Yesterday we began our weeklong series on some of New York’s vanished music venues with a look at Max’s Kansas City – early artist haven where Andy Warhol held court, home to the nascent glam rock movement, and then the yin to CBGBs yang when punk hit in the late 70s. Then we moved on to the Bottom Line, where you could see folkies, the newest rock bands (the Police, famously), jazz greats, etc.
A number of listeners who couldn’t get through on the phones left comments (some more than once), and I was struck by this line from a comment by Dan from Long Island: “It (the Bottom Line) could be seen as a legacy of the best radio mixes from the 60's and early 70's when you could hear almost any style of music at one time or another.”
It’s a good point: both The Bottom Line’s eclecticism in the 70s and Danceteria’s bootylicious dance-rock in the 80s reflected the very different sounds of radio in New York in those decades. And in one unexpected example, Danceteria also reflected the artistic ferment of lower Manhattan – the same ferment that drove my original show here at WNYC, “New Sounds.” For me, one of the great surprises of Danceteria was how much overlap there was between the cool, scene-making rockers who hung out there and the arty, downtown musicians whose music would be heard on “New Sounds” (and often only on “New Sounds”) and seen on those newfangled music videos in Danceteria’s groundbreaking video lounge. Whether it was their videos or actual live performances, drummer/composer David Van Tieghem, sax player/bandleader Peter Gordon, the Microscopic Septet, and Philip Glass with the Gambian-born kora player Foday Musa Suso, all graced one floor or another of Danceteria’s multi-level, multi-use layout.
What’s your favorite memory of Danceteria? Leave a comment.
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