Studio 54: Disco Decadence, a Dead Body and Bags of Cash

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Your health and wellness are more important than ever and WW. Weight watchers reimagined is here to support you with the world's leading weight, loss and wellness program proven to make losing weight easier. WW's award winning APP has tools like twenty. Four Seven Life Coaching personalized recipes, a barcode scanner and new water and sleep tracking features to help. Keep you on track. Take charge of your weight and wellness and visit ww dot com to join today with a limited time offer purchase required restrictions apply. Guys, bobby bones I host the bobby bones show and pretty much always sleepy because I wake up at three o'clock in the morning a couple of hours later. I get all my friends together. We get into a room and a radio show. We share our allies. We tell our stories. We try to find as much good in the world if he possibly can and we looked. Looked through the news of the day that you care about also your favorite country artists are always stopping by to hang out and share their lives and music, too. So wake up with a bunch of my friends on ninety eight point seven W M Z Q in Washington DC or wherever the rotates you on the iheartradio APP. Graceland is a production of iheartradio double elvis media. The. Stories about studio fifty. Four are insane. Arguably the most legendary nightclub of all time studio fifty four celebrated encouraged and flaunted hedonism. Farm animals little people, giant coke spoons hanging from the ceiling, drugs cocaine, quayle, lewd sex and other romanesque acts of debauchery were rampant inside the walls of studio fifty four. As were the criminal exploits of club owner Steve rebel in Ian Schrager, both of whom carefully cultivated the allure of studio, Fifty, four John I on the inclusiveness of disco cultures early days, and later on the exclusive cult of celebrity personality, famous musicians, John Lennon David Bowie Mick Jagger along with the world's most famous celebs, not just actors and actresses, but international heads of state royals, and even Bradey dynastic Kennedy kids were all a ubiquitous presence seem nightly dancing with abandon amongst ordinary New Yorkers. So constant was the celebrity presence at Studio Fifty, four at studio, Fifty four redefined the concept of celebrity for the modern age. That's a fact. Truman Liza suddenly their last names didn't matter studio fifty four had made them even more famous and studio fifty four made its owners Steve rebel in Ian Schrager a lot of money. And money, the abundance of it was the problem, not the sex of the drugs of the great music. That's right. Great Music because this is great music. That music I played for you at the top of the show. That wasn't great music. That was a preset loop from mellow. Tron call, Coke Baroque mk one I played you that loop because I can't afford the rights to La Freak by chic. And why would I play you that specific slice of fuck off cheese? Could I afford it? because. That was the number one song in America on December. Fourteenth Nineteen, Seventy, eight and that was the day federal agents showed up at two fifty four West Fifty Fourth Street in effectively shutdown, one of the greatest parties America had ever seen. On this episode, sweat-soaked and totally coke celebrities debauchery on the dance floor, cash trash a dead body at the disco studio fifty, four. I'm Jay. Brennan in. This is disgraceful. It was simple. If you own a bar nightclub in New York City and had a jukebox in your place. You're going to have to go into business with the Mafia. juke boxes. We're one of the many rackets control, but the moth. Truth was racketeering millions of dollars in Jukebox Nichols all over the country was a time, honored practice going back to Meyer Lansky in the nineteen thirties. Movie Star Debbie. Reynolds tasted when she tried getting into the Jukebox as an investment in the sixty s only to see most of her financial stake gobbled up by the genovese crime family. Mob Control. Is also gave me guys easy access to all sorts of classy nightclubs and dance bars were they could frequent regularly Duma's. So if you didn't want wiseguys cutting in on your prophet or worse, hanging out of your club, you'd best find a form of entertainment. That wasn't a jukebox especially, if you were gay in trying to establish a club in New York in the nineteen seventies, you had enough problems. You didn't need the mafia jamming you up, so a jukebox was out. And bands good bands, anyway, not the covers crap would attract the unwanted straight crowd, and possibly also the mafia's attention weren't really an option, either so deejays were necessity. deejays music aficionados with impeccable taste, good source new exciting as of yet unheard of forty fives from places as far away as France and western Africa and his near a couple of hours down the road and Campbell. inhofe warehouse philly records like Sugar Pie by the Joneses and wild safari by Barabbas music that would attract the preferred clientele clientele who wanted to dance and to connect emotionally out in. In public sort of for the first time, these were early to mid seventies recordings that had nothing to do with the Post. Sixties Malays the first part of the decade these were records that were willfully ignorant of the societal pressures of the day, the drag of the economy, Vietnam and Watergate records that were meant to be in the scape. These records being played Manhattan's first openly gay dance clubs. The music, these deejays played rhythmically relied on a repetitive reinforced kick drum nearly a constant four on the floor, beat to keep the dance floor revolt, and celebrated hedonism individuality, a sense of individuality that turned out could be empowering for a subculture. Persecuted because of its sexuality, a type of music called disco. Clubs like that Ice Palace Infinity Hurrah Higher Dj's who not only source this exciting music, but who also knew how to perform it and I don't use that word perform likely disco, DJ's or good ones anyway sequenced the records they played to not only keep the dance floors full, but to elicit an emotional reaction from club goers to connect through music through dance, and in an emotionally resonant way one that was enthralling, compelling in totally fawn. Most early disco was a combination of obscure deep groove Black American soul imported world music being played in European disco tax. In addition to attracting sophisticated gay Manhattan Nights, some of whom worked in fashion, stylist, hairdressers and makeup artists, these clubs also attracted beautiful women models who would follow their gay male co workers from the fashion industry for an undeniable good time to clubs where there were no obnoxious straight men hit on them clubs where they were free to dance to have fun until the early morning hours. The vibe at these clubs was special unique. It was a moment in time Ho. Stonewall pre Reagan. For the first time anywhere in America, being gay was being seen as something other than a liability. It was fun in Semi Open. If you were gay or straight in an ally. The experience of dancing at these clubs was glorious. You couldn't but feel emotionally connected to most everyone in the room. The DJ at Hurrah. This any calibrated is set according. Last song was crucial. It wasn't about kicking the party off new club at four thirty am to some driving after hours, there was about creating a lasting emotional connection before parting ways. He had just the Song Donna. Summer's love to love you. Baby, the Giorgio Moroder pen, sixteen and a half minute filled with summers, ecstatic moans, and groans was more than just sex. It was a high walk cable of connectivity. The pulse through the early discuss e. Timed right played at just the right moment. During the night, the song was enough to make those in the know openly weep the dance floor, because aside from the sex, the sweat the pulsing lights represent clubland, drugs and booze the burgeoning. He'd missile. If you were in on this song, it meant you in on something special. It meant you were special. Because you were in on what was going on, he could put feel it not just on the dance floor, but in the larger clubs seen in New York at the time. Something big was about. Little Dude from Brooklyn at the Parnu at two in it didn't matter how fucked up. He was either last call had come and gone in the quayle had kicked it big time. The bartender asked him if he was going anywhere. The little dude smile wryly has in on an even deeper secret. The bartender then shouted over the pulsing Donna summer track. You look like you're having a good time. The short dude replied with. You. Think I'd take in shoe. Many que- you. Own Your name and address. Bartenders smiled influence the back match. The short dude smile back at him and try it again to make his mouth work. Crews. Calls. You! There was simply too much money too much cash too much to count too much to account for. At the end of another successful night at his new club studio, Fifty four CO owner and master of ceremonies extraordinaire Steve rebel used to collect all the cash big plastic trash bag. He'd stash it in a safe. Hide it in the ceiling, squirrel hundreds of thousands of dollars of it away in his upper east side apartment. He'd flaunt it. He'd stuff into the insides of his puffy winter jacket in Rome the bowels of the studio, handing it out to unsuspecting club goers. He'd said an extra trash bag full of cash aside in his office and let his new friend Andy. Warhol over and just play with it, and he loved cash, but most of all Steve rebel on his business partner in Schrager would skim it. Off The top of the nightly take illegally skimming cash was always part of the plan going all the way back to opening night. April Twenty six, nineteen, seventy, seven to fifty, four West Fifty Fourth Street the I guess to show up at the opening of studio. Fifty four were ushered in with little fanfare. Near empty. The new club in old converted CBS television studio seemed cavernous cold. The guests, one of whom was an ambitious coming real estate tycoon from Queens Donald Trump in his new wife Ivana fresh from dinner at lanes to see what all the hype was about. We're not impressed, but that would soon change shortly the close to fill up round. Filled up fast. They came pouring in through the front door side door, the back exit, ten to be open to accommodate the surging crowd inside months of smart publicity, well-placed notices in local papers perfectly timed tip off the celebrity handlers in organic word of mouth throughout the disco scene, created a swell of anticipation for the new club in an hour, or so after its official opening. That's well at crash down upon studio fifty four. Share made see people freaked out. She and actress, Margot. Hit The empty dance floor before anyone else and just went for it. Strategically placed photographers from local rags started snapping picks of basically the only thing that was happening at the club up to that point to celebrities dancing. Norm soon join them, and it was cool this mixing of class status. It was compelling. More people joined on the dance floor Brooke Shields not yet. A teenager brought there by British. Journalist Robin Leach was one of them Michael Jackson showed up accompanied by Diana Ross. Both of whom were in town, filming the Wiz. cogs photograph the music calls deep deep bass from the state of the art. Sound system got to give it up by Marvin Gaye I feel love by Donna Summer Sir Duke by stevie wonder sheiks everybody dance. The music was contagious us so as the dancing vibe was real right? The dance floor was hot, sticky fork. self-consciousness wasn't an option, abandoned visceral in fun filled room, liberation men, dancing with men women, dancing with whoever they wanted. Unencumbered bartenders young cut something shirtless, clad, nothing type gym shorts and Tennessee hustled the craft for tips. Celebrities mingled with Yorkers in off the street. No one busted the VIBE or the groove. It was almost innocent for New York minute anyway. Inside the sudden there were a thousand people and there were another thousand people trying to get in. Outside on fifty four th street, the crowd ballooned. Steve Rebels stood on a fire hydrant next to his head of club security in Cherry picked WANNA be discourse from the sidewalk for entry into his own private theatrical production. Choosing lucky entrance into his suddenly exclusive club was like he would say casting A. Like Groto Marx's famous line that he wouldn't want to be part of any club that would have him as a member. Steve rebel knew what kind of people should get in. And Ironically he joked that studio fifty four club goers shouldn't look anything like himself Schlumpy Short unimpressive, outer borough, bridge and tunnel a phrase he invented. Despite his self perceived shortcomings. Steve rebel had a keen for glamour, not celebrity necessarily, but physical beauty vitality charisma individualism. The scrawny boy from Brooklyn, with the pockmarked face had found a loophole grudges joke. He wasn't just a member of the club. He owned the club, and so he ruled like a little Napoleon that he was casting his embittered glamorous spell with a new kind of magic wand of his own invention, the original velvet rope. The velvet rope connecting on Stanton's was first deployed outside studio, fifty, four, his entrance to keep the prostitutes working times square out from under the marquee away from the customers, but with the swelling crowds looking to gain entrance the club. It quickly became a tool to keep the crowd at bay, clearly dividing those who had it from those who didn't. The velvet rope empowered. Steve to keep anyone who looked like him out. Stephen started from the bottom now he made it. He was special in his club was only for the special people and he was GonNa, Make Damn sure. He only person like himself inside. Outside the studio on opening night while Steve Cass club goers, the crowd spilled into the street in completely blocked traffic sirens wailed beat cop shook their heads in disgust. Prostitutes wondered what in the hell was happening to the neighborhood. WHAT AN HIM WARREN! Beatty tried unsuccessfully to get in, so did Henry Winkler the FONZ was shit Outta luck words spread around the excited crowd that Frank Sinatra was circling in a limo, his people trying to devise a quick entrance. And there was a doctor in the crowd who like the people around him have been trying without any luck to get in soon. He figured that if no party was to be had inside, and there was a party to be had out on the sidewalk about thirty or so ways of people back from the studios entrance. He pulled them in. Is Jer size container of Quail Woods from his Co. pocket and began passing them out to everyone around him. About twenty minutes later, the pills kicked in and so too did the pent up sexual tension in the good doctor's immediate vicinity. streetside or kicked up amongst the fully looted crowd, surrounding the doctor sex in the street on opening night, because why not? Because it was something to do because it was studio fifty. The next day Steve rebel was ecstatic. The opening was a smash it all beset so right there on the cover of the Goddamn New York Post with its front page coverage of the clubs first night complete with a photo of share, the studio rebel work. The phones called everyone. He knew to let them know what a success. The opening was his business partner. Ian Schrager work the books in attorney with a sharp mind for business calculated skin the cut for him Stephen. His other partner Jack Shea off the gross from the door. The bars check cigarette. Concessions was not an insignificant number. Business was about to go boom. Steve took a call. It was international fashion designer Halston. He'd read about the studio in the morning paper and wanted to know if he could throw a birthday party for the soon to be ex Mrs Mick Jagger Bianca Jagger at Steve's new club. Of course Steve exclaimed, he quickly made arrangements with Halston. Deadpan to his business partner. In Bianca Jagger is throwing a birthday party here. We need a horse. We'll be right back after this word word were. An it career at Gd, it means owning the opportunity to play a crucial role in transforming how agencies operate join. For challenging and impactful work that advances your career apply now at. Dot Com slash careers. ged's equal opportunity employer and Support for disgracing and comes from our friends at rocket mortgage by quicken loans. Home today is so much more than it was yesterday, but rocket mortgage home is still about you. During these challenging times we are all experiencing a top priority at rocket mortgage does the health and safety of the communities they serve a while. Things are changing quickly every day. One thing that will never change is their teams commitment to giving you the best mortgage experience possible. That's why if you need mortgage support. Their team of experts is there to answer questions and offer solutions. They understand that hardships happen and they're here. Here to help whether that means working with you to save money on your mortgage or finding a new way to navigate payments. If you have questions, the team rocket mortgage has answers. They know how important your home is to you because you are important to them. If you need mortgage assistance, the home loan experts at rocket mortgage bill would help twenty four hours a day seven days a week from their home to yours. The team rocket mortgage is with you. Visit rocket mortgage dot com slash graceland to learn more. Call for cost, information and conditions equal housing lender licensed in all fifty states and MLS, consumer, access, Dot, org number, three, zero, three zero. Mark Banke Studio. Fifty four's doorman and had security couldn't believe what he was seeing. They're cutting through the nightly massive wannabe studio. Fifty four entrance lined up assembled on the other side of the velvet rope on fifty fourth street were two women naked women on horses, riding horses through the crowd up to the velvet rope in hopes of getting by Steve Rebel gaining entry into the studio. The women like everyone else in the world had read about Bianca Jagger's Party at the studio in the papers Bianca was photographed riding into the club into her party on the back of beautiful white. Horse Steve had arranged. So these two women figured they could one up. Bianca not only mount horses, but the naked and be so over the top. They would be guaranteed entrance. Steve rebel took one look at them. They were bridge and tunnel. All the way Steve told in their horses come in, but they couldn't take their naked ss back home to Bay Ridge wherever the fuck. And that's exactly what happened. Next Steve rebel, vicious door, demeaning wannabe customers right to their faces insulting their appearance fashion choices through cloud. It made for Cultus exclusively. Steve made sure the qualifications for getting inside. Remain hard to pin down. It wasn't just novelty here Camper Glamour. Originality Authenticity. Disco Sally Widowed Septuagenarian born in one, thousand, nine, hundred, who still had the craziest moves on the dance floor, role arena staple Greenwich Village and the club scene, who is never spotted without her trademark, skates on inside the club stockbrokers, blowing off steam, coming out to party and drag and mingling with Drag Queen Royalty divine who could be seen Yukking it up with John. For All the access inside the club. Steve had an eye for balance keeping the blend of crazy characters, celebrities and regular club doors just right like a secret recipe. Studio fifty four eccentric regulars in velvet rope policy became legend. Man Mark Benecke regularly exchanged entrance for sex. The shot of superego adrenaline Steve from ruling over the crowd was better than sex Steve and callous and mean to his customers outside, but inside he took care of guests, especially, his celebrity guests showering them with drugs. Alcohol gifts it elaborate parties. Whether it was New Year's Eve or Halloween Bianca Jagger. Is Birthday are Andy Warhol's? The parties at the studio were not to be taught. Magic rain from the ceiling whether it took the form of a literal ton of glitter. Gift Fox's full of designer fashion. Dolly Parton held an after party at the club with live far maps. One Halloween party featured peep show. We're inside. Little people perform everyday scenes. Another birthday was circus-themed costs these provided by legendary Italian. Federico Fellini. Celebrities flocked. Liza Minelli Andy Warhol Truman Capote's New Yorkers. All adopted. The club is the regular and there were more selection of course Robert Deniro Co. mingled with his native New Yorkers and hit out for rats. Bruce springsteen traded blue collar credentials for the highlife Andre the giant. People Literally Mick Jagger Gabor with Bianca and found a new love Texas model Jerry Hall Keith Richards found his future wife as well. Another model Patti Hansen Steven Tyler to know Michael Jackson Michael Jackson. Get to know Brooke Shields John Travolta got with semester stallone. Grace Jones get naked a lot? Despite the velvet rope politics studio fifty four on the inside like disco culture was about inclusivity celebrities, working stiffs, stockbrokers, firemen, whoever it didn't matter as long as you were interesting, and had something to offer young old gay straight drag trans. You're welcome provided. He could get inside where you granted access to a never ending Shangri la freaks, Weirdos and For even the most stigmatized members of society can rub shoulders among other body parts with high. Society Shining Stars. New York's underground queer community was at home studio fifty four in a way that no suburban commuters could ever be because the squares imaginations just weren't big enough, but in this nighttime sanity fifty fourth, the shadowy corners of the outside world like bus station, glory holes became the main attraction in the club balcony. Rubber lined for convenience. Easy cleanup that preheated the moment sex axe that was upstairs. Upstairs the balcony at studio fifty four was for sure for blowjobs. But if you looking for something more, there were mattresses in the basement. grimy filthy mattresses strewn upon the dingy basement floor studio, fifty four for those who just need to talk. The basement was sort of the unofficial backstage where pretty much anything was allowed as if the open sex and blatant drug use going on upstairs wasn't hedonistic. Enough downstairs was worthy truly debauch got. To gain access to the basement he needed to be somebody in Steve needed to believe somebody and worthy of his attention and his drugs cocaine. Quaid lose lots and lots of cocaine in quail, lose A trusted bartenders security member would lead you behind one of the main rooms bars. There was a secret door. It would open, and you'd be guided down a dark dingy stairway into a darker expanse. Instantly you transcended from blitz crowd, a concrete floor, low ceiling, sticky steamed furniture randomly placed amongst old set props venues. Past is as a television studio. There was little light, the throbbed the massive subs upstairs propelling those on the dance floor. Motion, through you, hear murmurs, random fits funhouse mirror, laughter, midst bottles, being popped and blow of me hoover. Debbie Harry grabbing the ear Andy Warhol Truman Capote sprawled out on a sofa in his bathrobe, champagne bottle, dangling from his hand Margaret Trudeau Linda Ronstadt hanging off of so Brian. O'Neal sweating, subterranean sex, appeal and Steve rebel hanging off of his every word in the mattresses, there were set off to the side makeshift cubicles for privacy. If the drugs allowed and if the blow didn't blow your top. News didn't cut down sized to steal away for quick robbed. During the daytime, the basement was largely avoided by studio, Fifty four staff, but one morning avoiding the effects of last night's party was no longer option. The smell was too much too strong. The doorman and money counters could barely go about their business. They swore a stray animal. I climbed in and got trapped. The scent of rot was seeping in through the air vents. Reluctantly, Steve had the air vents inspected. What they found was rattling inside the basement ceiling air vents a dead man. Shunned from the Velvet Robe too many times to count. He Dawn, his tux decided to sneak in studio, fifty four through the air vent, something jammed among who knew how long you've been trapped in there screaming in horror, competing with the blasting music, the funhouse, laughter, and the constant Ecstatic Din and of hedonism. He was dressed to the nines dressed for the Party a party. He'd never attend dead in the Air van. Steve Freeze the sigh of relief. The Air van, not the DRYWALL, no need for the sledgehammers, no need for poking around and potentially exposing what was hidden near feet from the dead man in the ceiling rows and rows of cash, the skim hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden away from the irs right there in the rafters and crawlspaces studio fifty four. Fuck Up. It was New Year's eve disco hitmaker now Rogers and his sheep. Bam Aide Bernard Edwards! Threaten House apartment. A couple blocks away from the studio. Fifty four fucking around the Tars, totally dejected angry. Doorman Mark Benecke for not letting them by the velvet rope into the studios much-hyped tighly exclusive. New Year's Eve party. To make matters worse Nyland Bernard just going to the club party, they were going on business to me with Grace Jones. Discuss producing next album so in effect there were standing her up and fucking business in the process. They banged under. Qatar is in between chugs of warm champagne street from the bottom. Fuck, up. They were messing around channeling their anger. Benecke at seaview ballots studio. Fifty four house disco built while disco music was being built part by now and Bernard. Fuck off the more they played more became clear that the sound of what they're messing around with was actually sounding pretty good. As, they dug in fuck off soon, organically morphed into. Freak. OUT FREAKOUT! Just like that Sheikh created a disco anthem. Born out of studio fifty four is ridiculous exclusivity. She's the freak. Go on to sell seven million copies and hit number one on the billboard hot one hundred. The first song to hit number one three different times over its lifespan twenty five total weeks on the chart. Now Rogers and mark. Benecke are now friends. No doubt because marks actions led to the creation of sheets massive hit in part the success of the three let's now rogers becoming an in demand producer and a working with Madonna David Bowie not to mention the untold millions of dollars. The track generated for songwriters. And the millions were stacking up elsewhere as well in an interview in New York magazine in Nineteen Seventy, seven on the success of Studio Fifty Four. Steve Rebel told the magazine. Only the Mafia does better that set off alarms at IRAS headquarters. Clearly rebel was joking about the amount of money. The club was making jokes must've been rooted in some sort of truth. Everyone knew especially IRS agents. How notorious the nightclub business was for skimming! It was a cash business, so it was easy. Skim money off the top of the nightly take not reported to the federal government, and thus not pay taxes in business taxes in nineteen, seventy, seven or a robust forty eight percent. The. IRS suspected rebel was screwing uncle of serious coin. So they got to work, rumor was the IRS had a plant a snitch. A disgruntled employee irregular someone disrespected angered by Steve rebel. Someone Steve Treated like. Either dress down in front of others kicked out of the club, but more than likely refused to let pass the velvet rope. Didn't matter either way. The SNITCH was pissed anger to being treated like Shit. And, so he told the IRS everything he knew. The drugs mouse cocaine endless supply of quite lose. Steve kept it in his office, kept the hidden away in various spots around the club kept drugs on, and especially when he had his big frumpy winter coat on, then he was definitely holding in more than drugs. The coat was big enough to stash stacks of cash as well cash Steve would hand out to friends warhol's especially, but would also used to bring back to his eastside apartment where worry at close to nine hundred grand in small bills ensconced in a safe. Ian Schrager sees business partner was rumored to be driving around the city with four hundred grand cash in his trump in manage the nightly. Take it most who worked at studio fifty four new every night at midnight, the receipts and the cash registers switched. The Cash Register receipts from the earlier part of winning would account for one set of financial books and the Cash Register receipts from the Second Party. Would account for a second set of financial trump's two sets of books. The Ian Schrager kept the take euless records. When Federal Is Rated Studio fifty four in the morning of December fourteenth, nineteen seventy eight. The book stay on Earth in the raid made clear to them that on average Steve rebel Ian Schrager were skimming about seventy thousand dollars a night over the course of a year and a half all in they take two point five million dollars, the top into their pockets tax free in addition to seizing records, ages also sees trash bags filled with cash from the basement and five ounces of cocaine. Steve rebel was arrested that day. He Andy and hired High Profile Attorney Roy Cohn a bowl of lawyer former attack dog for the red. Baiting disgraced Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy in future mentor to the aforementioned Queens. Real Estate Developer in future President Donald J trump Roy Cohn did not fuck around. He dug in began to fight for IAN and Steve Steve Rebel perhaps inspired by Roy Cohen's notoriously aggressive tactics with the press in his most egregious active hubris decided it was a good public relations strategy to accuse White House Chief of Staff Hamilton Jordan of using cocaine in the basement of the studio earlier that year. That, about sealed Steve the fate, the Hubris the elitism the success Steve Ian, studio fifty four, the high profile crime in court case where in the papers almost every day by the time, the Sun came up on the Party of the Nineteen Seventies New Yorkers Americans frankly they were pissed off and tired of the elitist bullshit. Celebrities embezzlement designer drugs. These were High Society East. Coast League problems for a culture that was bending toward Ronald. Reagan conservatism in an idealized regressive notion of what America should be. It was shot and Freud when the judge gave. Steve rebel and Ian Schrager three and a half years in federal prison for corporate and personal tax evasion, a sentence that was ultimately reduced due to the duo's participation in helping the government convict four other New, York, city club owners, competitors studio fifty four. What A SWELL COUPLE OF GUYS! The studio remained open under new management and eventually new ownership. When Stephen Ian went to jail in nineteen eighty, but effectively with their departure and the turn of the decade, the party was over. Disco began with the spirit of inclusiveness, a music and culture that encouraged in celebrated individuality, a culture that was welcoming no matter where you came from or what your identity was male female Gay Straight Trans Drag Rich, poor young old. It didn't matter. You were welcomed so long as you were welcoming yourself. Studio fifty four embodied the spirit of disco and a lot of ways, but not for everyone that was the irony. Steve Rebels, exclusive velvet rope policy smacks of Elitism, and led to not only the demise of studio, fifty four, but of disco as dominant cultural forests as well. Nineteen nine July a loft in downtown Manhattan the remnants of a dinner party turn cocaine pre-game turn night out at the club with more coke turned after party back the loft for it all started with more lines grass to take the edge off. Early morning. Hanging out semi famous DJ's stockbrokers. A street artists in Grace Jones still naked a decade plus days at Studio Fifty four smoking at joint in the corner. It's a relatively chill seeing despite the better part of the evening being in the rear view too high to go home too tired to do much of anything, but wait on the son. Steve rebel is sitting alone on the SOFA, he's frail. Ten years removed from his heyday studio, fifty four his life since a prison term acquit career resurgence upon his in Ian Schrager is release. New Clubs and hotel ventures, and then the Gut Punch reality, AIDS. Steve was positive HIV. And on that night the night he effectively escaped Beth Israel Medical Center. Party he looked like death, knowing that the writing was on the law, then he only had a few days left to live Stephen. been drinking heavily in taking whatever drugs were put in front of. And now the coughing wouldn't stop much to the annoyance of the other guests in the Loft Steve Knew in Steve knew he had to get back to the hospital through the fits of coughing, he tried to make the dial on the rotary phone work, but no luck. Whenever, he gets bony, little finger into the hole, the spin the dial he'd start coughing again, violently ended up to start all over the coughs, worst thunderous, despite coming from such a frail man in seemingly endless and driving the others in the loft distraction to annoyance. Steve tried to dial again more coughing. No dice again more cops. Steve's hacking was now drowning out, not only the conversation, but the music coming with Stereo. Soon, he was likely to start waking the neighbors. Something had to be done. The owner of life took it upon himself. Let Steve Rebel No. He wasn't welcome. I'm Jay Brennan. And this is disgraced land. This, episode graceland its musical score in theme song written by. Co Writing and writing assistance by Seth, Lundy and Taylor Benson. This graceland is mixed and engineered by Sean Ceylan, who also assists with the musical scored additional music and score elements by Ryan spreaker additional music services by BRYCE CANCER ARE AD. Music was composed by e Kennedy Story in copy editing I pat healy disgrace that is produced by myself for double. Elvis in partnership with iheartradio sources for this episode are available on my website as are the services for all episodes. That's www dot, disgrace, land, pot, dot, com. That's where you can find all information on this graceland and. And if you like, you just heard. Please be sure to subscribe to you. Disgrace San on apple podcasts iheartradio APP or wherever you get your podcasts, and if you'd like to win a free graceland poster, then leave a review for disgrace. That on Apple, podcasts or Hashtag subscribe to Graceland on social. Media and we'll pick two winners each week and announce them on the double Elvis instagram page that's at double elvis going to want to give that a follow talked me on instagram and twitter at Graceland pod and find us at facebook dot com slash disgrace land pod. Rock and roll. Some. PODCASTS are light, fun and fluffy. My podcast isn't. I mean unless you think a podcast about a teenager. Picking up dead bodies for living is and fluffy. I'll you this much? Growing up in a funeral home is killing me. My name is grant, and these are my funeral home. Stories listen to season three of my funeral home stories on the iheartradio APP on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. 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