Friday, October 31, 2014
At the 35th anniversary of the Pyramid Club
Photos and text by EVG contributor Stacie Joy
The 35th anniversary party Tuesday night for the Pyramid Club was filled with more media and PR people than guests.
Sponsored by Stoli vodka (whose new marketing campaign is targeting East Village mainstays), there were Stoli drink specials as far as the eye could see and several famous people to gawk at, like Taye Diggs (he played Benny the landlord in the first Broadway production of "Rent," in case you wondered about the connection), Andrew W.K. (the Stoli “Professor of the Party”), and Andy Rourke from The Smiths (DJ’ing ’80s hits when I left).
Truthfully, though, I was there for Lady Bunny. She was the life of the party — singing and dancing and then secreting me away downstairs for some one-on-one time.
Lady Bunny told me that she started go-go-ing at Pyramid in 1983 by undercutting the other drag queens by $10 (they normally made $50 and she only charged $40), and quickly became a resident go-go dancer at the club at 101 Avenue A for the next 15 years.
She said the manager was a junkie and she felt he’d be happy with the extra money to put toward drugs. Of course this was before the Giuliani years when cabaret licenses were impossible to score. The East Village’s underground scene was exploding, and bringing its music, drag queens, drugs and culture to the masses.
A low-rent Studio 54, with poor but always-fabulous people is how Lady Bunny described the Pyramid Club. She informed me that we couldn’t sit around crying and bitching for what has changed, what we’ve lost; that we should acknowledge it, celebrate it, and create policies that will create change for the future.
Social media got a chunk of her blame: so many people out there documenting everything with their phones instead of being in the moment and enjoying what’s occurring in real time. We talked about how depressing the news can be and how she recommends that we log off, go out and enjoy what’s happening now in the city.