×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

by Anthony Haden-Guest
 

See All Formats & Editions

Studio 54 was the icon of excess—a place where Andy, Mick, Bianca, and Elton lounged in the VIP section while patrons did drugs in the fabled unisex bathroom, and wannabes waiting for hours outside hoped to catch the eye of the nineteen-year-old doorman who was, for a brief moment, the ultimate gatekeeper of cool.

The Last Party is the story

Overview

Studio 54 was the icon of excess—a place where Andy, Mick, Bianca, and Elton lounged in the VIP section while patrons did drugs in the fabled unisex bathroom, and wannabes waiting for hours outside hoped to catch the eye of the nineteen-year-old doorman who was, for a brief moment, the ultimate gatekeeper of cool.

The Last Party is the story not just of Studio 54 but of the whole Nightworld, vividly recalled by a writer and reveler who was there on opening night and on many, many nights thereafter. Anthony Haden-Guest takes us past the velvet rope, down onto the pounding dance floor, up into the polymorphously perverse balcony, and into owner Steve Rubell's office, where millions of dollars were surreptitiously skimmed from the golden goose. Vibrant, shocking, nonstop, and revealing, The Last Party is as packed with sparkle, scandal, and celebrity as Studio 54 itself.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061723742
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
12/08/2009
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
1,335,205
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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.

Meet the Author

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews