Paradise Garage  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, the nascent house music era, Paris Is Burning (1990) chronicles the ball culture of New York City's disenfranchised African American and Latino gay and transgendered patrons who were the same patrons of nightclubs such as the Paradise Garage." --Sholem Stein

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 (Bunny Sigler), Right In The Socket (Shalamar), Take Me Home (Cher), Pick Me Up I’ll Dance (Melba Moore), 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 and the U.S. Steel Band), My First Mistake (Chilites), Erucu (Jermaine Jackson)

--Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage (1979)

Related e



The Paradise Garage was a notable club in the history of modern nightclub culture. It was owned by Michael Brody and was located at 84 King Street, New York City, which was of importance to New York's musical development. It operated from 1977 to 1987 and was the base for DJ Larry Levan. Its name derives from its origins as an old parking garage. The Paradise Garage was heavily influenced by another club that had come before it known as The Loft, which was run by David Mancuso.

The sound system was developed by Richard Long and Associates (RLA) and was said by those that attended to be the best in New York City at that time. The style of the sound system has become the model for sound systems the world over and has been copied by superclubs such as the Ministry of Sound in the United Kingdom. The club has been credited for its influence on the development of the modern dance club as it is today: unlike other clubs of its time, the Paradise Garage was focused purely on dancing, not social interaction, and it was the first to put the DJ at the center of attention.

Among those to benefit from what became known as "The Garage Sound" or "Garage Music" was West End Records, run by Mel Cheren. Among its successes were "Sessomatto" by Sesso Matto, Karen Young's "Hot Shot," "Heartbeat" by Taana Gardner (remixed by Levan) and "Don't Make Me Wait" by the Peech Boys (produced by Levan). West End Records folded for a number of years, re-opening in the late 90's and releasing one of Levan's DJ sets recorded live at the Garage.

The building was formerly an actual garage, and the title is a play of words on the paradise garden.



Paradise Garage classics

The unique and eclectic style of disco and dance music played at the Garage gave rise to the descriptive terms "New York house", "garage", "garage style", and "garage classic" (to describe a record that was made famous at or is associated with the Paradise Garage). When the term "garage music" is used in reference to the Paradise Garage, it does not exclusively mean house music, although certain house tracks may be considered to be garage classics.

House music as a genre originated with the Garage's house DJ Larry Levan and his contemporaries, Frankie Knuckles and Nicky Siano. These DJs played all kinds of music at the Paradise Garage so long as it was danceable - for example The Clash and The Police as well as traditional "disco" artists like Gwen Guthrie and Sylvester. Levan is remembered for his ability to seamlessly play music from different genres.

The term "garage" has changed meaning over time, see UK garage for a more detailed description. This form of music is not related to garage rock.


The Paradise Garage is one of the venues where dancers first began to develop house dancing in the 1980s.


Notable performers who have played the Paradise Garage include:

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Paradise Garage" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools