All photos by Robert Carrithers, who can be found online at http://www.robertcarrithers.com
All photos by Harvey Wang
The late 1970’s and early 1980’s have gone down in counter-cultural history as the time when New York City was at its most challenging, energetic and artistically innovative. The city was broke, rent was cheap and there was plenty of space to create and party for those who were not afraid of tagged up subways, muggers and the used hypodermic needles littering the streets of the Lower East Side. A well-defined narrative names the important artists, musicians and scenesters of the time, as well as the places where they hung out and partied: Max’s Kansas City for the rockers, Studio 54 for the wealthy and famous cocaine people in glittery clothing; The Mudd Club for new wave hipsters and CBGB’s for anti-fashionable downtown punks and students. For some reason, Club 57 is rarely mentioned although it was an important meeting place and venue for much of what made the downtown scene so vibrant during that era. Artists such as Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and occasionally Jean-Michel Basquiat hung out there, lots of crazy performances that straddled the boundary of art, poetry and music went down. There were wacky activities like Tuesday night monster movie showings, Elvis birthday parties, lady wrestling and reggae mini golf in the basement.