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Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture
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Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  381 ratings  ·  26 reviews
In 1995, journalist Frank Owen began researching a story on "Special K," a new designer drug that fueled the after-midnight club scene. He went to buy and sample the drug at the internationally-notorious Limelight, a decrepit church converted into a Manhattan disco, where pulse-pounding music, gender-bending dancers, and uninhibited sideshows attracted long lines of hopefu ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2003)
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Frank Owen's Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Culture offers a far more objective version of the same events in James St. James' Party Monster. Though St. James had the benefit of having intimate involvement with Alig and company, Owen takes a more measured, journalistic tone. Beginning with an investigation into the drug Special K, Owen moves through the subculture to offer a broader context of the 1990s New York nightlife scene, with corruption and criminality evident at ...more
Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll. Few things epitomized these cliched ideals like the mid-90s club culture. Especially Peter Gatien's Limelight and Tunnel nightclubs in New York City. They were a place for people to be whoever they wanted to be and anyone they never thought they ever could be, meet new people who will never judge them, and just have fun. But, you can't forget about the drugs. Ecstasy, roofies, Liquid G, Special K, you name it and it could be found at these clubs. Owen is a writer fo ...more
Leo Robertson
A lot better than I expected. The best journalism, at least that I've read, appears to come from the desire to exorcise something, to finally put it to rest- a lot of the time I questioned why certain sections were important and judged myself for my own prurient desire to savour salacious details, but in the end it's as I noticed de Botton tweeting recently, of all things: "Authors write things down in the hope, thereafter, to have to think about them a bit less", and that apparent drive is what ...more
Greta is Erikasbuddy
I'm very interested in the life and times of Michael Alig. He's almost like a hobby to me.

Since he got out of jail last year I have been following his career. He hosts a Youtube talkshow called the "PEW-EW" with Ernie Glam. Has had an art opening. And we're still anxiously awaiting his memoirs to be penned (which he has been doing for nearly 2 decades).

This book is not only about Michael Alig, Freeze, Angel and the gang but also the rise and fall of Peter Gatian. Who I can't believe never served
This is a true crime book. It's not as entertaining as James St. James' "Party Monster: A Fabulous But True Tale of Murder in Clubland" but is more comprehensive. I found it a challenge to finish mainly because it didn't convey the spirit of the scene but what it lacked in "fabulousness" it made up in with names, background and details. Unfortunately it seemed like it was written like the more words that were included the more the author would get paid. Sometimes phrases were repeated and facts ...more
Fascinating read, though I could do without Owen's moments of moralizing and self-aggrandizing. This book wonderfully complements "Disco Bloodbath" in the sense that both (inadvertently) illuminate the policing and hierarchy that (inevitably?) arise in initially radical, subversive subcultures (of many kinds, though "club kid" subculture in particular here). I recommend reading the two texts together. You end up feeling like an expert on the subject - and you might just get the urge to interview ...more
Susie Ochs
So many more angles on the Party Monster story. The club scenes in NYC and Miami are just endlessly fascinating to me.
Great look at the major players in an era that produced the most unlistenable music of all time.
James Cobo
a fascinating, extraordinarily fast read

Not just the most interesting and best-written book about the 90s club scene that I've ever read, but also one of the better books about the music industry full-stop. Highly, highly, highly recommended.
Jessi Sawyer
Enjoyed it, but it did go off into other characters involved in Limelight and the club scene in general that I wasn't expecting. This wasn't a bad thing, and it gave it more of a bigger picture feel, but I thought I'd be reading more about the club kids.

Still a very interesting and weird little piece of history.
Impartial and well written. Details the birth, decline and aftermath of Club Culture and its key players. Like all tales of human excess and downfall, it interested me.
Informative and interesting. Dry patches but the description of the more sordid bits was enough to keep me going.
Starts out very well, but suffers from too much detail and drags towards the end. It might have been better if Owen hadn't tried to document everything and focused one storyline.
Arsen H
great book, well researched and very well written
After having read this book I wondered what compelled me to read it. Who cares about these people? And unlikable cast of liars, thieves, snitches, crooked cops, mobsters, murderers, drugs and drugs and more drugs. Sounds interesting, but it's not. It's a sad commentary about people who do nothing but create havoc and take up space on the planet. The club culture scene may have appeared fabulous on the outside, but not too far underneath the glitz was nothing but ugliness. I didnt need to know, ...more
Frank Mitchell
Frank Owen went into the Limelight like many of us. To listen to a new new sound of Techno music. What he uncovered was an underworld of drugs, kidnappings and death all dancing around the same groove. As an eyewitness to his account, there is no fabricated nonsense in this book. it is matter of fact, exact and precise to the timeline, making it a fascinating book to read.
This was pretty good. Found out some things I didn't know about the whole ecstasy movement but it got a little drawn out towards the end with the court proceedings and a little confusing as to who's side who was on
John Treanor
This is a page turner. Not what I expected at all (oh, those goofy clubland kids, so cute), but more like a true crime novel about the drugs and violence behind the hood-infested club scene. An easy read.

Overall, I liked it. The author had some petty biases he aimed to get across--it made the story feel a bit less professional, and some of the language felt contrived, but it was pretty interesting.
Interesting peek into a wild and decadent lifestyle in 1990s New York...too bad it all turned ugly and grotesque!
A nice look into Michael Alig's club kids, though far less sensational than James St. James.
Excellent read on the Club Kids and the death of Disco which led to the "rave" generation.
great book that really gets into the details of how nyc stunts are really are pulled off.
who knew it was all so shady and connected....
Jessica marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2015
The Black Ark
The Black Ark marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2015
Kim Howell
Kim Howell marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2015
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The Limelight 5 8 Jun 01, 2014 07:46AM  
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