Boch, Richard. “The Mudd Club “, Feral House, 2017.
The Famous and the Soon-To-Be Famous
In 1976, Richard Boch graduated college and moved to Greenwich Village. Two years later, he was working The Mudd Club door. As he tells it, The Mudd Club was filled with the famous and soon-to- be famous, along with an eclectic core of Mudd regulars who gave the place its identity. These included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons, and Robert Rauschenberg to Johnny Rotten, The Hell’s Angels, and John Belushi: “passing through, passing out, and some, passing on.” Marianne Faithful and Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, William Burroughs, and even Kenneth Anger are just a few of the names that were there with No Wave and Post- Punk artists, musicians, filmmakers, and “writers living in a nighttime world on the cusp of two decades.
Boch gives us memories and images, and shares how this downtown club attained the status of midtown and uptown. There was nothing else like it; he everyone, and his job quickly defined him.
Boch was not only the well known doorman of the Mudd Club; he also played a pivotal role in why it was the coolest club in the world back then. He was the crowd curator, carefully only letting in the right mix of the wildly creative downtown movers and shakers who made it to the club and he kept the squares and the unhip outside. In this book he tells us about the who’s who and all the fun that was had at the club. Reading about the cast of characters is like reading a fantasy tale filled with decadence and dance.
Boch’s prose is simple yet filled with detail and he leaves nothing unsaid. While some may see his prose as rambling, I see it as a man telling stories that we can’t wait to share. The Mudd Club was downtown Manhattan’s last important site of cultural experimentation before it became too expensive to live there. This is a fun read that is also beautifully written.