This Sunday at Highbar, beginning at 5 p.m., the club community will roast and toast our good friend Arthur Weinstein. One of the most influential figures in nightlife’s history, Arthur died a few months back from the complications that defined his life. Highbar will be packed with club owners and operators, celebrities, and his friends from the street who have made the necessary RSVPs and such. If you’re a friend of Art’s and haven’t RSVP’d, someone you know will be at the door. I’ll be MCing the event, showing photos and video of this incredible persona. Arthur owned many clubs — including some of best ever — such as The World, The Jefferson, The Continental and Hurrah! The latter was such a dominant club that when Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were about to open Studio 54, they offered him a partnership just to ensure its success.
Arthur turned them down. In the last few years of his life he “did lights” for just about every significant joint around. It was Art who lit up the outside of the Limelight, turning what looked like a derelict church into an imposing monument to club life. Arthur hung with the fast set of my era: Stephen Sprouse, Debbie Harry, Ian Schrager, Steve Rubell, Grace Jones, and a list of etceteras that would fill volumes. He went out like a champ. With his body withering away and his ability to speak gone, Arthur was on the Highbar roof one afternoon toward the end, still showing us how it’s done. We will toast Arthur with Stoli & OJ, which will henceforth be called the “Arthur” at Highbar’s beautiful roofdeck. As the sun sets, I will hold my glass to the sky where he now dwells and lead the group in a collective “Shud Up!” — his familiar hello, goodbye, and general answer to annoying questions. We will laugh and celebrate a life well done.