Outside 77 White St.

Outside 77 White St.

The Mudd Club operated from 1978 to 1983 and was named after Samuel Alexander Mudd, the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth after he shot Abe Lincoln.

It functioned as an antidote to the uptown glitz of Studio 54 and the laundry list of folks who performed or hung out there is a Who's Who of downtown cool.  

Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs performed there, as did bands like Talking Heads; Keith Haring curated a 4th floor gallery and regulars included Lou Reed, Jean-Michel Basquiat and his girlfriend Madonna, Anna Sui, John Lurie, Debbie Harry, Nico and so on.

Our strongest Mudd Club memory (many are fuzzy due to youth and whatever else was in our system) was the night before Halloween in 1979, when we should have been home doing geometry homework for Mr. Fisher's class. Instead, we were assigned by Fred W. McDarrah to go with camera to the party for the movie Quadrophenia and take some snapshots.

Much of the evening was spent with Stewart Copeland and his Police bandmate Sting, who played The Bellboy in the movie.  Sting was pissed that people weren't paying more attention to him as I recall. He was unable to fathom why Lydia Lunch or Betsey Johnson attracted a crowd but he was able to sit virtually unnoticed on a staircase with a dork high school kid as his only sycophant. Their Reggatta de Blanc album had just been released and they were hardly the global music superstars they were about to become.  

While the locale is not on any of the Save the Village tours, it is an important part of the downtown counterculture history.   

Artist Ross Bleckner bought 77 White Street in 1974, and sold it in 2004 to developer Mark Ravner of Blake Ryan Realty.  Ravner converted it into six luxury full floor condo residences which sell for up to $8 million each.

Artist Ross Bleckner bought 77 White Street in 1974, and sold it in 2004 to developer Mark Ravner of Blake Ryan Realty.  Ravner converted it into six luxury full floor condo residences which sell for up to $8 million each.