Frank GG: Saturday Night Fever Revisited

Like a mirage that appeared and vanished, the legendary Studio 54 — the club that ruled late 70’s early 80s NYC nightlife — opened last week for just one more night thanks to a spectacular party organized by Sirius Radio.

I was 17 on Studio 54’s opening night. I went regularly, twice a week for its duration. Last week, we danced and danced and danced just like back then!

Back in the 70s, parties were everywhere and seemingly unforgettable … Jacqueline Onassis’s Victory Dinner for the landmarking of Grand Central Station at the Oyster Bar … Coming Out Parties at El Morocco complete with Lester Lanin live … Listening to Bobby Short play Cole Porter at the Carlyle … “Midnight Snack” at the Algonquin, seated in the lobby in a leather armchair … and of course, indolent moments reflected in the looking glasses at Café Des Artists. I thought that the world and that life would always be this way!

Rollerena, Nalbone and Frank GG at Bistro Pastis before the Studio 54 party.

The world changed but we did not … and how wonderful to have shared this glorious event, with my friends, showman Gregory Nalbone and the legendary Studio 54 star Rollerena, who is the subect of a photo exhibition through the end of October at the Jefferson Market Library.

Naomi Campbell, Keith Richards, Cameron Diaz and of course Baristaville’s own Frank Gerard Godlewski partied the night away at last week’s one-night-only return of Studio 54. See more photos of Frank, Rollerena and Gregory Nalbone, who will be performing next week at the Metropolitan Room.

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  1. I used to see Rollerena around the West Village all the time. Glad to see she’s still around and still fabulous. What a fun event this must have been. Thanks for sharing, Frank.

  2. I am now taking request for the DJ. Liz your request has been submitted. Frank please put me down for #1,2 and 3 on your dance card!

  3. Can’t wait Holly!!!…. and Rollerena is so pleased to be with us at the Booo rista Party and to visit Baristaville on Saturday!!!

  4. Dame Rollerena is really looking forward to the party, (so am I!) and since she is from the Kentucky countryside, she’s also so pleased to visit our Baristaville Hollow (or “Holler”, as they say back in Kentucky) She is so charming and engaging…maybe she’ll even give us her favorite heirloom recipe, “Roadkill Stew” for the Baristanet Food section. Its a Kentucky Countryside specialty!

  5. Like I had mentioned in another thread, could I please make a DJ request?…. “Get Down With The Jeannie” …(its part of my costume!!!!…plus Kool & the Gang are from Baristaville!!!)(I’m going as “Frankggeannie”!!)

    Dame Rollerena can’t wait and Gregory Nalbone will be engaged in rehearsing night and day for his show, next Tuesday, at the Metropolitan Room in Chelsea

    I ABSOLUTELY cant wait!!!!

  6. Wait a minute. How can we be sure this is Studio 54 and not that adult venue behind Rascals/Red Cheetah?

    Frankgg, I was also 17 in 1977, but I’m not driving around in a Rolls today. Clearly I should have boogie-oogie-oogied down and not listened to the rock and roll.

  7. …but unmitigated…rock music is great!!!…fabulous…I love it too…and funkadelic…I even like bagpipes…its all…”GUCCI!”

  8. Studio 54 was a horrible, snobbish place, featuring the worst excesses of the 70’s (resulting in so many hapless drug casualties during that era, too). How anyone can “celebrate” it is beyond me. Even Marc Beinecke has gone on record as saying he was ashamed of his behavior as head doorkeeper back then. Why Baristanet is seemingly “celebrating” this tragic time is beyond me. Plain old Halloween isn’t enough for ya?

    I remember walking by the club on a Halloween night, and seeing a very attractive young woman, dressed as a cat, literally, bafflingly weeping because they wouldn’t let her in. Plus many others waving $20’s in vain hopes. Really, if that’s what your social aspirations amounted to…

    And just as a reminder, Sylvester, Liz, is dead. From AIDS, I believe. That and Steve Rubell’s similar fate and time in he can amply sum up those days. (Save for the LCN connections Rubell and Schrager assiduously cultivated, of course.)

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