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from Mark Rayne, Email: email@example.com
To you top g cats who created this website - here are a couple of pics that I thought that I would send you - the first one entitled Afternoon after garage is taken in Central Park wher as many will recollect the music, dancing and fun often continued on skates.æ The second is of a few mates taking in a few rays on the roof terrace dring the course of a garage party.æ I do have one of Gwen being carried onto the stage to perform on a gold sofa but I have to dig that out.æ Also I noticed in your readers comments that someone has queried the last song to be played - I can confirm that it was Where Do We Go From Here but I would have to dispute that it was played any later than 8.30pm on the Sunday evening.æ
Editor's Note: I have to disagree. I was there until 11 PM Sunday evening and left while things were still going on. I heard from those that stayed that things went 'til about 2 AM Monday morning.
The scene was something akin to a battlefield as not many of us were able to stand let alone dance anymore and there were many tears as though loved ones had been lost - it was sad and sombre and whatever had been used to fuel the party there was a considerable sober atmosphere prevailing.æ My greatest regret having moved back to London in 1990 was having my wallet stolen which had my prized Saturday night gold membership card for the garage in it but the memories live on and this website has brought a tear to my eye.æ I was in the DJ booth at Ministry the night or should I say nights when Larry came to play - he missed his plane the first night but was worth waiting for as usual - I was also present at Ministry when news of his passing away came and there was a tribut to him.æ I could go on and on and might take up another opportunity to write.
From Josef in London, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
I've just found this sight, it's fabulous. I guess I have my own memories of the Garage.
What an inspirational place that was, and Larry regardless of some of the more negative things that have been said about him was truly a DJ God. As someone who did't even live in the States, I visited the Garage with my cousins in the summers of 1995/6. It certainly changed my perception of night clubs. The Garage experience was one that I will never ,ever forget.
I remember walking up that ramp for the first time and thinking wow! Funnily enough the record that was playing was one that I rememberd hearing my sisters play when I was a kid. That was Love is the Message. It was not long before that record took on a new significance. Love is the Message - what a record! I now have countless versions of that seminal track, and spend a lot of time collecting a lot of the other classics that Larry played at the Garage (some would say obsessively so). Most of my friends still can't believe that Larry would play things like Walking on Thin Ice. All I usually say is that "You just had to be there."
The Garage just made such sense of the way that I felt about music to dance to. And it was most certainly the first place that I had been to that had an ice cold chill out room and a cinema (remember I'm from England). There is so much that I would love to say about the 2 years that I spent at the Garage, but don't even know how. I regret deeply that I was not at the closing night.
Two years ago I went to the Haring exhibition at the Whitney. In the room which was dedicated to the Garage, I had the pleasure of recounting my own experiences of the place to the folks on the guided tour who did'nt really understand how a nightclub could have such a profound effect upon the artist. I guess it kind of felt weird me being an English man holidaying (again) in NY and telling a group of people about a place that existed in thier own country. However I WAS THERE!
Anyway, anyway. It has been great reading other peoples recollections, and would like to talk to others who would obviously have spent more time at the Garage than myself. Also if anybody has any memorabilia I could have access to, especially any tapes and stuff.
If Sharon Simpson and Hugh who left England again round about 1993/4 are still around and happen to read this page (AS Garage devotees I can't believe they won't get to this page) Please Please get in touch. I miss you both and don't really know what happened to you. L.I.T.M Josef Respect to those no longer around (many) especially Larry and Gwen. [And Tee Scott, and Noel and Lynne and Richard Long and... )
From: Joyce Email: email@example.com
The first time I was taken to the PG in 1979, was a night after been at a club in Tribecca. Noel (RIP) was at the door and asked me for the membership wrench or a passport. The guy I was with had membership, and was able to get me in. I gagged from the ramp to the movie room (Night of the Living Dead) was showing.
I had found my home. Shortly after that I met a girl who shall remain nameless from the group "Loose Joints" Is It All Over My Face(West End Records-you know Judy Weinstien & them) We became roomates and did lots of clubs in the city. Some of the people I met and befriended @ PG were, Mike Brody(RIP) of course, Noel, Kenny from the juice bar, Joey Llanos, Paulie, Henry, Peewee, Sophie & Denise, Billy the dancer, Calvin the dancer and many many more.
I remember Irene Carr walking out that morning with her full length white mink coat on and I really fell in love with her then, she had just did Fame. One morning we arrived in a Silver Rolls Royce from Mike Stone at Studio 54 were we had just did a show, and was let right in the front door of the PG...that was a real fierce feeling. Yes, it took no time for me to be hooked with Paradise Fever...I had the fever, and went each and every Saturday and never needed a membership card. I also remember going to Carmine Street pool sometimes after the club...big fun..We would go to Washington Square Park and just lay around for the rest of the day...
Sorry I can't get into any of the performances I'm just to tearing eyed to go on. My heart aches from missing it so much!
Love, Baby Powder
From Ira Michael Newman, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
I first started hanging out in N.Y. with some friends from F.I.T.(Fashion Institute of Technology - aka ... (smile))
They introduced me to the This And That Gallery. I used to love dancing to u+me and forever came today by the Jackson Five. We used to spin the mirror ball ourselves until it fell one day. I remember Nicky getting dressed up like Diana Ross to sing Love Hangover when it first came out . He was so wild , he would put whatever pill in your mouth like communion. The first night Loleata Holloway performed she walked right in onto the stage and started singing to Love in C Minor by Cerrone. She had come to sing her first hit Dreaming. After the Gallery came Reade St.
I do remember it being so hot that Larry would take his shirt off, a style I would later copy when I would become a DJ. The first night I came to the Garage I was blown away . I had been to some great parties at Nat Reeds, The Loft, and Le Jardin, but nothin could have prepared me for this.
The whole place shook with Foot Stompin Music by Bohannon.I was instantly hooked , became a member and a devotee I cannot say which was the best night at the Garage. Each night was so special in itself, never a repeat of another night. I do feel special that I was able to witness the Loleatta/Dan Hartman show which Larry used to play the tape , crowd and all many times. The Grace Jones show of 85 was very special also.
As I said I did become a pretty good dj. I patterned my style after Nicky, Larry, and Tee Scott whom I admired for being so nice to me when I used to come up from Baltimore. He always gave me something to smoke and never even asked my name.When the Garage closed, I thought it was the end of my world as I saw it. I quit DJing and sold all 20,000 records!!
Like I said I thought it was all over. I have so many memories associated with the Garage that it is almost painfull to talk about it. I can always remember the first time I heard any record at the Garage and who I was dancing with at the time. I have lost a lot of those people to AIDS but I keep dancing for them. At 44 years old I still represent on the dance floor if the music is good. I still keep my garage membership cards as validation that at one time I was part of some thing very special.
Whenever I am in NY I still pay homage to 84 king st.. Hopefully there will be a worthwhile re-union before we are all gone. Please do not hessitate to contact me on any related matter.
From: Warren Dutton; Email: DUTTON4U@aol.com
I love this website! It is a true inspiration to keep dance, love and harmony alive through the ultimate classics! I was very young during the Garage and Warehouse days, so I could not experience the full effect - but you can believe that my heart, soul and ear were glued to the radio every weekend listening to the house music (what is now considered classics).
Now, I can go to the Shelter in NY - it could never compare, but it still has the same theme - love, ispiration and keeping dance alive through great music!!Thanks so much for this website! By the way, I travel to Chicago and Detriot a lot trying to find the great house classics on CD. I have been fortunate, however I am still looking to build my collection. Any recommendations?Peace, love, and keep dance alive!Warren Dutton
From: Joseph Rivera, Email: email@example.com
A long time Garage member who happened to find this site is who I am. I experienced the Garage around 78/79 after first being madly in love with the clubs the Inferno on 18th st & 5th and Melons.
It is hard to convey to a non-participant the feeling, the joy and the heartache of this memorable part of club history that bar none was the most slammin' club and DJ ever.¾ I have so many fond memories of that club that it probably can fill a book just like so many other members who are still alive and around to talk about it.¾
It's a shame that the vibe, the musically journey that Larry Levan created so effortlessly is lost to us forever on this side of the pond.¾ If you go to the U.K. you will find so many clubs that strive to capture that "Garage" athomsphere, soulful lyrics, kickin' soundsystems and humongous dancefloors! And people of all colors and nationalities just feelin' it!¾
I remember just a year or so after the garage closed that the "Paradise Ballroom" opened up at midtown between broadway and 8th.¾ Dave morales and Frankie Knuckles were spinning however the crowds did not come and the place was closed shortly after by complaints.¾
Since then besides "The Loft" which still exists today (albiet a different vibe) there is not a club I have been to in NYC that captures the feeling.¾¾ If any of you now of such a place the "HELP A BROTHER OUT"!!!!!! Peace!¾¾ Life is a Dance! Let yourself Gooooooooo! ¾ Joe¾
editor: Again, the clubs currently spinning to the old Garage heads: Body & Soul, The Shelter (Both at Club Vinyl in lower manhattan), and The Warehouse, in the Boogie Down Bx.
from Steve Shelto; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Back in 1983, I did a gig at the Garage at 4:30 a.m. - my hit at the time was "Don't You Give Your Love Away" - while waiting to go on, availing myself of the hospitality suite, I met my brother, Gary, who was a regular at the club and a good friend to a number of people there. We had a great time and I remember him looking so vital and energetic - perhaps the last time I saw him this way before he finally succembed to aids in 1986.
After my gig, I went directly to LaGuardia Airport to catch a 7:30 a.m. flight to Texas where I was due to perform at a society party with the Lester Lanin Orchestra. I was so tired that I fell asleep on the bandstand. The Paradise Garage will always bring back a number of good memories.
from Lisa Watson; Email: email@example.com
I've spent the past 2 days reading your various pages, links from your pages, and listening to Larry Levan sample tapes!!
Wow! I feel almost drained after reading the paradise garage memories page. I actually stumbled on your page while looking for information on Tony Humpries and dj oji. Both play in the style of Larry Levan - but I've only come to realise this after reading your pages. I'm actually from Jamaica, and only got exposed to house when I was around 18. By that time the paradise garage had closed but when I got more involved in the music scene, I began to hear stories about it... I started getting tapes from friends in NY from Tony Humphries and I began dj-ing myself...
Anyway cut to 1999 and I'm still a huge fan of house music, particularly 'garage'. I used to wonder why my love for the music endures and I still go out and dance for hours while my peers are more interested in relaxing, but now I realise I'm not alone!!!! Your web site confirmed what I always felt inside - that people who love house and garage as much as I do, share the same opinions about the powerful effects of house music, and how it transcends all social barriers. Plus, no matter how old we get, we still love the music!! I live in the Baltimore/ Washington area and there are a few places to go (for which I'm glad) but there are pitifully few DJs like who play in the style of Larry Levan.
Last year I spent some time in Europe, mostly in London and it was pure heaven for me at the clubs, where most dj's do play garage, and everyone came for the music and the dancing and good vibes!! I've been looking for that experience here in the states - since reading about Shelter, on your web page I've decided to make it there on my next trip to NYC!
From Dan and Deb, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the things I remember about the Garage and Larry's mixes was the dancing. Remember break dancing was going on in late 70's / early eighties. A friend of mine took me as a guest. I'm 36 from Rhode Island and can remember the hardwood floors and the babypowder and the front dives and back flips and rolls. That language some of the people talked (help me).
The couples dancing on center stage, ballet and dance intertwined together. Baggie pants and coutout shirts with chinese flip flops. I remember the thunder you would hear going up the ramp. Larry's own master mixes, it seemed like he was talking to you about falling in love and breaking up and doing your own thing. You had an appreciation for the words of the song, not like now its all electric. Reading the memories from others makes me wish to go back in time.They should have a reunion with all us folk who were at the Garage.
from John Brame, New Jersey Email: email@example.com
I'm 42 and was at the Garage during its heyday. Oh what a night! The spirit and energy never to be duplicated again. It's a time and a moment of my life when all things were innocent and fun. Many of my friends were living at that time and now they are gone. Thank you for taking me on a journey of my pass. It still lives. Thanks, peace and blessings.
PS: The only club I've been to that emulate the Garage flavor is Body and Soul. Please let me know, are there other clubs similar out there?
Editor's Note: Actually, if you took Body and Soul (which had an INCREDIBLE party in Central Park) and The Shelter, and mixed both crowds, you might have a sense of the Garage flavor... but like you said, never to be duplicated. Impossible. The Garage had so many elements that made it a once in a millennium experience.
from Ahif Pabani, London/Toronto Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
First of all...your website is great. I'm always fascinated to hear of someone who actually went to The Paradise Garage! You must have had the most amazing experiences.
I used to live in London and grew up going to raves and clubs there. I got into garage and house really heavily around 87/88 and have loved it ever since. A lot of clubs we used to go to (like Danny Ramplings Glam) tried to get the same atmosphere as we had all heard The Garage had, they were all great and I'll never forget the times we had there but I'm still so obsessed with The Garage.
It is such a shame that I was not born sooner, I feel like I have missed out on so much. Now I just collect all the old Garage classics and try to imagine what it was like! I actually came to New York a couple of years ago and saw the building where it was... I nearly bawled my eyes out! No one could understand what my problem was!
I also went to The Keith Haring exhibit when it came to Toronto and there was a video clip of The Garage, that was the first time I had actually seen live footage of the inside I remember standing there totally mesmerized! I don't even remember any of the exhibit! I went to a party in memory of Larry Levan in London when he died and the last two records played were Larry Levan's remix of DJ H and Stephy "Hey Boy" (my favorite remix) followed by Chaka Khan "Clouds". I think I even shed a tear! Unforgettable.
from "Roberto Salizzato" email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was 20 year old when I first arrive in New York, coming from Venice ITALY, I decided to take a long vacation, 3 o 4 weeks the most.
After 3 weeks in NYC, I realized the the city was really one of the most beautiful places in the world, but I still didn't have any friends to hang out with.
One day I met Carlos Cruz, who later became my best friend, and he ask me to go to a club called PARADISE GARAGE. The next Saturday, I went. I've always loved music, dancing.
So when I saw the entrance of the club, I startet to get exited, but when I got in, my heart start speeding very fast. Miss Stephany Mills was singing "the medicine song", I think I arrived in the middle of the floor, and I stopped there without moving for about one hour. I
kept looking around, the music, Larry was giving the best of himself, but the people, all that beautiful real people...... right now I feel like I want to cry.
Believe or not I stayed in NYC for 8 long years, and I was at the club every Saturday night till the last Saturday when all my good friends and I cried all night long the closing for good of the Garage.
I will bring in my heart so many unforgettable moments and so many very good friends, many are not with us anymore, but the love lives in me forever. It was 1984. I came back to Italy in 1992. Now I go to NYC two or three time every year, just to see my good old friends, my second family, sometime I go to places to dance, and sometimes it happen that I see old garage goers, like the last time at Monster. I met this guy, I don't know his name, but we looked at each other eyes, at each other way of dancing and we knew..............I'm now 35 years old and my favorite music is still HOUSEMUSIC.
Thank you Paradise Garage, I will never forget you.
from Leslie, Northern California Email: LDavis4453@aol.com
Ahh, what a joy to find this site and so many of my friends from long a go.
I owe so very much to my brother for it was he that turned me onto, into and out by introducing me to realness of "House" music. I had heard many tales of the infamous place called "PARADISE" and I longed to go there.
It was at the age of 15 with a fierce fake I.D and a friend with a membership that I found my way HOME. That initial experience was one that has stayed with me throughout my life. After reaching legal age and hooking up with my boys Tony, Edwin and Alvin I became fully immersed in the philosophy of House music. The belief that there is no need or right to judge others and that it is possible to find a common ground in a world so full of differences. I began to furiously look forward to each Friday knowing that it was going to be the beginning of a wonderful escape into a world where ethnicity, gender, sexual preference and culture were not the main focus. I was going to a place called Paradise...and that it was.
I remember and I can still hear Larry pumping Eddie Grant's Time Warp sending us into a trance like state. Oh and who could forget the Peech Boys---telling us all to know that LIFE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL, YOU ARE SOMETHING SPECIAL. The incredible peacefulness that seemed to enter every pore of your body and the bass...ahh the bass. I mustn't forget the teachers the true Queens (only in NY are they that fierce...much love to LaMare who tuned me into the Gospel) that gave me the skills that I treasure t o this very day. The skill of not just dancing to the music but letting the m music create the dance within your soul.
The dance that frees your spirit, the dance that comes from the energy of the beautiful people. We all have our memories of incredible once in a lifetime mixes that came out of the Garage--d o you remember Larry Levan on what must have been four turntables mixing up Gwen Guthries Seventh Heaven? It went on forever flowing like water. Or the true Father of House music Fela Kuti---I had never heard anything that filled m e like HIS music mixed by Larry Levan. Or Grace Jones Live...with all of the m en that looked just like her...that was deep. From midnight Friday until I ventured out into the bright and sunny sleeping streets of the Village on Sunday morning (time to head back to Jersey) with the members of my weekend family. Lounging in Washington Square Park, completely juiced from the incredible mixes that The masters (Larry Levan, Shep Pettibone, Tony Humphries & Frankie Knuckles) much respect to anyone that I have forgotten from my day.
I fly back East as often as I can to get the feeling that is only in NY. The legacy that was left behind. I now find refuge and peace at Body & SOUL ...the only Tea Dance that I have been to that captures the feelings of an era long gone. A spirit that was truly alive at the Garage ---> I think that electric is the word that best describes it. I DANCE Today I dance...I dance with the spirits of friends and an era long gone. Today I dance...I dance in my heart and mind longing for simpler times.
Today I dance...I dance to remember life as it should be. I dance fo r you...I dance body & soul. ~Leslie
While walking in Aids walk SF '98 I met someone from NY that many, many years ago I danced with at the GARAGE although we had never met. It was a time of great joy and sadness. Joy to have met someone after all these years that knew the realness and when we embraced there was a knowing. Sadness that we walked for so many of our brothers and sister s that are no longer here physically...but we feel you near. We feel you when we dance. Thank you. I want to send out much love to the originator r of this sight and to my dear friend for sending me here. Although some memo ries brought me to tears, it is nice to find so many people that for years were my family.
Love to all of you. I now am the mother of three beautiful daughters and nearing the age of 37 (that is 22+ years with the Gospel of House). I now reside in Northe rn California where every Sunday I travel 63 miles roundtrip every Sunday to d ance. Instead of at the Garage it is at the infamous EndUp. Where a group of very spiritual technicians of dance lay down some intense beats. David Harnes s, Pete Avila, Ruben Mancias and sometimes Patrick Wilson (he has a very old spirit in his choice of music, very deep) pump a Tea Dance that goes from 5am til 2am.
A must if you visit...I'll see you there.
Live your life and live it lovely.
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