In Nocturnal Admissions: Behind the Scenes at Tunnel, Limelight, Avalon, and Other Legendary Nightclubs (Santa Monica Press, 2022), nightclub director Steve Adelman reflects on his years working in some of the world's most popular nightclubs. In his memoir, Adelman reflects on his work in in New York City in the nightclub heyday of the late 1980s and 1990s, at the Roxy, Limelight, Tunnel, and Palladium, followed by Avalon (Boston, Hollywood, and Singapore locations), and the New Daisy Theatre in Memphis. Nocturnal Admissions is a timely, nonconventional look at one of pop culture's most outwardly glamorous, yet misunderstood industries, bringing the reader backstage into the world of nightlife at its highest level. Wearing the multiple hats of ringmaster, entrepreneur, guidance counselor, multimillion-dollar dealmaker, and music soothsayer, Adelman chronicles an improbable journey from small town to big city, filled with a cast of characters he could never have imagined: People named Hedda Lettuce, Jenetalia, Maxi Min, Jiggy, who collide with and around the likes of Jack Nicholson, Bruce Willis, Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, RuPaul, Rudy Giuliani, and Snoop Dogg, among many, many others. Navigating city crackdowns, crazed partners, and cultural differences, Adelman relates how he watched his Nana out-dance an ex-NFL lineman, was chastised by Bob Dylan, launched the EDM musical movement, helped created the "mash up" with Perry Farrell, butted heads with Jerry Falwell, rang in the New Year with Matt Damon's mother, leveraged porn star Jenna Jameson, relied on advice from felons, almost pancaked Prince, and built the world's most lavish nightclub. Nocturnal Admissions is a hilarious, adrenaline-filled ride through the peak decades of the world's most famous nightclubs and nightlife scenes.
Rebekah Buchanan is a Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.