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Studio 54 Book

In the history of nightlife hotspots, there are only a few whose name alone will suffice to conjure a world. The Moulin Rouge. The Cotton Club. CBGB's, London's Blitz. And of course, the most legendary haunt of all, Studio 54. Opened by Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell in 1977, the midtown New York City hangout served, for an all-too-brief three years, as the clubhouse for the glammest of the glam. Andy Warhol, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger, Elton John and Liza Minnelli were among the nightclub's regulars. And so too were Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti, who made sure to take in the club's hedonistic disco scene whenever they were in New York.


Remarkably, the recently-published Studio 54 (Rizzoli) is the first official volume about the club. Edited by Schrager, it brings together hundreds of photographs taken during the Studio 54 heyday and personal reminiscences by numerous of the club's habitués. Bianca Jagger's notorious Lady Godiva moment—entering Studio 54 on a horse—is recalled, as are equally boffo soirees such as a party for Elizabeth Taylor, featuring The Rockettes, and a celebration for Dolly Parton that found the club transformed for the night into a farm.


Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti were behind one of Studio 54's most memorable fetes. For Mr. Valentino's birthday, Mr. Giammetti threw a circus-themed party. As he told Vanity Fair, there was a circus ring with sand and mermaids on trapezes, and Fellini loaned costumes from his film The Clowns. "Valentino was the ringmaster," Mr. Giammetti recalled, "and Marina Schiano came as a palm reader with a parrot on her shoulder." Quite a night! And well worth hearing about from the people who were there. 


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