CC photo: AVRO/Toppop https://creativecommons.org/licenses/hy-sa/3.0/nl/
Hurrah was the first dance club I ever went to in New York City. One freezing cold night in 1980, some of my friends from Columbia U. and I took the subway and walked over to West 62nd Street. Along with Danceteria, Hurrah was one of the first places to use music videos (before MTV first aired in August 1981), so it was really fun to dance while watching the video monitors. I remember singing along to the single “I Know What Boys Like” by The Waitresses while pogoing with my friends. Hurrah was known for breaking out punk and new wave acts, including The Go-Gos, The Waitresses, The Fleshtones, The Slits, and even The Cars. The crowd was very “downtown” even though the club was located in midtown. Its main competition was Studio 54, which had opened a few months after Hurrah did in 1976; but 54 was for the slicksters.
Hurrah was notorious for a few things. It was at this club that Sid Vicious, out on bail for his girlfriend Nancy’s murder, broke a beer bottle over the head of Patti Smith’s brother Todd. After that, Vicious had a brief stay in Riker’s. And David Bowie filmed his video for “Fashion” here in 1980. My friends and I loved the place and the music, and we were so disappointed when its doors closed later that year.
Leslie Wells has edited forty-nine New York Times bestsellers in her thirty-year publishing career. She is the author of Come Dancing, a novel about publishing and rock and roll set in New York City in the 1980s. Visit her at www.lesliewellsbooks.com