Memories of Studio 54: Halcyon & on & on

Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry and Jerry Hall at Studio 54

For the relatively short time of 33 months in the late 1970’s, Studio 54 was the decadent soft centre of 70s hedonism in NYC.

Naysayers called it a sleazy and dangerous place. But for famous people and completely unknown but beautiful young things, it was a place where people could get up to whatever they wanted, with relative anonymity and freedom. Endless mountains of coke also helped to keep the party going.

Lauren Hutton, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Brooke Shields by Andy Warhol at Studio 54, New York City, September 21, 1982.
Lauren Hutton, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Brooke Shields by Andy Warhol at Studio 54, New York City, September 21, 1982.
Jerry Hall struts her stuff at Studio 54
Jerry Hall struts her stuff at Studio 54

The mediocre world of tax eventually caught up with Studio 54’s owners, bringing this perilous house of cards down, but it wasn’t to last forever – until then it was glorious, decadent and notorious.

Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry and Jerry Hall at Studio 54
Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry and Jerry Hall at Studio 54

“I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. I love going out every night. It’s so exciting” – Andy Warhol, Studio 54 patron.

“I will go to the opening of anything, including a toilet seat. Every time I go to Studio 54 I’m afraid I wont get in—maybe there will be somebody new at the door who won’t recognize me.” – Andy Warhol

Madonna and William S Burroughs at Studio 54
Madonna and William S Burroughs at Studio 54

“It felt like you were going to a new place every night. You were, because they changed it all the time for the parties. The Dolly Parton party…It was like a little farm with bales of hay and live farm animals—pigs and goats and sheep. And the Halloween party: as you came up the ramp in the foyer, you looked through little windows into little booths with midgets doing things. The one that sticks out in my head had a midget family eating a formal dinner. It was like a nonstop party. There didn’t seem to be any guilt in those days. Decadence was a positive thing. Cocaine was a positive thing. It had no side effects. Or so we thought.” Kevin Haley former model, now a Hollywood decorator.

The Village People and Michael Jackson at Studio 54
The Village People, Jane Fonda and Michael Jackson at Studio 54

“I had more fun at Studio 54 than in any other nightclub in the world. I would have dinner with my children, put on my cowboy boots, take my Mercedes, park in the garage next door, go in for a couple of hours, find someone, and leave” – Designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

Diana Von Furstenberg and photographer Ara Gallant in Studio 54
Diana Von Furstenberg and photographer Ara Gallant in Studio 54

Bianca Jagger’s 1978 birthday bash was a “baby party,” with ice-cream-cone vases, bowls of Cracker Jacks, and busboys in diapers.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for that lovely little short trip through history. Strange how that seems like such a simpler time than now. It’s nice to remember magical things.

    1. Yes it does, although I wasn’t alive to see it, there is such a nostalgia and of mischievous fun, it would have been great to be a fly on the wall in such a place.

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