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Richard Vasquez and The Choice

July 19, 2013

Right, I wasn’t sure whether to post this video cos the sound quality’s pretty bad, but I’m getting to the exciting bit of the story now (for me anyway)!  May I introduce Mr Richard Vasquez – Dr Love!  Richard was a Garage regular and NYC DJ, playing at clubs (The Garage was far from being the only club in New York in the mid-80s…) such as Save the Robots, Danceteria, Cat Club, Area, the Palladium and the World.

In his blog The Choice Revoice, Richard describes how, when the Paradise Garage closed, he kept the party going with Garage resident Joey Llanos and Gregory Meyers (a friend of Larry’s) by installing a sound system in his own townhouse in the East Village.  This lasted a few months until the floor caved in mid party(!) and Richard convinced David Mancuso to let them take up residence at none other than The Loft – one of the few serious contenders in the “best club ever” stakes alongside The Garage.

Richard explains that love of music over commercialism that convinced David to let them move in – “Once he saw that I was an artist and not a businessman he slowly warmed up to the idea.”  As well as Richard and Joey, The Choice became a new home for Larry Levan and alongside long established DJs like Frankie Knuckles and David Morales, would also host a new generation of House DJs like Little Louie Vega and DJ Disciple.

Richard’s 2008 blog The Choice Revoice unfortunately never got past 4 posts, but it has been one of the key starting points in my understanding of this lost era in New York.  There was clearly a split between those that wanted to commercialise the scene and those that wanted to stay true to its roots.  From the latter a whole new sound developed that for me is quite distinct to that of either Chicago’s acid house or New Jersey’s gospel driven sound (what we used to call Garage in the UK).  Richard Vasquez is undoubtedly one of it’s heroes.

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From → Clubs, DJs

  1. Thank you ATG . Very nice and accurate summary.

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    I’ll appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will be benefited from your writing.

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