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The Roundtable

Down And Out At The Chelsea Hotel


The Chelsea Hotel played home to New York City’s bohemian art scene for a hugely influential chunk of the 20th century, bringing together artists, musicians, junkies, gangsters and gamblers under one roof.

It’s where Dee Dee Ramone wrote punk songs and where Sid and Nancy entered the vernacular forever. It’s also where Andy Warhol's circle gathered and where Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix took up residence.

But rent at the hotel, dating to 1883, is now through the iconic roof, and its era as an artists’ haven is past.

The days of creativity and debauchery are very much alive in the pages of James Lough’s new oral history, This Ain’t No Holiday Inn: Down and Out At the Chelsea Hotel 1980-1995, which is published by Schaffner Press.

James Lough is the former director of the writing program at Savannah College of Art and Design, where he still teaches.