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.
Behind the Groove
Steven Harvey published an eight-page feature titled “Behind the Groove” in the September edition of Collusion that provided readers with the most developed analysis of New York’s DJs and party spaces to date while arguing that disco and its dance music successor could claim to have reinvented the R&B tradition. Harvey interviewed and analyzed six key figures: Walter Gibbons, François Kevorkian, Larry Levan, David Mancuso, John “Jellybean” Benitez, and Shep Pettibone. Harvey shared some of the concerns expressed by his interviewees and wondered if the specter of disco’s collapse now loomed over dance music’s resurgence. Harvey concluded his own year of writing by arguing that a geographical swing in energy from New York to Europe appeared to be under way. Come the year’s end, the overriding impression was of a scene either peaking or just past its peak.