The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco, and the Culture of the Night
Author: Anthony Haden-Guest
Publisher: It Books
Publication Date: December 8th 2009
Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5
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 '70's--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, 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 the 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.
I have always been interested in the whole craziness of Disco and especially Studio 54. The Last Party is a very interesting read, though there are quite a lot of names to remember as your reading. I would often forget who a person was and have to go back, or I would say screw it and continuing reading forgetting who I was reading about. When I didn't look back it was mostly because it was an uninteresting part for me. The Last Party is not only about Studio 54 but about all sorts of clubs opening up in New York around the same time or after the high of Studio 54, though they are were trying to achieve Studio's greatness. So the book starts off with Studio 54 and ends with the early 90's era of Club Kids and the ultimate demise of it's scene with the murder of Angel Melendez. The Party Monster is a movie starring Maculauly Culkin about the Club Kids and the murder, it's very interesting. The movie is great, but then again there is something fascinating to me about New York City especially the dirty crazy club scene. Sometimes I felt there was a lot of filler, I wanted to read more about the inside of Studio 54, and I wanted more crazy stories. There are some but I'm sure there is quite a lot that didn't make it in The Last Party.
If you are interested in the New York night scene especially the start of the celebrity induced craziness of the 70's and later the rapid drug freak show that it became I think you will enjoy The Last Party.