Reader pic from NYC-based Seze Devres, http://www.sdphotography.net.
Alley Cat Books, San Francisco. It was my first trip to the city. I'd enjoyed an amazing afternoon with host Kevin Killian and friends at the beautiful, inspiring home of artist Minnette Lehmann. And then came the book store event. SF was shaping up nicely…
A shot from the evening at the Biblioteca Criolla/Jersey City Public Library. I think I managed to just about get through the talk in an hour that night, which is pretty good going for me... Photo courtesy of the Biblioteca Criolla/Jersey City Public Library. PS It was also good to see Timothy Hartley Smith in the audience!
Signing a library book!
The Biblioteca Criolla/Jersey City Public Library. Many, many thanks to Shane Smith and Curt Harris for putting so much work into making the event happen, as well as the massive support of staff and board members plus great music selections from Wyse Rodriguez of Soulful Cypher. It was such a warm setting and the crowd was community to the core, with a fair smattering arriving with stories to tell--I loved it. But then I knew it was going to be a beautiful evening as soon as I saw the balloons at the entrance…
Just before the talk gets going at the Studio for Creative Enquiry, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. Many thanks to Rich Purcell and Rich Randall for organising the event and for their amazing hospitality!
The final panel at the NYU symposium and a truly extraordinary session. Left to right: Jeffrey Deitch, Glenn O Brien, Chi Chi Valenti, Michael Zilkha, Jim Fouratt. The discussion was intense.
The trip to Pittsburgh was amazing--thanks to Richard Rich Randall and Rich Purcell for all. Life and Death on the NY Dance Floor musings continue in Seattle tomorrow. After that I'll be heading to SF x 2, LA, Riverside, Iowa x 2, Jersey City--scroll down for details. Then, at the end of the trip, comes Boston, for which the flyer is now through. The event (like all of the events on this mini-tour) is free and open to the public. Thanks to Aaron Lecklider/Umass Boston for organising!
Ivan Baker and Justin Strauss. Aside from the chit-chat, which was interesting and fun, I have to say that Ivan and Justin's selections were insanely good
I loved the book event hosted by Tom and Ellen at Superior Elevation, with Ivan Baker and Justin Strauss spinning records and participating in a public conversation. Pic from Andrea Rose Clarke2 on i/g.
I can't resist posting this one again. I think it's Joey reading the new book at Better Days. Honestly, what more could an author of a book about party culture ask for? I'm ready to (professionally) die.
Alley Cat books, SF. It's good to see Love Saves the Day and Hold On to Your Dreams are still out there...
Enrica Balestra and me after the event at Superior Elevation Records. It was great to have Enrica come out to NY and enjoy the book's publication. She didn't stop me from the research and the writing, even if there were times when the process wasn't entirely balanced, shall we say.
My editor, Ken Wissoker, at the MoMA book launch. Ken stuck by shoulder for most of the signing. He's been a very friendly minder through the NYC tour. I can't thank Ken enough for his support as I've headed off on this somewhat surreal 19-year, 3-book, 500,000-word detour, having originally signed a contract to write a history of house music beginning in mid-80s Chicago and NYC….
Alley Cat Books, San Francisco. It's always nice to see the three of them together…
Me dancing at Better Days/Analog. I thought it was going to be "an event too far" but I had an amazing time meeting readers and... dancing. Photograph: Yuliya Skya's Silversquares photo project on global dance culture and contemporary sound.
Final stop, Umass Boston, where Aaron Lecklider hosted the final talk of the L&D mini-tour. As with Riverside, I felt an easy and genuine connection with the Riverside students and faculty; it was as I could have walked out of the door and nipped around the corner to the University of East London. There was a bit more to get through with this talk and it went on a bit longer, ugh, but the audience stuck with it--thanks, folks! It was great to spend some time with Aaron and find out about his forthcoming book on queers and communism. At the end of it all I looked down and my feet and realised that, yes, I was still standing.
A reader at the Vinyl Dreams event. He told me how he bought Love Saves the Day, decided to move to NYC, and spent his first days going around the party locations described in the book. Wow…
Michelangelo Battaglia introduces the Life and Death event at Vinyl Dreams. Christopher Orr, who was about to lead the discussion, sharpens his claws, pensive, ready to pounce.
Elliott Trice and Rodrigo Padilla in the MoMA bar after the launch--the best-dressed couple that night.
Approaching Superior Elevation Records in Bushwick. The old school is the new school.
Better Days at Analog. Photograph: Yuliya Skya's Silversquares photo project on global dance culture and contemporary sound. One of my favourite photos from the night. — with Yuliya Skya.
Ken and I at the "Do What I Want" Arthur show at BAM. It was fitting to see the show with the editor of Hold On to Your Dreams and Monica, a friend made during the autumn trip to NYC. Photo by Monica R. Bello.
The Life and Death on the NY Dance Floor after party at the Ace Hotel, Pittsburgh. Organiser Lauren Goshinski was keen for me to bring along some vinyl. I said, "But, but, but..." because I wasn't sure I wanted to lug around vinyl for close to three weeks in order to do a bit of DJing (if what I do can even be called that). In the end I gave in.
I arrived at the EMP conference in Seattle to see Life and Death on the book table and Creative Licence on the book table and, standing with his back to me, the author of Creative Licence and my to-be host in Iowa, Kembrew McLeod. OK, I struggled with the selfie. (Also gotta mention Greg Tate's excellent Flyboy 2, which is also in the shot…
At the end of the party at Joy. L>D Archie Burnett (dancer, who is quoted in LSD and L&D), Ernesto Green (life long Lofter), Finn Jones (new convert), Tim Lawrence (err) and Douglas Sherman (life long Lofter/Loft musical host/Joy musical host).
Sukhdev Sandhu introducing the NYU symposium. By the look on my face he's saying something about how great it must have been to live through early 1980s NYC. To my left: Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong.
In another bold fashion-meets-cover-art statement, here's my sister Tessa Lawrence at the Museum of Modern Art launch. The legendary Chi Chi Valenti approved of the combination. There can be no higher praise.
Christopher Orr at the decks after the conversation. He was on fire.
The audience at Vinyl Dreams. In profile is David King, design of the legendary Crass logo and also the designer of the iconic Pravda and Danceteria logos, which both appear in Life and Death on the NY Dance Floor. I got to enjoy a coffee with David before the event--what a lovely guy... Photo by Mehdi Afzali.
Dany Johnson, Johnny Dynell and Ande Whyland during the photography show intermission at Howl. Johnny's t-shirt reproduces one of the lines from his 1983 release Jam Hot--a great record that captured the rap-funk-disco-new wave convergent sound of the era. Behind D/J/A on the wall--and this was another amazing part of the night for me--are blow-ups from the East Village Eye, one of the most important archival sources for the book. Thanks to editor Leonard Abrams for all his work at the Eye.
Yuliya Skya and me with two books... Yuliya normally takes the photos--really incredible photos--so I'm not sure who took this one. The cuff of Yuliya's jacket and the wristbands match the colours on the book cover. In the background: the Better Days dance crowd gathers...
In the MoMA bar after the launch, L>R: Ken Wissoker, Kit Fitzgerald, Peter Gordon, Tim Lawrence, Jim Fouratt. Kit, Peter and Jim were all major players on the NYC party/club/downtown scene. It was a fun evening, lots of smiles.
Snap of the screening of Downtown 81 during the Museum of Modern Art launch for the book back in the autumn. Thanks always to Ron Magliozzi and Sophie Cavoulacos of MoMA Film for putting so much into the night as well as everyone who took part in the panel discussion that followed--Patti Astor, Fred Brathwaite, Johnny Dynell, Michael Holman, Ann Magnuson, Glenn O'Brien--it was epic.
Steven Harvey at Steve Harvey Fine Art Projects, "Paradise: underground culture in NYC 1978-84." In the background: Jean-Michel Basquiat's cover for his Rammellzee vs. K- Rob. “Beat Bop” 12", released on Tartown in 1983. When Cory Robbins picked up the release for Profile he decided to drop the artwork. There's more in the book…