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A BRIEF HISTORY OF JACKIE 60

"This creativity factory delivers the most fantastic nightlife in the city." -Time Out New York

Zurich's Cabaret Voltaire began the 20th century of inventive nightlife and New York's Jackie 60 finished it with a spectacular finale three days before the century's end. Jackie 60 was begun in 1990 by local night life luminaries Chi Chi Valenti and Johnny Dynell, dancer/ choreographer Richard Move and London fashion designer Kitty Boots. Disillusioned with the stale, over-commercialized state of the New York night, the four set out to create a club environment that was performance oriented and distinctly underground in tone. Beginning at the 14th Street nightclub Nell's, they developed the Jackie 60 formula, with its weekly themes and live, stream-of-consciousness M.C.s. In March 1991, the Jackies moved their newborn Tuesdays-only club to a small bar in the then-seedy Meat Market district, which later became the underground venue MOTHER.

To its fanatical mixed following (some of whom had abandoned clubs decades ago), Jackie 60 fast became a Mecca. The club assumed a level of audience sophistication unparalleled in Gotham, and Jackie regulars from designer Marc Jacobs to pop supernova Debbie Harry consistently rose to the challenge. Every week, the club's decor, performers and soundtrack were transformed according to theme, which varied from Hasidic hip-hop (Fiddler In The Hood) to classic murder (A New Year's Most Foul) to supermodel angst (Pooped-Out Party Girls.)

As the decade moved on, the creative explosion in and around Jackie mushroomed. Jackie's monthly Verbal Abuse midnight poetry soirees gave birth to the literary zine (and later the e-zine) of the same name. Several hit dance records bore the unmistakeable live Jackie sound (featuring the clubs "Jackie MC's" including Paul Alexander.) Jackie's Playhouse, the clubs theatrical wing, staged original plays and adaptations (most notably those penned by Valenti and Michael Musto, including the seminal Cokewhore and The JonBenet Ramsey Story.) The Jackie Hackers series (a club-computer laboratory begun in 1992) birthed the INTERJACKIE site in 1995 (one of the first and most poular underground club websites, now archived on the massive mothernyc.com site.)

Jackie 60 had come far from its beginnings as a group of friends entertaining each other, but remained insistently true to them. Something happened every Tuesday that was unexplainable, a "communal club reality" with its own logic and its own star system. Empress Domination came the closest on the liner notes for The Jackie Hustle EP- "They live for Jackie because she's little dark, and different. They live for Jackie, because she feels like New York again."

By 1996, Valenti, Dynell and their merry band had outgrown the once-a-week time slot and their limited production facilities. Backed with little more than Jackie 60's legend, the couple took over the run-down premises on West 14th Street where Jackie "lived" and tackled their greatest challenge to date - to apply "Jackie Family Values" to a full-time nightclub. From MOTHER's opening in 1996 until her closing in June 2000, she was the epicenter of Gotham's nocturnal creativity, where others learned the rarified art of creating imaginative club nights. The Jackie Factory team (now joined by Pyramid Club co-founder Hattie Hathaway) continued to create their international night life landmark anew every Tuesday and MOTHER also housed several Jackie offshoots including the cyber-fetish weekly Click + Drag (born of Interjackie) and Move's Bessie Award-winning dance performance series Martha @ MOTHER.

In March 1999, her producers announced that Jackie 60 would close as a weekly party at century's end -December 28, 1999. The final night, a thousand celebrants came out for the glorious ending to a club experience that had spanned (and helped to define) a decade. The last year of Jackie 60 Tuesdays were filmed by JACK GULICH for THE JACKIE MOVIE, a documentary focusing on the club's performers and regular audience that is currently being edited.

21 CENTURY JACKIE

The spirit of Jackie 60 lives on at Jackie 60 Further Events and Special Editions, including their most famous creation NIGHT OF A THOUSAND STEVIES (which celebrates its twelfth annual edition in May, 2002 and has inspired the feature film GYPSY 83.) Other new-century highlights included a six-night sold-out run of A VERY JACKIE CHRISTMAS in 2001, starring Debbie Harry and other Jackie Icons. With the closing of MOTHER, these parties found several new homes in New York City, including Don Hill's, The Slipper Room, and CBGB DOWNSTAIRS LOUNGE AT THE GALLERY. The Jackie 60 Events, now called JACKIE 60 FURTHER, take place in various venues near and far. The vibrancy of these large-scale events is fed by the exponential growth of All Things Jackie online - dozens of Tuesday nights are archived on the pages of the mothernyc.com website, currently a center for all manner of alternative club communities. The two year old MOTHERBOARDS are busy online forums with tens of thousands of monthly visitors where a new audience finds like-minded souls and Jackie Legends scattered worldwide keep up with New York at night.

The year 2001 found the Factory on the road producing special one-night Jackie 60 editions in new locales including the Coney Island Sideshow (as part of the Village Voice's Siren festival in July,) two nights in Portland, Oregon and the legendary LAST WIGSTOCK, in early September. The Factory also collaborated on the mammoth NY EXOTIC EROTIC BALL as well as producing elaborate Halloween and New Year's events. Valenti and Boots still collaborated on Click + Drag, through its December 2001 closing at Fun in Chinatown, and other large-scale fundraising, fashion and fetish events.

In 2002, The Factory continued community-building and party-giving, hosting many large-scale editions including Movie Star News (Betty Page 12,) the Anne Rice Halloween Ball, and another New Year's Eve Hooker's Ball, all held at CBGB 313 Gallery and Lounge. The team also produced LOW LIFE, a tribute to The Bowery's sleazy past, for the 2002 Bartender's Ball, part of the Club Nation Nightlife Expo, and various other special events through the year. The Factory also contributed themed music, MCs, costumed dancers, DJs and publicity to dozens of other events, theatricals and films, including the 2002 Black and Blue Ball and the New York Public Library's Hollywood Musicals benefit.

CONTACT

PRESS AND BOOKINGS - CHI CHI VALENTI / The Jackie Factory 212 929-6060
events@jackiefactory.com

Rob Roth for The Jackie Factory ©1995, Redesign by Falon, 1998, Empress, 2000.
Last Updated July 12, 2003