Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017
NIGHT FEVER: 1977 to 1979
It was the end of the 1970’s, where I discovered an electric atmosphere at a Rochester, New York discotheque called Club 747. The fun and excitement of this unique night club drew me back frequently to make photographs. Inside the energy and unusual décor, inspired by the interior design of a 747 jumbo jet, typified the Zeitgeist in nightclubs of the Disco era. New York’s Studio 54, where the famous and not so famous partied until dawn epitomized this same period in time. In 1977, the famous American actor, John Travolta introduced his Fred Astaire-like moves on the big screen in the smash hit, Saturday Night Fever. Travolta’s ode to a neighborhood Brooklyn nightclub was represented with the same enthusiasm by the Saturday night fever of Club 747 in Rochester, New York.
The characters at Club 747 enhanced the mood. There was the African American man whose face and hands were marked by the scars of severe burns. He looked upscale in his three piece suit dancing to the rhythms of Donna Summer, The Bee Gees and the Village People. A young determined white college student with her hand in a sling was deterred from receiving her drink. She simply waited for her shot from an anonymous donor with her functional left hand outstretched, as if the drink was already received. The crowd was from all walks of life, the young and the old, the upper class and the less fortunate. They all seemed oblivious to their differences in age, gender, race, social class, religious beliefs, political persuasion or sexual preference. As a body they were universally seduced, united and enlightened by the music and dance of this uniquely American period in time: the 1970’s.
To access the entire Night Fever portfolio, go here: http://tonyward.com/early-work/night-fever-1977-1979/