ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Hi! this is Anthony Hayden Guest, and I am in Beverly Hills on a book tour for my book The Last Party. It's about Studio 54 and the culture of the NYC club scene.
bugs What possessed you to write this book in the first place? Were you part of the Studio 54 party scene?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST I arrived in NY in 1976 and Studio opened a few months later. I was into going out at night and I always took notes. I wrote a few articles about the club scene. The book was complicated -- I had to weave a lot of things together. We were very sincere and innocent back then, then we all wised up. My book deals with a lot of the darkening of the time.
Michael And that is how the book started?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST That was how it started. Then I had to decide what to put in and what to leave out. I had a lot of material. Back then people went to dinner and then a club. Suddenly the nightlife became a hunger, and everyone stayed out later and later.
bugs Everyone was seriously on drugs back then. How could they remember anything correctly?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Well, a lot of that is a myth. A lot of people -- I being one -- were really just drinkers. A few people lived in a haze. We all work really hard. NYC isn't a city where people don't not work.
Moderator How would you compare the "rave" club scene of the 90's to the "disco" era?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Disco was a huge mix because it came out of the 60's. The rave scene is a really young scene. Anyone over 28 feels like they are in Jurrasic Park when they walk into one of Peter Gaitien's clubs. The drugs are pretty much the same. In the late 70's people wanted brainless fun, so Studio 54 was very much a reaction to that that.
Moderator What was the most outrageous event you've ever seen in Clubland?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Everything is outrageous the first time you see it. It wasn't about that. It's inevitable that history mis-records. There were often pictures of outrageous people, but 95% of the people that went out were just dressed in nice clothes.
Moderator What kind of music do you like?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST I am pretty eclectic. I like women singers a lot. I play some new music, techno. I like The Orb, Inspiral Carpets -- the stuff out of which techno came. There are no good radio stations in NYC. I like Chemical Brothers, but I haven't bought it. I buy very little. I don't try to stay up to date.
bugs Tell us what happened between Peter Gatien & Michael Alig. I remember hearing the story about the "club kid." Was it drug related?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Oh yeah, they were totally out of it. They were on drugs for years. It was something petty, about money.
bugs Have you lived in NYC all your life Anthony?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST No, I moved from London in 1976.
bugs Were you into the NYC/Velvet Underground/CBGB's scene as well?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Yeah. I wasn't living here then, but I visited a lot. I knew of the resentment between the NY punks and UK punks. The UK punks felt the NY Punks ripped them off.
Moderator Why did disco die?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST Disco flourished before it boomed. When Studio was at its hype everyone was making disco albums. Everyone saw all these people in suits with gold chains and the younger generation rebelled and then came "Dance Music." Also, a lot of really bad disco movies also killed disco. Like "Thank God It's Friday" and "Can't Stop The Music."
Andreas Do you appreciate Doris Day's movies?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST I used to think they were great when I was a kid. They were very effective. I wanted to write advertising copy and wear those great suits and ties.
Moderator Is it true that Donna Summer was hot in Germany before the USA?
ANTHONY HAYDEN GUEST She was kind of hot. She was young. She was in Hair, and then had some minor hits in their Soft Pop category. Then she hit it big in the States. It's not unusual for musicians from the US to make it big in Europe then conquer their native land. The guy who produced Donna Summer worked with Kraftwerk before he worked with Donna.
Thanks for coming and chatting. Just buy the book and relive the time. It's all about time travel and re-experiencing the time. The last chapter of my book is "All Tomorrow's Party." So there is hope yet.