Ed Rosenthal: Grow Like a Pro
Ed Rosenthal: Grow Like a Pro

Steve Eichner's New York Depicted in Photo Book About '90s Nightlife

There once was a dude named Psychner. A photographer, he lugged his camera equipment to the hippie club Wetlands in New York, shooting all the up-and-coming jam bands like Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors.

We met via a mutual friend Shirley Halperin, who I would write two books with.

Since I worked at High Times, Psychner's photos started appearing in the weed mag. His crowning achievement was the Stoned Henge centerfold in the September 1995 issue.

September 1995 centerfold by Steve Eichner

Steve Eichner went on to work for Women's Wear Daily photographing celebs and models on red carpets. At night he prowled the city's nightlife and became staff photographer for Peter Gatien's club empire that included the Limelight, the Tunnel, the Palladium and Club USA, all huge spaces pulsing with strobe lights and house music.

Eichner's years on the scene are documented in his new coffee-table book, In The Limelight. Weighing in at three pounds and written and edited by Gabriel H. Sanchez, it's chock full of images from another era when so-called club kids like Michael Alig and Richie Rich dominated the scene. There are some celeb shots (Donald Trump. Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Debbie Harry, Tupac, Joan Rivers), but Eichner mostly captures the bacchanalian, decadent frenzy that drew people to the late-night venues.

But by 1994, Mayor Rudolph Guiliani's crackdowns on clubs and Gatien's indictment on drug charges closed the doors on his empire. What's left is Eichner's book.

RELATED: Cree McCree Interviews Steve Eichner

A year earlier, High Times booked a "Rock for Pot" show at the Limelight (a converted church) starring the super group Rock Budz (Skid Row's Sebastian Bach and Pantera's Dimebag Darrell and Rex Brown, plus a drummer), Bad Brains and Animal Bag. Eichner was kind enough to release the outtake photo below of Bach and Dimebag that doesn't appear in the book. The one of the stoner below that photo does.

Sebastian Bach and Dimebag Darrell at the Limelight in 1993 (photo by Steve Eichner)

Unidentified stoner dude at the Limelight, 1993 (photo by Steve Eichner)

Word is Eichner's next book will focus on the early jam-band scene, his true love. In the meanwhile, get a signed copy of In the Limelight here. It costs $60.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.