In the New York Times, Steven Kurutz reviews The Mudd Club, the new memoir by Richard Boch, the long-time doorman of one of the most infamous rock clubs in 1970s New York. As Kurutz writes, Boch's book evokes a New York of all-night parties, pervasive pleasure, and easy camaraderie that is all but impossible to imagine today. Read an excerpt from the review below, or the full piece here.
In the fall of 1978, Boch made his way to the newly opened Mudd Club for the first time. Four months later, the owner, Steve Mass, hired him as a doorman there — a job that lasted 21 months but that seems to have resonated for a lifetime. He is known to many even today as “Richard from the Mudd Club.”
“Everything about the Mudd Club washed off on me, it never really went away,” Mr. Boch said last month, in a booth at the Roxy Hotel in TriBeCa, not far from his old job site.
Located at 77 White Street, in a six-story loft building owned by the artist Ross Bleckner, the Mudd Club was a dingy gray-and-black box inside, with a bar initially made out of folding tables and a bathtub behind them to chill the beer. The club’s self-mythologizing denizens were a mix of the famous (Debbie Harry, the Talking Heads), the soon-to-be famous (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, Debi Mazar) and the famous-below-14th Street (Glenn O’Brien, Chi Chi Valenti).
As Mr. Boch describes in short, vivid, diarylike entries, the clubgoers danced, drank, snorted coke, watched live rock bands and held theme parties like the Puberty Ball in an anything-goes environment that seems impossible to recreate today.
Image: David Bowie, left, and Dee Dee Ramone at the Mudd Club in 1979. Via NY Times.