Vintage Pop Culture New Year’s Eve Memories


While the world raises a glass to another new year, take a stroll down memory lane and revisit these vintage pop culture New Year’s parties, resolutions, and more. This is how celebrities kicked off 1957, 1968, 1978, 1983, and more. From Keith Haring and his disco-savvy art shindig, to Andy Warhol and a splashy Studio 54 bash, these are just a few New Year’s memories from the stars we love. Kiss someone you appreciate tonight. Happy new year!

Keith Haring

Downtown scenester and video artist Nelson Sullivan was a guest at Keith Haring’s New Year’s Eve party on the night of December 31, 1983. Nelson shot about 2 hours worth of footage. We get a look at Haring’s paintings, the fashions of the time, a few notable guests, and an earful of the Haring playlist — which YouTubers partially identify in the comments section if you’re feeling it.

The Troggs

We first spotted this performance by English garage rockers The Troggs on Dangerous Minds. From the website:

New Years Eve, Paris, 1968. Amidst a volatile political climate of civil unrest that nearly brought the entire country to a virtual halt, rock ‘n’ roll music was still prevailed as “teenage entertainment” before being overthrown by the hippie culture of Woodstock the following year. The 3 1/2 hour New Years Eve Surprise Partie broadcast from the ORTF Studios (the only French TV channel at the time) is a beautiful, ultra-mod, time capsule that features rare performances by Jacques Dutronc, The Troggs, Françoise Hardy, Aphrodite’s Child, Johnny Hallyday, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, The Small Faces, P.P. Arnold, Booker T & The MGs, The Pink Floyd, Marie Laforet, The Equals, and many others. The invitation-only guest list included hundreds of fashionably dressed Parisian partygoers wearing the latest styles, and casually lounging about every inch of a cool, modern, space-age set.

Grace Jones

Grace Jones and Lady Miss Kier share a dressing room before going live at The Palladium in 1991. From the YouTube description:

Grace Jones Live at the Palladium on New Years Eve with Deee-Lite. Filmed and edited by Janet Speier and David Wallace Crotty. It was New Years Eve at The Palladium in New York City in 1991 This video clip was taken in the dressing room. Grace Jones’ amazing costume was designed by David Spada -who is wearing the polka-dot shirt. Miss Grace Jones, Lady Kier, and DJ Dmitri (of Deee-Lite) ham it up for the cameras before the show while Grace is putting on her make-up. Brilliant dressing room video clip!!!!

For more great vintage Grace on New Year’s Eve, see these two photos of the artist performing at Studio 54 in 1978.

Andy Warhol and Studio 54

Resident studio 54 DJ Tom Savarese dropped this mix on the glittery crowd in 1978. See photos from the club’s party on BuzzFeed. Read Andy Warhol’s account of the party, and his fun story about Diana Ross, over here.

Woody Allen

Julia Child declined Woody Allen’s invitation to his 1979 New Year’s Eve party.

Greta Garbo

Greta Garbo prepares to celebrate New Year’s in style, despite sounding a little homesick, according to this 1927 Photoplay interview with the actress:

“Let’s not talk of me!“ she pleaded. “It is New Year’s eve. In Sweden that means so much, so very much. There we go to church and eat and drink and see everybody we know. I have been blue all day. At home, in Stockholm, they are skiing and skating and throwing snowballs at one another. The cheeks are red – oh, please, let’s not talk of me.

Clark Gable and friends

Old Hollywood gents Clark Gable, Van Heflin, Gary Cooper, and Jimmy Stewart make a toast on New Year’s Eve, 1957.

Marilyn Monroe

Must make effort to do

Must have the dicipline to do the following –

z – go to class – my own always – without fail

x – go as often as possible to observe Strassberg’s other private classes

g – never miss actor’s studio sessions

v – work whenever possible – on class assignments – and always keep working on the acting exercises

u – start attending Clurman lectures – also Lee Strassberg’s directors lectures at theater wing – enquire about both

l – keep looking around me – only much more so – observing – but not only myself but others and everything – take things (it) for what they (it’s) are worth

y – must make strong effort to work on current problems and phobias that out of my past has arisen – making much much much more more more more more effort in my analisis. And be there always on time – no excuses for being ever late.

w – if possible – take at least one class at university – in literature –

o – follow RCA thing through.

p – try to find someone to take dancing from – body work (creative)

t – take care of my instrument – personally & bodily (exercise)

try to enjoy myself when I can – I’ll be miserable enough as it is.

Read more about Monroe’s list of resolutions on Open Culture.