Studio 54 © Bill Bernstein / Reel Art Press
Bill Bernstein is well known for his work with musicians, celebrities, and much more, and not least of all as Paul McCartney's personal photographer of many years.
Disco: The Bill Bernstein Photographs is out now from Reel Art Press. Bill was on assignment shooting an awards dinner at New York's notorious nightclub, Studio 54. As the dinner ended, the clubbers arrived. Short on film, Bill bought ten rolls off a fellow photographer and stayed for the night. Thus began a project shooting New York's then-vibrant and ever-notorious nightclub scene.
From the book's foreword, by Horse Meat Disco's James Hillard: "These shots capture the very essence of what going out was, is, and should be, all about. They showed the true democracy of the dance floor where anyone could be a star, as long as they had the right attitude and flair ... The pictures in this book are a document of an incredibly exciting and creative time, not only in music, but also in social, political and fashion history too.
"During this time of gay liberation, women's rights and racial equality, the dance floor transcended sex, age and status. As the Disco Bats glided across the ceiling at Barnum's, Wall Street suits partied beneath with transgender party people. Manhattan was the epicentre of disco, and Bill Bernstein captured it all."
Personally I am sorry I wasn't born a decade earlier to experience the disco scene but I have been happy to enjoy its legacy, House music.
The release will coincide with an exhibition at Serena Morton Gallery in Ladbroke Grove, West London, from 3 December 2015 - 24 January 2016.