And today Clubland reels with the passing of Door Icon Gilbert Stafford, yesterday (New Years Day) after a very short battle with cancer. He was 57. This elegant, witty man brought something to the doors of clubs including Area and Crobar that had never been seen before, and will never be seen again Im afraid. RIP darling!
Gilbert was a true NYC legend. He was there at the door of Sanctuary when I walked in in 1972, he was there at the door when I entered through the thresholds of New York New York, The (original) Loft, Cowboys & Cowgirls, Disco Inferno, The Saint, Limelight, Roxy and most every other club that opened or operated between 1970 and 2000. I never saw him be mean or rude to anyone and yet he always told you just how it was. Gilbert was one of the most stylish and sophisticated people I ever met. He made friends easily and kept them for decades. His gentle way and sexy demeanor broke a lot of hearts and he was a true unique and one-of-a-kind man and I know he will be missed by generations of people who were lucky enough to have known him. Rest in peace Legend, St. Peter is certainly out of a job guarding those golden gates. You will be missed.
Just the sight of Gilbert at the door would put a smile on my face. The last place I encountered him was at Crobar during the run of Utopia. He always saved me from that front door messycircus. And the times I showed up with Troy he would make us feel like we owned it. He should have written a code of conduct for anyone who ever worked a front door anywhere.
Last night when I went in to work (DJing at VANDAM @ Greenhouse) the two upstairs bartenders asked me if I had heard about Gilbert. Now these guys are children. (I consider anyone younger that the clothes that I'm wearing a child). How could they possibly know who Gilbert was? But they did. They were doing (the now oblig...atory) Gilbert imitations and reciting Gilbert's most famous quotes. Then security came over. Then our own door girl Andrea. Then more people. "Are you guys talking about Gilbert"? It seemed everyone in the club knew Gilbert. The boys poured a glass of Maker's Mark and set it on the bar and we toasted Gil. The glass sat there all night in homage to The King of New York. God Save The Queen.
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