A NIGHT IN PARADISE
Official Paradise Garage HIV fundraiser at Ministry of Sound dedicated to the memory of Larry Levan and Mel Cheren, the Godfather of Disco.
The Box: Paradise Garage 1977 – 1987
Danny Krivit, Joey Llanos, David DePino, Victor Rosado, PA – Jocelyn Brown
103: Ministry of Sound – The First Ten Years
Justin Berkmann, Kenny Carpenter, Ricky Morrison, Frankie Foncett, David Piccioni, PA – Bryan Chambers
Baby Box: Handsome (Disco/Hi NRG/House)
Horse Meat Disco, Jeffrey Hinton, The Reflex, Fidel
Sunday 30th November
Ministry of Sound
103 Gaunt Street, London, SE1 6DP
Tube: Elephant & Castle
Tickets: First release – £20 / Second release – £25 http://buytickets.at/anightinparadise
As Homer’s Odyssey is to western literature, the Paradise Garage is at the cornerstone of modern dance music and its culture. Having attained almost mythical status, this groundbreaking club and the man at its musical helm, the legendary Larry Levan, have had a profound and lasting effect on the music we listen to and the clubs that we listen to it in.
On Sunday 30th November, coinciding with World AIDS Day, A Night in Paradise will bring the spirit of the Garage to London for the first time. Making its home in the very place that it famously inspired nearly twenty-five years ago – the Ministry of Sound. Showcasing Levan’s seminal soundtrack, and the music it has since inspired, this event also aims to raise £20,000 to support two of the world’s first and leading HIV charities; New York’s Gay Men’s Health Crisis or GMHC and the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust, with all profits from the event being split equally between the two organisations.
The line-up includes US legends and the UK figures responsible for bringing the Paradise Garage ethos to Britain, and more specifically, London. The Box welcomes Danny Krivit, Joey Llanos, David DePino, Victor Rosado, and a live performance from Jocelyn Brown. In 103, Justin Berkmann joins a bill featuring Kenny Carpenter, Ricky Morrison, Frankie Foncett, David Piccioni, and a PA from Bryan Chambers. Handsome in the Baby Box features Horse Meat Disco, Jeffrey Hinton, The Reflex, and Fidel.
From its inception in late 77′ this “Paradise” in a former parking garage for trucks offered gay men, and indeed all its members, including post 70’s liberated women some relief from the mundane nature of everyday life, and the dog-eat-dog reality of an almost bankrupt and wholly unforgiving New York City. The dance floor at Levan’s ‘Saturday Mass’ was a place given over entirely to the enjoyment of music. There was no pretence and no attitude; there weren’t even any mirrors to distract you. There was only you, Larry and the music. Disco, Philadelphia soul, funk, r’n’b and a new emerging genre which we now know as ‘house music’ were all staples, but boundaries in music fell down too here; There was only one real rule – if you could dance to it, you could play it.
During the AIDS crisis at it’s epicentre in the early 80s, aside from hosting the world’s first ever HIV benefit ‘Showers’ in 1982, The Paradise Garage was invaluable in providing a support network for those affected by this not yet fully understood disease. The dark lesions that Kaposi’s Sarcoma left on its victims’ skin meant doors all over the city were closing to them; clubs, restaurants, bars, even their family homes and churches. Not here though, the door was always open, this was their home, their family and their church.
Paradise may have been lost, when over two weekends in the Autumn of 1987 over 14,000 people made their pilgrimage to say goodbye to the dance floor at No. 84 King Street, but we can hold up the Garage as a reminder of all it stands for, and the message of unity, love and respect in its music. An opportunity to support the fight against AIDS, to love life and uplift the music, the memory and people from what was perhaps the greatest party that ever was; the Paradise Garage, yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever.
– Editors Notes –
The Ministry of Sound
When Justin Berkmann arrived back from New York in 1989 he brought something very special back with him. A seed of inspiration that was to grow into what is now the world’s favourite nightclub. Upon opening in 1991 the new venue featured not only a state of the art sound system installed by Austen Derek, but also a long ramp and tunnel at its entrance, a sprung dance floor, a no alcohol policy, only admitted it’s members and their guests and had no particular closing time – the party was over when the last record was played. All key elements Justin had brought back from his experiences at The Garage. Then in 1992, just months before his death Berkmann brought Levan to London where he spent three months playing at the club and helping to tune the new system. Truly cementing the connection between the dance floor at the South London venue and No84 King Street NYC.
Gay Men’s Health Crisis – GMHC
In 1981, six gay men and their friends gathered in writer Larry Kramer’s living room to address the “gay cancer” and raise money for research. This informal meeting provided the foundation for what would soon become Gay Men’s Health Crisis. In 1982, an answering machine in the home of volunteer Rodger McFarlane acted as the first AIDS hotline — receiving over 100 calls the first night. Today GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy, building on decades of dedication and expertise. Since before AIDS had a name and until the epidemic is over, GMHC will continue to fight AIDS and love life.
The Terrence Higgins Trust
Terry Higgins was among the first people known to die of an AIDS-related illness in the UK. He collapsed at Heaven Nightclub and was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, London where he died on Sunday 4th July. In his memory, Martyn Butler, Tony Calvert and Terry’s boyfriend Rupert Whitaker set up The Terry Higgins Trust (later renamed Terrence Higgins Trust), dedicated to preventing the spread and promoting awareness of the condition. Thirty years into its mission, THT continues to work closely with club events and venues to raise awareness of HIV and safer sex.