Remembering That Day, That Girl, Central Park, & Danceteria
A long time ago, I sat on a blanket and ate luscious food and listened to friends talk about important things and I held a hand of a special gal who I never wanted to go away and is now lost in time. There was always a guitar, and I remember our squire singing the Simon and Garfunkel song bookends.
"Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you"
I remember that day, that girl, that moment, and that song, but it’s all so long ago. No names and shadows of faces. My life is filled with memories like that; photos stuffed in boxes and dressers that remind me just-not-enough of a past that has left me here. It seems, when looking at an old video or photo, that I was always quite innocent (even when I was found guilty). There is always a naivety in the 2D, and I wonder if that’s my biggest problem. I believe I’ve grown afar from the things that made me happy on that Central Park blanket day. Yet the fundamentals, the core of me, is the same. I have lost too much in glitz and glam. It is a day of reflection after Obama and MLK Day, but also because an old friend is in town to say hey.
George Haas, a door person at a club long gone, will meet and greet old acquaintances. Danceteria was as good as it ever got. Some can argue for Studio 54 or Mudd Club or The World or Paradise Garage or Area (a sort of Danceteria on steroids), but in the annals of club history of which I have served a humble role, Danceteria stands tall. It was the ’80s, and from what I can see from the black and white images, the clothes were mostly ridiculous. But the sex, the drugs, the adventures were unparalleled.
I often say that a club is often great because it hits you at a time of your life that you are ready for it. Danceteria hit me hard. I had hundreds of one night stands there. I woke up in strange places. I had more friends than even Facebook would allow me now. There was chaos and dangerous adventure and girls with hair that could hurt me. I met a wife there.
There are still groups on the internet that converse, tell tall tales and "remember the time…" stories. I try to always look forward. I try to define myself in the time I live and with the work that I do now, but nostalgia. according to Don Draper, comes right after "NEW" with the way it pulls our strings. I’m feeling that pull, and I will go to Lit Lounge tonight to see old George and the dinosaurs that come out to gather. Time has changed us, but like that piano player said in that movie: "The fundamental things apply as time goes by." I believe that.
George Haas, Haoui, Rudolf, John and so many others put the fun in the fundamentals back at old Dancetera. That other crazy author said you can’t go back again… I’m gonna try.
Get my column in your inbox before anyone else by signing up for the biweekly Good Night Mr. Lewis email blast.