Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983
Tim Lawrence is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of East London and the author of Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970–1979 and Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973–1992, both also published by Duke University Press.
The Sound of a Transcendent Future
The city’s dance scene continued to reinvent itself when John “Jellybean” Benitez left midtown discotheque Xenon to take up residency at the Funhouse, a struggling venue that attracted a suburban crowd. With Jellybean combining disco and funk classics with newer releases, the venue started to attract a crowd of 1,800 on Fridays and 2,800 on Saturdays, with Italian and Latin dancers entering into rivalrous yet friendly competition. Elsewhere, Bruce Forest took over from Tee Scott at Better Days, while the Paradise Garage and the Loft fine-tuned their setups. Garage sound engineer Richard Long began to receive plaudits for his work, which placed greater emphasis on power than the system developed by Mancuso.