Michael Musto interviewed Anita Sarko, Johnny Dynell, Chi Chi Valenti on the golden years of NYC's club scene dating way back to the Mud Club. Yes, I know. We're all jaded, aging hipsters. But it's fun to remember, especially as clubs (especially gay clubs) close down and downsize nationwide.
BUNNY: I always say that we used to bring something to the party. Now they just bring cell phones.
At Jackie 60, an artist would just walk into a Bettie Page Night with 10 assemblage statues of Bettie, or photographs of Bettie that were themselves wrapped in bondage. And they would just bring this to the party, in the same way that somebody else would bring a fierce Bettie Page look. We still encourage that at things like Night of a Thousand Stevies
—that if you do nothing else, bring a tambourine and a shawl. But there’s something that comes up from a dance floor, the magic of an audience at clubs, and you first need people who are going to make that kind of magic to gather with the coven.
BUNNY: I read an article about how gay men in large cities around the country are living on their smartphones and the clubs sit empty. Listen, I’m a slut and I’m sure I’d be doing it too, if I were in my 20s and wanted to plaster a picture of my asshole on Grindr and say “I’m 5 feet away.” But if I posted it now, the only person who’d come would be a laser hemorrhoid surgeon. But the thing that made me so angry about that article was the assumption that we were only in clubs for sex! There were clubs that were non-sceney, like Rawhide, where with a minimum of conversation you got the job done--you saw the size of the dick hanging down their leg and you left. But we didn’t go to the clubs just for sex! We went for fashion, conversation, dancing, or performance — to get turned on to music that we trusted the DJ to break.