The final farewell to Studio 54: Mark Fleischman, its last owner, dies by assisted suicide


Elton John, Lana Hamilton and Rod Stewart at Studio 54 in 1978.
Elton John, Lana Hamilton and Rod Stewart at Studio 54 in 1978.GTRES

There were few destinations on the planet like Workshop 54. This invention of Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager for New York nights with a gigantic crystal ball, disco music galore and hundreds of people waiting in the streets to be elected to enter to mingle Elizabeth Taylor, Calvin Klein, Liza Minnelli or did grace jones turn into pls pls into resounding success. Ryan Phillippe (47) reflected this very well in the film 54 (1998). When they opened in 1977, in less than a year billed seven million of dollars. Rubell would eventually die of AIDS, and Scharager wisely invested his profits in creating the boutique hotels.

Those nights of glory They didn’t last long. Two years later, businessmen they were arrested for escape taxes for $2.5 million and in 1980, Diana Ross closed the premises with the last performance at stallion they served him the last drink. Other versions indicate that it was the voice was Frank Sinatra con My path and that Ross forgot one of his shoes. Today, this club which still remains in the collective imagination for the anniversary of Bianca Jagger on the back of a white horse, the drag queen dance with which they presented Armani and the Discarded by Andy Warhol who was the magnet that attracted the international jet set, is back in the news. Although sad.

When Rubell and Schrager were sentenced, Mark Fleischman bought the lucrative business which from being an oasis for drugs and sexual freedom has become the new home of the performances of Madonna, Gloria Gaynor, People of the Village, Cher and even Michael Jackson, who authorized the distribution of the video clip Thriller and 1983. Fleischman death by assisted suicide in Switzerland with the help of the organization Dignitas. An illness that prevents him from taking care of himself makes him make this decision.

Bianca Jagger, next to design
Bianca Jagger, with designer Halston, arriving at Studio 54.GTRES

In 1984, Fleischman sold the premises and two years later it closed. Less than a decade, Studio 54 is still a transnational cultural emblem. It was pure hedonism. In an era when cell phones and mini-cameras didn’t exist, celebrities They gave free rein to debauchery. They rolled hundred dollar bills to sigh cocaine, the tranquilizer Quaalude is ingested as if it were water; many had sex with so many others and some died after the AIDS epidemic (Rubell case); in the cellar the waiters took part in cum contest and the owners hide part of the income for do not declare it in front of Uncle Sam; nobody was surprised that Warhol conversed with men whose only clothing was a jockstrap and that Liza Minnelli fucked him dear to a leopard who never stopped caressing.

Liza Minnelli and Jack Haley on location in December 1977.
Liza Minnelli and Jack Haley on location in December 1977.GTRES

they organized memorable parties. Elizabeth Taylor arrived accompanied by her husband Jack Warner and the designer Halston to entertain her on her birthday, the Rockettes from Radio City Music Hall danced for her and blew out cake candles with her life-size figure; at a party honoring the country singer Dolly Parton the whole enclosure was decorated with fagots of alpaca among those who roamed freely horses, mules and donkeys; for the premiere of Psycho II in the presence of Anthony Perkins, his wife Berry and his sister-in-law Marisa Berenson settled dozens of bathtubs with curtains in which there were naked men and women with knives imitating the famous scene from the original film starring Janet Leigh and Warhol and Capote coming up with crazy ideas like decorating the room with dozens of natural palm trees to mimic the Californian Oscar night.

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