Clublife: Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs

Overview

In Clublife, Rob takes readers on a harrowing tour of the seedy, dangerous, and often deranged world of New York's hottest nightclubs. In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and The Tender Bar, Clublife is a remarkable memoir of the nightclub business and how drugs, alcohol, troublemakers, and violence conspire against the men clubs enlist to keep it all under control. Brutally honest and filled with incredible tales only a true insider could tell, Clublife gives readers an all-access pass into the seamy ...

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Clublife: Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs

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Overview

In Clublife, Rob takes readers on a harrowing tour of the seedy, dangerous, and often deranged world of New York's hottest nightclubs. In the tradition of Kitchen Confidential and The Tender Bar, Clublife is a remarkable memoir of the nightclub business and how drugs, alcohol, troublemakers, and violence conspire against the men clubs enlist to keep it all under control. Brutally honest and filled with incredible tales only a true insider could tell, Clublife gives readers an all-access pass into the seamy subculture of New York nightclub security.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For most of us, brief hours spent beyond the red velvet rope are all glitz and glamour, but for club insider "Rob the Bouncer," Manhattan nightlife was never just one big party. This survivor of two hot late night-spots witnessed their entire life cycle, from savvy investor start-ups to the final crash and burn stage when lowlife parasites move in. This spunky participant in the scene reveals secrets that go far beyond small talk about overpriced drinks and last-call pickups. With this book, your name is on the list.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061123894
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/12/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert "Rob the Bouncer" Fitzgerald is the author of the Clublife blog. He lives on Long Island, New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Clublife
Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs

Chapter One

Seeds

The troubles, such as they are, begin with their eyebrows. When I started doing this—this bouncing shit—it was the eyebrows I noticed first. The way I was raised, a man wouldn't touch his eyebrows unless he needed surgery and one of them stood in the way of the scalpel. The shaping of the eyebrows is a trap. It's a ruse. A man, if he wants to be thought of as a man, should take pains to avoid falling victim to the shaping-of-the-eyebrows fallacy. A timely pluck with tweezers is acceptable now and again, when stray pieces begin springing out with age. Basic maintenance draws no notice.

Club customers wax their eyebrows. They shave them and they have little Indian women tie their edges and yank them. I came to find out, involuntarily, that this process is called "threading." The shaping and threading of the eyebrows become a problem, because they lead to disagreements with bouncers. Those finely sculpted points on the brow-ends in question are bound to bog us down somehow. They'll bring us to sidewalk impasse—a Mexican standoff on a Saturday night in Lower Manhattan, my ability to see your side of things swept away by the absurdity of what you've done to the fur atop your precious sight-organs.

It started my first night, with the eyebrows, and it's something I still can't get past. I won't ever get past it, I think. It's too much to digest for a guy who considers shaving a major hygienic sacrifice. Do this business to yourself—I've heard the Staten Island Mall does fine work, incidentally—and our points of viewwill have diverged to such an extent that should we somehow find ourselves in situation, I'll need you gone from my presence as quickly as I can wrench you and your manicured ass-coiffure out the door.

If you've never been to a nightclub in Manhattan, it's possible you wouldn't know such things as waxing and threading exist. You could say they exist, and claim to understand the concept of their existence, but you simply wouldn't know. You wouldn't know about any of it, in fact—the myriad absurdities taking place on any given night in Gotham. You can live out a contented, fulfilling life in a trailer park somewhere on the outskirts of Junction City, Kansas, and the things that happen in New York's nightclub-riddled West Chelsea and Meatpacking districts won't fuck with your existence in any way.

You can head out the front door of the double-wide, down the plywood gangplank, start up the Buick, drive on down to the local convenience store, and pick yourself up a case of Budweiser and a bag of Doritos. Throw in some dip while you're at it. Sour cream and onion meshes best with nacho cheese and a hint of repeating cheap beer. Come on back home, fire up the satellite dish, plant your ass on the couch, and you've got the whole world at your fingertips and nobody grinding their ass into your nuts unless you've invited them to.

Maybe at some point during all the fun you're bound to have, you push open the screen door and mosey outside for a cigarette. You smoke out there because you don't want the tobacco smell lingering in the curtains and because it's quiet. There's nothing in the air here on the threshold of the plain—just an endless parade of semis on the interstate and the occasional chain of Burlington Northern freight cars passing through the far side of downtown, en route to places where the rest of the world isn't banished so readily.

You flick your cigarette into the drainage ditch that runs beside the road they paved last year, and you glance up at the stars. You take for granted how bright they are out here—and how many of them you can see when it's clear—but you don't know you're doing it because you've never been to a place where they can't be seen. You turn back and move inside, leaving the night out on the plain, never considering that those same stars—the ones I can't see from my spot on the sidewalk—are over my head tonight, too. And the world, from where I'm standing, sure as hell doesn't seem to be at my fingertips.

Three years ago, I stayed home and left the New York night outside my door, just like you. I went inside, turned the deadbolt, and kept it all at a comfortable distance. If you want to chase the quiet here, you can, even when you live in the middle of the city. Quiet, you see, is a relative term. If you don't want to find yourself in Chelsea at two in the morning, with your space and your sanity no longer yours to claim, nobody's going to force you to go. And if nobody ever forces you to go, and financial necessity doesn't bring you to that part of town looking for work, you won't ever need to know what it's like.

You're better off that way. Trust me on this.

Circumstances happen, though. You know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, and one morning you wake up and find out you're on the schedule at some club downtown, slated to stand on a box and play zookeeper for eight hours. That's what happened to me. I didn't know it—the "scene"—was there, either, so I went about my days and nights without ever knowing the depth and breadth of the Manhattan nightclub subculture that now seems to come to the surface every time I turn over a rock.

I don't know where the world keeps nightclub customers when they're not drinking and dancing, because I don't see people like them anywhere else but inside. Before I became a bouncer, I hadn't seen people like that walking the streets, at least not in such overwhelming numbers. Originally, I thought maybe they all lived at the club . . .

Clublife
Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs
. Copyright © by Meredith Rob the Bouncer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Clublife
Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs

Chapter One

Seeds

The troubles, such as they are, begin with their eyebrows. When I started doing this—this bouncing shit—it was the eyebrows I noticed first. The way I was raised, a man wouldn't touch his eyebrows unless he needed surgery and one of them stood in the way of the scalpel. The shaping of the eyebrows is a trap. It's a ruse. A man, if he wants to be thought of as a man, should take pains to avoid falling victim to the shaping-of-the-eyebrows fallacy. A timely pluck with tweezers is acceptable now and again, when stray pieces begin springing out with age. Basic maintenance draws no notice.

Club customers wax their eyebrows. They shave them and they have little Indian women tie their edges and yank them. I came to find out, involuntarily, that this process is called "threading." The shaping and threading of the eyebrows become a problem, because they lead to disagreements with bouncers. Those finely sculpted points on the brow-ends in question are bound to bog us down somehow. They'll bring us to sidewalk impasse—a Mexican standoff on a Saturday night in Lower Manhattan, my ability to see your side of things swept away by the absurdity of what you've done to the fur atop your precious sight-organs.

It started my first night, with the eyebrows, and it's something I still can't get past. I won't ever get past it, I think. It's too much to digest for a guy who considers shaving a major hygienic sacrifice. Do this business to yourself—I've heard the Staten Island Mall does fine work, incidentally—and our points ofview will have diverged to such an extent that should we somehow find ourselves in situation, I'll need you gone from my presence as quickly as I can wrench you and your manicured ass-coiffure out the door.

If you've never been to a nightclub in Manhattan, it's possible you wouldn't know such things as waxing and threading exist. You could say they exist, and claim to understand the concept of their existence, but you simply wouldn't know. You wouldn't know about any of it, in fact—the myriad absurdities taking place on any given night in Gotham. You can live out a contented, fulfilling life in a trailer park somewhere on the outskirts of Junction City, Kansas, and the things that happen in New York's nightclub-riddled West Chelsea and Meatpacking districts won't fuck with your existence in any way.

You can head out the front door of the double-wide, down the plywood gangplank, start up the Buick, drive on down to the local convenience store, and pick yourself up a case of Budweiser and a bag of Doritos. Throw in some dip while you're at it. Sour cream and onion meshes best with nacho cheese and a hint of repeating cheap beer. Come on back home, fire up the satellite dish, plant your ass on the couch, and you've got the whole world at your fingertips and nobody grinding their ass into your nuts unless you've invited them to.

Maybe at some point during all the fun you're bound to have, you push open the screen door and mosey outside for a cigarette. You smoke out there because you don't want the tobacco smell lingering in the curtains and because it's quiet. There's nothing in the air here on the threshold of the plain—just an endless parade of semis on the interstate and the occasional chain of Burlington Northern freight cars passing through the far side of downtown, en route to places where the rest of the world isn't banished so readily.

You flick your cigarette into the drainage ditch that runs beside the road they paved last year, and you glance up at the stars. You take for granted how bright they are out here—and how many of them you can see when it's clear—but you don't know you're doing it because you've never been to a place where they can't be seen. You turn back and move inside, leaving the night out on the plain, never considering that those same stars—the ones I can't see from my spot on the sidewalk—are over my head tonight, too. And the world, from where I'm standing, sure as hell doesn't seem to be at my fingertips.

Three years ago, I stayed home and left the New York night outside my door, just like you. I went inside, turned the deadbolt, and kept it all at a comfortable distance. If you want to chase the quiet here, you can, even when you live in the middle of the city. Quiet, you see, is a relative term. If you don't want to find yourself in Chelsea at two in the morning, with your space and your sanity no longer yours to claim, nobody's going to force you to go. And if nobody ever forces you to go, and financial necessity doesn't bring you to that part of town looking for work, you won't ever need to know what it's like.

You're better off that way. Trust me on this.

Circumstances happen, though. You know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, and one morning you wake up and find out you're on the schedule at some club downtown, slated to stand on a box and play zookeeper for eight hours. That's what happened to me. I didn't know it—the "scene"—was there, either, so I went about my days and nights without ever knowing the depth and breadth of the Manhattan nightclub subculture that now seems to come to the surface every time I turn over a rock.

I don't know where the world keeps nightclub customers when they're not drinking and dancing, because I don't see people like them anywhere else but inside. Before I became a bouncer, I hadn't seen people like that walking the streets, at least not in such overwhelming numbers. Originally, I thought maybe they all lived at the club . . .

Clublife
Thugs, Drugs, and Chaos at New York City's Premier Nightclubs
. Copyright © by Sara Rob the Bouncer. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2009

    This book is a waste of your time!

    horrible

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

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    Posted August 16, 2011

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