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Paradise Garage

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84 King Street, New York, New York


Paradise Garage logo

Larry Levan at the Paradise GarageDJs:
David Depino
Larry Levan

Michael Broady

Joey Llanos

Paradise Garage

The Paradise Garage, which literally was a former parking garage in New York's Greenwich Village, was the club that resident DJ Larry Levan made famous. It opened in 1976 and closed its doors on Sept. 26, 1987. Its trademark booming bass sound system was designed by the late Richard Long.

Photo of Larry Levan / Garage flyer submitted by DJ Punch.

Paradise Garage 10th Anniversary staff photo below kindly submitted by DJ Steve "The Saga" Perez.

Paradise Garage

Paradise Garage memorabilia and dance-floor (Nov. 1982) photos below kindly submitted by DJ Steve "The Saga" Perez.
Paradise Garage Paradise Garage Paradise Garage

Group photo of Gayle B, Herbie, Larry Levan and David Mancuso submitted by DJ Michael T. Brown.
Paradise Garage group photo

Photo below submitted by Chip Bullock.
Description: Chip Bullock (left) and Larry Zinn (right) technician at Paradise Garage and Xenon.
Chip Bullock on left and Larry Zinn on right

Photo below from Christopher Duquette.
Description: Eddie, Belgica, Maritza, and Christopher Duquette, author of Homo GoGo Man, partying in the 1980s before going out to dance at Paradise Garage.
Christopher Duquette

Please note that in the interest of fairness, the names of DJs and staff are listed in alphabetical order.

Click to Add Your Photos to this Page!

Added by Bernard Lopez


Your Comments

Christopher Duquette |

I was at the opening party for Paradise. My entrance was due to my affiliation to Nicky Siano's the Gallery on Houston and Mercer, and specifically my mentor, Christopher Estridge, the Gallery's club decorator and artist in resident. The immense dancefloor of the Garage was still waiting for the polyurethane to dry, so we hung out in the tropical paradise of the lounge, with amazon fruit and flowers. I watched fierce Grace Jones make a scene in Larry Levan's DJ booth with her boy-toy Dolph Lundgren, and was in rapture to all the songs Gwen Guthrie wrote and performed, and the way Larry tweaked songs from best disco album "Padlock".

Michael |

when to the paradise garage a few times in 1986/87 with a friend and it was an experience that i will never forget.. A true underground dance club that did not get really pumping until 2:00 am in the morning. Larry Levin was great, the pioneer of the dub, He used to play alot of deep house dub tracks. The sound system was awesome and the dubs were out of this world... Larry Levin truly played deep house traxs that were so deep and the bass was pondering. Larry really know how to work a crowd and get it pumping. He really took house music to next level. The times i was there i really had a great time and really enjoyed the deep house traxs and sound system.. Will always cheerish my days at the paradise garage and will keep these memories forever..

Pacifico Pulumbo |

We opened our neon gallery "Say It In Neon" on Hudson St. In June of !976. Four weeks after opening our Gallery Michael Brody walked into our gallery carrying a rough sketch of his logo for a new Disco that he was calling "Paradise Garage" he asked me to create a neon version of the logo. He said he needed it done for the opening which was in 4 weeks. The design was incomplete, very rough, it needed to be finished, fabricated and produced in neon.I said I would have it done for the opening.
It was quite a challenge. I checked out the sight. It was in an old garage located on King St. four blocks from my gallery. You had to go up a ramp. The neon logo had to be 8' round hung over the entrance. It had to be installed on a metal surface that was not flat. I had to figure out how to install it..... and I did.
the night of the opening everyone including myself was thrilled and amassed at the sight of seeing the logo aglow in neon. And so it hung there until the garage closed in 1987. I still consider it to be one of my greatest neon designs and challenges. You can see this design along with some of my other favorite neon designs on my web site www.neonartists.com

mjm |

BBC Radio uncovered a lost tape from the Garage's 2nd anniversary party which includes live performances from Sylvester, Dan Hartman and Loleatta Holloway (the latter two in a kick-a** live version of "Relight My Fire")


For the record, Larry was the one and ONLY DJ of the Garage. David played some Fridays and some Saturday from time to time.... BUT THATs IT.. and yes he did have guess DJs play from time to time. so don't believe the HYPE..

Joaquin Trujillo |

There are so many anecdotes,stories,that are told these days about the Paradise Garage. Those that never went, offer up fantasies,those that went, are zealous to share their experiences. I can only say that it really was all that they say it was and more. From the early construction parties to the celebrations of Keith Haring,the club offered an escape from the day to day grind of NYC and allowed one to soar to the sounds of a music that swept one's soul. The sound system coupled with Larry Levan's ability to select tracks that pierced one deep in the heart,made a visit to "Paradise" seem truly possible. Additionally, friendships were established,the feeling that one had a family waiting for you every week,soulful bonds that would never be broken. Like all families, we were different yet the same. We sought each other out for consolation, uplift, and Larry would offer the honey and sweetness with the music that he played. I'm grateful that I was able to experience the magic. I began in 1977 and went to the penultimate party as I was going to travel on the last weekend. I remember walking down the ramp as I was leaving and reflecting that this was going to be the last time. My eyes got a little watery and I left, feeling the thump thump of the base and knowing that there was never going to be a space like the Paradise Garage. There are venues such as Body and Soul and 718 Sessions that capture that essence and I support their parties. I can experience that soulfulness and family feeling, that the Garage engendered in all of us that went. Peace to all/ Keep the memories alive and support all the venues that keep this music alive!

martin |

the place was the best of the best. the construction parties the sweat dripping from the sealing. to the rooftop in the summer i was always on the dance floor or the booth or hanging with noel and ricci.towards the end i would get there late from work at another club.but the energy the feeling when you walked up the ramp the friends you saw the friends you made it was truly the best time of my life .ii still listen to the music of that era,and time in my life.thank god i was able to be there.p g head 4 ever.

dennis melendez |

i been going to clubs and disco,since i was 17 im 5o now , and i tell im a true new yorker, i been to many places but i tell u there was nothing like the paradise garage i was the place of real underground music, and the good disco area, but the bottom line it was a underground club, little that you know it was also the place where the very first hits of the late 80,s where house music was born thanks to frankie knuckles who him and larry were good friends always they were together at continental baths, and frankie had expose him to the music and of course the maestro took it to another level,and let me tell you im straight it didnt bother me being around gay people,cause they knew what i stand for,one thing i can say gay people know there music and know how to party, of course i always went with my wife,or always with a bunch of straight friends, and saturdays was straight nights i didnt matter to me i went because the music was off the meters,and the sound system was out of this world you see larry knew how to move the crowd and what to play there are many lengendary d.j.s who have made a name for themselves especially in new york but i tell u there is only one larry levan and there will never ever be another larry levan the greatest d j ever rest in peace MAESTRO

Dennis |

It has been 25 years since closing night yet the specter of the Garage is still with me on a daily basis. I think the element which stands out most in my memory are the nights when I was completely overtaken by things happening to me over which I had no control. I was a helpless puppet being wildly manipulated by a mad puppeteer. I became one with the music and the experience and I have never been the same since. The things that occurred within myself on certain nights truly altered my life forever. As many of you will remember those magical nights did not occur with predictable regularity. But when it was on you were taken into a spiritual volcano of thunderous emotion and physical surrender. Larry sought a lover each time he played. The lyrics begged you to love him and when you did he exhausted you in return. If you did not respond to his call then things would not go well. He required full devotion and when he had you he would saturate you with the uncontrollable desire to dance as you never had before. It was the experience of a lifetime and there will never be its equal. On a dance floor I met the God of my creation, and it was a very good thing.

Mickey |

I was sitting at work and my boss brought up Studio 54 and I let him know I used to go there but around the same time there was an even better club called the "Paradise Garage" in which there resided the best DJ I've ever heard "Larry Levan" - thanx PG for being there during the height of my dancing days. GOOD TIMES with Bonnie, Michael & friends!

kelee |

I was a Garage Boi. Larry's music and Garage sound system would have you in tears; no other place in the world has come close. Larry mixed tracks and vocals, especially females, and beats altogether that were so progressive that it is still unmatched.....



Danton |

Of course there were other great DJs contemporary to Larry Levan, but Larry was the right DJ for the right club. The Garage had the best sound system then, the Richard Long system; and I believe it was shipped from Texas custom made for the Garage. Someone mentioned Lerroy Burgess and Jellybean Benitez as being "better" DJs than Larry. I respectfully disagree. I've heard most of the great house DJs slighty prior to Larry and all others after Larry. I have never heard Leroy Burgess play; I am only familiar with him through his singing on many house classics including one of my Garage faves: Hooked on Your Love by the Fantastic Aleems featuring Leroy Burgess. Jellybean Benitez is legendary in NYC; he's known for producing her and being the first DJ to break Madonna; and for his awesome production and movie scoring genius. But Jellybean could never play at the Garage! Larry played funk house music, that deep and soulful, gospel-laced, gritty, deep, fill your bones house music. Jellybean played at the Funhouse in NYC in front of mostly Latinos and Italians who enjoyed a slightly different nuanced type of house music. Larry Levan was a terrible mixer, but he had something that very few DJs possess; he had crowd control. Larry could take you on a musical journey like no other. NOBODY did the things musically like Larry. Can you imagine it being six in the morning with the club thinning out and listening to Rotation by Herb Alpert? (Go check out that cut) Or imagine it's about eight in the morning and the music is off and people are heading toward the exits and all of a sudden you hear the intro for Double Cross by First Choice and everyone comes running back to the floor! Ask most house DJs in the NYC metro area which DJs influenced them the most. Undoubtedly, most will list Larry Levan at or near the top of their list. Larry is the Muhammad Ali of DJs; he is the Greatest of All Time!

Keith Dumpson |


dave |

The music....how can anyone compare music anywhere else once hearing the music at PG?? I luuuuuv house music. Lemmon 714's and mesc. My body was so conditioned to taking mesc that I was able to sleep after a night out at PG. I remember bringing a friend to PG. We both took mesc. I slept after going home....he was up for over 24 hours. Back to the music. No other club compared, although I did enjoy the music at Better Days. I started going to PG after the Loft (another great NYC club) started to die down. PG was the only club that I can rememeber that played the break in Street Player. Larry worked that break. Heartbeat, Spank. Seeing Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, Grace Jones. The movies (Fellini movies) in the back. The fruit, the punch. What an incredible place! Many subsequent imitators but nothing compared.

Danton |

I have read many of the comments and I must say if you missed the experience of the Garage....well you missed out on perhaps the greatest venue for house music...ever! And I agree Larry was not great at other clubs. I remember at a club called the World the crowd booed him and refused to dance, but at the Garage, his home, his baby, he was the best DJ in the world. No other club or DJ could touch what Larry did while he played at the Paradise Garage. Other famous DJs came to the Garage just to hear what Larry was breaking on any given weekend, as huge underground records were heard first at the Mighty Paradise Garage. His thorough sound checks, his turning off the music and then throwing someting fierce on, his playing records back to back to back to back; and his influence is still felt today! Just ask any of the "big" house DJs today, especially from the NYC area who influenced their style of play the most---the Original Maestro...Larry Levan
Keep Bangin!!!

William Hamilton |

Had a Dr. appointment on Varick...just as I came out on King my iPod played Ain't no Mountain remix by Larry...oh so apropos...I could not believe it!!! It made me think of the night Larry played Heartbeat...the intro was 15 minutes long boo boop boo boop OMG the children went up...me high on Mes...I wanted to tear the lights out the ceiling...hee hee hee

Roger Lian |

"Whitney Houston"
When i worked for Arista Records i remember seeing Whitney Houston preform live in fall 1985 to create buzz for our new artist. she was great and the crowd was crazy.

Wolfie |

What can I say the PG was home to many of us, from all walks of life. My time there was from late 79 till 81, then things changed. the people were not the same. Some of the best times I had were at PG with Paulie, Henry, Big Pete, Bobby, Noel and most of all Larry. There are so many more to name that the list would be endless. PG will forever hold a special place in my heart and in my life. There will never be another PG no matter how hard people try to bring it back. PG was a once and a lifetime place. To all the many special people that have passed on, May you all R.I.P. My prayers and my love are with you. To the rest of my PG family WOLFIE is still ALIVE AND KICKING a**. PEACE and BLESSING, CHI'EN.

Keith Dumpson |

I Remember Meeting Larry and Giving Him an Accatate Edit Of Love is The Message..That Started me offf...God Bless The People and Good Times I had There...I totally Miss That sound System...It was the BOMB...Thanks To Richard Loong Associates...:)

Carl Spencer |

u so KRAAAZZZY! Speaking of Grace Jones one night I was there for a Halloween Party and you know we did for HallowQUEEN Nigt!!!lolI was tripping out on Mes. and they were playing the movie "Vamp" at one point I too was startled because one minute everyone in the theater looked normal.... the next minute everyones face was elongated!!! they began looking like some of the vampires from the movie...Oh my gOd it truly freaked me out...maybe it was a bad trip but I had a fabulous time that night. I danced in my corner with friends and the actor, Tamaik from movie 'THE lAST DRAGON" iT was an awesome party!!!

DJFruitLoops |

was anyone else there the night Larry "fell asleep" and hit the turntable with his head sending the tone arm off and dead silence for 2 minutes
or the night Grace finally showed up like maybe 5 am
they were showing cotton club in the little theater and at one point someone was talking and i turned around to be startled by the site of about 30 drag queens all dressed as Grace
it was my fave disco in nyc at that time besides the saint just depended on what type of music you wanted to hear at the time

Elaine |


Elaine |

1978 - 1980: You all described the Garage as it was.. and remains in our soul. It happened to me too.. dancing somewhere. connected on the dance floor without words, started dancing... we were from the Garage. All energies as one,, moving to Larry's sounds, entranced...meditative,, fluid.. People ask me.. "where'd you learn how to dance like that?" I respond ... I learned how to listen and feel the music from Garage. Let the music Take you.. if you allow it.

July 17th 2010 reunion... Go to Facebook link ,,Paradise Garage David LaPino is spinning/hosting.

claudius castanis |

Remember the first memberships?
A small keychain size wrench with your member number engraved into it.
Blue runway lights going up the ramp.. memories.
And Larry with his sliding light console to override the lighting guy when he wanted to do the lights for the room and spin.

Verity |

Outside its the frigid Blizzard of 2010 in DC, but my heart is so warmed reading these memories about this seminal place in our lives: the Paradise Garage, baby!

No place like it EVER, then or since. Larry Levan and Tee Scott set it off for me!! Really, they all did, but there was something very special with these two DJ's, and they always played my requests. But I didn't have too many, cuz if you waited, your cut would show up, and always at Just the right time.

It was a SHOW and we were the actors, and it was all improvisation driven by the DJ's and the MUSIC! Oh, the Music! The love, the people, the mirrors! The punch! LOL! I lived for the weekend and the Garage with my friends, the ones I walked up the ramp with, and all of you I met inside.

Thank You all for this fantastic walk down memory lane.

Brian G |

I worked in the Playboy Club in 78" one of the bunnies was a member and loaned me her black card that was good for fridays and saturday. Someone mentioned the smell, well I do not really know what it was but I remember that when Larry would want to get the crowd to react to certain songs I would start smelling baby powder, perfume, then an acrid smell similar to a baby diaper or vomit. And at that moment you would be lost in whatever was playing. I also saved six of my membership cards and a almost all of the invitations and letters sent.

William Hamilton/GQ |

Is it all over my face, you cought me love dancin!!! That might have been in the day, but it resonates in 2010. Thank you Larry and all my Garage children

mpesce |

There will be no other club or LL. My clique of friends were serious Flamingo/Saint/Studio goers.
We would show our faces at the above places,stay awhile, then go downtown to really party, till eventually we didn't go to those other clubs at all and just start at the Garage. We really pissed off
people we left behind, they didn't get it.
We were always invited into LL booth by David Depino(Brooklyn boy) to hang with Larry, but had to dance. Wish I had spent more time with them.
I hear about the top DJ of the day, but don't get, thats OK will always have yesterday.
Remember Angel at the door, really handsome.
David, Mike and Bush say hello, where are you?
Hey guys get the CD mentioned above, it will really
take you back.

Charles McCray |

The garage was an experience like none other. I was young and not sure if it was okay to be gay but once I stepped foot in the paradise garage everything was okay, it was an ecscape into a world were everyone understood me. The bond was music and the unmatched,unpresidented sound of Larry Levan brought everyone to a peak that has never been matched. When the music would stop the movement continued because it was deep inside you. The party began at around three a.m., a sip of the punch and maybe a quick stop in the movie theatre and then it was all about breaking a sweat until 11 am. where are the sophisticated gents? you taught me well!!

William Hamilton/GQ |

Garage Children,
PG was my church,I had more deep spiritual experiances at the garage than I ever had in a church. Larry would move you to tears of bliss. My favorite memories of PG were when Larry would turn the music off and the whole club would just be singing and clapping, you know the clap!
I am 48 years old now and can never let go of my experiance of the garage.
My night would start at 11:00 PM at the Nickle Bar then off the Better Day's then Peter Rabbits and by three in the morning PG!!! I would hit the punch bowl and it was on!!! Larry could do no wrong, I remeber him playing Heartbeat, he extended the intro for at least 15 min. the whole building was a heartbeat. I have never danced in a club like I did at the Garage and never will.

P.S. Anyone remembers Spoon?

Carl E. Spencer |

Well...I just spent 1 1/2 hrs reading all the memories we shared at that great Institution-Paradise Garage. I remember the first time I went, I had tried to get in before but was unsuccessful. One night I had just bought a new harley davidson motorcycle jacket and boots and went to New York with the hopes of getting in. I met this white couple who were on their way to the club and they had a membership. This was the begining of the rest of my partying career. Ironically I had met this dude who introduced me to Richard Long where I got a job working as a carpenter cutting wood for speakers. I actually had the pleasure of helping cut wood for the infamous larry levan extensions. Yes those fabulous bass bottoms that sat under the stage. I soon became a member in 1982 my last year in high school.I stayed in Paradise weekend after weekend then going to church trying to sing in the choir, tripping off mescaline.lolol. There were so many wonderful memories and guy's and girls I met along the way. Yes... I remebber that smell of the club that stayed with me for years...Was just in the Castro in SF and found some of the music we dance and cryed to. I was just listening to Suzy Q Get On Up...and it still gives me chills on that part of the song.... we all know that part of the song.I also ha dthe pleasure of being good frinds with T-Scott, and Larry PATTERSON. God bless them all....Richard Long was another sweet heart ... God bless him too!! I can talk and read and write about those memories but for now I am going to say ...miss you all that partied together and Tamaik, you turned me out that morning when you did that Aerial behind the speakers bro,,!! Dance d your a** off man!!!!Peac and love to all who reads this and be well.

Towana E |

What can I say about the Paradise Garage that has not already been said. It was an amazing place and I am so happy that I was a part of it. The Paradise Garage will live in my heart and soul forever. RIP Larry, there will never be another you or another Paradise Garage. I just wish I could experience that feeling one more time....By the way, does anyone know where I can get a t-shirt, my life would be complete if I just had a t-shirt.

SallyG |


Now THAT was the hot club song of the (late) 70's. So many memories . . . cut out of school once (used to fake ID my way in) to meet some guy named Billy, whom I met at the Garage. He lived in a large loft somewhere in the West 30's. He had his own room with a locked door. There were other rooms like that. They all shared a kitchen and bathroom. And there was a band room where he said Prince used to practice before he became famous. Vague memories, but fond ones. I didn't get home until after 10pm and had to face my mother, but it was worth it! He turned me on to Angela Bofill ... thanks nurse Billy!

Doug R |

Never ever will I forget this spin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkQl-h9sHTE
I heard it, really heard it, on a Friday night at the Garage. I had the album but the DJ put this thru the roof. Crown Heights Affair - You Gave Me Love. Thank you members and patrons of the Garage. I could be 60 years old, it you ever come back there I'll be.....

djfuji |

Boy the garage was a hot club what can i say but bring your towel & baby powder,Does anyone have a ideal where I can get a PARADISE GARAGE TEE?

vicky D. |

I remember the dancin...dancin all nite...wish there was a place to party like that again...does anyone know where to buy a tee shirt with the P.G. emblem on it.


Patty Puppo Engel |

can never forget
will never forget
the greatest experience of feeling the music
i will ever have.

thank you for being part of my journey!

lyman |

Did the P.G have a sign as you entered that stated If you hate ...(various groups of people) then you are not welcome?
I have this burned in my mind and I cannot place which Club.




Joe |

Can you please tell me the name of this song.
Joe DeVita

vyniljunkie |

Larry was a special guy wasn't he, a pioneer, a "different" type of character. I enjoyed hearing him, watching him perform. And you all KNOW he was performing!! He was a ham, whom enjoyed all the attention. God Bless him, the inspiration to many.

runup2hot |

With all do respect to all those who have posted comments about PG, I have to say it's wonderful to hear both PROS and CONS. I couldn't stop reading as it just fills me up the joy to see so many people have not forgot what it was like; however, what I haven't read from any of you is how it was in the beginning, the night the light first came on in Paradise. Heres my experience.

I was fortunate to know Larry before PG opened. I remember when he was excited about the club and the plans both he and Mike had for it. I visited with Richard Long at his shop in SoHo and saw the speakers being designed. Remember SoHo? I was there the week before the first party when the main room had no floor and a sign was posted in front that said "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". Only a few of us about 200 was there that first night. No one knew what to expect. Standing online we all began to file in, bags of cloths on our backs and started up the long ramp. We entered after paying our dues to one of three windows, made a right turn and entered and checked our belongings. The floor was full of sawdust and bails of hay. The dance floor was the front lounge and Larry played from what would later be the kitchen for a while. There were risers that would later become speaker stands or part of the stage. We danced to many records that night but the two I remember most were "Got To Have Your Love" and both Lenny Williams tracks "Please Don't Tempt Me and Choosing You" which he played over and over again. By the time we all left that morning, we were full of the dust that permeated in the air from the floor. Dirty, sweaty, ten pound lost from dancing all night, we all (everybody) looked like we had just been in a dust storm. Ears buzzing, stoned out of our minds we could just smile because we knew we were apart of what would become one of the best partying experiences anyone could have; it was Saturday morning. At the Loft later that night we could only think of Larry and Mike and how their dream was now a reality, and that reality lives today. We, all of those who attended that night and all of you, have kept their dream alive, and to that end I say bravo.

God bless all of us for remembering.

vyniljunkie |



I remain in awe of the awe of Larry Levan.........I just don't understand how someone w/such little talent (and yes, Jim Burgess and Jellybean could blow smoke rings around Larry) particularly Jimmy Burgess.......Jimmy was so flawless in front of both "straights" and "all others..." He was powerful, inspirational, incredibly technically talented w/Drama to bottle and sell to Larry.... LOL!

Bobby Surillo |

Going on 21 years since the closing and 30 years since I first started partying there. Trust me I still can't shake that place off me. God I miss Larry and the staff. Everyone was wounderful like family sometimes better than family. I'm housed forever.

tehuti |

I went to the Newport Beach Film Festival last night to see "The Universe of Keith Haring", a documentary about the great artist from the '80s. In the film there was some good footage of the Garage, including Grace Jones doing "Slave to the Rhythm". She was covered in painted symbols that Keith had done. Also Junior Vasquez and Fab 5 Freddie talked about the Garage experience and how much Haring and his crew liked to hang out there.


went to the garage many a times in the early years
it was very much an attitude and lifestyle. Non judgemental, diverse, vibrant, a mass of human kind enjoying the rhythms. White, black, spanish, straight, gay , celebs , young and old.
You could dance with Grace Jones or Keith Haring and it was cool. Great folks there Larry Levan, Joey Madonia,Mel. I remember hanging out with some of the employees in an upstairs room, strange it had a sewing machine there also I remember.We'd have a few "whatevers" and then go down to the club.

I still treasure my PG 'pillbox" with the Garage Logo.

Made so many friends of so many different persuasions. What an example for the world, the garage was the UN of Disco !

JC |

When I first went to this club back in 1985 on a Saturday night after leaving another at 4 a.m...I knew I was going to fall in LOVE instantly. I never experienced anything in any other dance club like i did that night. The floor was VIBRATING, PULSATING with INTENSITY as the MUSIC & LIGHTS TOOK YOUR SOUL!! Became a member of the PARADISE GARAGE a week later. LOL! JC - Bronx via Upstate, NY

vyniljunkie |

PARADISE GARAGE was a very influential club, constantly packed. But I disagree with DJ AL, LARRY LEVAN was in no way THE BEST, you should have heard JIMMY BURGESS and JELLYBEAN when they first got started, they blew LARRY out of the club! Don't get me wrong, LARRY was awesome, but you had to hear many others before calling anyone THE BEST!! And your interpretation as to what makes a deejay GREAT might be different then others. PINKY was great, Bobby V, and BOBBY LOMBARDI were also in that category. Too many to mention them all, today, Scott Blackwell is better then almost all others, including all those "Superstars" that get paid mega dollars! There were hundreds of deejays that were better then TODAY'S big names. But AL, PARADISE GARAGE was everything you remember, and probably a lot more. DISCO ON!!


Wow the best club ever was the Paradise Garage nothing like and never will be like it that was home that was the very 1st club in NY that I ever went to and fell in love with the place you can wear whatever you wanted to wear no problems everyone came for one thing & that was to dance. The music was so vicious that you would hear it coming up thr ramp & hear ringing in your ears on the way home from Larry Levan playing that serious music 1 of my favorite songs was by visual the musics got me, when Larry played that people went crazy & when Grace Jones came to town the was a wrap! Thanks for the memories & Thanks to you Larry Levan the best DJ I ever heard Rest in peace Bro..........

vyniljunkie |

In the late seventies, Paradise Garage was a very popular club. A sound system that was out of this world, and a crowd that reacted to every mix. Any capable deejay would have become famous there. the fact that Larry Levin became a house hold name is proof of that. Larry could be down-right bad at times, but the crowd loved whatever he did. Women everywhere!! On my scale of 1 to 10, an easy 10.

Janet Moses |

OH MY GOD! The Paradise Garage was the place to go and let go! I lost touch with all of the people that went with me. The hardest thing to think about is the friends that passed away...I went there in the late 70's and early 80's. I went with Jackie, Mickey, Elisa, Diana. "Rest in peace Thomas D'Auria and Emilio Soto" I love you both and will miss you both always!

Rob G |

Agreed. No other sound system on the planet could touch the Paradise Garage. I remember Larry would spin a record. One record unmixed with another and the crowd would go nuts. It was'nt just the sound system. The way the system was set up with the room full seemed like the building itself was dancing along with the people with the floor seemingly bouncing up, & down in sync with the rhythem. I had the privelidge of being in the booth with Larry Levan. Dude was a mystical genius on the turntables in that room. I had the privelidge of getting to know Richard Long. Actually got a tour of the shop where they constructed parts of the systems he built. Crown PSA 2's, & all. Gauss, or Fostex 18"s in the system with JBL components. The club was a knockout.

William Powell |












Hi Sarah,
I have some things for your paradise garage footage..please e-mail me AT staffparadisegarage@yahoo.com and maybe we can meet one day..take care

Tee |

I may be the youngest person on this site to post. I'm 40 going on 41 in january living in ny for 41 yrs. I feel very blessed to have experienced many
parts of New york's musical history.
i lived two blocks from the bronx club disco fever from opening to close. I
lived across the street from keith sweat's rehersal studio when he started with the group jamal {which memebers of that group now play with r&B singer angie stone} my cousin is a former member of SWV LEE LEE and DJ D-NICE was all in the same neighborhood. Then comes my experience at the garage {attn sarah sawyer i wish i could have helped you with your request, but i just caught the show on vh1classics 11/27} my cousin took me to the garage i got in at 18 or 19 yrs old on saturday june 86 and i'm here to tell you that feeling has not left me to this day the
bathrooms the people the music the stars you would see dancing next to you
diana ross, madonna, patti labelle {after hearing her live and up close words cannot express the experience } And grace jones oh my god!!! just typing this brings back the memories of such a place that was a true gift to
be a part of. I met people now a days and they go out to clubs and say they wish they could have been their. I requested a song by larry i could only sing it to him in his ear... aint no bodies bizness if i do i still donot know who sings that song ? But anyway i would dance and dance all the way till 11.00 am and arrived the night before at 11.00 pm. That music was way past what i have read on this site it was a gift for life. You met people of all walks of life you learned how to get along with anyone .That music and larry
made any problems you were facing, any person you were having difficulty with
seem obselet. I don't travel much but when i went to the paradise garage i felt like i went around the world. There was a Drag queen named MA-Renee and the close and costumes she would put on was a part of the aura of the club. The people even looked diffrent then less tense and uptight. Even though
sat was a gay night there was many people there that were straight couples coming to party on saturdays because word got around that saturday was a better night. No drugs, No alcohol No fights, No guns. So many succesful people came out of the garage whoa re now in the music business. 1 time i saw Ecstacy Passion & Pain and i tell you that lady sung so hard i almost fell out
in 2nd row. Larry also introduced a group that reminded you of two tons of fun called Hot Chocolate and between his talents and their singing you can only imagine that was the 2 nd time i saw people just passing out from the experience other that when patti labelle came and people had to be Hospitalized from shock. What a pleasure it was and still is to be a part of NY Dance History. Larry levan you taught many what it is to love true music. God put you on this earth to do what exactly you did..You will always be the Ghandi and Martin luther king of
Club music. Rest in peace

markfred |

Show me one dj who can keep you on the floor like are LORD LARRY THE CHRIST LEVAN,and I'll show you a lier

Victoria |

I met someone years ago who said he worked at Paradise Garage for a couple years as security. He said they called him "Wolf". I think it was around 1980-81 or earlier. Does anyone remember him?

Richard Nash |


All this talk of Larry and the Paradise Garage gets me a) jealous because i never got the chance to go and b) emotional because it was the ultimate club and Larry the ultimate DJ and that is the thing for someone like me and the thousands of people who have never set foot in that club it carries a certain magical mystique that no club will ever capture. For all of you who went it must have been fantastic and just by reading all these comments on here it will never be forgotten by any of you who frequented the Garage.
It stands on it's own. RIP Larry.

Sarah Sawyer |


We are doing a film about New York City in 1977 to air on vh1 this
summer. I found you online and you seem like you have some great
stuff! We have a big hole in our paradise garage section of our film.
We interviewed Mel Cheren for our film. We are open to licensing
anything (footage, photos, invites, etc) that we can find that is
decent high resoultion quality.

Below is what we are looking for. I also included other inquiries just
for the heck of it! If you have any resources or leads, we would be
much appreciated!

Looking for the following...ALL around circa 1977-1980 unless
otherwise noted....

-Paradise Garage and its disco culture. Shots of outside and inside
Paradise Garage. Paradise Garage parties when the Garage was under
construction. Garage sign. Dancers. ANYTHING related.

-David Mancuso and his Loft parties. The Loft. ANYTHING related to this.

-Shots of SOHO looking in decay

-any punk footage The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads,
Richard Hell and cbgbs!


Joeriv |

Hi - Just my two cents regarding PG - and the current state of "dance music of which I think I can opine on. PG was one of my favorite spots along with the music of that era in general. (Remember Frankie Crocker on WBLS Bobby Konders mixing it up on KISS) Dont get me wrong some of the music being recorded today is phenomenal but you rarely find a club, its DJ and their set encompassing what people experienced at the Garage or even at the Loft. (Party for Loft still going somewhat but has lost its luster a bit) While at the Garage I had incredible thought-provoking emotional highs and lows. Most of them were Sober too!!! LOL

Anyway for the folks here still trying to re-connect to that era, the vibe and its music you need to check out several DJs and their venues in NYC. François K (who used to spin at the garage) , Louie Vega, Danny Krivit, Joe Claussell, Timmy Regisford and others who have carried the torch for the last 10 20 years. Albeit a different vibe / venue they have come close to the feeling I had at the Garage on more than one occasion. They will throw down on both new and old incredible music that will have you say damn. This brings me back. I say it can happen again if you let it!!!

Im turning 46 this year (Told I look 30-something-Great for the Ego) and been a DJ enthusiast (mostly private club venues overseas) ever since getting turned on in the 70s to dance music at Infernos, Ones, Loft, FACES, Les Mouches, Gallery, Bonds, Loft and Garage. Thanfully the music, the DJs and the venue that can move you is still out there but the powers to be (namely greedy promoters / club owners, record companies and radio stations) no longer support it so it has gone totally underground here in the states. Only way I hear or know of the venue or music is because of friends in the know or the individual DJs named above. Its truly a shame when you can only find Garage style music, that Smile on face and Im feeling good vibe mainly outside of the U.S. Frankly the only spot in NYC I felt that was at the Body and Soul weekly parties which now only reunites several times a year to throw a party in NYC. Last year on July 1st @ P.S. 1 (MOMA annex) was a throw back to the old school block party. Talk about a melting pot - from kids as young as 4-5 to folks as old as 70 grooving to dance music.

Nuff said. SYOTDF (See You On The Dance Floor )

Peace Joe Rivera

jboone |

I got the chance back in the early 80's to go to PG. All the hype is true! It was truly a transcendant experience. The lights, the sounds the crowd was a completely surreal trip. I have been searching for the past 20 years for something to come close. Truly a magical time.

Trayday |

I don't know about that once you got drunk. I don't remember the Garage serving alcohol. I remember them having fruit and juice at the bar and that smoke that used to come out the walls. Helluva experience!

lucius johnson |

Someone posted a comment about house music being born out of the garage that is simply not true.House music as we know it started in chicago,by chicago djs and producers in chicago.I went to the garage several times and honestly i didnt enjoy myself like at reade street and especially the loft.The loft to me was the greatest of all time,david not only was instrumental in the development of ny nightlife people talk about atmosphere and the garage,but truly if you wanted atmosphere the loft was the place to go.Everytime i hear tracks like city country city and melting pot it brings me back to the loft.Paradise garage was to many things,I saw straight men s resentment towards the gays when i went there.It got so bad they had to create a second night for the straight men to go to.Women were always allowed on both nights.That to me was ridiculous,disco house whatever you want to call it is gay music,the gays first played it and most of the djs back then were gay (larry was gay) so to go on like it was this and that,it was heaven lets be real.Heaven is a place where all people can come together and dance straight,gay,whatever.Not a place where a straight night had to be added to protect straight male egos.Loft wasnt about that you went there to dance no one cared who was gay,who was straight or whatever.I think mike brody was so focused on making money he forgot about the true principles of what disco was about,togetherness.By 86 i just stopped going it had become what studio 54 was,commercial.

Playa5mama |

Well if you really knew the beginning, the Garage, was started by the late Dennis Tommasetti, he was Michael Brody's partner and the true genius!!! Larry brought the crowd in.. messed with our heads with his abrupt changings and mood swings. My fav diva was Sylvester! I was one of the few straight women Noel let in. Believe it or not, I meet my spouse there in 1981! We moved to Fl in 1988 and still have a bunch of friends I meet there on that dance floor!

tonelove |

I am now 48 years young and still hang out in the nyc underground scene. Some kids never grow up. However, Nothing to date comes remotely close to my clubland experiances at the Paradise Garage!!! Holloween, Saturday night performances, Larry on the decks....
He showcased the most incredible acts, broke records like no one on this planet, and could create vibes like no other dj ever!!!! Dark, happy, funky, soulful, Gospel, uptempo downtempo, you name it... We all will acknowledge that he wasn't the most graceful mixer at times, however, his song selection, and penchant for the spectacular presentation is what makes him stand alone..... I once had the priveledge to sit in the booth and hang out for hours in amazement... It was like being taken on a musical journey. That sound system unparralled ever...RLA rest in peace... One moment that really stands out (and there were many), Larry was in a foul mood and he turned off the music and lights, with an occasional strobe going on in different sections of the dance floor like lightening... People were clappin, stompin their feet,and Hollering. After a while he began to bring in the sound of thunder, the place was going nuts.... Then he brought in Clouds by Chaka Kahn and that crescendo part before she sings exploded with confetti onto the dance floor. I F!@#$%^&*ing cried right there on the dance floor. A true master of emotion.... He took what David and Nicky had and brought it to the next level. Those experiances expanded my horizons. My depth of understanding for music, life, history and acceptance of others were born of these moments. We lived for those moments... More to come.
PS, almost 30 yrs later the original green muscle tee shirt hangs in a frame in my studio today!

julio |

I can't believe this. I stayed on till 4:30 in the morning to read all the opinions regarding the Paradise Garage. Let me tell you guys something. I was born and raised in NYC. I am 39 yrs old. For those who don't know the whole club scene from 70's to the 80's or who never experienced it, then you will never know what it is to experience a genre, a time and place like those days.

PG was the place period. The benchmark of what a club, a D.J. and a sound system was. As a straight guy, I found it hard at times to go, but the music and the mythological experience one had was transcending. I laugh at some of the people critiquing Larry Levan's ability. Everyone who is anyone, who really knows music, I mean really knows old school music, not even some sh*t that's played by so called D.J.'s today-know that Larry Levan was not known for mixing. He was know for cross over jams that no one would ever think of playing. The dude was a genius, and more importantly set the standard in the difference between a technical D.J. and a Palette driven D.J. which believe it or not makes the D.J. I know plenty of D.j's that are great mixers but don't know sh*t about music.

Remember, house music was born out of the PG and it's no mystery why his brand of music has the legendary following it has. It even has it's own title "Garage Music". I don't know what other d.j. can claim that degree of fame or achievement. If you really know music, then you understand, if you really grew up in the inner city's of NYC from Brooklyn to Manhattan, Bronx, Queens during that period of music and life, then you will understand what the whole Garage vibe was about. It was similar to the Inferno, Bonds, Zanzibar, etc.. era. You just had to live it, and live here in NYC to appreciate it and remember what an incredible time I had the pleasure to live in.

I only regret that I only went there about 5-6 times, but I knew and hung out with real New Yorkers who were hardcore music people, and club heads. It's just the whole vision of the times, just like the Grafitti era at the time as well. Where and when will you be able to witness credible artists create masterpieces on steel, mobil canvases, on a day to day basis as you start your mornings, and be able to engulf yourself on the weekends in music that would be someday considered the cornerstone of nightlife. Amazing. I just wish we can go back to that time in NYC, but look what it has become. Unbearable... So just remember, Larry Levan was the piper who carried it the sparked the torch and lit the fire high enough to be able to be seen through those who had the vision and the sense of music to have to see it end someday. RIP larry..

Julio (kay)
Corona back in the day

mindfield10 |

Paradise Garage in and of itself is an icon for the dance music scene of today. Without Larry Levan and the Garage there would be no history and no benchmark for what we still enjoy on the dance music scene. Many can complain and many can compare, but Larry's dj style lives on forever. From the highs to the lows..., Larry new how to get us to feel his love for music. For, it was not just about dancing, but about feeling the music that he bestowed upon us from his booth. We rocked, rolled, thumped, and grooved to his sound. It was innovative and it was new every weekend - we didn't know what to expect.
However, we loved it. Many dj's today mimic his sound with strong highs and deep lows and creative mixing. Larry Levan opened up our mind to creativity and way of listening to dance music that was intoxicating.

From "Heart Beat" by Tany Gardner to "Macho City" by Steve Miller - Larry rocked the house. Hence the term House Music...

Peace and Love to all Paradise Garage friends and family.

Rick Williams |

It was the people, the music, the staff that made PG what it was. Ive been around. But never have I felt that way about a club again. We will miss you!!!!

mcquaidla |

Oh man!

The hours I have wasted trying to explain to people who have never heard what a really great dj sounds like. Paul is right, what LL did when he put together a set was weave lyrics, hooks, beats and themes with a throughline of emotion. So you'd start off slow and easy or light and breezy (sorry about that) and over the course of a set, things would get heavy, intense, stormy, and then maybe you'd just hit bottom, and then slowly, things would look up, the dawn would break, the light would return, the sky would open up, the joy would break in (and the sweat would be soaking your clothes) and everywhere you looked around you, people of all shapes, sizes, colors and incomes would have these beatific smiles on their face and everyone once in awhile, your eyes would meet someone else's and you'd both barely nod as if to say "I'm right there with you, I'm feeling it, I'm feeling myself, I'm feeling you and I'm feeling everyone else here with us tonight..."

Probably it was one of the first clubs I've ever been in where white people (such as myself) were in the minority and ever since, when I want to dance and feel the love, I gravitate toward clubs with more people of color; it sounds crazy to generalize this way, but in my experience, people are nicer, friendlier and have better manners in the urban clubs. The white gay clubs are too uptight, competitive and everyone is too status-obsessed and anxiety-riddent to have a good time.

So thank you, LL and Mel (and Kevin, who turned me onto the place) for sharing a piece of Heaven a big dumpy white boy from South Jersey would have never known existed.

DJ Lugo Rosado |

I remember going to the Garage in the early 80's, there was nothing in this world close to it. Later I would return in the future there with Liz Torres/Master C&J ,and photographer Tina Paul, Arlene (fifibear.com) and experienced the closing of the Paradise Garage.
The 72 hour closing of the Paradise Garage is a memory I truly will treasure and Larry Levan truly worked it !!

Yvette |

I have been ruined for life because of The Loft , Paradise and Better Days-I have never enjoyed another club like those esp Larry at PG! I did go by Shelter around 2000-still compared it-are there any parties honoring Larry in LA? Anyone interested an giving one? Get at me.

Jason Williams |

I was too young to experience the Transcendential Spirituality of The Garage the more music I hear from the PG the sadder it makes me feel that I could not experience this. Let's face the Reality neither House nor Garage Music would exist if it weren't for Larry Levan who not only IS the Greatest DJ ever he was also like a Prophetic Visionary if you heard Levan's production on The Peech Boy's album you can see where a lot of Musicians get their trademark "80's" sound that you hear in a lot of Movies from that era and Early House Music's stripped down style owes that to Levan. Levans stripped down productions gave birth to whole new styles of Music. HipHop benefitted ENORMOUSLY from Larry Levan's production style. Levan's Music choices are the backbone of Deep house and it's many other Sub-Genres. Anyone who is concerned about His abilities as a Mixer in terms of mixing beats? well you missed the point. SOUL is not ruled by the Physical Levan was on a Hgher Vibration. His insight was not of this world. He did for DJing what Hendrix did for the Guitar and like Hendrix you rarely realize that you are watching A spark of God put here to Illuminate His children with Higher Purpose like Love and Brotherhood. Things sadly absent in this day and time. Larry Levan showed and proved that this message can resonate just as clear on the Dance Floor as any place else. God's Divine Message reaches everywhere and Larry Levan was one of His many Messengers. Give Thanks if you were actually there to hear the Message now those of you who were there please share that message and teach those who were not able to hear ,love , and appreciate the message. so we can learn how to properly spread it.

Jason Williams |

John Rosario, try dustygrooves.com they have a lot of classics and sometimes E-bay has some vinyl from that era. Just surf the net there's thousands of options on the 'Net .



tehuti |

Good news! "Journey Into Paradise - The Larry Levan Story" is in stores. I just picked it up today at Virgin Megastore and am listening to it as I write this.

This is a 2 CD set of Larry classics. Some hard or impossible to find anymore. Others are available on one of the other Larry/PG compilations. These are not mixed but they are all long versions or Larry's remix versions. 11 songs on each disc.

Disc: 1
1. Paradise -- Change
2. Weekend -- Phreek
3. Clouds -- Chaka Khan
4. Haven't You Heard -- Patrice Rushen
5. We Got the Funk -- Positive Force
6. Smack Dab in the Middle -- Janice McClain
7. Bad For Me -- Dee Dee Bridgewater
8. Heartbeat -- Taana Gardner
9. You Can't Hide (Your Love From Me) -- David Joseph
10. Love Honey, Love Heartache -- Man Friday
11. Don't Make Me Wait -- Peech Boys

Disc: 2
1. Baby I'm Scared of You -- Womack & Womack
2. Lost in Music -- Sister Sledge
3. Why Leave Us Alone -- Five Special
4. Love Injection -- Trussel
5. Can't Play Around -- Lace
6. Ain't No Mountain High Enough -- Inner Life
7. It Should Have Been You -- Gwen Guthrie
8. Lover's Holiday -- Change
9. Situation -- Yaz
10. Once in a Lifetime -- Talking Heads
11. Love Has Come Around -- Donald Byrd & 125th Street, NYC.


Hi all,,,
YES I have to agree with Larry2..the Paradaise Garage was the Mother,and Father,of all F-----g clubs... and today I've yet to hear any club come even close to it.. lets start a garage forum on this web site,,but not on this page,,lets take this to the forum of this site.. in the name of Larry Levan, Richard Long, Michael Brody and the PARADISE GARAGE......p.s. if you want to see one of 3 studio systems that Richard Long did for me back in the days when I worked for the garage go to djsportal.com and look up the 100 best disco dj of the disco era.. I'm number 58 and go by the name of DJ STEVE THE SAGA PEREZ..I'M THERE WITH THE BEST OF THEM...PEACE

tehuti |

I don't know where you can find any of the classics in vinyl, but fortunately a lot of them can be found on CD. Check Amazon.com for anything related to Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Danny Tenaglia, Junior Vasquez, the Loft etc. Also I know the UK is big on American dance music from that era. So you might be able to find some of those songs in the UK.

Keep us posted on the progress with your club. It sounds like an exciting project.




In anything you do in life....You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start so you can be great in whatever you choose.

Thank you,
John Rosario


I want to share some insight..
Paradise Garage was not only a club... It was a lifestyle of peace with one's self and others, something you do not and will not ever see again!

Larry Levan was loaned to us all to gather strength and spirituality for a very cruel and ugly world we faced everyday. In his honor maybe he should'nt be judged on technical merit, but on how we felt when we left the PG on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Did we try to spread the message of love? Did we try to let people know that music was "Always" the answer? maybe... Maybe not, but, i know this much... The PG was an institution of hope for all to go out be great in whatever they chose to do.

In the grand scheme of things i learned from going to the PG that; You don't have to be great start anything, but you have to start in order to be great!
PS... Anyone know what happened to the Indian chief who dance with bells and stuff?

cris is bliss |

One poster recalls the smell. You may not remember the garage had a distict smell, not from the incense but something in the paint or that it used to be a garage. You would be on that rap and the smell told me Yeah I'm at the Garage, it was a sort of critricy smell.

Everyone talks about the sound but also important to the garage were the lights. When I first went to the garage in 1980 it had some track light grid design, but when they redid they lights into the five or seven circles in 1981 it was one of the best light shows in the city. That light show, the thunderous sound, the people, the music, the movie room, the snacks and the drugs (my pref; mesculine), all contributed to the making the garage to place it was and that i will never forget.

As for Larry, during the years that I was going he was not a great mixer, but he knew the records to play and many Fridays and Saturdays I danced my a** off. I remember one time François K. played, i didn't get any mesc that night (i got there late and no mesc sellers were out side) but he tore sh*t up. For me he played better than Larry, he had the right records and he mixed them. But i remember someone yelling at the end of the party "This is Larry's House"

I loved the Garage for my time period there (1981-1984). I had stopped going for a couple of years and when I returned, the people had changed, that was on a friday nite, i didn't like the crowd, i didn't like the music, I did not have a good time, I wish I would have tried a Saturday nite but i didn't and I never went back, i even missed the closing nite party to my regret.

If anyone knows who designed or has a copy of the lighting design for the garage I would be greatly interested

cris is bliss |

if you worked at the club and can remember the lighting design, hit me up

ken s. |

Hi...It is such a treat to read these remembrances of the Garage! I was taken there in 1978 I believe by my friend Tony...We lived in Albany..but spent many many weekends in NYC. I'm a Native NY-er..but my career brought me upstate.

Anyway...there were many weekends when I would leave Albany at midnight...and drive straight to King Street...arriving around 3am.. I would buy some mescaline for two bucks on the line...bat my eyelashes until a member took me in with him...and I was OFF. The pounding sound at the door...the runway lights on the ramp to the box office...It was almost like a dream...but still to this day I can see hear and smell ..all of it. The music was like no where else. The dancers were like nowhere else. I would return to Albany and tell my buddies ..you folks have no idea of what partying really is..! They thought I was being snobbish..but I knew what I was talking about.

I was there one night high on my little blue pill...standing against the wall that enters into the movie room...when suddenly the crowd started running toward me...like a stampede into the doors...and outside. I ran also..got outside and asked what had happened. Someone said it was a holdupat the box office with a gun! I didn't believe it because the music never stopped. So after a few minutes I went back in to continue dancing. but the crowd was much smaller..but the music never stopped. two days later in the Daily News...a little report about a gun hold up at the Garage! In the passing years as I meet more and more Garage Alumni...I have not found anyone who was there that night.

I bought Mel Cherren's book. I buy Garage compilations when I can...and I still cherish all of those sounds form those days. That is still the music of my life. Nothing is any better. I remember hearing 'Clouds' by Chaka and the sound of rain and thunder pounding in the darkness. Sometimes I could cry from my memories of this special place..and knowing that I was part of it..continues to enthrall me.

Richard |

Well i was too young to venture to the Paradise Garage and it is the one regret of my life. Larry Levan's legend will never diminish in Club Land he was THE DJ and PG was THE club. It says much that 19 years since its closure it is still revered as a Temple and Larry Levan as a disciple. I for one would give plenty to have tasted that experience

acg in boston |

I am glad I found DiscoMusic.com. I just want to share my experience with those that have been there. Most people don't understand.

I had my first awakening in 1979. I was only 16 years old at the time. I went to the Paradise Garage with the resident DJ of one our clubs in Boston. We didn't have much of club scene at the time, but he would spin a taste of the Garage for us in Boston, this cat knew what was up.

Anyway, this is what I remember. It was the dead of winter and it was freezing outside, we drove from Boston out to Long Island to pick up his cousin. We arrived at the Garage at about 3:00 am. When we entered the club my plan was to change into much lighter attire to dance in, for me that was my "broke down" penny loafers (by the way the floors in the Garage where fabulous for dancing, my loafers would glide across the floor especially when they dropped the confetti), or my sneakers, a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, but I never changed out of the heavy garments I arrived in. From the time I walked into the club I was swept up in the vibe. Everyone who was on the dance floor was in the zone. Some folks danced alone, while others were seemingly joined by their flesh, but regardless of the circumstance everyone was in the same place. That night I danced in my boots, jeans, and heavy cable knit sweater all night long. I was in such a state of euphoria that it did not matter what I was wearing. We stayed until the club closed at 12:00 pm. When I left the club I was totally soaked, and white from the sweat that had accumulated on my face. I'm telling you I never left the dance floor that night. If I wasn't dancing I was watching in awe, at some of the most incredible dancers I had ever seen. My soul was lifted. I didn't even see the theatre or the rooftop deck until my second visit.

When we arrived at the hotel that afternoon I showered, ate a little something, go into the bed, and slept until the following morning. My friends went back to the Garage that night, but I remained in my blissful slumber until the following morning. Everytime I walked into that club between '79 and '84 I knew what it really meant to feel free. I partied on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and it was never an issue. I went for there for the music, and Larry served it up. The Garage put you in a pure and uninhibited state of mind. This was my altered state.

When I hear people talk about clubs now I tell them they have absolutely no idea what it means to truly party. They just don't know. I'm 42 years old now, but when I stop and think about the many nights (into day) I spent at the Garage, I can only smile and remember how I felt my first night there, and the subsequent nights I spent during the five years I frequented the club. This was a wonderous experience that can never be duplicated. For those that missed it, I'm sorry... For those that were there but feel compelled to critique Larry's technique, guess what, you missed it too...

twistina |

hey there boys,

obviously the Garage (and the Saint and the old SF before Jr.) is alive and well in our memories (worth at least 1200 pix... hmm turntable ref). I had no idea!! But even if i could have the pleasure of holding actual photos in my hand they'd pale in comparison to my memories and feelings of community and support and total unconditional LOVE that i received during this time. I am so proud and thankful to all of you for accepting me as one of the few (very few) girls to be so lucky to experience this most special time in our lives. We DANCED. We SOARED, we REVELED we SAW-not just looked we LOVED we TRANSCENDED (didn't we??). what in the world is better than that?

After the scene ended (for me early 90s at SF before it became "trendy") I looked half-heartedly for another venue that could bring not only the music and the magic but most importantly-- the LOVE that mattered to us so much.
Nothing even came close. I still run into some people from my crowd from the old days, occsionally, and its so good! but that time was a capsule. When i'm feeling blue I search for Saint sites and salsoul sites and i feel better. Tonight I found all y'all. Personal thanks to my friend and life-changing force Thomas S. who brought me into this world. I'll never forget.

Reading this page tonight (morning?) made me feel SO good.

love to you all. and i KNOW about that Garage dance. A few of us know...

Xavier F. Avalos |

Paradise Garage was "THE BEST OF THE BEST" Numero #1, in the world or the galaxy, from my expierence the sound system was just like EARTHQUAKE MUSIC pounding and pounding on your head, your body, you know something i get emotionall just talking about it. GOD BLESS YO ALL

Delmar Browne |

The Paradise Garage was my, second home from 1981-1987. I've met some beautiful people and had some, great times! I danced my @$$ off for six years and heard many genres of music.

I've heard François K, Joey Llanos, David Depino and Larry Levan spin at the Paradise Garage. I've seen many performances from Grace Jones to Strafe and far more in between.

The best dancers and partygoers entered and left this, beautiful club!

All in all, it was the best, six years that I've ever had and may the club, Larry, Michael and others who passed on R.I.P.

lucius johnson |

i liked the paradise garage. It was okay but i think they e-were more focused on making money.Reade street was the place thats were larry played before the garage .It was wild,the garage for me especially towards the end 85 86 87 had gotten very commercial.Alot of industry people and not people focused on the music. By 86 i started going back to david mancuso loft.

Bernard Weston |

Before there was Paradise Garage, there was Reade Street. Michael and larry's first.

E man |

Paul, your words, are my thoughts.

The Garage was a special place in a special time. I found the Garage in 78, and was blown away. I remember going on Friday nights and hanging out on King Street with Friends, begging members to take us in with them. I remember feeling privileged when I got my first membership card, and like lots of members I still have my last member card. It's a cherished keepsake. It was like being part of a secret society, it made us smug, because we were the only ones who really knew how to party.

What was so special about the Garage is that it was all about the music and the dancing. It was the one club where you would see blacks, whites, hispanics, straights, gays all partying together without any issues.

I remember women who I danced with week after week whose name I never knew or never asked, because it was all about dancing. one of my best friends is someone I met on a dancefloor in Antigua, because we saw each other doing the "Garage Dance" and instantly recognized a kinship. I regained an old friend because my name on Napster was "LarryLevan" and someone IMed asking if I had the music to back that name up. When I opened my full collection, he was amazed and we started chatting, and it turned out to be one of boys from back in the day.

The early days for me were especially special, because the music you heard at the Garage was never heard on the radio or at other clubs. Remember "Body Work" Larry played it for at least a year before it ever made it outside the Garage. I remember going to college parties where an in the know DJ would play a Garage Gem and the dance floor would empty. Then all us Garage heads would take over the floor and go crazy.

Those days at the Garage epitomize the best times of my life. When my friends and I reminisce about those days we all feel truly blessed that we were a part of it. It's hard to explain to someone who never experienced it, how spiritual it was.

Garage music will always be the soundtrack to my life. Oh, and for the record. Larry Levan is God.

tehuti |


That was the best description of what a night at the Garage was like that I have ever read. As you said it was esoteric. A spiritual, emotional thing that I've not experienced anywhere else. I'm also one of those people still searching for those songs that I've only heard there. And I last set foot in the club back in 1982.

Well said. Thank you.

Paul |

What people sometimes fail to realize (though it has been said many times) is that this master, Larry Levan, told stories. Stay with me! See, there was a maturity to it; not forced butorganic and absolutely spontaneous. You never felt like hed been at home practicing, or even thinking about the club. His work revolved around sets, groups of songs whose beats didn't always match, but moved you emotionally. And it was so much more esoteric than I can explain. It wasn't easy like - 4 songs with "love" in the title. You never knew what the next song would be, but because it was such a personal experience, you "prayed" for the next song to be yours. And sometimes he obliged you, if you asked (screamed for it) loud enough, and then, he'd be pleased watching as you went completely insane. Larry, this master, knew what I liked but he honestly knew what each and every one of us liked, what your favorite, favorite record was, and HE decided when YOU were ready to hear it. Hed go from playing some nice lovely song, then cut in Weekend! Just cut it right in. So damn brazen! It wasnt about beats.

Later on, when house was starting to kick, one Saturday, Larry mixed "Godfather of House" and "The House Music Anthem". Now, these two records are completely different, one funky and deep, the other up and jumpy, but he just kept going back and fourth, a minute or so of one, then the other, then back. What he was doing was calling us out, calling us from the lounges, from the roofdeck, the theatre. And the floor got gradually more crowded. Very calmly (and quietly), we came to the floor and danced for him.

The other places that he played, (and I've followed him around), they had a different vibe than the Garage. They served alcohol, weren't "marathon" clubs, had young heads runnin' around, lousy lighting, and a group of people who had come together by chance to hear some music or look for sex and a whole host of other things, but would never see each other again. They didn't know that if they allowed themselves to, (as a group), be seduced by his genius, he'd eventually get around to what you'd hoped to hear. Or not. But, you would probably learn something new and days or months, and yes, years later, you think about just how good that goddamn "set" was. That youd spend all too much time and money trying to find some record he played, only to spend more money and time to get the records that surrounded it.

And one thing more, the other fine DJ's at the club were proof that mixing beats is easy...and great. Playing the true crowd pleasers, all in a row, is great....and easy. But to really make the crowd bark like dogs, bang on the walls, scream til youre hoarse, faint, or leave the floor because it was just all too emotional, they left that to Larry Levan. Folks, I've honestly seen grown, straight, men cry at the Garage. This man and his excellent crew created a place that had SOUL along with A SOUL, if you can feel me on that. What I've written here are my honest feelings, deeply personal. But if you really, really went to this club, you would have memories like this also. And I'm no one special, didn't hang out in the booth or anything, saw Larry on the street only once in my life. But this man knew me, I'm sure of it. He knew you too.

barbarab |

Hi Tabs,

I hit the Garage big time during 1977-1978 when it was the greatest. The area around the garage was very desolate - I believe a place to take the post office exam was right across the street. On Friday nights there was a mix crowd, though mostly straight. Saturdays had the hard-core gay crowd. The reputation of the club was so great that Mike and Dennis allowed me to bring my parents there (they thought I was on drugs because I slept all day Saturday). Peace

Tabs |

I am researching into the Paradise Garage for my masters degree paper - can anyone who was there at the time please let me know what the surrounding area was like at the time... was it residential, businesses, what kind of people did you fnd there? Was it very different at night from the day time? What kind of reputation did it have at the time? Did it change over the life of the club ie between 1977 (?) and 1987?
Any help and comments are much appreciated.


The early,and mid 80's,for me were strictly all about the,The PARADISE GARAGE..and now wish to paraphrase three songs that expressed what the GARAGE meant to me...it was "THE MAGIC,THE MOMENT".,"LOVE IS(and was)THE MESSAGE".,And"IT'S NOT OVER,BETWEEN YOU AND ME,WHAT WAS JOINED BY GOD,LET NO MAN PUT USUNDER".

edwin |




tehuti |


You're absolutely right. I remember nights when he'd get the crowd at the Paradise Garage going as fast and furious as possible, then throw on something so off the wall that the floor would clear out. Then just when you were sitting down to catch a breather he'd blast some gem, and everyone would come rushing back onto the dancefloor. It was an ebb and flow kind of thing he liked to do with the crowd.

thatjgirl |

I agree Tehuti. It was about the MUSIC that Larry played. He really had the dancers in the palm of his hand and could gauge the feeling and the energy in the room ...

tehuti |

For those of you who are judging Larry on his technical expertise as a mixer, I think you're missing the point. Larry's greatness came from the songs he played and the combinations he played them in. Many of the tunes he played I never heard anywhere else until I found them on a CD, years later. And that was typically on some obscure CD that's not readily available.

The man had a STYLE that could not be duplicated.

rickjack38@yahoo.com |

I have only been in the garage twice with friends but I also heard Larry mix. I agree with a lot of others when they say he was very rough around the edges in that department. But the response of a crowd is what always makes a dj and the club. The way he did it just was pleasing to the ear for a lot of people back then who otherwise probably didn't know that there was a certain art to mixing records. Once a person gets drunk or high at a club along with pulsating sound all mixing sounds good. they just want to dance. I've dee jayed for years and I know I could mix better than larry. But I probably couldn't put it together the way he did. Like others I was surprised after hearing larry mix for the first time. thought he could do much better but the response was very impressive and that will get you over every time. That system he had by Richard Long was the key. When one has that system all you need to know is that urei and the turntables. The "on the beat" mixing know how becomes secondary.

julien love |

dont get bitter, spread love, i can honestly say no other dj mixed records with the larry touch,just as no other mixer mixed like tom moulton, just like no other singer sung like arthur russell, they are all individuals, dont strip them of this.. and their art, god bless his soul, one day we will all be in paradise.

exdj |

well if you want to carry a tourch then one must carry it all pirahna. if it was the oilylimpics one could run, however when you playback some of the songs now and you do not have that kind of sound system behind you, what was all the fuss about anyway. you see a memory is worth a 1000 pics. but a pic. is worth a thousand tears.

Pirahnahead |

LARRY LEVAN was a genius...RICHARD LONG was a genius...Micheal Brody was a genius...UNCLE MEL..and DANNY KRIVIT...VICTOR ROSADO..JOEY LLANOS...so forth and so on...may they forever carry the torch that one lit..and so may we all..

Pirahnahead |

a song is worth..a ..a picture is worth a thousand songs..now a thouseand pirtures..a thou.. a..a thou..a..a song is worth athousand pictures..but - a..a song
is. must be worth a thousand pictures also. because we got the song here, and it's worth a thousand pictures. a-and i wrote this song and if you listen to it you can just picture the thousand pictures that we have..here to..it's a song, it's got more than athousand words in it so...uh..listen to this.


NO harm at ALL in that..........Some DJs are consistently good in many arenas, some raise the bar in one particular venue and lower it in others, he had magic during his PG tenure............

tehuti |

Larry's mystique is as much about the PG itself as it was about him. The two went hand in hand. Does it matter to me if he didn't have the same effect somewhere else? Not really. All I know is that when I was in THAT club and Larry Levan was spinning the tunes it was like no other place I had ever been. No harm in that.

exdj |

I fully understand and agree. No knock on Larry, I heard him play a few times at Zanzibar in Jer Z and he was not the same nor did he get that Garage response.


Many DJs at other clubs, like Studio 54 would replace the Thorens w/1200's so they could play at full ability and talent....
I agree with the Mike Brody, Larry Levan, Richard Long combination as being magical....I am just saying that Larry was fabulous at the GARAGE because of the ViBe that was created.....His live technical mixing ability as far as blending flawlessly was NOT his fortay..........He was not a technically fabulous mixer and he did things that worked at the GARAGE however, had Larry played at the SAINT he would not have had the response he got at the GARAGE.............

He was great at the GARAGE........It is only my opinion based on my comparison to other DJs of the time....

exdj |

Mike Brody + Larry Levan + Richard Long: What a combination. The sound system in that room was nothing less than thunderous. Thorens turntables were not the easiest to play (they floated around) however the other guest DJ's seem to do well there. Tee Scott, Larry Patterson, François K. and Shep Pettibone... The music is still unforgettable.

larry2 |

Lary Levan was innovating, the sound system was the greatest in the universe thanks to the late Richard Long, folded horns were the best , I don't think a club could ever step in those shoes, if you did not go you missed the ultimate experiance in club magic ....


I am going to go out on the wild and make a comment that will piss off many people but make it I shall...........

Larry Levan was fabulous in the fabulous Paradise Garage.......No where else was he fabulous.......He was fabulous at the Garage.......

Many great DJs would have been fired instantly for DJing the way Larry DJed......He had is style and it worked fabulously for him, however, ??????Well let's just leave it however........

He was great with the equation Larry + PGarage = Fabuloso............

tehuti |

This was the best club ever! The Garage was like a time machine/alternate universe/acid trip/experience. The environment, the people and Larry's unique mixing created a different world.

It's been 20 some odd years since the last time I set foot in the Paradise Garage and I'm still hearing the music. Thank you Larry (RIP).

ALS96 |

What a club, what a DJ. Problems were left at the door and for hours you would get lost in what Larry was doing with the sound, lights and the whole trip. He truly was and continues to be a legend. He inspired so many up and coming djs of that time; I was one of them and 30 years later, I still love to spin.

Thanks to all who made it great, especially Larry and Mel.


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