Located in a church basement at 57 St, Mark's Place, and directed by the likes of Ann Magnuson, Dany Johnson, Kai Eric and a host of others in the early 1980's, this seminal boite influenced countless clubs and club nights worldwide. Post here your memories, dreams and reflections.
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How naive I was back in 1980, I actually thought that places like Club 57 were what new york was all about and would exist forever. Not so, as we know now. Despite the fact that I always went there alone and so felt like an outsider/observer, I loved both its unpredictability and the amount of preparation that went into its silliness, which is something nearly impossible to explain today. The aesthetic that I encountered at club 57 is still part of my outlook today, though few are interested. You can feel like an archeologist walking past addresses where thrilling things once occurred.
Club 57 is now a mental health clinic. How perfect for the home of such parties as Putt-Putt Reggae. (This party is mentioned a lot, despite the fact that only 5 people showed up.) I'll write about Pulsallama's first show some time soon. It's a little hard to remember, thanks to Wendy Wild's mushroom punch.
I think around '81 Club 57 started hosting parties at Irving Plaza. A Ukrainian sponsor/host (Stanley?) would dare the punks to throw beer cans and bottles at him on stage. (They obliged.)

I remember the Invaders and Regina and the Red Hots.

Whatever happened to Regina Richards?

Did Chris Spedding and the B-52s also play here, or was that later in the life of Irving Plaza?

Wow--just zoned on Nervus Rex--what about Lauren Agnelli? Where are all the NY Rock babes of yore?

cheers to my NYC pals--see you at The Baroness' Fetish Retinue on Sunday...
My band, the Cuban heels played at "little" Club 57, opening for Patti Smith-Sam Shepard play "Cowboy Mouth". I remember a tangle of fuzzboxes at my feet.
The best thing I ever saw there was a stripper called Lady Bug who had the most fantastic puppet theatres that she wore around her neck. A wonderful rhyming monologue done up by her bikerish (boy?)friend. Lovely, charming, beautiful sets, smart wordplay. Never heard from her again.
That was the best Club 57!
I did one of my very first "performance art pieces" there. I was in art school (School of Visual Arts) at the time. I hooked up two big BORROWED tv sets to all of this electronic equipment that Laurie Anderson loaned me (God bless her). It was all choreographed to a disco drum beat with this drummer guy that I met in the park. He now has gone on to drum with hundreds of DJs in hundreds of clubs but believe me, that was the first time. He really didn't understand my concept but he understood the concept of $. It's funny to see him now in clubs drumming with DJs (like he invented it).
but I digress...
All these people came to see my "performance". The room was full. I played about 3 seconds, the drummer hit the kick drum hooked up to this electronic crap and the whole thing exploded! The show was over in 3 seconds. Both TVs destroyed.
Oh Art School!
Anyway,
I remember "Cuban Heels". You were really good! (You didn't explode) I also remember good ole Stanley. Such a sweet guy. I can't believe the stuff he used to let us do there. I saw him a few years ago. He is still ruling. He still remembered me too. I wish Dany would come in this topic again because she REALLY has stories! I don't remember "Lady Bug". Maybe Hattie does.

This is a picture of me from Art School. (Same time as my big Club 57 Show) I thought I was so avande guard.

[This message was edited by daddy on 12-27-02 at 11:56 PM.]

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I saw John Cale at Club 57 and he had just broken his leg but performed playing guitar and singing from a chair on stage with his band. He did some old Velvet songs including "Sweet Jane." The thing that I loved the most about that club was how cool the whole scene was. The restrooms were full of both genders and marijuana was freely passed. I really felt at home, even though I was a punky kid from Jersey.
Bill Landis (Sleazoid Express) befriended Ondine and somehow convinced him to star in an original play called Ondine is Burr - the Life of a Muffin Queen. It was all about Raymond Burr's shit eating fetish. The script was unbelievably awful,but Ondine made the most of it and hammed it up to the hilt. All of the action took place on the Ironsides set, so Ondine sat in a wheelchair barking out lines like, "Marcus! Manservant, come and attend me! I require your services immediately for I am a muffin queen!" Marcus was played by Jimmy Joe. Ironside's secretary was played by me. I don't remember whether Bill was in the play too or if he just stood on the side of the stage calling out directions and lines to us the whole time.

Bill flyered the whole East Village but only 5 to 10 people showed up.
Like so many things from those days. It was WAY ahead of its time. People sitting on the floor watching Monster Movies like Ed Wood Clasics and bad Japanese gems. Everyone would be screaming out jokes. Of course years later it became a TV show. "Mystery Science Theater 2000" (or something like that). A very funny show by the way.
I loved Monster Movie Club and went faithfully nearly every week. I think I still have my membership cards from 1979 & 1980. Daddy, when I first saw Mystery Science Theater, it brought me right back. Of course, I thought our comments were funnier, but then again, alcohol may have made them seem a lot funnier than they actually were...

And I love that picture of you, so cute!
Thanks Pops.
I was being moody I think.

Your comments were funnier than Mystery Science Theater as I remember but then again I've always been your biggest fan. (Well, next to my wife of course who REALLY is your biggest fan). You were always the Shecky Green of the East Vllage.
Well, actually more like a cross between Charles Nelson Reilly and Dorothy Parker.
Towards the sordid end of Club 57, before someone embezzled the rent money, there was a year end art show. Your piece had to be something about your New Year's resolution.
For mine, I got every empty bag of heroin I could find-- on the street, in the club, in my own and friends apartments (not hard to do,) and pasted them on a canvas along with notepaper on which I had written 100 times, "I will never do heroin again." That was the hard part. Writing it, that is. Along with all that, I glued a brand new syringe to it. The syringe was stolen at the opening. Figures.

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