Dance, Dance, Dance
From workhouse connect in. Aj Benza vein. he likes to be walked on a leash and play really dirty. Kinky sex tapes is the GUY. Put the COP in the peacock network. Okay Bitch Hey everybody. Aj Benzene here with fame bitch. This is your podcast for Monday. May Twenty four th twenty. Twenty free podcast. I may not these free podcasts. Down twice a week. I got a Lotta Shit to do lots of stuff. I've gotta right. I got some information about the movie I wrote screenplay I wrote that is interested in perhaps and I've got a free up some time. I'm not gonNA take away from the Patriot folks but I may have slice down to free podcasts. To Day or two a week we will see. But that's what I'm mulling over. But don't worry 'cause if you like what you hear it's so simple to go to patriot dot com forward slash fame as bitch and you get me every day and you guys have been doing it a lot lately so keep it up. I swear to you today show is great. I've got recollections of my dead friend Chico my best friend who was his birthday yesterday May twenty four. I found a poem of his that I read. That has a lot to do with the way. His life went really interesting stuff pointing and stuff. I think you'd like it and you don't enjoy the other day talking about studio fifty four because this is right around the time back in the seventy seventy seven where studio fifty four opened and it started to really pick up a month or so after it opened. It wasn't a smash hit the first night so it it opened April. Twenty six seventy seven. I thought I'd tell you a few more stories now. Seems a good time to bring that out It took about three weeks for studio fifty four to be you know who the dominant club it. It became so after I told that story last week about now's Rogers and writing the Song Freak Out. It made me think of a few more stories that some of you may not know about the club which had a run like no other club in history. I don't care what fucking city living. A lot of people think it must have been around forever studio fifty four because of all the stories and all the documentaries and the movie in the books but not It was open thirty three and a half months. That was it thirty three and a half months before the owners. Ian Schrager and Steve Rebel got taken down by the feds and the whole Party came to a crashing end. But before that happened. Oh my God this stories. The stories are still being talked about some forty years later. Andy Warhol a one said that the key of the success of studio fifty four was that it was a dictator ship at the door but a democracy on the dance floor. Can what a great observation? Steve rebel the velvet ropes with an. I insist to get the perfect blend of guests for his nightly party. He would stand outside either on a step stool or on a small fire hydrant. That was right outside the club and he would decide who would get inside the club. It was very heartless you know it was. The guy seemed like a deranged ruler at times. Plus he was always coked out but during those thirty three months he was without a doubt the most powerful man and all New York City. The mayor and the governor didn't have shit on him and he looked at it like he was always mixing a salad or or casting a play and I've sat in the past with the doormen dot former doorman. Mark Benecke. Who was then in nineteen year old? College can imagine that job. And a guy named Richie. No Dr Ho since you know. Since those days they've always been infamous wherever they worked after that wherever they went they were. They're always known for that and mark once told me that you know you look outside. You'd have a kid who worked at McDonald's next this some movie star or some superstar model and none of it mattered. What did matter was that they had to be dressed in a festive way. They had to be interesting. You have to have higher energy. All they had to be great dancers you know they. They had to show their wares outside even socialites celebrities models they had to bring something to the table and the door code played upon the fundamental human quirk of desperately. Wanting what somebody can't have you know the fact that it was tough to get intimate. Everybody wanted even more. Those who were turned away used to come back night after night. They changed their outfits. They changed their hands styles. They changed the people they went with some tried to. You know. Put money in the palms of the guys work in the door to the tune of thousands of dollars and both. Those guys told me that you know at times. They turn down thousands of dollars in tips. Because Steve rebel found out they would have been fired on the spot. And that was the best job in Manhattan at that time. The Doorman at Studio Fifty Four. Forget it the drugs to see the influence the power nothing match that although both guys told me once they learned the ropes and things were kind of less strict. They figured out a way to have their palms grease without being too obvious. Can you imagine? Can you imagine if there was pay pal or then Mo back then? Oh my God could have retired on those tips. And when I was hanging around with my buddy johnny actually when I was hanging around with Jay. Barrymore trues Mont. She was a regular. She told me people would. Sometimes they would do anything to outdo the other person so that they could be pointed to get in and that included having sex standing up right there in st and sometimes it was two strangers who didn't even know each other there so desperate to get in that they would agree to do it if it meant getting in one. Halloween two girls took out a five hundred dollar loan to rent a horse which they then rode nude to the velvet ropes. They they were addressed nude blog as to lady. Godiva is and you want to hear some great. The horse was granted entry. The women were not. They walked away crying. Could you imagine they let a fucking whore in but the chicks had to go go? So a lot of people steve rebel and his army of doormen and the balances appeared to be you know. Dick's to a lot of but it was. Never a personal. Steve rebel had certain criteria. But he knew that if he wasn't the owner he wouldn't be allowed in either and the amount of rejection got so bad that they were club employees. They had a job that they they would have to go strip nearby garbage cans of all the bottles and cans so that there was less of a chance for people being turned away for grabbing. Something out of the garbage can and throwing shit while they were rejected. Because it happened and Mark Benecke. Houston needed an escort back to his apartment and as the night wore on the people outside got more drunk they got more high and there were times when some regulars who believe in would get show and beat up at a jealousy one desperate guy once tried to literally crash the VIP entrance in his oldsmobile. A car whizzed by and guy in the driver's seat yelled out. Hey asshole and he pointed a rifle at one of the guys work in the club another time. Some club employees began to pile out the back of the club in the early morning hours. And somebody did pull the trigger. Shoot at them next thing you know. They're flying under cars trying to stay alive and You know some disgruntled guys were waiting in their car across the street with loaded guns unbelievable so it was that kind of place and like I said the club's popularity it started out. Slow wasn't really big from the first night but things got cracking when Steve rebel. Got This phone call from the fashion designer. Halston early morning in the phone rings and Halston You know this is big time because Steve rebel at this point wasn't known by anybody. Halston wanted to have a birthday party for Bianca Jagger on a Monday and that's when the club was closed like a lot of venues clubs closed on Mondays. It's dark night. What's the rebels said fucked out? We're GONNA make an exception. So he went all out. He knew this is it this is GonNa make or break. The club If a party for Bianca Jagger was thrown the right way then they knew they were on their way so he called everybody he knew a New York to come and help them blow up hundreds of white balloons and he sends somebody to the stables for a horse right. Now this is this is an early. May and Bianca Jagger celebrated in grand style. She was very over the top and Halston had about one hundred and five hundred and fifty people who were there but these were considered the best people from Mikhail Baryshnikov. Jacqueline beset Everybody who was anybody. Steve rebel asked one of his beefy bartenders to put on a diaper and pop out of this giant birthday cake but the highlight of the night occurred right around midnight. Have Studio Fifty Four. Had this big half moon that would be up in the rafters and at a certain time it would come down. It wasn't just a half moon. It was a half moon that also had a spoon and giants spoon of cocaine would go up the half. The the band's facing the Moon so whenever the half moon did a bump of cocaine everybody in the club took out their coke and didn't at the same time Nobody was hiding in the men's room. Ladies Room getting high they all did it right out in the open. So he's got all these fancy people come into club. He asked the bodyguard diaper around midnight and around that he has this beautiful white horse was led out from behind the stage curtain by this nude couple and the couple of slathered and paint and sparkles and glitter and Bianca Jagger cakes place next to the horse which tries out onto the dance floor and tons of people taking pictures photographers so thrilled. Everybody's blinded by the flashbulbs and that stunt was one of the most effective stunts in the history of club publicity because photos of Bianca Jagger on horseback were appearing in every paper around the world. And then it just snowballed from there And that got everything role and in fact the photos also gave birth to this myth that still around today That Bianca jacker actually rode into the club on the horse. But she didn't. That was the story with the two girls who address this lady. Godiva but Bianca Jagger is tried to correct that myth forever even as late as four years ago. Because she's a real staunch animal activists. Who would never do that? She even wrote open letters to the Financial Times and Shit like that saying I'm an environmentalist. An animal rights defender. I find the insinuation that I would ride a horse into a nightclub offensive blah blah blah. But after that night the club got so hot that some people would resort to anything ticket in if they were turned down the door. I knew a guy in New York City. During those years he was a sometime source of mine. His name was Baird Jones. He passed away about ten years ago and Baird was an infamous New York City character. He was a party promoter. A photographer and author A Rich Kid you know trust fund kid is Father Edited Time Magazine and Founded People magazine. So you can imagine and life was just one big party for and he was friends with that dwarf actor Mike Anderson from twin peaks and Baird really pushed the limits having been in studio fifty four for years. He began to throw parties. When I was in New York. Trying to resurrect that kind of attitude toward party throw party throwing and he started parties that featured dwarf tossing and midget bowling. He may have seen this shit on the news and it got tons of press and then it got the attention of the Governor Mario Cuomo then they signed legislation and it was banned before really caught on but it was a big thing for a while and he had great studio fifty four stores. He told me. Some friends once climbed down from the building next door in full mountain climbing gear. Ropes tied around their fucking shoulders. You know scaling of building and they were trying to get into the courtyard next fifty four or right into and they they got tangled in the barbed wire and they fell to the cement pave in which is about ten feet below. One Guy got really fucked up needed a stretch. Her One guy broke his wrist and broke his neck but he was still thrilled that when he looked up he knew he made it inside the courtyard. That was everything to win at one guy was less lucky. One Guy got stuck in the vent trying to get in from the roof and people's they didn't know that until people said they smelled like a fucking dead cat had died and his body was eventually found in the in the ducks he was in black tie. I mean there's people try to anything so studio did so many amazing things over the top things that there are a lot of club on his my age. Who just missed the fifty four era like I did but when they opened their clubs and restaurants in the late eighties and nineties they did things to emulate Steve Rebellion Schrager. There was this one restaurant called castle of FEM. Always doing fun. Shit these guys Manhattan Ebrahim One time they hung gauze from the ceiling and it draped around the actually. Did that a lot. It is beautiful. Dog would be draped from the ceiling and it would be go around the booths and create these intimate little spots for people to separate them from the commoners. Who might be there so to speak? Just enough privacy for some people to partake in drugs or sex one night. They had a truck porn twenty tons of sand onto the restaurants floor so that there was no floor was just like you're walking in a desert another time. They laid down Saad for a week. You went to the restaurant you walked on. Saad. I mean both. Those ideas came from studio fifty. Four Stephen Ian would spend thousands of dollars for just one night a one night only production would cost thousands. I mean they've put Broadway shows to shame the shit that dead set decorators who work in Hollywood work there and you know they do this magnificent stuff and the very next night given all be gone like one night to design a car. Lagerfeld held a Candlelit Eighteenth Century Party with the staff in courtrooms and powdered wigs. Elizabeth Taylor's birthday had a performance by the rock cats while she watched sitting on a float of Gardenias for Valentine's Day studio fifty four was transformed into a garden. Flowerbeds picket fencing and a group of people playing the Harps Jean Carlos GM Eddie. He threw a circus team. Birthday Party for purrs business partner. Valentino the designer data circus ring with sand and mermaids on Trapeze Federico Fellini. The Great Italian direct gave them costumes from his film. The clowns I mean closure. Fuck does that anymore. And one of the most memorable parties ever was held in honor of Dolly Parton and she was visited New York City because she had some concert dates in seventy eight and Steve rebel created a like a farm setting to help her feel more at home and they had haystacks and horses and donkeys and mules running around the club. They got the animals from some fauna dental. They had big wine barrels. Still corn farm wagons filled with. Hey even chicken pen. I can only think what those animals felt like hearing that music blasting but turned out dolly was really freaked out by it and freaked out by how many people showed up and she never had a studio fifty four experience and she was real nervous about the whole thing. She went up to the balcony and sat there for a while and she just wasn't comfortable should never good time at our own party. But there was a big part of the same year July celebrating the release of the movie grease with Travolta and Olivia Newton John rebel schrager recreated the whole movies retro set. You walked in and there was a bunch of hallways with nothing but lockers. High School lockers on both sides. And then you went into the main part of the club and he had all these convertible cars from the fifties. There was an auto museum. They found some place in Jersey and they agreed to bring the cars up. So then these six or seven big Fin. Classic cars were parked on the dance floor but a few minutes before the party started in the club. Open the fire marshal came in and they said you can't have this. The cars haven't been drained of Gasoline so each vehicle had to be taken to the street where they emptied the tanks and then pushed back in by hand. Those things too. I WANNA say a ton. They weighed probably two tons and the party would offer that a hitch. There was one incident that was nineteen fifty Chevy convertible that got a bit trash because people climbed in and burn the seats. Selah at the end up paying for new seats but the party was wild. And you know life went on but I'll always remember the stories. My Buddy Johnny boy told me about fifty four. Johnny boy was the friend who only missed five nights out of the thirty three and a half months and he took me to studio fifty four on New Year's Eve in the year two thousand. They opened it up for a special party. He wanted to show me the place so he can walk me through all the crazy no nooks and crannies to see what his sex was had and the drugs were done and I always heard about sex cubicles in the basement or the rubber room and the balcony. Once you found yourself inside that there are there hollowed ground. Once you're in the hallowed grounds at studio fifty four the next place. You wanted to go. Once you're in. There was the basement. It was a cavernous dingy. Really unglamorous space decorated with damage banquets and pillars and all carpets rolled up set pieces from all the parties. Were there just like a storage room but gigantic and it was down. There were a privileged. Few would be invited to indulge in their wildest desires. A lot of celebrities went down to the basement security guys with walkie-talkies to patrol the area and they would just remove the uninvited people they would mess with the celebs the rich people and you know there was secluded areas. Whether were mattresses thrown down king size mattresses which were replaced every week and that became a popular place to go down. Get High and fuck on. I mean right out in the open. The other area was the balcony. Johnny took me up there. The balcony was a pulse. It in rubber because it was just easier to clean. You can imagine what they had to clean up a lot of common. A lot of coke you could easily wipe that down with one. You Know One. Swing of a sponge. Maybe some squirt clorox to but you know easy peasy. There was even something above the rubber room beyond secretive up. There where you know the made real big shots that God's could go up there and engage in any chosen vice high above the dancers and like I said the common folk. It was a place of secrets secretions. Let's put it that way Lot of sucking snorting dawn on if you know what I mean. But the thing that was the downfall of studio fifty four was not the drugs and the sex. It was the accounting. It always comes down to the accounting. Not The sex and drug in nineteen seventy seven. The club made millions but it reported it paid eight thousand taxes. You can't do that. I mean skimming was a standard practice in the world of restaurants and nightclubs who were making money hand over fist but that was an insane unrealistic level of lying and cheating on taxes. See like I said. Greed is always what sucks things up and each morning. Massive portions of the previous night's take would be stuffed in garbage cans and it would be hidden above ceiling panels or would be smuggled back to rebels apartment and and concealed in hidden compartments around his place in one day. Rebel who is probably still high for the night before he got cocky and he was joking to a radio host that with the IRS doesn't know won't hurt him and then he started bragging to New York magazine. Only mafia makes more money than we do. Can't say shit like that. I made the same mistake on Howard. Stern one time saying how easy it was for me to go to Cuba illegally. Three times next thing. I know I got the Treasury Department up my ass threaten to lock me up finding me ten thousand dollars in stopping me from visiting Cuba again but rebel had so much money he thought he was unstoppable for Andy. Warhol's Fiftieth Birthday in seventy eight. He gave Andy a roll of five thousand free drink tickets and a big silver garbage cans filled with thousands of dollars worth of Chris. New Dollar Bills Warhol said it was the best present he ever got but then it caused tension years later when the IRS raided rebels office and they found out his financial records show that the garbage can only had eight hundred dollars and then actually pissed warhol off he thought God damn I knew I should accounted that shit but you know only. They knew they were going to get locked up rebellion Schrager when they knew they threw a gigantic star studded farewell party before they were sent off to prison it was a big thing in New York because the IRS raided fifty four December fourteenth nineteen seventy eight and they walk down there. There's pictures on the Internet garbage cans full of cash full of financial documents. Five ounces of cocaine which is nothing but Stevens and were arrested and accused of skimming two and a half million dollars in club earnings that November. They pled guilty to two counts of corporate and personal income tax evasion and the judge shocked the court by giving them the maximum penalty three and a half years in prison and twenty thousand dollars in fines the following February just before they would do to to serve their time they throw one last bash and they call it the end of Modern Day Amora and the final blow out was intimate compared to most other nights just two thousand of studio fifty. Most famous faithful people showed up. Richard Gere Halston Reggie Jackson Andy Warhol Lorna Love Sylvester Stallone Diana Ross. She sang for the deejay booth. Liza minelli Say New York New York Steve Rebels walking around with Sinatra for. You know singing my way which they've played on repeat over and over again as they did with. Gloria Gaynor's song the anthem. I will survive and from a mechanical platform high above the dance floor. Steve rebel addressed his guests with a very emotional speech. He was poked out of his mind. Obviously Bianca Jagger hugging him. And he's saying I love you people. I don't know what I'm GONNA do without studio. And everybody was crying and weeping and the New York Post columnist named Jack. Martin found rebel in the early morning hours and it was all spaced out and fucked up and he accepted what was going to happen to them. It was a very sad going away party but you know they still were laughing and having fun they were actually all together until he took a car to go home and meet the authorities and only then was the party officially over. And I don't care what you've done and where you've gone and what you've seen in Europe since then I've seen a lot. Nothing was like those nights at Studio Fifty Four. I'm AJ broadcast for May Twenty Fifth Twenty. Twenty I'll talk to you tomorrow. Thank you for listening famous. A bitch is an AJ Benza. House connect production featuring the endless wisdom insightful commentary in sometimes fucked up perspective of AJ Benza executive producer. Mike Agostino technical producer Brian Vasquez.