Can Studio 54 Be Born Again? blared a NY Magazine cover in 1981, chronicling the reopening festivities of the legendary nightclub that had been shuttered when its owners were convicted of tax evasion. Mark Fleischman, an entrepreneur who bought the place from founders Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, and has written a book about the experience titled “ Inside Studio 54 “ thought so. “It was the pinnacle of everything happening in NYC at that time and I was drawn to owning it like a moth to the flame,” Said Mark. On opening night a glittering crowd of thousands waited for hours, in the rain, while the doorman, with all the power, “glowed.” The street was closed due to the clog of limos, while celebs like Jacqueline Bisset, Bjorn Borg and Cheryl Tiegs slipped in the back door.
Mick Jagger & Michael Jackson
Fleischman was right, the place roared back to life, and he was in the middle of all of the cocaine sniffing, Champagne swilling debauchery. And he recounts all the juicy details in his book, “Inside Studio 54,” out September 19. In the book you’ll find Mick Jagger befriending young women, Michael Jackson taking refuge from the crowd in the DJ booth, Rick James entertaining in the ladies room and David Bowie hanging in Fleischman’s office.
Liza Minnelli & Robin Williams
It took two years of legal assessing before Fleischman received the “go ahead” to publish his book. Fleischman admits he had to pull a few stories, but he still names plenty of names and offers some interesting blind items for the readers. You’ll find a story about the wild party he threw to reopen the club in 1981. But what he couldn’t include was the part about an Oscar winner locking himself in the bathroom with Champagne and cocaine at the after party Fleischman had at his penthouse. He also had to edit out several stories involving Liza Minnelli and details about the hard partying he did with John Belushi and Robin Williams.
Alec Baldwin: An Excerpt
“The legendary Rubber Room was the dark balcony at the top of Studio 54. It was covered with black rubber trim and flooring that could be easily washed down. Every night after all the lunacy, the busboys would find discarded rubbers, poppers, and panties —a testimony to the night’s fun and games. Alec Baldwin, who had worked there as a busboy when he was a struggling actor, said he finally had to quit because seeing the sexual interplay night after night left him ’ perpetually horny.’ “
Rancho La Puerta Health Spa
There are risks involved in running the world’s biggest party, and Fleischman, who now lives in L.A. and runs the Bar Method workout studio, became overly fond of drugs, alcohol and wild sex, and checked into the Betty Ford Clinic in 1985. Betty Ford didn’t work for Mark but he regained his sobriety 30 years ago at the Rancho La Puerta health resort in Tecate, Mexico. indiebound.org/book/9781945572579