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Date posted Wed, 9 May 2001
From: Bob C; Email: email@example.com
Hey Garage heads, remember this ..??
Hey YOU !
I used to go up the ramp and loose my mind when I heard "I hear music in the streets" and "Heart Beat" . Larry used to set it off !
I came from James Monroe projects, Soundview ave, the Bronx. The Garage was the first real High Powered Mega Club that I have ever been to. Better Days, the Loft, they were fun, but the Garage was the big time. I went to Aviation high school in Queens. I turned on some of my buddy's from school to the Garage. We were all "Searching to find the one"
I am now in the Air Force (19 years) and have been all over the world, London, Paris, Japan, Guam. You better believe that the Garage has influenced music all over the world. In London to this day, they call House music "Garage" music. They don't know why its called Garage music, so I school them.
Any Aviation crew out there, give me a shout Remember me, I was that light skinned kid from da Bronx
Date posted Wed, 18 Apr 2001
From: ; Email: Zlexus7018@aol.com
Do know that after all these years, I still go back and kiss the walls outside 84 King St. Need I say more... I didn't need drugs. and I miss all my people. I would dance so hard and so fast. It was all natural. There are times I cry because I feel I will never get that feeling again and then I cry because I was one of the blessed ones to know that feelng. Thank you so much for having a place where folks can vent.
Date posted; Sun, 15 Apr 2001
From: Margaret Ellington; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your website is wonderful. I only went to the garage a few times but just like everyone says what you felt while on the dancefloor was like an out of body experience.my body was dancing feeling the bass but my soul was flying. I'd like to thank you for compiling the list of songs with artist. I was going down the list singing away and I thought I wonder if there is a cd that exists that has the greatest hits of paradise garage featuring larry levan mixes. if there is please tell me or maybe there is someone who would make up such a cd.
Date posted Thu, 22 Mar 2001
From: Larry Arias; Email: LArias@Scholastic.com
I was born the year 1977 when Paradise Garage first opened. When I came across your website, after so many years and burning out of clubbing in NYC, I realized that I missed something, don't get me wrong, when I used to go out I thought there was nothing better and those were my days but, I missed all those memories that should have been in me and all that music that I adore now even though they don't mean half as much as they do to the people who lived them and dance them at this beautiful and legendary place. It was paradise indeed and all I have now is the music that stills lives in our souls and the memories in our hearts. I was there, but not in a physical form but in a spiritual form enjoying the music with you all and now sharing what I continue to experience,
I saw two older men on the train yesterday, they were bopping to the beats in their walkmans listening to different songs but they were on the same beat, one was listening to beautiful people by barbara tucker and the other to gotta have house music, and they were feeling it, no doubt they were probably at Paradise Garage back in the days and people were looking at them as if they were wierd but I saw them and I bopped inside to the beat that lives in my heart, the beat of house and the beat that Larry Levan, who unfortunately I never got to hear, created and lives in MY HOUSE.
Date posted Mon, 12 Mar 2001
From: Wayne Sharpe; Email: email@example.com
I first went to the Garage in the summer of 1982. I was living in Dallas Texas and was in town for the weekend. They were having the Beach party. Sand covered the ramp as we walked up not knowing exactly what to expect but having heard that we were in for on hell of a party.
We change into beachwear and danced and roamed that huge place till am. The music was unbelievable and so were the people. Hundreds of beach attired bodies engaged in a rhythmic pulsing frenzy for hours. I chilled in the movie room and on the roof deck for a while and danced some more.
It's hard to describe but I'll always remember that night and the next morning in Washington Square Park where the party continued.
Date posted Friday, Feb 28, 2001
From: Aaron Myls; Email: AaronMyls@aol.com
My first time at the Paradise Garage was weird at best. I was only eighteen at the time and Noel and ( I can't remember the other bouncers name ) would not let me in because I was too young. But my freinds went in with my blessing and I stood outside. Sylvester was performing and I refused to leave because I knew it would be a night to remember. I saw Sylvester come in, faintly heard him perform inside, and leave but I refused to leave because I wanted in.
It was getting chilly outside and it had to be about 4:30 in the morning when finally, the the other bouncer opened the door, looked at me and said: " you're not going to leave are you!" I said no!. so he looked at me and said:
"Let me have a cigarette"
I went in my waist band and pulled out my crushed box of Newports and handed him a bent cigarette with an eager, expentant look in my eye. He then gave me a look of fatherly pity and said:
My eyes widened and without hesitation I swiftly walked up the the lighted runway ramp where I could hear the foggy but thumping bassline of Alicia Myers "I Want to Thank You" becoming clearer as I approached the box office to pay my $20.00 to get in. I hastily gave the cashier a crumpled 20 and found my way to the dance floor.
The first thing I said to myself was: "why were all of the lights on?" and then I realized that no one cared because the music was so intense being funneled through one of the top 5 sound systems in the entire planet with larry at the helm cranking it like there was no tomorrow.
I then went past the movie theatre upstairs to the roof where people were grooving to the Milesesque trumpet sound and funky jazz bassline of Pleasure's "....Take a Chance and Give Your Love to me." where one guy seemed to be dancing 10 times faster than everyone else.
I said to myself "WOW" this is it! I have arrived! Im in the Garage. Thee Mothership of all clubs in the Western Hemisphere. I found my "friends" who were shocked that I stayed outside so long. They thought I went home. We partied till 12:00 the next day, ate breakfast ansd went home. That was the first of many nights that I went to the Paradise Garage. From that night on, I have been inspired by Larry Levan and his music.
His playing style and selections have been passed on to thousands of DJ's including myself . Im older and settled down now with a family but I still have a burning desire in my soul to reach the level of Godlike legendary status Larry Levan is today with the Paradise Garage as his vessel.
Posted Feb 21, 2001
from David Barney firstname.lastname@example.org
Words can not begin to explain fully what the Garage was all about....It runs purely on emotion. I've since moved to Atlanta and I try to explain to people what the emotional and physical connection was to the Garage, but they just look at me like I'm crazy... I guess that's because the more I talk about it, the more excited I become.... Whenever I'm out at a spot and that old club bangin beat is filling up the club, I might run into a few people who, like myself were frequents of this Heaven called, the "Garage" we get so damn excited.
Ok, about my experience...I remember the first time I had gone...Since I was not a member, I always had to pay a member to get me in, then of course pay the cover, but it was always worth it....Anyway, I had heard all the old heads talking about the Garage, but my closest experience was going to the Zanzibar in Newark and listen to Merlin Bob or Tony Humphires... Finally that night came....We rode around upto 116th & Lenox to get our party favors.....Then, as I walked in the door, up the RAMP with the lights guiding me, I walked into Heaven....It was unbelievable. My life and love for music changed....To see the likes of Grace Jones get buck wild on stage, Lolita, Jocelyn.... The juice bar, fresh fruit....the roof....DAMN.... What about the "Beach Party".....Life guard chairs adorned the club....Your change of clothes..."Baby Powder" always in your bag....
I could go on and on.....the chants from the thousands of people screaming...."We Love You Larry" What about Tonya Gardners' "Heartbeat"....when Larry turns off the vocals and as loud as he could....Let the sound of the Heartbeat thump throughout....Damn that just vibrated throughout your soul....
Don't make me wait another night....tonight I'm gonna love you...don't make me wait another night..ahhhhh I can do it right...Say I yeee I can do it right baby....
Oooooh I desire you.. your truly a fantasy (a fantsy) And oooooh I gotta have you...Body and soul.
Yea, those were the days....... Its something about memories....You can never take them away...
Posted February 10, 2001
Since viewing this site for the first time over a year ago, I have made several attempts to share my thoughts on Larry and the Paradise Garage..Once I started I could'nt stop writing! After I read what I wrote, it still was'nt enough to convey what I feel..Every time I visit this site, I am overcome with emotion...When you think about the different types of people, from all over the world that have been "touched" by the Larrys incredible artistry and the PG energy, it is amazing!
When living in Boston (from 84-99) I was a serious dancer (jazz, ballet, etc) and I loved to go clubbing! (I could get my shit off 'fo real!-High yellow, big butt and a smile!) Anyway, my crew told me of this place-we rented a car and there we were-I had no membership, but fine ass Noel let us in...I will NEVA' forget the "landing ramp" (as I affectionately called it!) I was cleared for take off as I heard that bass pumping the intro to "kindess for weakness" (?)... Honeys, I got up in that piece and Larry wore my ass out! I was all his! He did me this way and that way - I was in Love, surrounded by Love and positive energy! Saturday night was alright with me!!! I never had an evil word spoken to me-it was all love! I only had two years of the club, but like everyone says, it changed my life forever. A blessing...From that night until it closed, I was there as much as I could afford to be..There were times that I would literally be one of the last few on the floor but I would'nt stop until Larry stopped-I have never been so open! On one occassion my ride was ready to go and I had to put my street clothes on (what a pity - haha!) I pleaded with them to stay but they insisted-we started to go-but Larry just didnt let up and then these two brothers started doing some serious ballet/jazz moves-that was it for me-off came the boots (and lots of confetti) and I was out there again! My friends were heated, but I had to get my flow on with these dudes-and I did! It must have been around noon (?) Oh yeah, I remember the fellas (sorry guys, forgot your names) calling me over-they had just finished sweeping the floor-once I spilled the confetti-they handed me the broom to clean up my spilled confetti (haha i laughed a while and cleaned up my mess and quickly returned to Larry)...Well, after that I really was attempting to leave-I looked up at Larry and he beckoned me to come up to the booth. I was like "me?" and he was replied, "yes"...I was frozen! (And my friends were ready to drag me out by my hair) I could'nt go up there! To this day, I regret it soooo much..I think I was too in awe??? I still don't understand it..After the club closed (sorrowful) I saw LL at "the world" (?). I was trying to get that same feeling back, but it just wasnt the same-I stopped dancing and looked over and Larry Levan was just chilling-sitting on the "bleachers" watching the scene...I was all done-I wanted to speak and to ask him to get on the tables but I couldn't say a word (It is a rare occassion when I have nothing to say)! (crying shame!) After we left, I heard he threw down!!! (I was pissed my crew made me miss hearing him for the last time)...Like so many others, I was devasted when I heard the news of his passing....
The Paradise Garage was an incredible experience and I thank you soooo much for this site. I'm currently living in Cape Cod, Ma (sleepy!!) and it means the world to me to be able to connect with you all...
Some of my favorites: LOLETTA RULES!!!-LOVE SENSATION #1!!!Pam Todd's Lets Get Together, DR LOVE!!!, MFSB-Love IS the Message!,Going Back to My Roots, E-2 E-4 (especially when played during the early morning hours-incredible!), Billie's, Nobodys Business, I Surrender, Memorie,Dhar Braxton's Jump Back, Adeva, Gwen Guthrie, all the Peech Boys, Chaka Khan, Touch's Without You, Eleesa's Where did Your Love Go?, Liz Torres, WAR, Carol Leeming's Give Me Back Your Love, It's Not Over, Tammy Lucas's Hey Boy, You Used to Hold Me, Roy Ayers, Manfriday's Winners, Kim Mazelle, Gwen Guthrie, El Coco-Cocomotion, GMR's Funky Movements, Janets When I Think of You (Larry wore it out), the Colonel!, oh and lets not forget the way Larry mixed in "you wanna suck my p___y?, well let me suck your d__k"-hilarious!,Willie Colon, Stevie Wonder, Standing in Line, The Bottle, ETC ETC ETC!! (I could go on!!!)
Peace and Love to the fierce dancer Gi (?), the bald brother that wore shorts, headband (and always had his hand towel), the brother that always wore the Superman t-shirt (we got our groove on!), the staff, and all the other beautiful children!
RIP LARRY!! - When I cross over into the great Paradise Garage in the Heavens (I hope they have the same "landing ramp", wood dance floor, lots of confetti, and ZUKI), I WILL see you again-and then I WILL tell you how much you have meant to me...Now that I think about it - the way we danced showed our love for you - you had us all dangling on your strings brother and it was all good becase it was all love. Thank You so much for touching my life like no other...("Last Night a DJ Saved My Life With a Song")...
Please forgive my rambling! Thanks for the memories my good people...
P.S. Where are you ERIC LAGUNA???? Would love to hear from you!! Please contact me!! (I remember Spring Street!)
Posted Jan 31, 2001
Where is the new party spot like our favorite club the Paradise Garage in the New York Metro area? Could you give us some suggestions? Clubbing has never been the same since it closed it's doors. Don't make me wait another night.........Ha Ha Ha I can't take it no more.
Posted Jan 28, 2001
From Evelyn Mitchell; email: EWMitch@aol.com
Now 37 years old, I was at the Garage every Friday until I left for college in Boston and often even thereafter and have since moved to Winston-Salem, NC (where the town tucks itself in at 10 p.m.) Frequently, I have withdrawal symptoms from house music and decided today that I would do something about it. Imagine my surprise when an Ask.com "house music" search brought me to your site. I am practically in tears (of joy) as I write this e-mail.
I've read many of the posts on the site and as far as music goes, I can't go to NY right now to shop. Furthermore, it wasn't necessarily the songs but the talent that went into mixing the songs that was the attraction. Where can I get house mixes FROM Larry, or a Larry disciple or anyone familiar with the genre for that matter?
Now that I've contacted you I'm sure I won't sleep until I hear back from you. Please, "don't make me wait"
Posted Jan 22, 2001
From simon halpin; email: email@example.com
My name is Simon and I live in the UK. I was only 11 when the Garage closed so I can only dream what it must have been like, and I would give so much to have experienced just one night on that dance floor listening to Larry.
Ever since my introduction to the club scene many years back, I fell in love and became fascinated with the Paradise Garage and all it stood for. I guess you could say I've tried to educate myself and appreciate those who struggled to create what we enjoy today.
As I mentioned I can only dream of what the Garage was really like, but recently in London (June 2 2000) Mel Cheren hosted 'a Paradise Garage party' to coincide with the release of 'Larry Levan live at the Paradise Garage'. This was the first Paradise Garage party to be hosted outside New York and many original heads flew over especially, these included Mel, David Depino, Danny Krivit, Taana Gardner, DJ Kmacheo and Andyman to name a few. The atmosphere was probably only one hundredth of that of the Garage, but needless to say it was the most amazing atmosphere I have ever witnessed. Mel and David had spent days decorating the club and assembling the sound system and the result was brilliant (there was even a Paradise Garage sign hanging over the clubs entrance). I felt at the time, and even to an extent now that this party may offend people who originally frequented the Garage, but as so many 'originals' were involved it gave the party credibility and helped to educate many people who weren't able to visit 84 King Street. And let me reassure you that for one night the sprit of the Paradise Garage was alive and kickin' in London (David Depino is amazing!).
Now I come to the main reason for mailing you. At the party Mel had wired up several TV's that were playing footage of the Garage's final party. I was totally encapsulated by this footage and found the experience very moving, especially towards the end when people were sitting on the dance floor lighting candles. The TV's were quite hard to watch because they were above the dance floor, but I must have watched them two or three times over. I began chatting to Mel about the footage and he told me about the pain and sense of loss that was experienced on that night. I asked him if there was any way I could get a copy of the tape, but alas he say it was his own personal copy and he'd be flying back to NY the next day. Ever since that night I've longed to watch that tape properly (with sound) to try and understand what the Garage was really like. So you've guess it, do you know anywhere I can get a copy of that footage. Its a long shot I know and I fully appreciate what this footage must mean and the memories it must hold for anyone who's lucky enough posses it. I'd like to think anyone who does have a copy would be keen to pass on and share the legacy of the Garage with future generations, but a fully understand if they do not think it right to share such a peruses belonging. Obviously I will provide any cost of making a copy and sending it, in addition I will be happy to offer any further costs you may wish to add, financial or otherwise. Anything I can do in return I will.
I attempted to contact Michael Sampson (Larry's lightman) who say's he has a copy of this footage, but alas his e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) no longer worked.
I guess many people must have asked you the same question, but I can assure you nobody will cherish this video more than me, and in turn I will help educate a new generation keeping the Garage's sprit alive.
Thank you listening and I pray you can help. If so please e-mail me and we can go from there. My generation has so much to thank yours for.
Music is the message........
Posted Jan 21, 2001
From Michael Wright; email: Fagulous@e247.com
Hello everybody, It's me Michael Wright, Gwen Guthrie's former dancer & choreographer. I remember when Gwen said we were going to perform, for the first time, at The Paradise Garage. The previous choreographer had just moved on and I wanted the job as Gwen's choreographer. She gave me the track "Seventh Heaven" and said to me "Let me see what you could do with this".
Excited beyond all belief, I began to choreograph and make the angel costumes. Gwen bought all the materials for the costumes. As the Garage performance night drew near, she would ask me where these costumes were so i brought to her a mini set of angel wings I was working from. She would proceed to say to me "I know my mone has bought more than these little things. I told her don't worry she would love what I was gonna bring her. The night approached and Gwen was anxious to see what her money had bought. Richard Mason & I were her dancers at the time. I walked in the dressing room where Gwen was waiting for me and i pulled out these large fabulous angel wings and she and Richard's eyes bulged out of their heads.
They loved them and could'nt wait to perform the number for the children at The Paradise Garage! The show was a hit and we were asked to return twice after that, includung the closing party, when my good friend Douglas Frazier was the other dancer. I will always travel back in time to "The Paradise Garage"! It's why I live In my music today! Anybody want to email me for whatever, my email address is: Fagulous@e247.com write me sometime! I miss The Paradise Garage too!
Posted Dec. 19th, 2001
From: "Ramon Williams" Email: email@example.com
I visited your Paradise Garage site and enjoyed it a lot. I grew up in Newark, NJ where Larry's name was already a legend by the time I was 15 years old in 1985. I knew eventually I would have to make my pilgrimage. I used to listen with reverence to people playing Garage Tapes the worse the recording the more I knew how incredible the experience must have been. I have never been as excited as I was when I finally got invited to go with some friends to the Garage. from getting on the Path downtown Newark to walking to King Street to walking up that ramp my excitement level just grew and grew. it was finally happening.
Words can't even express my experience that night and the couple of other times I went, I just leave it as a feeling. To mention just one song Larry played that astounded me it would have to be Evolution (theme from battlestar galactica ) and hell, one more Time Warp w/ the harmonica by Eddy Grant. Anyway, as I'm older now (30) I have Larry and the PG family to thank for my ability to appreciate different types of music indian, reggae, rock, etc. etc. and different types of people (race, sexuality, dress, etc.) I haven't had the chance to go to Body & Soul or the Shelter but I plan to now.
Thank you for the page.
Queries: (1) do you have any tapes, i'd love to hear some of Larry's mixing again. (2) Do you know where I can get some more tapes or people who want to share tapes? (3) I have around 10-20 crates of Garage classics albums and would love to make tapes for other people. please spread the word. (4) Are there any t-shirts still out there, has anybody made anymore? Thanks again for spreading the love.
Date posted Sun, 20 May 2001
From:H S Burji; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi everyone I'll start by saying that I never got to visit the Garage. Hell, I'm 25 years old and in Australia, and when the Garage was kicking, I was like, 3 years old, back in England. I started to listen to electronic music around 1989, and at that time I was a metalhead. I never told anyone that I took notice of this new "house", it was considered to be girly at the time. How times change:-) (I find it rather amusing that people who I knew slagging house back then, seem to love it now).
The recent times in my life, musically, have seen me backtracking to the roots of house. About a month ago, I got my hands on a compilation album, with one track that had a very strong disco influence. From that track, I decided a few days ago to search for disco. I was aware of the Paradise Garage, having read about it in various magazines and articles over the years, and also having heard of the legend that is Larry Levan. While at work, I searched for information on Disco, and finally, I ventured out to a music store and grabbed what is now the most valued album in my collection of music: "Larry Levan live at the Paradise Garage". A few days later, I was on the train to work, with the album turned up to the highest volume, closing my eyes and trying to imagine what it would have been like to be a part of something so completely magical and full of equality and mutual respect, regardless of gender, race or sexual preference.
I was almost in tears several times, when I heard Stephanie Mills' "Get Your Body In It". I could feel the emotion of Larry's work in the set, and the effect it had on me was no doubt the same as that he had on the Garage crowd. It was truly beautiful and great music. Dance in it's purest and most ultimate form, being played the the man who knew.
To all those who have been lucky to experience the Garage, respect to you all. I envy your experience, and can only wish that in Sydney, that something like it could exist. RIP Larry Levan - someone who has experienced the echoes of your talent decades later loves and respects your amazing work.
Respectfully, The Hubster ICQ 28987628
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