In the next few weeks there will be reunion type parties for, in my humble opinion, three of the top ten clubs of all time (see list at end of article). There will be a Mudd Club “Era” event tonight, September 12, at the Roxy Hotel. The event will be hosted by legendary Mudd madman Steve Mass and dapper doorman Richard Boch. The affair’s proceeds will be donated to ADIFF Parsons Designer of the Year 2016. A killer line-up of DJ’s include Fab Five Freddy, Delphine Blue, Ivan Baker, Lenny Kaye, Michael Holman, David Azarch and Pat Price. Mudd was all things to the smart set in the late 70’s early 80’s, the Downtown, artsy alternative to Studio 54.
On September 25th, yet another Nell’s reunion will return to its old space now currently operating as Up&Down; the guest-list-only event will have all the usual suspects on hand. The original club opened in 1986, and although it devolved from its original fabulousness, it lived on until 2004. Legend has it that Cher was once turned away.
Palladium, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager’s mega club which was later redone by Peter Gatien, will be revisited on September 22 at Analog Club, Brooklyn. I was Director of the club a few times, and will be DJing this event along with Freddy Bastone and Rob Leslie. Palladium was the much anticipated sequel to Steve and Ian’s Studio 54 – they opened it after they cashed in their get out of jail free card. In clubs size can matter, and Palladium was able to outspend all competitors in the pre bottle service universe.
VNYL image by Oleg March
Although Palladium was a hit before the paint dried, most great clubs open with only high hopes and the egos of their owners. Two current openings have piqued my interest. The VNYL, which opened in the old Nevada Smiths spot on lower 3rd Avenue last week, leads off the fall season. James Morrissey is the owner, Entourage actor Adrian Grenier is Music Director, and I hear that Webster Hall GM Gerard McNamee is also involved (and its interior was designed by Sarah Abdallah from Functional Creative Design). With multiple floors and a great location to go with experienced operators I think it will excel. The other, Quality Branded‘s Squares, will open on east 26th between Park and Madison on September 21st (though it has been hosting NY Fashion Week parties already). Promising “no blaring hip hop or obnoxious pop music” it should be The Campbell Apartment or the Metropolitan Club meets an 80s video game, meets a 2016 bottle service club. Promoter type but all around good guy Jonas Young-Borra is all giggly enthusiastic about the project.
I thought it was a good time to revisit the top 10 clubs of all time, which changes from time to time as reunions skew my opinion, bringing back memories and stirring long-numbed brain cells. The Fall 2016 Uncle Steve list is as follows, in order but somewhat interchangeable:
1) Studio 54, 2) Area, 3) The World, 4) Max’s Kansas City, 5) Paradise Garage, 6) Mudd Club, 7) Danceteria, 8) Nells, 9) Palladium, 10) Mother