A few weeks ago my DJ daughter Sammy Jo asked me to fill in for her one night @ MR. BLACK. She said, "Daddy, why don't you play old disco? -the REAL stuff though".
I did.
I called it the "IS IT ALL OVER MY FACE DISCO JAG".

(In 1981 I used to do a party by this name at the legendary SQUAT THEATRE on W. 23rd Street. The party started at 4AM. I used to go on after Sun Ra and the Arkestra. When you went to the theater, it was closed with a sign on the door that read "RING THE BELL FOR JOHNNY DYNELL". When you did this, the door opened and one of the genius mad Hungarians from The Squat Theatre greeted you. It was a funk-filled Disco Cabaret with strippers, show girls, drag acts... in other words, the family. It was sick.)

So Sammy Jo's Friday night party at Mr. Black (called "GARY 49" -don't ask) seemed like the perfect place to resurrect the "IS IT ALL OVER MY FACE DISCO JAG".

The night was a smash. PACKED! Everyone really got into the joy of that period in New York. The oldsters remembered and the young ones learned. It was great. (thanks Sammy Jo!)
I mixed up some of the old disco classics like Partick Crowley's with some of the "new" disco classics like Goldfrapp's. They blended flawlessly.

New York is NOT dead.
It will never be what it was but as long as there are new kids willing to get stupid (and think they invented "stupid") life as we know it will go on.

So...
I thought I would start a "Disco Topic".
I don't know why exactly but it feels right.


James White and the Flaming Demonics at The Squat Theatre (December 28, 29 1979)
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and...
A friend of mine sent me this picture today.
A disco moment that I took as a sign to start this topic.

It's Connie Harvey, me and Jocelyn Brown. It's from when I worked with Jocelyn & Connie back in the 80's.
When we were in the studio recording Jocelyn used to bring picnic baskets of fried chicken and all the fixins. We would sit for hours eating and laughing (wasting money and studio time) and then Jocelyn & Connie would go into the vocal booth and in one take...
make history.
It's nothing for Jocelyn.
I watched her singing "Sombody Else's Guy".
(It's amazing to witness herstory).

This picture is from one of our pig-out sessions.
Connie is holding her belly looking like she is going to throw up, I've got the zip lock bags and Jocelyn has her napkin ready and is saying, "Bring on that chicken honey, I can't sing on an empty stomach".

and that's todays' Disco History Minute.


Connie Harvey, Johnny Dynell & Jocelyn Brown

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Don't forget that big pot of stew that was always on the burner at Squat. Now someone should write a book about that place!
Sharon Stone? She was only an understudy in some Elizabeth Swados show back then. Bah!

BTW I once went to the Oakland Colisseum with a group of people which included Patrick Cowley (no "R" Daddy) and Mickey Thomas (attention the person who accused me of liking "We Built This City") to see Sylvester open for LaBelle. I was never the same again.

http://usuarios.advance.com.ar/dheinz/Patrick%20Cowley1.htm
I know someone who could write that book. Esther Balint... she was a beautiful teenager growing in the melee of that place.
It looks like she is a singer now...

http://www.eszterbalint.com/eb_index.html

Bio of SQUAT here, if you can read the grey type

http://www.eszterbalint.com/bio.html

Squat seems to have been eaten by the Fales Library...

I recollect when they got the news their 23rd Street building was sold, to make way for a multiplex movie theater. It was such an enormous degradation. They couldn't believe such a thing could happen in New York City. A CHAIN movie theater... replacing a LIVING THEATER of original plays. The shock was enormous.

And then everyone just did another line.

[Sorry to be cynical but the place did turn into a drug den.]
Oooops!
Cowley, thanks Hatch.
I used to talk to Sylvester and "Two Tons O Fun" at The Garage. I didn't really know him but he was always very nice. Whatta star.

And S'tan,
Didn't you (and Carl) live right across the street from The Squat Theater at one point? Or am I dreaming?

And...
It may have been a drug den but there was always a big pot of something or other cooking on the stove. Nobody ever went "Hungary".

(I couldn't resist)
Not Only am I amazed by all of you with your fabulous stories of NYC, but considered myself privileged to be "schooled" by the people who lived it. All these snipets of culture and nightlife are important esp. for the younger generations those who don't realize that NYC was an amazing place before 90's....
Daddy, no it was JEFFREY who lived across from Squat, one block up, and between him, various denizens of Squat, and the Yab on the edge of Soho, heroin and coke was purveyed to all of Downtown who wanted it. The drug-buying parties were an all-star list...!

One night I was sent to one of the Squatter's off-site apts. to pick up something - I was such an ass - and when I looked out the window, he went insane and locked down the apt. for THREE HOURS claiming I was 'signalling to the police'. I kept calling Jeffry to come rescue me and he just laughed. I developed a total hatred of the Squats after that.

At one point I was so crazed over every other person I knew being a junkie... that I even went to the head of Squat and had a conference with him -- so naive, telling him they ought to do something else to shore up their enterprise. That they were destroying artists so they
could keep that big fucking soup pot full.

The fellow said to me: "We love drugs. It is the American Way."

He was right.
Well, he was right.
It is the American way.
And bringing it all back to "Disco"...
there would be no Disco without drugs.

One thing that "The Kids" today don't realize is how "60's" the "70's" were. Disco was a child of the free-wheeling hippies of the 1960's. It was very free love, good times, good drugs etc...
The Paradise Garage was a psychedelic experience. You took acid or mushrooms or something like that at the Garage and The Saint. (It wasn't until the 80's that coke and heroin came into it).
When people today hear something like KC & The Sunshine Band's "That's the way, Uh Huh Uh Huh I like it, Uh Huh Uh Huh" repeated over and over and over again they don't get that people were tripping when they danced to it. That kind of trippy repetition was the beginning of Acid House, Trance, Techno, Electro... all of the electronic sampled stuff we listen to today.
When I hear songs like KC played at a wedding or something I have to chuckle because to me, they will always be trippy songs. Not something someone's big fat aunt Mary shakes her big fat aunt Mary ass to. The Patrick Cowley (no "R") mix of "I Feel Love" still gives me flash backs.

Disco was fun, it was happy, it felt new and in the clubs it was "druggy".


Grace Jones at The paradise Garage.

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It's funny...
When I was looking for a picture for my last post, I did a Google Image search for "new york discotheques" and got 20 pictures of "Scissor Sisters DJ Sammy Jo".
WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ABOUT?
It's where this all began.
Am I tripping??


Scissor Sisters DJ Sammy Jo looking like he's on a bad trip.

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I agree with you... the 70s and disco ... like the 60s still had an innocence. It was the perfect decadent era! But divinely decadent (wiggle green fingernails.)

Drugs? Poppers!

Are the S.Sisters touring USA this summer? Pls.


PS: My Squat era was five years after yours it seems.
It's true, those were the daze but I have to say...
I like the new stuff just as much.
I LOVE the Goldfrapp re-mixes.
They are obviously paying homage to the Disco classics but they sound new and fresh.
Like Disco did when it was young.
As far as "Old Frapp"...
well that's a different discussion as you all know.
Disco is dead!
Long live Disco!
It always starts with a hairdresser friend, don't it BM? "Disco Lessons"? Was that poppers and bum sex, brian? My 3rd grade gym class was never like that- ok who am I kidding.

And attention all disco dollies Daddy will be doing another disco installment at Mr Blacks's on Friday June 15th. More info to come.

And as far as that photo of SJ, I'm sure he felt that way even if it was the photographer's fault it came out like that.
OK, Bringing it back to "DISCO"...

I dug up my copy of "Love Sensation".
quote:
"To Johnny D & Chi Chi who I Loved For A Long Time. -Loleatta"


She is so great, I love Loleatta.
One time at The Garage she invited Chi Chi and I to come stay at her house in Chigago. We were excited (because Chi Chi lived there for a few years and I was born there -but didn't grow up there). So then after getting us excited she adds, "By the way, the house just burned down but the pool is still there. We can Bar-B-Q".

LOVE her!

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Wow, it's like "Nancy Isla: This is your life!" around here. So great to hear from all the ol' gang. Shocked I don't see one baby picture but looks like you're all about to pop one out so be sure to post when you do! Me and my fella Chad Mintz have been trying but a medical condition of his has been holding the process up- obviously not literally. Hopefully we'll resolve it soon because I've only got about 10 years to go before I won't be able to conceive.

Regarding that A.T.C. record, don't you remember I brought it to Deb Farmer's summer home in Newton when she had that girlz-gone-wild volleyball party? And some of the girls had a little too much Tequiza and took their tops off. Can you imagine what the nighbours must've thought? Oh I'm laughing just thinking about it. Well, gotta go, Ellen's on.
While I agree partially, I do feel that there is good music being made today, dance music that is. It just takes a bit more hunting to find it, especially since the word Disco was so ferociuously demonized. Few people want to call their music disco. To me it's all fucking disco with subgenres.
That's true Nancy.
I agree and will be playing it all this Friday at GARY 49 @ MR. BLACK.

If you missed the last "IS IT ALL OVER MY FACE DISCO JAG"...
and I'm quoting Shirly & Company here.
quote:
Shame Shame Shame Shame Shame
Shame on you,
If you can't dance too.

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Does anyone have a copy of Karen "Hot Shot" Youngs BRING ON THE BOYS??? I want to do it desperately. Did it once at Boybar in a disco rain skirt, sequinned tube top with matching beret and huge mylar disco fans. Can't remember who gave me the music tho and that was many moon's ago. Also does anyone remember a singer named ZULEMA?? She did a disco version of Paul McCartney's " Maybe I'm Amazed" that is genius.
The other day I was listening to Donna Summer and I swear the Patrick Cowley mix of I Feel Love is still one of the greatest remixes of all time. Daddy! Talk about trippy, and sexy! and don't forget all 16 minutes of Love to Love You Baby. I also hear We Are Family at a Catholic Picnic at a church function and The Irony was not lost on me NO WAY! here's a religious sect that condemns homosexuality and embraces gay music, like music that started out in night clubs were gay and straight were together....LIVING IN SIN (AHEM!) talk about FLIP-FLOPPING on and issue on the whole "homosexuality is a sin" BS! I mean my fundamentalist Christian uncle is a maniac on the dance floor at my aunt's wedding dancing like all white people (OK NOT ALL!) do. I was one of the few in my family with rhythm. It's hard to dance in a tux though. wanted to wear blush so I could entertain them with a song from Cabaret. ((1920's Berlin was as decadent as the 70s and 80s I'd say)
Last night I went to a screening of "The Godfather Of Disco". It's all about the Paradise Garage, The Loft, Fire Island and the early gay years of Disco. The first DJs, club mixes, disco records etc. It's a fun history lesson.
Watch for it.

I'm in it but I guess I wasn't good enough to be on the poster! But neither was Karen "Hot Shot" Young so I guess I shouldn't feel so bad.

Oh wait a minute, there we are...
"and many more"

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