Long before St. Marks turned into a smattering of random Asian places (it was all over the day Coney Island High closed and SUPERCUTS opened up- I’m still upset), it was a hip place for real arty types to hang out. The incredible Ann Magnuson was hired to promote a new DIY club, called Club 57. Located in the basement of the Holy Cross Polish National Church, the new wave club was the hang out of Madonna, Joey Arias, Fab Five Freddy, Kenny Scharf, The B-52s, Basquiat, Futura and Keith Haring, who curated shows here. Theme parties, day glo, Monster Movies, and black lights could be found inside. Haring performed his neo-dada poems inside of a giant television, and exhibited Black Light shows, that were combined with the clubs dancing, drugs and orgiastic sex.
Magnuson herself described Club 57 as being home to “pointy-toed hipsters, girls in rockabilly petticoats, spandex pants, and thrift-store stiletto heels…suburban refugees who had run away from home to find a new family…who liked the things we liked – Devo, Duchamp, and William S. Burroughs – and (more important) hated the things we hated – disco, Diane von Fürstenberg, and The Waltons.”
Sounds pretty familiar, hmm? Hipster is not a modern word, and American Apparel isn’t the authority on spandex pants. At any rate, as all the artist kids got more and more popular, they moved on to more expensive venues, until the club was finally closed in 1983.
What: Club 57
Where: 57 St. Marks
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