There’s nothing we like more at 500MH than wandering off the well-trodden path and discovering something interesting in the disco undergrowth. So whilst it’s great to hear tapes of classic New York radio shows and clubs, what (you may ask) was happening in early-80’s gay Seattle?
That question can now be answered in the form of a storming set by Dana Andrews, recorded at The Monastery club’s 1983 Red Party.
A quick trawl of the Internet reveals virtually nothing about this amazing looking Seattle venue – The Munsters meets Paradise Garage? – but what scant info there is on the long-demolished Monastery (aka The Sanctuary) can be found over at the ever reliable discomusic.com, for example:
“So many crazies: the naked dancing men, the glitter girls, the fashion fags, the leather gang-honeys, they were all there…”
But enough of the clientele, what was the music like? On this showing a fascinating mixture of what you might expect (multiple Patrick Cowley tracks) to things you wouldn’t (a very long and spacey version of the Gap Band’s You Dropped a Bomb on Me).
Oh and a lovely sequence where Nick Straker’s Straight Ahead is mixed seamlessly into Glad to Know You, which sounds like it could have been recorded in Shoreditch (or Oslo) last weekend.
Support, perhaps, for Alice Echols’ subtext in Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture that the “real” story of disco was being played-out away from the twin-centres of New York and San Francisco?
Or just a bloody good listen?
As ever, you decide…
Download: DJ Dana Andrews – 1983 Red Party – Part 1 (right-click)
Download: DJ Dana Andrews – 1983 Red Party – Part 2 (right-click)