History was forever changed when a Shabby Night club in the 1980s in California created something revolutionary on the dance floor. Steve (Somen) Banerjee, a Bombay native who had arrived in the United States and had failed miserably at running a gas station, was now trying to strike gold with a nightclub. He was a dreamer with initiative, and he was eager to invest his money in a concept that would make most music halls sing: a spinning stage with half-naked men.
Steve saw the success of Playboy and when the opportunity came knocking on his door he created an empire. The idea was to put men on stage, oiled, dancing, wearing only cuffs and collars and black spandex pants, and giving women a chance to go crazy in the world of Chippendales.
Chippendales exploded onto the scene with excitement and energy. Five nights a week it was home to hundreds of wild screaming ladies featuring half clad hunks of every type. It evolved into a tyrannical empire based on murder and greed. In his wildest fantasies, Steve never imagined he would build this empire just to destroy it by murdering his choreographer Nick De Noia over greed.
After conducting an extensive investigation and scouring interviews, records, and reports, three primary pivotal actors appear to be capable of telling the true narrative concerning Chippendales.
Candace Mayeron began her career as a Chippendales patron before becoming the producer for Nick De Noia.
Dan Peterson, dubbed “Mr. Chippendales” by Steve Banerjee, was a model who seemed to know Steve the best in his early years.
For seven years, Eric Guilbert served as Steve’s producer and assistant, seeing him through the highs and lows of his career.
Let’s delve deeper into the crux of the matter with the main characters themselves.
Interviewer: Candace, where were you when you heard the news about Nick.
Candace: I was on tour with the guys when I got the call. It was one of the hardest things I had to hear.
Interviewer: Did you think it was Steve who killed Nick.
Candace: I did. They had constantly been fighting about the traveling tour, and the first person I thought of when I heard the tragic news was Steve.
Interviewer: I heard that you never let up in bringing Steve to justice.
Candace: I was there every step of the way. It took almost seven years, but he was finally brought to justice.
Interviewer: Eric, so you worked for Steve for all those years. What did you think of him?
Eric: I thought he was brilliant. He created an empire all by himself. People are claiming to have co-created Chippendales with him. That is entirely false. He made everything himself.
Interviewer: We heard you were also instrumental in getting the FBI to focus on Steve after years had passed.
Eric: True, I liked Steve, but what he did there was no defending him. Over the last few years, I saw a change in him. His anger with Nick grew and grew.
Interviewer: Did Steve give half his company to Nick.
Eric: No. He would never have given anything to anyone. He had hired Nick to produce a show together. It was unfortunate that Steve didn’t think things through.
Interviewer: Dan Peterson, You were one of the closest people to Steve in the beginning.
Dan Peterson: I was close in a certain way. We talked about the club quite a bit. We talked about the calendars, the guys he brought in, his dreams of Broadway and Disneyland. We spent quite a bit of time just talking about where he wanted Chippendales to go.
Dan Peterson: He had this idea to create a show that would go into the Edison ride at Disneyland. He used to draw it out for me step by step. Steve used to bring magazines with him that we would go through page by page and see what was happening in fashion or business or trends in general. He liked to study what was going on and thought he could always bring it back to Chippendales. I felt comfortable talking to Steve even though we didn’t always agree.
Interviewer: So, you were close
Dan Peterson: We were. I know Steve was amazed at how Chippendales grew so fast. He always seemed to be smiling and that was why. He took it very seriously. This was his golden egg. That once in a lifetime lottery ticket. It was all he did and all he talked about.
Interviewer: What did you think of Steve?
Dan Peterson: Steve and I got along great. There is no justifying what he did by killing Nick. At the time, before Steve started heading down the wrong road, Steve helped me any way he could. He paid for my acting classes to my rent. I know he wanted me to succeed. I ended up doing close to 200 talk shows for him throughout the US and also traveled with him to Europe to try and open up shows there. I had my first lobster with him and flew to Europe on the Concord. All I can say is that he was good to me. I understood his excitement about Chippendales.
This is just a small excerpt of our research on Chippendales. We will follow it up with a series of blogs on Chippendales. Stay tuned for more fascinating revelations.