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Clubland: The Fabulous Rise and Murderous Fall of Club Cultureby Frank Owen
Synopses & Reviews
For the past five years, journalist Frank Owen’s edgy explorations of the underbelly of American club culture and the personalities who inhabit it have become staple cover stories of The Village Voice. In 1995 he set out to write an article about “Special K,” the drug that had become the afterburner of choice for the after-midnight club scene. This is his genre-bending account of a six-year foray behind the velvet ropes, revealing a razor-sharp world of drugs, celebrity, money, mafia, and murder.
Gaining access to Manhattan’s legendary Limelight nightclub, Owen discovered a world where reckless hedonism was elevated to an art form, and where the ever-accelerating party finally spun out of control. In lurid detail he reveals the players who made the 1990s club scene notorious: Peter Gatien, the powerhouse behind the Limelight; Chris Paciello, who ruled the exclusive Miami Beach scene; Michael Caruso, whose cultural exchange with England’s rave scene included a mainline supply of techno and drugs; and Michael Alig, the party promoter who spawned such infamous parties as the “Blood Feast,” where the dress code featured slabs of beef and liver. They gave rise to a lethal drug ring operating in a lawless, black-lit realm of fantasy, and when the lights came up, their excesses had left countless victims in its wake.
Praised for his risk-taking, detailed, cheeky writing style, Frank Owen has spawned a hybrid of literary nonfiction and true crime, capturing a world that emerged in the spirit of “peace, love, unity, and respect”—and ended in tragedy.
Outrageous parties. Brazen drug use. Fantastical costumes. Celebrities. Wannabes. Gender-bending club kids. Pulse-pounding beats. Sinful orgies. Botched police raids. Depraved criminals. Murder.
Welcome to the decadent nineties club scene.
In 1995, journalist Frank Owen began researching a story on Special K, a designer drug that fueled the after-midnight club scene. He went to buy and sample the drug at the internationally notorious Limelight, a crumbling church converted into a Manhattan disco, where mesmerizing music, ecstatic dancers, and uninhibited sideshows attracted long lines of hopeful onlookers. Owen discovered a world where reckless hedonism was elevated to an art form, and where the ever-accelerating party finally spun out of control in the hands of notorious club owner Peter Gatien and his minions. In Clubland, Owen reveals how a lethal drug ring operated in a lawless, black-lit realm of fantasy, and how, when the lights came up, their excesses left countless victims in their wake.
Praised for his risk-taking and exhilarating writing style, Frank Owen has spawned a hybrid of literary nonfiction and true crime, capturing the zeitgeist of a world that emerged in the spirit of “peace, love, unity and respect,” and ended in tragedy.
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