As I continue work on my Mudd Club chronicles, an enduring labor of love, I find that history occasionally does repeat itself. November 2015, leaves are falling, and another chapter is writing itself; I'm once again working with Steve Mass! That's the short of it. From the offices of the Mudd Club Rummage Sale Host Committee, to benefit the Bowery Mission Women's Program, here's the rest:
Steve Mass, aka Dr. Mudd, the genius behind the legendary Mudd Club (1978-1983) where nightlife was truly an art form, quietly slipped out of New York at the turn of the millennium, when downtown was still in the shadow of the twin towers. He moved to Berlin. There things were, perhaps, more like the New York he loved than what New York has now become. And now, as suddenly as he vanished, he has reappeared to the joy of all Mudd graduates turning up in lower Manhattan on White Street just a few blocks from the legendary 77 White Street site of the Mudd Club. Steve is now back in town to have a huge birthday party/Bowery Mission Charity event.
It’s funny to see Steve, in many ways the ultimate New Yorker, visiting the city today. He’s like a tourist from another dimension, full of wonder and bemusement. His presence stands out as a magnificently preserved specimen from another time: a perfect prankster idealist hoping to make the world a better place and have fun doing it. During the late 70’s, early 80’s, the heyday of the Mudd Club, Steve was such a very generous host to the young creatives pouring into a then desolate Tribeca helping to facilitate a magical design laboratory where you could work and get by on very little money. The Mudd Club was THE creative epicenter. This contributed in no small way to today's boom in art, music and film. It is all part of the Mudd's legend and lore. At that time talented people didn’t need to have a full time day job to get by. Still it was difficult for many talented young people, especially women, who were changing the world against the odds. Steve recalls the greatness of the late Gia Carangi, Edwige Belmore, Tina L’Hotsky, Anya Phillips, Sara Charlesworth, Abbijane Schifrin, Anita Sarko and the difficulties they faced. And they were the successful ones.... although ultimately suffering tragically.
Today it is so much harder to eat, to keep a roof over one’s head in this city. It is not surprising that there are many college educated and once employed homeless in New York City. Now fortunately there is a program which sponsors vulnerable women at The Bowery Mission. Their Women’s Center provides residential private accommodation for women suffering from homelessness due to the many pitfalls of the city including domestic violence, addiction, financial exploitation, job loss, and health crises.Therefore we are asking for your help in reaching out to friends, Mudd Club members and habitues as well as their descendents and heirs and to ask them to participate in the MUDD CLUB RUMMAGE SALE.
As a friend of the Mudd Club we ask that you and your friends lovingly donate an historic work of art, photographs, couture treasures, accessories, memorabilia, designer sample and/or cultural curios (hopefully from the Mudd Club days but any period is acceptable) in memory of our youth, friends lost and the special lives we now live. In addition we are asking you to purchase tickets to the event and if possible make a donation to The Bowery Mission.