Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night

Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night

5.0 1
by Anthony Haden-Guest
     
 

Packed with stars, models, socialites, and everyone else who could sneak past the fabled velvet ropes, Studio 54 defined disco and launched the celebrity-driven culture of today. Noted writer Haden-Guest takes readers behind the scenes and tells the whole story -- the glory days, the drugs, the deaths, and the corruption.There was a place where virtually all the… See more details below

Overview

Packed with stars, models, socialites, and everyone else who could sneak past the fabled velvet ropes, Studio 54 defined disco and launched the celebrity-driven culture of today. Noted writer Haden-Guest takes readers behind the scenes and tells the whole story -- the glory days, the drugs, the deaths, and the corruption.There was a place where virtually all the themes and energies of the '70s -- disco, the cult of celebrity, the coke and the quaaludes, the glam and the glitter, the pre-AIDS sexual abandon, the emergence of gay culture, uninhibited women, and the general air of debauchery -- were played out with maximum flamboyance.

It was a place that epitomized an era and exemplified the zeitgeist. No one is better suited to chronicle the Studio 54 story than Anthony Haden-Guest. He has re-created the scene and rendered the action in vivid detail from his personal experiences with the key players: the owners, bartenders, and bouncers; the celebrities and the dealers; the divas, DJs and doormen; even the prosecutor who busted the owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager for tax evasion. The Last Party is more than a biography of one place. It also tells the story of Nightworld, a realm spawned by Studio 54, comprising past and present clubs. Nightlords, and Nightpeople, their doings and their secrets, which are still unfolding.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Studio 54 was the quintessential midtown Manhattan nightspot of the '70s and early '80s, where the gay and straight worlds intersected; where celebs and wannabes crowded in to disco, drug and who knows what else; in front of which people waited for hours in hopes of being admitted (two women arrived naked on horseback as Lady Godivas; the horses were let in, but the women weren't). Haden-Guest, a regular writer for New York magazine and Vanity Fair, reports on his beloved 'Nightworld' -- the life of New York clubs -- with an enthusiasm that assumes we all were swept away by disco-mania.

The most compelling part of this chronicle concerns the rise and fall of Steve Rubell, the boy from Queens, and the club he created that drew the rich and famous from all over the globe. Rubell and his partner, Ian Schrager, were eventually sentenced to three years in jail for tax evasion. Haden-Guest, who's prone to exaggeration, calls their trial the media culture's version of 'Moscow's Show Trials of the Stalin era.' Some readers will find the gossip, name-dropping and dirt-dishing delicious; others will wonder what all the fuss is about.

Fred Goss
In his fascinating book The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night, social observer Anthony Haden-Guest vividly re-creates the glory days of the New York City nightclub that [Steve] Rubell and Ian Schrager opened in a former TV studio. Depending on your own past experience, the stories Haden-Guest has to tell will offer either a psychedelic trip down memory lane or a fantastic vision through a mist-shrouded looking glass...

What happened on West 54th Street was a magical confluence of time, place, and the public's readiness to party. With its cavernous interior refurbished as the most adult of playgrounds, complete with a neon man in the moon who periodically took a huge sniff from a gigantic coke spoon, Studio 54 was a place where everyman could live out his private fantasies.
The Advocate

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688141516
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/1997
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.58(h) x 1.45(d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Haden-Guest's journalism has appeared in New York, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker.

Read an Excerpt

Maurice Brahms got involved with Manhattan's Nightworld entirely on account of John Addison, who arrived from South Africa in the early seventies. "He was a second cousin of mine. He stayed with me in Brooklyn," Maurice Brahms says. The cousins were unalike. Brahms was of middling height, garrulous, straight, and dressed like a businessman, whereas Addison was tall, gay, secretive, and elegant. Brahms had a front-stage demeanor, like an actor doing monologue. Addison liked to lurk in the wings. But the cousins got on fine. Both were ambitious, tough, and sharp, and both could grip a dollar hard enough to make it squeal with pain.

Maurice Brahms had been in the restaurant business since he was seventeen. "My father bought a restaurant for my uncle, but he died after a couple of years. I took it over," Brahms says. The place was the Colonel at 101 Park Avenue. John Addison had an uncle who owned a parakeet business in Ventura County in Southern California, and he himself had studied horticulture in South Africa, but horticulture not being huge in Manhattan, he signed up with Ford as a model. "He did well from day one" says Jerry Ford. He worked with Francesco Scavullo and became a long-term lover of the photographer. Addison also took a backup job as a waiter in Yellowfingers, a restaurant in midtown on Third Avenue. Unlike most MAWs (Model Actor Waiters) Addison quickly decided he liked the restaurant business. Preferred it, in fact, to the glam drudgery of modeling.

Excerpted from The Last Party.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >