David Mancuso: “It was like the civil rights movement: the more people you had marching the better it was.”

David Mancuso, whose The Loft parties in 1970’s New York helped pave the way for clubbing as we know it, died two years ago today (14 November), at the age of 72.

Having soaked up the hippie culture of 1960s America, Mancuso’s infamous house parties – by invitation only – would help hone the 4/4-led disco sound that would go on to be heard at clubs such as Paradise Garage.

And as Mancuso told Frank Broughton and Bill Brewster in a 1999 interview (later published on the Red Bull Music Academy website), the most important thing about these parties was that they were inclusive.

“As far as the music goes, I’m a very communal-minded person,” he explained.

“I had certain things I wanted to do to send a message, and it had more to do with social progress, because you had mixed economic groups. Now that I was very interested in. You had people from all sorts of different backgrounds, cultures, whatever. No matter how much money you had in your pocket or how much didn’t have in your pocket, when you paid that $3, paid that $5, to get in, you got the same as anybody else.”

Later in the same interview, the New York native recalls how a simple series of loft parties helped forge a nascent clubbing scene in the Big Apple, which remains to this day.

“A lot of people want to party. It’s a positive thing. And the more people partying the better it is. The more you can get through the week. There was enough people around. Why not? It was like the civil rights movement… the more people you had marching, the better it was.”

The full interview can be found here, while a three-hour mix of Mancuso live at The Loft, featuring tracks by Ten City, Dennis Ferrer and others, can be found below. RIP David.
 

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