|Larry Levan (1954 - 1992)|
This year we decided to pay homage to many of the unsung heroes of electronic and dance music. The many faces of color who have influenced 3 generations of DJs, producers, and artists around the world. We begin tonight with Larry Levan.
Brooklyn born and raised, Larry Levan is widely recognized as one of the most important names in late 70s disco and underground NYC dance culture of the early to mid 80s. He was influenced by Nicky Siano from the Gallery and was even brought in as a decorator. He was the resident DJ at the legendary Paradise Garage (1977-1987), arguably the most important nightclub in NYC's history. It was known for it's Richard Long sound system and Larry himself even had his own Levan Horn Bass Speakers installed there.
Levan set the tone for remixing + made it the thing to do for all the DJs who came after him. He also influenced the legendary Frankie Crocker's playlist on WBLS FM with his sets at The Garage. Some of the classic hits he remixed include "Ain't Nothin Goin On But The Rent," "Double Cross," "Is It All Over My Face," "Pull Up The Bumper," and "Heartbeat" just to name a few.
Once The Paradise garage closed it's doors in '87, Larry played fewer sets and continued to battle drug addiction for a few years. Larry was on the verge of breaking back out in 1992 with an inspirational Japan tour but fell ill upon returning to NYC and died November of that year from heart failure. His influence can be heard to this day on DJ sets from Francois K, Rich Medina, Supreme La Rock, DJ Kemit, and Dimitri From Paris among many others around the globe.