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#TheMeasure: Studio 54 Book – Let’s Party Like It’s 1977

- 7 years ago

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of the legendary New York nightclub, Studio 54; probably the greatest disco in the world, ever. Ian Schrager, one of the club’s co-owners, has just published his personal account of the evolution of Studio 54, along with a raft of photographs of the famous and influential, along with the unknown, faceless party goers that collided to form a brief spark in New York clubland and New York folklore Words by Ant Mulryan

“We’re back in 1977 in New York the time of disco, pre AIDS and all things associated with the sexual revolution with a lot of rock n roll and celebrity thrown in for good measure.

Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Brooke Shields and Steve Rubell by Adam Skull, 1981
Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Brooke Shields and Steve Rubell by Adam Skull, 1981

The book ‘Studio 54’ chronicles the birth of the club, quite literally from the horse’s mouth, Ian Schrager, the co-founder. It covers in infinite detail, the design and lighting, right through to the club’s sound system. It was big and it was brash, more than just ‘any old’ nightclub, it had all the drama of theatre, along with the high profile nightly guest list. Anyone who was anyone from Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie was there. Everyone from the silver screen to the art world; it became their very own little bubble. A ‘safe haven’ to party, and party they did! Bianca Jagger’s birthday party in May 1977 seems to be when the real party started at Studio 54 when she jumped on a horse and rode through the club. The resulting photograph was subsequently seen around the world.

THAT birthday moment - Bianca Jagger
THAT birthday moment

For me, from a live music and event photographers perspective, this must have been the ultimate photographic celebrity destination. Does anywhere like this exist anymore? I don’t think so. The Haçienda, for me, was cool, but Studio 54 is properly legendary and iconic.

This book is a must for anyone interested in this era of pop, fashion and celebrity culture, with numerous never-seen-before shots, and many iconic ones too. It’s a grand scale weighty coffee table book, with plenty of attention to detail along the way, including the foil-blocked hardback cover, to the sleek internal pages and at just under 400 pages with a touch of metallic gold printed pages to finish it off. It’s a book that will perfectly and impressively grace many a coffee table.

Michael Jackson & Steven Tyler
L-R Michael Jackson & Steven Tyler – oh, and a horse

The whole book captures the mood and the vibe of one of the most important and influential clubs of all time. Was it really 40 years ago?

Studio 54

Studio 54: Ian Schrager & Bob Colacello Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications Hardcover: 396 pages Language: English ISBN-10: 0847843440 ISBN-13: 978-0847843442 Dimensions: 30 x 4 x 36.1 cm

About the author

Read #TheMeasure: Studio 54 Book – Let’s Party Like It’s 1977

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.