Wild Young Minds: Studio 54 - those were the days, my friend

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Studio 54 - those were the days, my friend

When brainstorming for an article about fabulous designer Diane von Furstenberg (which is still to come, don't worry!) I came up with something bigger: Studio 54, the night club of the seventies. Strange enough it was only open for 4 years, I always thought it was the place to be for an entire decade.

Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger, Calvin Klein, Jerry Hall, just to name a few. The things that happened are too controversial to tell. Well, that's not true, but let's keep this blog a bit sophisticated, will we (: Let's just say, there were drugs, alcohol and a lot of testosterone and estrogen of the most beautiful people in the world those days.

Studio 54 was located at 254 West 54th Street in Manhattan, New York City. Like they say about Jimmy Woo, the exclusive club in Amsterdam, the guards had a very strict door policy: only the most beautiful and famous people were allowed to go in. If you didn't have any money, you had too be amazingly beautiful to enter. Nevertheless, when you see photos of the place, it was always extremely crowded and the atmosphere looked marvellous.

Before Studio 54 opened, the location was used for Gallo Opera House, which opened in 1927 and later it became CBS radio and television and eventually Studio 54. Steve Rubbell and Ian Schrager transformed the building into a night club and soon it became a huge success, till it had to close due to a tax scandal.

Within a month after the opening, Studio 54 had to close for a day because it wasn't allowed to sell liquor without a licence. Studio 54 argued it was all based on a big 'misunderstanding', so the next night they only sold fruit juice and soda. But Studio 54 wouldn't be Studio 54 without the liquor, so they sold alcohol anyway, though they said it was only during events and weddings - which was permitted.

Studio 54 was glitter and glamour at its finest. It was all about personal freedom, it was the time of the gay movement, the etnic movement, the women movement. It definitely happened on the right time. It was the year of Saturday Night Fever and disco was what it was all about: Diana Ross, Donna Summer and Michael Jackson.

But that was then, a place like Studio 54 would never work in these days anymore - all thanks to the paparazzi, media and the way our celebrities behave. On one hand it's a shame, on the other hand, maybe it's good that it's all in the past - cause the past always tends to be the place where these secrets are best hidden - covered in stardust and glitter.

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