A new documentary on legendary New York DJ Larry Levan premiered this month at the Doc’n Roll Film Festival in London. ‘Larry’s Garage – Larry Levan & The Paradise Garage’ tells the story of the DJ’s ten-year residency at the celebrated Soho nightclub, where he would define a musical movement that changed New York club culture forever.
From 1977 to 1987, the Paradise Garage hosted a range of queer-friendly parties alongside Levan’s popular weekly ‘Saturday Mass’ nights. With revellers like Madonna, Arthur Russell and Keith Haring in regular attendance, Levan fused pop, soul and disco hits with synths and drum machine beats, to create his own brand of revelatory club music. Levan would eventually die at just 38 years old following years of heroin and PCP addiction in 1992, his legacy living on through the decade’s booming House music scene.
The documentary was spearheaded by Italian DJ and director Corrado Rizza, who developed the concept for the film after stumbling across an unpublished interview with Levan on YouTube. The finished project includes more than 40 interviews with contemporaries and fans such as Frankie Knuckles, Nicky Siano and Francois K.
‘Larry’s Garage – Larry Levan & The Paradise Garage’ premiered online via the Doc’n Roll Film Festival on 8th November, and is available to stream for a week thereafter.