‘I Didn’t Even Know People Liked Me,’ Says Beloved ’80s Columnist

New York club kids galvanize to raise money for Details’ Stephen Saban, following cancer surgery

Michael Alig (far left) in 1994. (Getty images)
Club kids in New York City, in the early 1990s. (Getty images)

Upon news that one of their own is recovering from an invasive and expensive surgery for pancreatic cancer, an unlikely group for heartfelt reunions has had just that. New York club kids have rallied in support of Stephen Saban, the former Details magazine columnist who recently had his pancreas, gallbladder, spleen and part of his stomach removed.

Though living in Los Angeles, the GOFundMe page for Britian-born Mr. Saban has raised more than $20,000 to help cover his healthcare costs, and turned into a mini reunion for the figures of that era—a time when partying and going to clubs meant wearing $10 platform shoes and cavorting with artists and drag queens, not sipping Veuve and donning Ed Hardy.

Among those who have donated are Dianne Brill, the clubland socialite turned cosmetics baroness, Karen Finlay, the performance artist, and founding editor of InStyle magazine Hal Rubenstein. Mr. Rubenstein once compared Mr. Saban’s writing on 1980s New York City to Honoré de Balzac’s on early 1800s France.

Many remembered Mr. Saban’s column in Details, then not a glossy mag but a downtown rag, as a harbinger of “making it,” into the scene that birthed fixtures like Madonna.

Mr. Saban, for his part, was surprised by the response.

“It’s really weird, because I didn’t know anyone even liked me,” he told The New York Times. “I’ve always been considered snarky and disapproving.”

He also said that other than requiring insulin now that his pancreas has been removed, he’s “fine.” ‘I Didn’t Even Know People Liked Me,’ Says Beloved ’80s Columnist