We Started a Nightclub: Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge as Told by Those Who Lived It


We Started a Nightclub: The Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge as Told by Those Who Lived It is the story of the beginnings of the club that was the launching pad for countless talented performers, musicians, and artists―many at the earliest stages of their careers. It begins in 1981 at the last moment in the city’s history when the East Village was considered a dangerous no man’s land, rents were cheap, AIDS was still unknown, and a new generation of creators broke the mold and went on to make art in an atmosphere of unbridled celebration.

An oral history told through more than 75 interviews, it covers the early years of the Pyramid from the time of its founding through its rise, near demise, and rebirth as the first producer of downtown’s annual Wigstock festival. The book includes narrative commentary by Butterick, Martin, and Nakas; press releases, and never-before-seen photos, snapshots, flyers, and other ephemera The Pyramid, at 101 Avenue A, was ground zero for an explosion of creativity. In opposition to the conformity that defined the West Village, the Pyramid was run by gays, but never considered “a gay club”. Instead, it offered a mixture of cultures, from groundbreaking, irreverent theater and experimental and hardcore music to “anti-drag” that challenged the norms of gender and sexual binaries. Theme nights and bar dancers, fixtures of the downtown avantgarde, and kids escaping their past and creating their futures all added to the club’s popularity.

Damiani, 2024
Softcover, 416pp
228 x 171mm 

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