NUR KHAN & DON HILL, 2005
*In Memory of legendary club owner Don Hill*
New York nightlife legend Don Hill (whose real name was Donald Mulvihill) died March 31, 2011 at the age of 66. For almost 20 years, Hill ran an eponymous Greenwich Street nightclub Don Hill’s, famous for so long as a seedy rockers’ hangout and more recently known as a high-end take on a rock ‘n’ roll dive bar.
Michael Musto of the Village Voice calls the man “one of the legendary club owners of New York — a man who cared about rock and roll, his performers, and his audiences. Don never wanted to be complacent or boring, but he did all that with a decency and low-key niceness that made business dealings with him very palatable.”
As Daniel Maurer wrote in New York Magazine, Hill was born in New Jersey and got his first gig at Kenny’s Castaways, where he booked a young Bruce Springsteen for $200 a week. In 1985, he went on to manage the legendary Cat Club, where everyone from David Bowie to Poison to Soundgarden performed. He opened Don Hill’s in 1993 — in addition to hosting an eclectic array of local acts and the occasional up-and-comers like the Strokes, the dive was home to popular weekly parties like the Misshapes, Tiswas, BeavHer, SqueezeBox, and of course 80s Night. Hill was known as an amiable, hands-on host and he kept the dream alive during a time when nightlife was marred by bottle-service BS and “quality of life” crackdowns, until Nur Kahn and Paul Sevigny recently joined him.
Hopefully the Don Hill’s space continues it’s legendary run and is never taken over by NYU (as so many historical clubs and bar have here in NYC).
Special thanks to Michael Musto from the Village Voice and Daniel Maurer from New York Magazine.
Edited by Marie Havens
Research & Design by Marie Havens
Nur Khan & Don Hill, PAPER Nightlife Awards, The Cuckoo Club, Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel, NYC, November 6, 2005, Photography by Patrick McMullan for Patrick McMullan.com