It wasn't exactly the time our your life.
But People magazine was having itself a rousing existence and so it decided to toss a celebration to thank some of those making that existence possible. Thus it was that Studio 54, New York's hottest of all possible discos (at least until next week), was full of advertising men doing the hustle Thursday night and also the mingle, plus a little of the nibble.
There were some celebrities, too, not the hard-core Beautiful People perhaps, or even many people over perhaps, or even many People cover-flash from a bulb. It was billed as a Halloween party but no one came in costume.
Upstairs there were palm readers, tarot card readers, face readers and people looking for the men's room. Downstairs there was darkness pierced by flashing lights, masses of churning bodies, food and drink, and music set at the tissue-damage level.
Studio 54 is the kind of place where Mick throws a birthday party for Bianca, and Elton and Cher (a frequent People coverlet) stop by. But Thursday such folk were not in evidence and most of the celebrities who showed up seemed to take a quick look around, and finding no Johns or Jaggers, resume the eternal quest for the ultimate party. It was a kind of pit stop for the socially hungry.
Elizabeth Ray, formerly of Washington, popped in and out with a male friend with white shoulder-length hair. She said she's studying acting now with Lee Strasberg, the Methodical fellow who trained Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Marilyn Monroe and so many other tough acts to follow.
Margaret Trudeau turned up toward the end of things (the Studio 54 work crews, legions of boys in track uniforms, were already carting the foods off) and hobnobbed with People's top editor, Richard Stolley.
Ron Galella, the prince of New York's papparazzi, wasn't even taking pictures.
Glimpsed departing was a recent People subject, a robot from New Jersey named QLA-TU, perhaps unhappy that no celebrity droids were present. The gossip on QLA-TU was that he was designed to perform household cleaning tasks, but won't do windows.
The reason people were having trouble finding the men's room was that it was labeled "Smoking Room." The reason for that is that Studio 54 (which stands at 254 54th St., right off the Broadway theater district) was built as an opera house in 1927 and the disco designers decided to lay their late 70's glitter atop some of the old grandeur.
The latest incarnation was born about six months ago to an instant influx or high-powered stars and socialites who must have been crouched in nearby limos for weeks waiting to storm the dance floor at zero hour. The "exclusive new supper in-spot" (as People invitations referred to it) boasts as a whimsically bejewelled moon and spoon backdrop which descends from the lofty ceilings as clouds float serenely by. Megawatt strobelights assault the retina and stalacties bearing colored lights slowly drop from above and spear menacingly into the dancing throng.
Removed from this maelstrom, sitting calmy in the dark balcony unrecognized, was State Sen. Roy Goodman, who in less than two weeks is schedulled to lose the New York mayoral election. (Republicans, as everyone knows, are not allowed to win New York mayoral elections. But this fact failed to dispirit the candidate.)
"I'm just having a nice quiet, relaxed dinner before I go out," he shouted over the pounding music. He had to go to Brooklyn next to make a speech at a synagogue and then would be back in Manhattan to tackle Regine's, another spot for the chic at heart.
Perhaps symbolic of the transitory spirit of things was the man sitting in the balcony reading a newspaper - in the dark. He said that this name was Art Nigro and he was an account executive at "Y & R." He said he handles Holiday Inn and the U.S. Postal Service both of which advertise in People. What was he reading? "I'm looking for the next place to go when this place closes down," he said. "The problem is all the plays in New York start at 8. I live in the suburbs - I brought my wife in for this. We're gonna try to catch a movie."