Wednesday, April 15, 2015

That Time I Ended Up In The Ladies Room At Dancetaria With 3 Rock Stars

It was the winter of 1983. I was in New York City with a few of my college radio compadres for the CMJ Radio Convention. CMJ as in College Media Journal - the folks who brought us the monthly CMJ New Music Report magazine, which followed and charted the new music of the day being played on college radio stations across the United States. I think they called the convention the CMJ Music Marathon.

We were having a blast attending panels that were focused on the drastically changing music scene of the early 1980s. My fellow DJs and I were meeting all of the new artists, like Cyndi Lauper (Girls Just Want To Have Fun had just been released), Richard Butler of Psychadelic Furs (they weren't a new band, but Love My Way was new, and the song was quickly moving up the charts and
putting the Furs on the map).

Richard Butler of Psychadelic Furs
Photo from Tumblr
There was an invite-only party at the very hip Dancetaria nightclub on West 21st St. I'm still dumbstruck when I recall the artists we were schmoozing with that night. Six different floors, different DJs and themes. Richard Butler and the Psychadelic Furs were there along with Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, REM, B52s, and I think Soft Cell, and Romeo Void. Among others. Lets Active and the Eurythmics.

It was such a thrill to be playing all of this new music on my college station, WUSM (91.1 FM). Commercial radio had yet to catch on to all of this progressive music, so to be in New York meeting all of the bands and having them and their handlers (including record company execs) appreciate how much college radio was helping them was a rush.

Cyndi Lauper
Just a couple of years later, when I was doing commercial radio, it was even more thrilling to meet these artists again and see the progress we had all made. We got the music to the masses!

After many drinks, I ended up in the women's room with THREE different rock stars at one time. Two were women, one was a man. The two women became huge stars - one of them still hugely famous and popular today. The guy is still the lead singer of his band, and I'm a huge fan. So there we were, snorting cocaine in the women's room, while one of the famous ladies jammed the exit door shut with her foot.

The night ended in a dizzying blur for me, but many of the musicians I met and partied with that evening emerged from Dancetaria and went on to be the biggest, most influential rock stars of the '80s music scene.

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