These captivating 70s images stem from the amazing photographic archive of New York DJ legend Bobby Busnach.
Many feature Busnach’s friend and muse, the fabulous writer/photographer/performer Gerry Visco, as well as the circles they moved in at NYC’s Park Royal Hotel, Boston disco/bar The Other Side and the nascent hip-hop scene in the South Bronx.
“We lived at The Park Royal,” says Visco, who later appeared in Woody Allen’s 1980 movie Stardust Memories. “It didn’t have a cool scene. It was a residential hotel in a neighborhood on the Upper West Side which at the time was considered somewhat dangerous, a la Panic In Needle Park, but we lived across from The Dakota, where we often caught glimpses of people like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Mia Farrow, Lauren Bacall, Roberta Flack and other celebrities.”
From the turn of the 70s Busnach and Visco socialised in Boston and Manhattan as prominent figures in the gay disco and post-glam/pre-punk crowds. Meantime Busnach’s experiences as a DJ placed him dead centre of the scene out of which hip-hop grew.
Visco attended New York’s Fashion Institute Of Technology and wore her own designs. She also sourced clothes from such labels as Fiorucci, Charles Jourdan and Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s SEX, which was sold through Ian’s at East 61st Street and Second Avenue.
“Keep in mind that I am an UPTOWN BITCH – always have been and always will be!”exclaims Visco. “Downtown is for POSERS. Ha ha. The Ian’s on the UES was really good – the owner was always there and I bought some great stuff. I also worked in Macy’s briefly in the early 1980s in the cosmetics buying office.
“As well as Ian’s I bought a lot of my clothes in vintage shops and at Henri Bendel’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman,” adds Visco, who also visited the UK where she bought McLaren/Westwood designs direct at 430 King’s Road.
(Above video: Busnach’s mix of Lyn Collins classic Think About It, with his photos evoking memories of The Other Side 1971-74.)
Visco also plans a book and remains active on New York’s art, club and performance circuits. Tonight and tomorrow she is in the chorus of Norwegian artist Tori Wrånes’ Yes Nix, which is being staged as part of Performa 13.