84 King Street, New York, New York
One of THE DISCOteques...
I'm looking for Paradise Garage stuff like:
Invitations, Memorablia, DJ Tapes & Photos
Even Invitation/Flyer scans are wanted...
HAVE YOU GOT ANY ?
Mail ME !
In September of 1977 one of the worlds most influential clubs opened up in New York's Greenwich Village, at 84 King Street.
No one knew back then that this club would live for a decade and that it would also give name to an own music genre -
The club was strictly "MEMBERS ONLY" and if you got past the body search by the guards in the entrance, you walked up the
runway, up the hill and feel the pumping music hitting you by every step.
Above the dancefloor was Larry's domain, the DJ booth, from where he ruled his kingdom and set the mood of the crowd with
his remarkable mixes. Surrounded by massive security, no one, except the ones Larry agreed to, could enter his booth. One
guy who was allowed to enter Larry's booth was one of today's hottest L.A. DJ's, DJ Blue. He told me the following;
"I grew up in New York and did the club thing back in the late 70's and early 80's. I met Larry Levan
way before he was a DJ at the Garage. He was working at a club called Reade Street. I was a young club dancer and
Larry had a thing for me. So When I would go to the club he would let me hang out in the booth with him. I had played around
with mixing but nothing too serious. Then one nite Larry, Frankie [Knuckles] and myself were in the club and Larry (who would
do just about any drug you gave him) had some angel dust and we smoked in the booth. A half hour later we were trippin' our
butts off. So now the club is packed with people and Larry being the clown he was said to me 'Hey mix awhile!' I was stunned.
Here was one of the greatest DJ's I know letting me play in his club. I laughed, Frankie laughed, but Larry was serious. So
I played for 2 hours. But the funny thing was Larry thought I was good, and that was all I needed. I stopped dancing and
devoted all my time to perfecting my mixing. I spent many years in the booths of both Larry and Frankie, and they taught me
Another guy who made his way all the way up to Larry in the DJ booth was this young talented writer, a guy called
Kenton Nix. Kenny had this test pressing of a song of his, a song he called
"Work that body". The record didn't even have any vocals yet, but Kenny gave it to Larry. Larry and the crowd loved
the record and Kenny asked Larry if he couldn't help him get the record to SalSoul
Not very surprisingly, the Paradise Garage was also the place where the same Taana Gardner did her first gig. This was what
Taana told me; "Yes, that was my first gig and that place... The intense there was nothing but... emotion...
I mean love... I associate it with, I know it might sound like a cliché, but I'm telling you - when I got up on that stage
there, some times... I would just stand there and absorb the energy 'cause I felt it was so warm. The energy was warm to me
and the longer I stand there the more they would applaud me... Hahaha! I would say 'God... You all know how to make a woman
feel good up here!' There's no audience like the Garage audience. Never! There's none!".
As said before, not many could enter the DJ booth, but everyone could relax in the movie room or... get up on the famous
rooftop patio. Someone once said; "Being on the rooftop for Sunday morning sunrise, was the most beautiful
thing in NYC clublife. There will never be another.".
Paradise Garage really got THE best DJ ever and I have never heard anyone saying something bad about Larry... Kenton Nix
told me this about his friend; "Oh... I still think he's the greatest of all times. Larry is the greatest
of all times... You know, he will go down in history as that. I mean, every DJ knows it. Every DJ knows it. So, you know... it's...
like I said, it must be heavy to revered as much as this guy has been musically. There's really nothing you could.. You would
really be cheating him if you said anything less."
But actually Larry was not playing the club all the time... No, there was a time when the management started what they
called White Parties, since they thought there were too many Black kids in the club. They brought in other DJ's like
Larry was known for breaking new records and was always among the ones getting the latest releases first to try them out in the Garage. For example "Serious, Sirius Space Party" by Ednah Holt was one of Larry's favorite songs in 1981 [he as actually the one remixing that track] and below you can find his favorites playlist at the Paradise Garage in December 1978:
But it wasn't only the DJ [Larry] and the music that was something extra at the Garage. No, together with the sound engineer
of the club - Richard Long - they managed to put together the world's best sound system... It has been told that the
whole system were sold for some half a million dollars (!!!) to the Ministry of Sound in London when the Garage were
forced to close down in September 1987. But that's NOT true... The sound system was installed at a club called the
Paradise Ballroom on W. 43'rd St., New York. Sadly that club didn't live that long and the system was actually
The RLA system @ Ministry of Sound employed some of RLA's new designs including; the Puissance - the GSA horn loaded
main bass box named after Kenny Powers [Puissance = Power in French], Double "D" - Double D or DD Horn is a low mid
device with 2 x 12" transducers and finally - the tried and true Levan Bass horns.
I got a chance to interview Mel Cheren about West End Records, the Paradise Garage, Larry Levan and other things some time
ago and Mel told me this; [the late] "Michael Brody was my life partner, so the connection to the
Garage was natural. I've got lots of memories of Larry Levan and the Garage
that are very important to me."
But Larry and the Paradise Garage wasn't just part of the Disco era... No, due to the fact Larry was such a very hot and
popular DJ he also became a very sought for remixer of 12" singles. His remixes are much like the style he had when spinning
at "the Garage". It's almost like a dub type kind of mixes, often with long instrumental parts and building DJ-friendly
intros. On top of this he put lots of heavy basslines... And his remixes sounds as brilliant today as they did around 20
(!!!) years ago.
A MUST HAVE for any Garage fan is the West End Records CD release - Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage. It's a live Larry DJ set from the Garage in 1979. Tracklisting as follows:
When Disco "died" in the early eighties and new dance music styles started coming around - like the up-tempo Hi-Energy and Chicago's House music... New York had it's own type of House music and Levan was of course one of the pioneers in developing this new style - and what would be more appropriate than calling the New York sound after "Larry's" Paradise Garage - the New York sound was of course called Garage. Personally I think Garage music is the closest you can get to good old real Disco music, great vocals on driving beats and nice melodies. I just love it - Disco and Garage.
There were also a record label associated with the Paradise Garage - the label was called Garage Records and had the
same male logo but with Garage Records as the text.
Download the FREE basic RealPlayer...|
CLICK to hear some Paradise Garage favorites...
Boogie oogie oogie
A Taste of Honey
I love the nightlife
Found a cure
Ashford & Simpson
You can't have your cake and eat it too
B.T. (Brenda Taylor)
Give your body up to the music
Got to have loving
Don't turn your back on love
Evelyn "Champagne" King
You're too late
You got my love
Rio de Janeiro
Keep on dancin'
Ain't nothin' goin' on but the rent
Ain't no mountain high enough
I got my mind made up
Slap, slap, Lickedy lap
This time baby
Smack dab in the middle
Can't play around
I know you will
In the bush
Keep on jumpin'
Don't make me wait
NYC Peech Boys
Ooh, I love it (Love break)
Do what you wanna do
When you touch me
Work that body
Can't live without your love
Don't leave me this way
Listen to Larry Levan LIVE...
Paradise Garage 1982 - Part 1
Paradise Garage 1982 - Part 2
Paradise Garage 1985
Paradise Garage 1986
Paradise Garage 1986
Paradise Garage 1987
Paradise Garage Closing party 1987
Mixes are not for sale...
Click to buy from
Heartbeat - Taana Gardner
Serious, Sirius Space Party - Ednah Holt
No Frills - Taana Gardner
Don't Make Me Wait - New York Citi Peech Boys
Let's Go Dancin' - Sparque
Is It All Over My Face - Loose Joints
Work That Body - Taana Gardner
Give Your Body Up to the Music - Billy Nichols
When You Touch Me - Taana Gardner
Click to buy from
Bourgie bourgie - Ashford & Simpson
It's music - Damon Harris
At midnight - T-Connection
Put your body in it - Stephanie Mills
Dreaming a dream - Crown Heights Affair
By the way you dance (I never knew it was you) - Bunny Sigler
Right in the socket - Shalamar
Take me home - Cher
Pick me up, I'll dance - Melba Moore
Get on the funk train - Munich Machine
Here we go again - People's Choice
...continued - People's...
Bad moutin' - Motown Sounds
Let yourself go - Supremes
Angel in my pocket - Change
Smack dab in the middle - Janice McClain
Sun... Sun... Sun... - Jakki
Trinidad - John Gibbs & the US Steel Band
My first mistake - Chi-Lites
Erucu - Jermaine Jackson
Click to buy from
I Got My Mind Made Up - Instant Funk
Handsome Man - Sparkle
First Time Around - Skyy
Double Cross - First Choice
Greatest Performance of My Life - Loleatta Holloway
How High - The Salsoul Orchestra
Make It Last Forever - Jocelyn Brown
Click to buy from
Keep on dancin' - Mel Cheren: My life and the Paradise Garage
The history of one of the worlds best (probably THE best) clubs lasted for an amazing decade before it was forced to
close down in September 26, 1987. According to the late Michael Brody it was due to the fact that the people living around
the Garage didn't want a black club in their neighborhood.
The Paradise Garage was,
Thanks to Herve Timothe for the live pic's from the closing party.
Thanks to Gary Stewart of GSA.NY
for sending me pic's and information on the Garage equipment.
Live mixes - curtesy of
Deep House Music page
Thanks to Gerard!
HAVE YOU GOT MIX TAPES OF LARRY PLAYING @ THE GARAGE ?
I WOULD DIE TO GET COPIES OF THEM...
HAVE YOU GOT ANY...
COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS or QUESTIONS ?
Feel free to...
Mail ME !
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