Relations between Germany and the USA may be cold, but they could warm up. Berlin is to become the first city outside of the States to house the legendary disco Studio 54. Michael Jackson's father is the man in charge.
"Mother of all nightclubs" -- on its way to Berlin
Studio 54 in West Manhattan was in business only two years during the height of disco, but the club is indelibly etched in the minds of the clientele who visited it then. And well it should be considering the purportedly excessive amount of drugs consumed and sexual fantasies fulfilled there.
Now MGM Grand, who owns the name and runs an offshoot of Studio 54 in their Las Vegas hotel, wants to go overseas with the name -- to Berlin. And Joseph Jackson, father of pop star Michael and a ripe 76-year-old board member of the capital investment company Ricercar, was in Berlin to find the proper location for what was in the 70s the address for anybody and everybody who wanted to see and be seen.
Andy Warhol was a frequent visitor during the heyday of Studio 54
Personalities like Andy Warhol, filmstar Liz Taylor, designer Calvin Klein, author Truman Capote and Jackson's son frequented the New York nightclub, but you did not have to be a superstar to get in. On his week-long tour to find where Studio 54 might best attract international, and more importantly, beautiful people, Jackson is not being accompanied by prominent names. That would be too distracting for Papa Jackson, who has a vested interest in the venture.
Berlin is "right"
"The time is right for Studio 54 in Berlin," said Mike Milner, manager of the nightclub in Las Vegas, to Berliner Morgenpost daily. In a company statement, MGM said it wants to run a club where people of "all classes, races and cultures can socialize under one roof." And horses.
Berlin, London, Amsterdam or Manhattan -- discos are the center of nightlife
One of the infamous stories in the multitude of Studio 54 memories was when, in 1978, Bianca Jagger, wife of Rolling Stones front man Mick, rode onto the dance floor on a white horse. Why she was riding a horse through Manhattan was unknown but the event catapulted the club's reputation to new heights.
In the year 2005, things are different. The voyeurs and hedons of the late 1970s lived in the pre-AIDS era of sex, drugs and rock'n' -- umh, disco.
Jackson and the club's owners are unlikely to advertise such happenings to attract business, but that reputation may just come with the territory when the new disco opens, expected by year's end.
Joseph Jackson, head of the Jackson clan, wants to land a hit in Berlin
But the stories may unfairly give Studio 54 a bad rap. Lilian Carter, the late mother of former US President Jimmy, was not known for her wild antics in nightclubs. On her first and only visit to Studio 54 she was enthralled.
"I don't know if I was in heaven or hell ... but it was wonderful!" was her comment.
That is exactly what the future owners of Studio 54, Berlin, would like to hear from every visitor.