Marc Berkley Dies at Age 56
Written by Steve Weinstein
In the mid-‘90s, if you went to a gay club or a gay night at a megaclub in New York City, you were probably at an event produced by Marc Berkley. The man dubbed “the king of Chelsea” by New York Magazine was THE mover and shaker behind the throbbing club scene.
Marc produced “Bump,” the Sunday night at Club USA, the huge space, now closed in Times Square. The event featured “the K Hole,” a three-storey slide whose name was highly indicative of the drug that fueled so many of these crazy nights. Marc worked closely with Peter Gatien, the mysterious club owner who once reigned over NYC’s nightlife. Gatien gave Berkley the unused back space at Limelight, which Berkley transformed into “The Chapel,” a rabbit warren of rooms with go-go dancers and plenty of space to dance or play around.
Gatien even gave Berkley the Saturday nights of his crown jewel, Tunnel, a club built in an abandoned railway tunnel so cavernous the unisex bathroom had its own bar and DJ. As if that weren’t enough, for a time Berkley worked closely with John Blair in NYC’s longest-running gay megaclub event, Saturday nights at the Roxy.
Berkley had quite a run. In more recent years, he battled health issues and addiction. On Saturday, April 24, he was found dead in the Fire Island Pines home of one of his oldest friends, the real estate agent Gil Neary. The Suffolk County Coroner gave the cause of death as a heart attack.
The funeral service for Berkley was on Wednesday, April 28. His closest friends — who included the producer of the Saint-at-Large, Stephen Pevner; and John Scolaro, a nurse who, with Neary, knew Berkley since college — are planning a party in his honor. Because above all things, Marc loved a good party.
You can read the entire obituary of Marc Berkley at EdgeOnTheNet.com