Saturday, June 25, 2005

Somehow I missed this Cheetah

I can't believe I didn't consult Popism: The Warhol '60s by Warhol and Pat Hackett (New York: Harper & Row, 1980) for the Cheetah entry. While researching info for the next site I'll be investigating, I came upon this:

Toward the end of April, a club called the Cheetah opened on Broadway and 53rd Street. It was a big operation, with a fifteen-hundred capacity, done up very slick with colored lights and vinyl strips hanging off the ceiling, and movies and slides and closed circuit TV, and spin-offs like a television room and a boutique.

And bands--the Velvets played at the opening; I saw Monti Rock III dash by in a glittering gold outfit, looking, he said, for Joan Crawford.

The Cheetah was the brainchild of Olivier Coquelin, and when it was in the planning stages, Olivier had asked me and Edie to be the host and hostess there--Andy and Edie's Up, he wanted to call it. But he and his backers were good business people and in those days we weren't--we were so loose when it came to things like schedules and contracts, and also, we never wanted to commit ourselves to anything; all we wanted was to run around and have a good time. So the next thing I knew, their beautiful slick club was opening--without me--and it was a sensation.

The clothes the guys wore at the Cheetah shows that they were catching up with the girls, discoing in the new styles--polka-dot shirts and bell-bottoms and boots and little caps.

But the most remarkable thing was that there was not one drop of liquor on the premises (they figured it would be impossible to check I.D.'s for thousands of kids who would all be right around the legal age limit), and nobody missed it. The kids weren't really drinking anymore anyway--drugs were a new thing on their minds; liquor seemed old-fashioned.

More Warholian-tinged madness to come...

[UPDATE 7/1/2005: Missed these Cheetahs as well. The Grateful Dead were booked there on June 12, 1967. And while recently perusing an Emitt Rhodes interview in a back issue of Scram magazine (I'm really digging the Merry-Go-Round reissue on Rev-ola), I found a reprint of a Cheetah business card which proved that there was indeed a connection between the N.Y., Chicago and L.A. clubs. The card also professed the existence of yet another Cheetah, in Union, New Jersey of all places. Haven't found any reference to a Jersey Cheetah elsewhere, though. Now I've gotta figure out if there was any affiliation with a late-'60s magazine that was also called Cheetah.]

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