Steve Paul, who’s Hell’s Kitchen club The Scene played host to the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and The Doors, and was a favorite hangout of both Andy Warhol and Sammy Davis, Jr., died on Sunday. He was 71. Via _New York Times:
Stephen Neal Paul was born on April 28, 1941, in the Bronx. The son of a high school principal, he graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School in Westchester County at 16. Within a year he was doing public relations for a New York restaurant, even though he was too young to have a drink there. He soon added another restaurant as a client and then the Peppermint Lounge, where the twist craze took off.
By 1964, he had acquired a five-bedroom town house and found a home for his club on what was then a quite seedy Eighth Avenue. He modeled its labyrinthlike layout on cave-style Parisian discos, and said he saw its 5,000 square feet as his “canvas.”
At 25, Mr. Paul had a top-rated prime-time television show, “Steve Paul’s The Scene,” which featured artists like Aretha Franklin. It began as a local show on Channel 5 and then was syndicated nationally.
The club closed in 1970, allegedly after Paul refused to pay protection to the Mob. He went on to manage Johnny Winter and the McCoys, as well as founding Blue Sky records.