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.
We Became Part of This Energy
Hoping to ensure quality and satisfy his demanding crowd, Bruce Mailman began to apply increased pressure on his DJs, presenting them with letters of complaint and asking them to supply advance playlists. He removed Sharon White from the roster and provoked Howard Merritt into resigning. Meanwhile the sonic identity of the venue began to cluster around sounds that were increasingly devoid of African American influence. Dancers became increasingly focused on tailoring all aspects of the experience toward achieving a collective high.