With Susan Martin and Kestutis Nakas. Moderated by Yael Friedman

Village Preservation and Some Serious Business are pleased to present
Weimar on the Hudson — Cabaret in Reagan’s New York — The Pyramid’s
singular role in the comet tail of counterculture in New York.
The Pyramid’s embodiment of these ideals arose from the combination of
founder Bobby Bradley’s genius and his own brand of Southern Hospitality.
His eye and feel for talent, his ethos of a home for the misfits, the real ones,
the talented ones, the queer, the straight, the brilliant but joyful, the brilliant but
sad and yearning – ambitious about art and collaboration but not career or
conventional success. Before AIDS would tear its way across this galaxy of
bright stars, they lit up the top of the Pyramid’s bar and stage and downstairs
Lounge, pouring out onto the street at 4am going back to their homes away
from their Ave A home. 
On July 25 th , 2024, the writer Yael Friedman will moderate a conversation
about the new oral history of the Pyramid with its co-authors Susan Martin and
Kestutis Nakas. In “We Started a Nightclub”, Martin, Nakas, and Brian
Butterick, who unfortunately passed away before the book’s completion, have
provided an oral history that serves as both vivid history and invaluable
archive. It captures the moments, the voices, the entire era and the Pyramid’s
very specific air of both defiance and refuge. The Pyramid fostered so much
experimentation and development of unadulterated talent that needed this
space not only from the stifling suburbs of Ohio, small towns of the South, or
provincialism found across the globe, but also as an antidote to rest of the
more hierarchical nightlife in the city itself.
As one of its supernovas Ann Magnuson described it so perfectly in the oral
The critical community at the time came primarily out of Soho and the
emphasis was on the minimal, the conceptual. We didn’t give a shit if
they hated us. ‘in fact, you better hate it,’ I thought, ‘I’m gonna do
something to make you hate it even more.’ I wanted to needle them.

You get into the face authority, and you have two choices, comply or
defy. Our choice was to defy. The ‘doing of it’ was the political act. Even
if there wasn’t a hint of overt politics in the content, the sheer unmarket-
ability of it all was a supremely political act in Reagan’s America. First
and foremost, these performances were life-affirming acts.

“We Started a Nightclub”: The Birth of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge as Told by Those Who Lived It is published by Damiani Books in association with Some Serious Business. You can purchase “We Started a Nightclub” here and here.

Thursday, July 25, 2024
6:00 pm

Zoom Webinar


Pre-registration required 

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