Studio 54: Behind The Music #37

Season 1 Ep 375/24/1998

It has been more than twenty years since Studio 54 first opened its doors on April 26, 1977, driven by a disco beat and ruled by the unlikeliest of overlords: gay, sociable restaurant chain owner Steve Rubell and straight, shy real estate lawyer Ian Schrager. Former college friends Steve and Ian, through a combination of business savvy, good timing and luck, quickly established Studio 54 as "the" place to be, where the wannabe crowd outside was as much of a show as the privileged party inside.Studio 54 became the embodiment of the phrase, "if it feels good, do it," fueled by the prevailing liberated, birth-controlled, drug-infused, pre-AIDS atmosphere of the era. Or, as described by eyewitness Michael Musto, Studio 54 was "a Felliniesque crossed with Busby Berkeley playground filled with everything for your hedonistic needs.""Studio 54: Behind The Music" features new and exclusive candid interviews with many of those who not only observed but helped to create the Studio 54 experience, including Grace Jones, Liz Smith, Jerry Hall, Robin Leach, Anthony Haden-Guest, Nile Rogers, and many of the bartenders and doormen who had front row seats to the Studio 54 spectacle. The program also includes the last known interview of Rubell, who died an AIDS-related death in 1989 at the age of 45.Rubell's and Schrager's Studio 54 flashed brilliantly and crashed hard, with the two eventually convicted of tax evasion and forced to turn in their evening wear for prison garb. As disco is making an unexpected comeback, and everything 70's is popular again, "Studio 54: Behind The Music" examines the highs and the lows, the innovations and disappointments, that went beyond the velvet rope to capture the attention of the entire world.