I was always looking for new ways to make Studio 54 the talk of the town. One of the ways was unexpected – the launch of Studio 54 Magazine, a glossy rag that showed all the hot happenings going on after hours. Read on for some of the behind-the-scenes stories on the launch of the magazine, the parties it covered, and some of the notable celebrities that made its pages, as excerpted from my upcoming memoirs, “The Studio 54 Effect.”
Besides adding beautiful and sexy female bartenders to the shirtless group of male studs from the past I made another innovation. In early 1983 I introduced as part of the reinvention the Studio 54 Magazine. Rick Bard, who published a nightlife magazine in New York, approached me with the very creative concept, suggesting that advertisers would be interested in placing ads with a magazine that used Studio 54 as its hook, rather than just focusing on generic nightlife as a whole. He was right – the advertisers loved it. The magazine always opened with great stories, gossip columns and nightlife pictures. There was even a Mark After Dark column, which I co-wrote with Rick.
Rick, a creative publisher/photographer/writer who held a BA from MIT and an MBA from Harvard, had the idea of having each issue feature a celebrity guest host that almost acted as a concierge into the world depicted on the pages of the magazine and it worked. He now publishes the successful Manhattan Brides magazine.
Here are several pages from Studio 54 Magazine, showing revelers in 1982:
Picture number 10, with Cathy St. George flanked by Tony Danza and Rick Bard, was taken on the evening of the party we gave in her honor the month she was the centerfold in Playboy Magazine. Needless to say, the Playboy Magazine party was packed. With everyone in New York trying to get in, it was so crowded that Timothy Hutton – who was friends with Cathy – was turned away at the door. That tidbit made Page Six of the New York Post, as well as pictures in the Daily News. Rex Smith, Billy Squier and his band, and many others did get in. Robin Leach was there doing an interview with Cathy. People were screaming on the dance floor when thousands of pictures of Cathy floated down from overhead.
Tony Danza – who, at the time, was starring in Taxi – was Cathy’s date. He was introduced to Cathy by his mother Anne Danza, who was co-owner of La Monica Pizza in Westwood, California, where Cathy was living at the time. Cathy used to hang out there, so his mother introduced Cathy to Tony.
Look how young everyone looked! Jamie Lee Curtis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the whole Van Peebles family…