Joey Llanos; My Paradise Garage

mp228-0867I was introduced to Larry Levan by a mutual friend in 1979. My background was in marching percussion, electrical technology, and martial arts. Which is how I secured a job on the security staff at the Garage. My relationship with Larry Levan evolved into him inspiring me to becoming a dj, which was not my intention. But his magical mastery in manipulating sound, lights and peoples moods with his music amazed to such a degree that I went out and purchased a mixer and a second turntable. Larry Levan was a super star dj at the top of his game in NYC’s underground and private dance music scene. While Studio 54 was famous for its glam clientele, its lights and half moon props and coke spoon. The Paradise Garage was famous for it state of the art sound system and of course, the man at the helm, Larry Levan himself. I was fortunate to be one of two people to apprentice under him. The other, my partner David DePino are now responsible for keeping the gate if you will. With our annual Paradise Garage Reunion parties in New York City. Still Playing for record breaking crowds, 2017 will make the 40th year anniversary of the party. I would have never thought 40 yrs later after the closing of the club in 1987, that I would be the one keeping the history and legacy alive. There is my 15 min of fame, and I love it. I am blessed! Joey Llanos.
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5 thoughts on “Joey Llanos; My Paradise Garage

  1. What a magical time in my life! The Garage was Heaven on Earth. It was what I called, “The Gathering Spot” where we danced to Larry’s mixes non-stop like junkies feaning for more! I can still hear Unlimited Touch, “I hear music in the street,” “Funk It,” “Hot to trot” Sylvester, Grace Jones, First Choice, ” Larry’s version of @Love is the message,” “I’m A Free Man”, ”
    “Back To My Root”. “Clouds”. – I can go on & on. Remember when Paulie was running security at the door? What about Micheal Brody peaking outside to let somebody know they can’t come in tonight? Here’s one- who worked Security at the door that did a Marborough cigarette campaign? Did you ever see T-Scott, Larry Paterson & Frankie Knuckles in the booth watching Larry do his thing? I still conclude that when Larry dialed up, there was no Dj that did it better!!! Wow! Where did all those memories go? I will sit back, relax…and reflect on ” The Sands Of Time”.

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  2. I got to enjoy the last two years of the garage and I went on Friday and Saturday when I heard it was closing but the highlight was when it did close I got a chance to spend time with Larry and when he told me st about 6:30 -7am he would notice me on the floor and if I was having a good time !!

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  3. Joey, You and David are the last Icons, the last Captains of that great ship The Paradise Garage…
    Thank you for keeping the light and love of that great place alive. I didn’t know it at the time but being there, being a part of that close family, would turn out to be one of the bookmarks in the story of my life.
    Joey you have more than 15 minutes… you have earned a life time.
    Love, Respect and miss you my friend.
    Ralph.

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