Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1970 was 40 years ago this year

1970 - Paul McCartney announces that the Beatles have disbanded. 100,000 people demonstrate in Washington DC against the Vietnam War. National Guards fire on and kill 4 protesters on May 4th at Kent State University. Music continues to make a significant impact with the largest ever rock festival held on the Isle of Wight with 600,000 people attending, including some of the biggest name in music including Jimi Hendrix and The Who. This was also the year the age of voting is lowered to 18 in the US.

1970 was 40 years ago this year,
and I found myself working for my father-in-law Burton Browne, who had become famous for creating The Gaslight Clubs.
Private 'men only members' key clubs in Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Paris, France. As VP of Operations it was my job to help select the entertainment venue, audition the singers and dancers, work with the musicians, check out the best restaurants and night clubs in the markets where we had a club to steal recipes, presentation techniques and generally just try not to get into too much trouble.

from Charles Lange on Vimeo.

NBC Chicago in 1970 wanted to do a television bio doc on the man who started it all in the private key club business. Burton Browne was an incredible entrepreneur, who owned an advertising agency on Michigan Avenue that dedicated one room and called it The Sundown Room (a place to get a drink on a tab after 5pm). Hundreds of associated ad types and clients frequented the room every day, so Burton in 1953 opened a private club for his friends and called it The Gaslight Club. It became the standard bearer for all key clubs, and was soon copied by one member Hugh Hefner who did his version ultra modern calling his place The Playboy Club.

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