/ Exhibition place
Paradise Garage was a legendary New York nightclub in the history of dance and pop music and among the LGBTQ+ and nightclub cultures. The 10,000 square foot club was founded by owner Michael Brody and occupied an indoor parking lot formerly located at 84 King Street in the SoHo neighborhood. It was open from 1977 to 1987 and featured the famous resident DJ Larry Levan. The Garage is credited with influencing the development of modern nightclubs. Unlike other venues of its time, this nightclub encouraged dancing rather than verbal interaction and was the first to place the DJ at the centre of attention. It fostered a decidedly no-frills, egalitarian atmosphere. In April 2018, the building was demolished and replaced by a tall luxury condominium tower.
Approach and works on display
“The Paradise Garage marks the arrival of house music and the DJ in a place where the sound system and the dance floor triumph. A deliberately bare and raw space, it was the epicentre of early dance music pioneers led by DJ Larry Levan. The eclectic styles of disco music and dance presented at the Garage have given rise to descriptive terms such as New York House and “”Garage style””. At the entrance to the club in the form of a flag or overlooking the dance floor, the neon drawing of a muscular man with a tattooed bicep and a tambourine became the cult symbol of a place (and almost the only decoration in this industrial parking lot without air conditioning). The club hosted a number of charity events, benefiting organisations such as the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) dedicated to defending the rights of marginalised and HIV-positive people. Today, this legendary logo and symbol of unbridled, underground parties has become a figure of hope and empowerment for new generations.
Music by Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage (1979) :
Bourgie Bourgie (Ashford & Simpson) – It’s Music (Damon Harris) – At Midnight (T-Connection*) – Put Your Body In It (Stephanie Mills) – Dreaming A Dream (Crown Heights Affair) – By The Way You Dance (I Knew It Was You) (Bunny Sigler) – Right In The Socket
(Shalamar) – Take Me Home (Cher) – Pick Me Up, I’ll Dance (Melba Moore) – Get On The Funk Train (Munich Machine) – Here We Go Again (People’s Choice) – Bad Mouthin’ (Motown Sounds) – Let Yourself Go (Supremes) – Angel In My Pocket (Change) – Smack Dab In The Middle (Janice McClain) – Sun…Sun…Sun… (Jakki) – Trinidad (John Gibbs & The U.S. Steel Band) – My First Mistake (Chi-Lites*) – Erucu (Jermaine Jackson)”