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from Gary Email: Jonesfilm@aol.com
Let me put my two cents in:
I've spent the last twenty years trying to tell these children what it was like the first time I milled about on King Street trying to get up enough nerve to ask someone to let me go inside the Paradise Garage with them. Sure enough, someone smiled at me, and took me in with them. Oh, how that ramp, and the thump, thump, thump of the music made my heart soar!
Eventually, I found out when the club was accepting new members, and waited in line all day. I eventually made it up the stairs and into the office, where a handsome brother to ask me if I was Gay. I calmed my nerves, looked him in the eye...and said yes. Funny place to come out, huh? I had to be there on Saturday night, and if it took this confession to gain admittance, so be it.
Now, twenty years later, the Information Super Highway has given me access back to the music and children I have always loved, and I give thanks. I thought it was just me! I miss my T-shirt (which I wore until it fell off my back) and I pray my membership is somewhere in a drawer in my mother's house. The music of Larry Levan still lives on inside of me, and if I close my eyes, I can still see those brothers who seemed to be able to levitate above the dancefloor and never come down.
PS: I want a T-shirt!
from Lydia Ennis - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I WILL NEVER FORGET MY FIRST FREE FRIDAY NIGHT AT GARUCCIāS. WITH AN INVITATION FROM READE STREET TO OUR NEW HOME ON KING STREET. I GUESS THE FIRST THING THAT CROSSES MY MIND WAS HOW DID WE MANANGE TO DANCE IN THAT SMALL ROOM (THE CRYSTAL ROOM)? I REMEMBR MY FIRST FREE MEMBERSHIP CARD NUMBER WAS 369. THE SAW DUST DAYāS , THE UNDER CONSTRUCTION PARTIES WERE THE BEST. THERE WILL NEVER BE A PARTY LIKE THE ONEāS WE HAD WHEN THAT CLUB WAS BEING BUILT. OH!! HOW I WATCH THEM TURN THAT GARAGE INTO A PARADISE. I NOW WONDER, WHAT EVER HAPPEN TO ALL THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE OF THE PARADISE GARAGE? I WOULD LOVE TO SEE SOME FAMILAR FACES, OLD FRIENDS, WE DIDNāT EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER NAMES. WE JUST HAD A COMMO N BOND. CHURCH WAS ON HELD FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE GARAGE.
I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this site! I was a member (Friday) from 1980-83, and there was (and still is) no place like the Garage on earth. I tell younger folks about the experience and they cannot comprehend the true meaning of my descriptions. it was a beautiful moment in time...truly the best years...
Keith Starnes Email: email@example.com
Jesus Christ blessed me with the gift of Paradise Garage in the spring of 1981. I can remember what songs were playing when I walled in. (Love) is gonna be by your side, just a feeling of love.
Then he played Hua Hua Body Music and then he played "When the tuff get going. Being from New Jersey and having spent time at Zanibar I thought I was experienced . I remember being amazed at watching all the people dancing and wondering how to join in. It was on a Friday. The first time I went on Saturday was in the fall of 1981. I spent every Saturday from 1981 until 1987 at 84 King St. I got to meet some of the most famous people in the world during that time. I remember seeing Cherly Lynn perform one night and walked into Mick Jagger, I was dumb founded.
I saw Whitney Houston sign "You give good love" on an Easter Sunday. Phyllis Hyman singing "You know how to love Me" on another Easter Sunday. I saw Diana Ross at Keith Haring's Party of Life in 1984 at Paradise Garage.
Nothing in my life has compared to the time I spent at Paradise Garage. On Thanks Giving they would have a full turkey dinner with all the condiments, in the Crystal room. I have so many memories that I will continue next time.
from Roi Fletcher, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can remember the Garage from the beginning, when it all seem to start at Reade St dancing in the Fridge. It was the place to be if you knew anybody. They were there and then came the Garage. Well let me see my name is Roi Fletcher and oh do I remember Larry Levan. All I can say is we knew each other and I was a follower of Larry's from Richard's Long's club down the street from my mentor David Mancuso, the owner of the Loft. Ahhhhhhhh those were the days.
Anyway, I can remember that big horn speaker that was at Richard LongĶs place. The name slips my mind at the moment. Was it soho? But let's get back to the Garage. I remember when it first opened Larry played on a table till the main room was finished. It was fabulous. Then the main room opened.
Wow! It was like being in the land of Oz. I never missed a Saturday or a special party. I was invited to all the parties. I was the mailman for Michael Brody and Jamie de la Cruz and we became good friends. They extended me a VIP membership to the club with guest. I have so many fond memories of the Paradise Garage. I am going to have to take a break and come back and write more later. All the lights and confetti burst I waited for. At that time, Love is the Message was one of Larry's favorite songs and could he play that mother----- wow for a half hour or so.
This is bringing tears to my eyes just to think I was a part of that history. I had just moved to Connecticut in 86 and was back in the city almost every Saturday till the closing party. It was amazing how the parties went to about 6am. At 6:30 the music would stop and everyone would be standing around stoned and didn't know what to do or what to say and then BAM! Larry would start the music up again for another couple of hours. Wow it was a experience not to have missed and I have just re-lived it on this site. I have much more to say, so I will come back later.
Thanks for the time and sharing my experience with me. If anyone reads this that knows me, feel free to e-mail me at the address above and even if you don't e-mail me, if you like, I can tell you stories about the day.
from Jamie Trow
Always a pleasure to visit your great site once again. I can't seem to find anyone who has a copy of Eddy Grant's "Time Warp" harmonica version, played in the Garage in 1981. I remember sitting on the aluminum bandstands. I was totally hypnotized with the vivid light rings, along with the Grinding Bass. The Mirror balls were so huge. It spun so fast I thought it would fall when Larry played "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
This one chick in a "Cat Suit" would dance on the speaker underneath the V.I.P. Lounge. Larry always did tease the crowd abit, adding a cut of certain records and playing them much later in the night for a long period. I have to also give props to Boyd Jarvis as well. He played these outragious bass tracks. Unbelievable...Energy!
Hey Boyd if your out there, release some of your tracks will ya!...
Anyway, I loved the "Kraftwerk" days, up on the roof garden, the standing Bose speakers erupted "Home Computer" and I ran down so fast. Past the Movie room, showing "Whatever happened to Baby Jane", the floor was packed. In those days, I saw people with big radios recording the mixes. Later on about 10 a.m., Larry played the easy going "Computer World" track. The dance floor was full of people just sitting or laying down. A staff member was walking through with a chaulkboard sign held up high, that told us the garage was closing and for us to leave. We all just ignored it.
The music continued.
I left at 12:30 and headed to Washington Square Park to wind down. You know something, I should have purchased that Colorful Garage Jacket, I think it was $75 at the time. I had so many T-shirts.
I have a Paradise Garage site at: http://music.acmecity.com/industrial/118 Please visit it. Let's continue the Spirit Trend of the World Famous Paradise Garage. -
Short and sweet. I met my wife at the Garage in 1982! Our kids hear Garage music everyday!!!
from Kalonji . Email: Ttime2doit@aol.com
Several times over the years since the www has gotten hot I've searched for house music information and it wasn't until last night [12.17.99] I'd called an old friend and he told me about this site!
This site is the bomb! After crying several times... I decided to bring my plans to create a Garage web site from the back burner to the forefront and 2 days later I revisited King st, to take photos! The security guard graciously allowed me to come inside and photograph the infamous ramp. And he listened with great intent as once again I spoke of my experiences at the Paradise Garage!
This site was so inspiring! I didn't realize that there were so many people who still felt passion about the Garage experience as I do!
Thank you so much!
Back in the late 70's, this diva I was dating in Philly [Cheryl] first told me of the Garage. Just from her description, I knew that I wanted to be there. I was warned that it was for members only and that not just anyone could get in.
Then shortly there after, I was having a drink at the Nickel bar when these guys, who had membership, invited me along.
I remember being totally blown away! It seemed as if the club was full of the most exotic, beautiful, and multi-cultural group of people I'd ever imagined!
I remember seeing people bopping to the music and I'd ask them to dance and kept getting shade! And I discovered quickly that if a song I like came on; don't ask someone to dance, just DANCE! Using that formulae, I'd find myself dancing non stop for half a dozen songs, with half a dozen beautiful woman and men, and ending up on the other side of the room!
As if that were not fierce enough, I stepped out of that room into a lounge room where If I were so inclined, I could have eaten more munchies then the price of my admission. There were huge bowls of fruits, coffee urns, water ice, pretzels, chips, etc.! Then I wandered into the next room and I'd view movies that had just or had not been released in the main stream. Thanks Michael [my old friend who told me of this site]!
As the weeks went on, I was either at the Catacombs in Philadelphia, where I lived, or at the Garage. But then every once in a while I'd go to Washington D.C. and do the Club House!
I started making friends who eventually became like family in both cities. Combined with my present friends in Philadelphia and considering that Philly is in the middle between these two grand cities, I was in heaven!
In addition, my apartment in the Sylvania House was about 6 blocks away from the Catacombs! Those were the days! I could go to school and work all week with no problem knowing that when the weekend came... I'd be somewhere partying with my new family!
This just kept getting better and better... as the years went by... I got my garage membership [a 200 mile round trip to NY on a week day, revealing very personal information, paying $90... for a Prime membership that allowed me to party on both the so called straight night and the best night Saturday which was gay [reality check... same guys without their girlfriends : - )]
My best memories of the Garage are: Dancing with my friend Terry until they'd kick us out [R.I.P.]! | Dressing up one halloween as a sadist/masochist person with metal studs, chest out, fake dreads with dozens of safety pins clipped to it, chains, tight black spandex pants, and all that | fighting my way to the stage [I mean this, I almost had to bash this couple who gave me grief for bumping into them] to see my home town girl Patti Labelle; who brought her entire live band | waiting in line for far too long to see Grace Jones and being compensated for that wait by staying in the club until 2:00 the next afternoon | calling the club and telling them I was an out of towner [which was true and the best way I knew to get in without a hassle until I got my membership] and pasting by all those people lined up to get in and having my name in a little box by the door for the Marlboro Man [I'll always remember him in those ads] to smile and let me in | and this one time when Larry [he was fabulous] kept working that 'Street Player ' song and flicking the video screen up and down while showing video from one of the Garage's trips to Brazil of the Carnival... and it seemed like the costumed people on screen were dancing directly to Larry's beats!
I was happy, I was care free, and........... and........ and........ what happened!' The powers that be released a disease on my family and now I cry daily because so many of them are gone!
I've often wondered, what if the Garage had survived, moved to another location, tacked on a surcharge to help fight AIDs... why didn't those people like Madonna, who would not be who she is if not for the Garage .. why didn't one of them invest and keep it alive!
It was magical! I thank the creator that I was a part of it! That I got to experience it! And now as I constantly talk about it, to people usually much younger than my 43 years, I appreciate that period in time even more!
The GARAGE will live on through us.... and one day... there will be another person... no doubt influenced by websites like this and surviving music from Masters like Larry... who'll reign king over a fiercer club, larger club, with multiple roof decks, multiple theme rooms, larger bowls of refreshments, bigger shows, etc, etc, that will once again be the trend setter [I use to learn, slang, and experience fashion, be exposed to music at the Garage that didn't hit main stream until 6 -12 months later, if then]!
One day it will happen again! one day...... soon! My site: In Memory of the Paradise Garage
from Girard Hull, Washington, DC. email@example.com
Man-O-Man ! My first time at the Garage was in June of 1984. I had no idea that it was the Gay Pride weekend. I, along with my two housemates, traveled all the way from Greensboro, N.C. for the maiden voyage. That Saturday nite was a life changing experience -not only had i never, ever, ever seen so many people in one place before, but because there were so many people there I thought that my parents would be the next persons I saw ! I mean I was expecting to see anybody!
Some of the things I remember most from that nite were (1) Larry dropping the "American Werewolf in London" video in musical synchronization with "Changes" by Imagination (2) the "Tron" video with "Automan (Electric, Electric)" (3)"Can't Hide Your Love" by David Joseph (4) "Don't Go Lose It" by Hugh Masakeela & amazingly the crowd's response to (5)"When Dove's Cry" by Prince. It was actually phenomenal. During that time, everybody was into paisley & broches so it sorta like a theme. I could never forget the music, the attitudes, the joy & great vibe of those kids hanging that nite.
We must have left the club around 8:30 Sunday morning, where we went down to Tiffany's for breakfast. But after that nite, who could eat ? You know what I'm saying ? After we left Tiffany's, we bailed out of New York headed back for Greensboro just in time 'cause kids were lining up for the parade by the thousands!
After that nite, I went back to the Garage about 5 more times by the end of 1985. I remember seeing Siedah Garrett performing (Do You Want It Right Now?), The Weather Girls, Chocolette (East Street Beat) & my cousin, Curtis dancing with her, Mr. Fingers (Donny), Blaze (What You Gonna Do For Love), & Visual (Somehow, Someway).
The Paradise Garage made me want to move to New York, but my plans fell thru & I moved to D.C. instead. It's probably a good thing that I didn't make it to NYC to live because right around '85, the crack epidemic hit & that changed everything.
One song that stands out in my mind, among many, from the Garage was All Fall Down by Five Star. Nobody could work that song like Larry.
The song I remember from my last Garage trip in '87, before Closing, was Looking for a Lover by the Taurus Boys. I always picture in my mind this bald partygoer, looking really crazy on the stage,doing a bad lip sync performance.
No one will ever top Larry Levan & I honestly wish that some would even come close. That was an era in time & I am so VERY HAPPY to have experienced it. The GARAGE was the most phenomenal night club ever & if anyone experienced it, they know that they experienced something so precious that it saddens you to reminisce.
from Freddie, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Garage was one of the greatest on going experiences of my life.I truly miss it and Larry. I miss it as if it had just closed yesterday. Larry will always be close to my heart. His music spoke to the people in the club like only he could. It was never the same when Larry wasn't at the tables. You could always tell if it was Larry or not.
from Maurice Francis alias CRAZY DOG Email: email@example.com
House music runs in my blood. It's my favorite high. I can't get enough of it. The Garage made it a spiritual revolution. I felt like my soul was possessed. I zoned out every time. I want to go back. I miss the pajama parties and beds, Halloween parties, movies, patio, and most of all my Fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi.(QUE DOGS) We called it "The Dog House"! I went by the alias "CRAZY DOG" and barked all throughout the night. My brother is a House DJ and he tried to emulate Larry Levan. Let me tell you, people want him do DJ all the time. Can someone PLEASE replicate the GARAGE in its entirety!?
from mike Email: Morgan-Mike@aramark.com
i am from Philly i use to do a dance on my tip toes at the garage.used to go to catacombs in philly .i made up the dance from what i saw at the garage and catacombs mix togather.my record was i am her again by thelma houston. i still party in ny at the wharehouse they classic night but the body and soul party on sun gave me that old garage fill.
I had some good times at pg i was there when they ues to have saw dust on the floor. we had catcombs in philly donald stone was the dj i made up a dance i did on my toes like i was running. it came from what i saw at the garage and catacombs they called it michael morgan terrible step a lot of people ues to do it at the garage and catcombs.thanks for sharing. thelma houston i am her again was my song freeman and weekend.i still party in ny at the wharehoue when the have classic night but body and soul give you more of that garage groove.
from ? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow, I finally found a site devoted to the CLASSIC CLUBs!!!! Unfortunately I'm just a little too young to remember Paradise Garage but have heard so many things about that club. I became engrossed in club music during my years at college (1987-1991) but did not really get to feel the NY club scene until 1992. Being from southern NJ we always went to PHilly, nice clubs but never really had that "CLUB" feeling. I finally had the chance to visit clubs like the Shelter, the Limelight and Save the Robots during that summer of 92, well after the closing of Paradise Garage of course.
But from what I'm reading the only thing that I can describe as coming close to that vibe is the Shelter. Whenever I hear about the Garage or CLASSIC NY clubs I become so engrossed. Now, being 31 and married I don't do the club scene anymore like a lot of readers here, but LOVE music and always looking for those hard to find, obscure CLASSIC TRACKS that Larry Levan probably spun on a Saturday night.
By the way, I was surprised to read here that the Shelter has reopened? I also visited the Tunnel that summer, I'm sure it wasn't like it used to be however. The Tunnel, Shelter, Sound Factory, great clubs!!! All I can do is listen to some Classic House and just imagine what the vibe was like back then (1977-1987) at the Garage.
from SHERRY CASTRO Email: DJSHEAONENYC@netscape.net
I ATTENDED 'CHURCH' AT THE PARADISE GARAGE FROM 1981 TILL CLOSING. I HUNG OUT AT BONDS TILL SOME COLLEGE BUDDIES TOLD ME ABOUT P.G. MY LIFE COMPLETELY CHANGED WHEN I HIT THE DANCE FLOOR. I FELT (FEEL) SO FREE. I DECIDED TO BECOME A DJ.
THE GARAGE IS TRULY MISSED AND CAN NEVER BE REPLACED. A HUGE VOID IS LEFT FROM ITS ABSENCE .I REMEMBER GOING TO THE CLUB EARLY, AROUMD 12:30 AND WATCHING LARRY MOVE THE SPEAKERS AROUND. I WAS IN AWE OF THIS MAN. I LEARNED TO MIX, I SHOULD SAY I LEARNED HOW AND WHAT TO PLAY FROM THIS MAN. I THANK ALLAH FOR GIVING ME THE CHANCE TO LISTEN AND LEARN FROM LARRY LEVAN (TEE SCOTT,BRUCE FORREST).
it's hard TO EXPLAIN TO SOMEONE WHO WAS'NT THERE.WITH THE GARAGE,YOU HAD TO BE THERE.
TODAY I LIVE IN DETROIT,MICHIGAN. I AM STILL A DJ AND I PLAY GARAGE MUSIC. I MUST SAY, IN CLOSING, I LOVE AND MISS ALL YOU GARAGIES. I WELCOME ALL E-MAILS. PEACE.
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