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New York's nightlife notables remember Marc Berkely as a legend, pioneer and friend

On Saturday, New York's gay nightlife scene lost one of its founding fathers when friends discovered Marc Berkley dead on Fire Island.

After complaining of chest pains on Friday night, he evidently died in his sleep while visiting a friend on the gay ole Island.

While working in New York nightlife, Berkley made a lasting impression.  He created the infamous "Fag Tag" card granting VIP treatment at various nightclubs and worked with names like Peter Gatien and John Blair to keep New York's nightlife at the top of its game.  He also co-founded the former fag rag, HX Magazine, with Matthew Bank.  Berkely is also known for donating massive amounts of money to various gay charities.

By Saturday evening, Marc's Facebook page had become a memorial for the nightlife pioneer as friends, colleagues and patrons remembered his contributions.

Here are a few statements from those who knew Marc Berkley:

Matthew Bank (co-founded HX Magazine with Berkley):

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of my longtime friend and business partner Marc Berkley. His energy, vision and creativity energized the nightlife of Manhattan for decades. He could take a tired, broken-down club and transform it into the hottest venue of the moment. He whipped up parties out of the air... and had so many ideas that it was hard to keep up with him. He loved working hard so that the rest of us could have fun. I will miss him terribly."

John Blair (nightclub promoter, former Berkley business partner):

"Nightlife will miss one of the most creative personalities with the passing of Marc Berkley. He was truly one of a kind. My 35 years knowing Marc had its ups and downs but no one can take away the fact that he was one of the most important and one of the biggest forces in New York Nightlife. I will miss him more than he would ever expect."

Rickey Mercado (nightlife club owner, Club Elevate):

"I will miss you very much. I loved your stories, you made laugh... my friend you have left a void and you will be forever remembered."

Dina Marie (recording artist):

"we lost a NIGHT LIFE LEGEND! R.I.P Marc Berkley. WHAT A LOSS!"

Lee Chappell (legendary gay promoter):

 "So long, farewell, auf wierdersehen, goodbye!!!"

Johnny McGovern (recording artist, gay promoter):

"You did it your way and made it possible for the rest of us to do it our way... R.I.P. Marc!"

Tony Forbiano (nightclub promoter):

"You were so instumental in NYC night life and will never be forgotten. My love goes to you always my friend. To your family and friends I wish all the best. xoxo"

Drew G (nightclub DJ):

"Oh Marc I will miss you. Thank you for everything. RIP and make sure I'm on the guest list up there."

Tony G (founder of GayCollegeParty.blog):

"You have always been my Mentor, a Comedian with hilarious stories that were Very true! You taught me that using the word Fu*k after every other word would close more doors than open them.. You also took many punches but always found the courage and strengths to stand rite ...back up. Ms. B - you were my friend and for that I will always be grateful! Good Bye Marc Berkley!"

Brandon Voss (former editor of HX Magazine):

"...remembering laughs with Marc S. Berkley, cofounder of HX magazine. RIP."

Joe Jervis (blogger at Joe.My.God):

"A sad, sad day for NYC."

Chip Duckett (nightclub promoter, DJ):

"Make the party in Heaven rock. xxx"

If you would like to share your memories of Marc Berkley, please feel free to do so below or head over to his Facebook page.


As a nightlife family, we may fight amongst ourselves but in a time of loss we come together like a family should. Marc Berkley will be missed and forever remembered.

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