Of course I would have loved ONE night a week at 54. That would have changed my life. See, I was one hell of a deejay, but you never heard of me. There are many reasons. All of which everyone will know soon enough, but me playing at 54!!! As good a live performer as I was!! Everyone would certainly have known my name, and talked about me in terms of one of the All-Time greats. I know that I was that good. Jimmy Burgess taught me. Then I watched and learned from other deejays you never heard of. These guys could mix like all those big names in New York City. Some of them, much better. But we don't know them, because they didn't have the right friends, or stoop to performing various favors to get jobs. And trust me, they may deny it, but it happened. Of course there are some exceptions, John Ceglia, Richie Kaczor and JELLYBEAN were straight arrows. But I had the wrong connections. The fact that I didn't hang out with the right "clique" of deejays. The fact I was working at The Copacabana. My "friends" were people you could not walk away from easily. And they treated me so good.Generous and great tippers, and the friendship and respect they had for me. All those things and others things left me happy, but wishing I was at 54. I was out of NYC by the end of the summer of 78, so all chance of me playing there was gone. Then I had other opportunities, but just as I was going to walk through the doors of SUPERSTAR status, a incredibly bad thing would happen. Unbelievable things. So I remained obscure. But I know what I am talking about. I was Disco since before there was DISCO. I work at "the other Club", but someone had to! BUT..... I am not finished yet!!

Author:  Starr Inc. [ Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:24 pm ]
Post subject: 

Pete, you say "I was there before there was Disco", can you tell us how you started and what you played in the very beginning. Soul? Pop?

When did you sensed that the big Discowave was coming up? Were you immediately hooked by it or was it a natural evolution in the clubs you played?

Author:  Pete Denis [ Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:29 am ]
Post subject:  In The Beginning!

As a young thug growing up in Union City, New Jersey in the 60's, I loved music. Had no money, so I would steal 7" 45's from local stores. As many as ten a visit, until I found a way of paying for them. I loved all that was on WABC AM radio in NYC. In 1970, I had a few hundred albums, a few thousand 7" too. I snuck into THE SANCTUARY in NYC, and saw the future right away, and I wanted in! I put together a make shift, crappy set up of speakers and a "home made mixer" that simply was a knob that went from one screwed up belt drive Gerald turntable to another one. It was 1971, and Disco was less then 6 months away. I had some Crooked Political friends, who I knew. I deejayed at their "rallies" in all these "social clubs" in Jersey, Little Italy and Manhattan. In Dec of 72, the "friends" I made, most notably, future DON Pauly Castellanos told me,"We're going to make The COPA(Copacabana) into a DISCO. You Deejay there!" It was not a question or request. I said YES! That was the beginning!---- Before the "term" DISCO existed, I played R & B, POP, Carnival Music from Brazil(They were years ahead in the music, but it wasn't called DISCO), OSIBISA, and some Latin Jazz music out of Miami, that was a predecessor of THE MIAMI SOUND. Manu Dibango was before the TERM too. Anything that got people excited and dancing. I played YOUR MAMA DON'T DANCE AND YOUR DADDY DON'T ROCK N' ROLL!! First to play Barabbas' WOMAN(maybe the first PURE DISCO SONG?). Very soon, before I realized it, it was 1972, before The Copa, THE TRAMMPS showed us that DISCO was for real!! They had so many great songs, years before DISCO INFERNO. That was the beginning! Then BARRY WHITE was simply incredible, with album after album of great songs! Then LOVE'S THEME, and the "DISCOWAVE" was on! I was waiting for this before it happened. The deejays had a feeling, that a new WAVE was coming. I was very glad to be there before it came!!-- PETE

Author:  Starr Inc. [ Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:17 pm ]
Post subject: 

In another thread you ask for the people's favourite records but you limit it to 1977? Is there a reason for taking that year. Do you consider it the end of real Disco? For me, things started to go wrong in 1980, the sound became less interesting, Disco was too mainstream and record companies wanted to get rid of it!

We all know that the "54" was closed for a while after the IRS came in and then re-opened under another management. Was it still great in the early 80's or were it's glory days only in the 70's?

Author:  Pete Denis [ Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:06 am ]
Post subject:  The Limit

I think in that thread it was about songs from a certain time frame, I may be wrong, and I am too lazy to check it out at this moment. As for 1977 being the peak, no it was the best year of the Disco Era, in my opinion. But the peak has to be 1979, after that it was all changing. In the United States, the backlash was tremendous(the US makes many mistakes), the Country and Western scene and New Wave movement were hurting us big time. By 1980, we were an afterthought!!--- Now as for STUDIO 54, it was like day and night. Everything changed. I believe. But I will ask my TWO experts now, since we have a deejay from that era in STUDIO 54's history in DISCO-DISCO. we will get back to you soon.

Author:  Pete Denis [ Mon Jul 14, 2008 10:49 pm ]
Post subject:  From The Inside of STUDIO 54

I asked the former DJ of 54 to answer your question, and he was the best INSIDER for this particular question, this was his answer.

" The post-raid 54 was indeed different. The raid snd subsequent temporary closing of the club also came at a point when AIDS was beginning to become a terror, the musical landscape was beginning to change (not for the better in my opinion), the crowds were beginning to change and the mega-clubs were finding it more and more difficult to remain viable.
That being said, upon re-opening, it was still one of the top clubs, probably anywhere, and remained so for several years.
But because of all of the above mentioned factors, it had slipped a few notches from it's previous glory. "

Author:  DJ Ed Martin [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:22 am ]
Post subject:  Dear Insider??

Was it a crazy gay club, or just a great club?

Author:  Pete Denis [ Fri Jul 18, 2008 2:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Insider's Response

Ed, here it is, the Insider's response to your question: "54 was catered to all and was not a GAY club. Gays were very welcome and definitely helped make it what it was, like you said CRAZY"--- From the outside, it sure looked like a GAY club in the early years. But the INSIDER knows first hand.

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