Studio 54, the trendola New York disco, reopened its doors on Tuesday night to thousands of painfully hip patrons who endured rain and a terrifying mob scene for the right to pay $25 to get in.
In a new version of the old many-are-called-but-few-are-chosen routine, the melting pot for the truly unneedy sent out 10,000 invitations for a party that could accomodate only 3,000. The invitations came in the form of light bulbs wrapped in little orange boxes, with an exhortation that the evening's proper dress would be "illuminating."
Not everyone saw the light. In a bar far removed on the East Side of town, editor Clay Felker announced, "They keep sending me these light bulbs and I keep throwing them away." Across the street from the club's hallowed doors, a bum took in the scene and said, "You tell me there's nothing wrong with this country." And when for three minutes the doors were forcefully pried open by the mob, allowing any and all in the immediate vicinity to gain entry, one pretty boy exclaimed in horror: "They're letting ANYBODY in. I don't want to go in if they let ANYBODY in."
One who made it in opening night was Susan Blond, a 32-year-old vice president for media relations at CBS and habitue of the old Studio 54, until it was closed 18 months ago. Former owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were convicted of income tax evasion, but not before pointing a very public finger at former Carter chief of staff Hamilton Jordan, who they claimed had used cocaine on their premises. Federal prosecutors were unable to turn up any evidence against Jordon; they were, however, able to send Rubell and Schrager up the river for a year. Fortunately, for the continuity of history, they were paroled in time to attend Tuesday's event, along with Andy Warhol, Mary Tyler Moore, Jack Nicholson, John Belushi, Brooke Shields, Calvin Klein, Sylvia Miles, Ronnie Blakely, Patti D'Urbanville, the club's new owners -- Mark Fleischman, Mark Benecke and Michael Overington -- and many of the other pretty faces who appear in the pages of Women's Wear Daily and Interview.
Blond, by the by, was wearing tennis shoes, bobby sox and a blue sailor's uniform that was designed especially for her role in the forthcoming film "Madame Wang's," directed by Paul Morrissey, whom Blond met while she was an art student at Tufts in Boston. What follows is Blond's report of the evening:
"One of the best things of last night was learning to put money in your socks and keys in your socks. Disco bags are so out. But there are certain things like keys and money that you have to carry. Usually you bring a little lipstick and powder for your face, and maybe some rouge, but I had been talking on the phone for days and I knew this was going to be the event of the year and it would be so crowded and who wanted to have to carry all that stuff around? So I put my money and my keys in my socks and it was FABULOUS. Well, it hurt a little when you were dancing, but it's such a great place to put things . . .
"I've never seen a crowd like that one. I kept thinking my ribs could be broken, I could be ripped right apart. It was the scariest sensation. I thought of the Who concert. I've been thinking more and more that I need a bodyguard. I'm in the middle of this whole mess and seeing as how I could be crushed to death no matter what way I went, I decided to push for the door. There are so many people out there who belong inside and they can't get in. Then I see Mark, the old doorman, and Holly. She loves Cheap Trick more than any other group in the world. I'm just about to the door and I think I'm gonna die or something. Is anything worth this? Then when people get in they still have to pay $25, after being crushed to death. But it's still like, WOW, I made it in. I made it through the door. It's a real rush . . .
"I go and get a drink of Perrier. It takes an hour anda half to get a drink. All of a sudden I'm alone. I get to one of those good vantage point places where all the photographers are. I stand there for 45 minutes taking it all in. I see a whole group of new beauties, not the original hip people. I run into Steven Steinloff, who produced 'Bent.' I'm walking around with him and this girl Myra, and we go back upstairs. I'm getting this feeling that the place has really changed. I'm worried. All of us really wanted it to come back because there never was another place like Studio. It always had a mix of the real beauties and the real crazies. Not like Xenon where you only get the rich ones in limousines. Anyway, we run into Richard Bernstein. He does all the covers for Interview. He says, 'Look, up in the deejay booth. It's Brooke Shields with Calvin.' This is the new most beautiful, most famous person. And all of a sudden I'm seeing the real people. Mary Tyler Moore. She's like a four-star star. Andy Warhol finally comes in. He said Halston's dinner took so long they almost missed Calvin's party. You have to have really famous people to get a party going. Then there's D.D. Ryan. She has to spell it with two capital Ds. She's married to one of the richest men in the world. When you saw D.D. there, you realized that the original people were gonna come to Studio again. By 2 o'clock you started feeling that it's good to be here again. It's still the best dance floor in the world, and the best club. They had 40 dancers come out dressed like cowgirls and do a number like the Rockettes. A lot of snow came down at 2:30 . . .
"It's gonna make it. Now there'll be a place again to go and take people when they come in from out of town."