John Perona's El Morocco Family Album. Photographs by Jerome Zerbe. Introductions by Lucius Beebe. Privately printed, New York, 1937. vi pp. intro + 62 pp. plates + index of names. Small folio (14.5 x 11 in./37 x 28 cm.). First and only edition. Clothbound. No dust jacket as issued. Numerous cyan-tinted reproductions. Accompanied by a press photo of Perona aboard his boat (8 x 10 in./20 x 25.5 cm.), SIGNED and titled by Zerbe on verso, with Culver Pictures studio and date (Aug. 21, 1941) stamps.
"Has there ever been a place in Manhattan more glamorous than El Morocco? Probably not.
"John Perona opened El Morocco as a speakeasy at 154 East 54th Street, moving down the street to 307 East 54th Street in its later days. (Both locations have been destroyed; the Citicorp building stands where the original once stood.) "Elmo", as the socialites would utter it, transitioned into post-prohibition losing none of its glamour or appeal.
"Along the way, it set the standard by which all other nightclubs of the 30s through the 50s were to be judged. (Only the Stork Club and possibly the 21 Club would rival it.) It was the first to use a velvet rope. The ruler of the rope, Angelo Zuccotti, was so revered that the New York Times ran his obit when he died in 1998, a doorman
"who wielded the velvet rope at El Morocco with such authority and finesse that he helped define the very line between cafe society and social Siberia."
As Zerbe said, "[El Morocco's clientele] were really the top, top social -- and what you mean by society, that's difficult again to define. These were the people whose houses one knew were filled with treasures. These were the women who dressed the best. These were the women who had the most beautiful of all jewels. These were the dream people that we all looked up to and hoped that we or our friends could sometimes know and be like."--from the fantastic New York city history blog, The Bowery Boys
Just about Near Fine, tightly bound; a bit of wear to 'tips'; slight fading to spine area; two round indentations top and bottom of front panel (a curious flaw endemic to this title); appropriately enough, a couple of drinks were placed on the book at some point, leaving two round areas of discoloration; photo with light wear to edges and few faint blemishes to surface (visible only in raking light).