These Access All Areas Photos Show Disco In Its Heyday

From Studio 54 to the Paradise Garage, a new book from photographer Bill Bernstein celebrates the people who made New York's nightlife the most exciting it has ever been.
Publish date:
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For me, the 10 years between '75 and '85 is when the relationship between music and clubbing was at its peak. The whole entertainment industry was in its pomp, with the budgets to allow huge orchestral compositions to be played on soundsystems and in environments the likes of which we could only imagine today. It's no coincidence that 'Disco' remains synonymous with fun. 


Disco's steady tribal drum patterns speak to the most primal instinct in us all, our inner hedonist drawn out with lush string arrangements, wailing divas giving sermons on love and loss. 

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One man who was there to capture it all was photographer Bill Bernstein. His access all areas images capture Disco at the height of its buzz, inside clubs like Studio 54, The Paradise Garage, Mudd Club and Hurrah. While the exploits of the big stars of the day have been well documented, Bernstein's photos focus on the characters who lived for the night. The regular faces who made the club scene as vivacious as it was. 

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A new book showcases some of Bernstein's greatest photos from the time, a selection of which you're looking at here. As James Hillard (Horse Meat Disco) says in the foreword, Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs captures "the very essence of what going out was, is, and should be, all about."

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Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs is out now via Reel Art Press