03-06-2003, 02:48 PM
03-06-2003, 02:55 PM
Bio from THe Voice of the Underground website:
Expect the unusual...Richard is not your usual deejay. One of his
greatest joys in life has always been the gift of the surprise. His motivation
throughout has been the sheer joy of seeing people have a good time as
they work together to create culture and make new friends.
This year Richardıs name has become synonymous with LEVEL 54
which is Miami Beachıs most successful party. It is a recreation and
tribute to Studio 54.
And since Richard was there in New York to live it, there is no one in
SOBE better qualified to recreate that feeling. By 10pm the club is packed with people in 70ıs costume just crazy for those popular and rare disco hits...
then at 1am he shifts into slammin remixes of those classics.
From 2 -5 they are immersed in the ³new disco².
Modern classics that would have been played at Studio were it still open.
He started his work as a deejay in '78 at a time when disco and rock were
being freshened-up by punk and dance oriented rock. In the midst of a
successful career as an advertising graphic designer he did his first
nightclub gig at an after-hours club called Berlin. A Friday night reggae
party of mostly Jamaicans, at 3am Richard would start playing and
transform the gathering into a new-wave party of Brits, Germans and New Yorkers that lasted until nine am.
He continued to play at all the popular clubs of the early eighties... where dance music by white musicians was featured. This scene was gradually integrated with music by rap-artists and break-dancers who were black, and he would always look for an opportunity to throw something funkier into the
parties he did at Save-The Robots, Danceteria, Cat Club, Area, Palladium,
But he would never do a party on Saturday night because that's when he
went to The Paradise Garage to spend an evening with Larry and Joey LLanos.
It was there he found the inspiration to create new music all the time by
mixing records together. The music they were playing was mostly by black artists, and it was infinitely more danceable than the music from the white scene. It also put him in touch with his Pentecostal church roots. As a teenager
in the fifties he played the piano and organ in the black churches where the
people would dance and sing and play their tambourines into the wee- hours
of the morning. Here at The Paradise Garage the music featured the same
incredible voices that he performed with as a youth in the churches of Brooklyn and Harlem. It felt just like church only it was much sexier and it was very African. At the time The Garage was closing he was creating parties in New Orleans at a loft in the French Quarter. He would fly down a plane-load full of
Garage personalities to create a party there at Club NoNo patterned after The
Garage. Graffiti artists, drag queens recording artists and dancers
showed New Orleans how to put a little underground culture into their parties.
After the Garage closed in 1987 a core-community of thousands of people
had no place to go on Saturday nights. Richard along with Garage lighting-man
Gregory Meyers began doing parties in his East Village townhouse. Michael
Alig described these parties in Anthony Haden-Guest's book about party
culture "The Last Party".
"Another host, Richard Vasquez, would give parties in his East Village
house. They would start on Fridays and would last until Monday...he had a
five-story loft...- And on Monday after you had danced for a day, and you had sex for a day, and you had talked for a day---- You would leave and come back--- and it would still be going on...the parties were getting more and more fabulous... and the fourth floor fell onto the third floor as everyone was
dancing...it was hi, girls! And the drag queens fell down in a big pile of rubble..." David Mancuso - owner of the legendary Loft - had heard about the floor collapsing and invited Richard and Gregory to create a totally new
club...The Choice. Richard kept hearing from his friends that...we're goin' to
Bassline this Saturday because we got no Choice. Spending ten years of his life's savings for just such an occasion... He gave them The Choice. Most of the
money went into an incredible sound system.
So The Choice took up right where The Garage left off. Larry Levan soon
joined Richard and Joey Llanos. Living in Richard's townhouse with famous
door-man Barry Perry, Levan fine-tuned The Choice's sound system every
Thursday. All Mark Levinson amplifiers with all Klipsch speakers, made
for a very delicate sound system which had to be tweaked every weekend.
Soon every legendary deejay would play there including Frankie Knuckles,
David Morales, Basil, Victor Rosado, Little Louis Vega, Bobby Konders.
Robert Owen and Disciple would get their first opportunity to spin there.
The Choice was permanently closed by the City of New York for bogus
political reasons. Richard having seen a fulfilled dream was ready to move on to a more lucrative career in the booming real-estate market of Miami Beach, where he currently resides on Ocean Drive. With real-estate career well established here the opportunity once again arose for Richard to play the style of music he specializes in at the Friday night dance party in the Red Room at
Level. For several years music had dropped out of dance music...it became high speed noise. But now, once again, lyrics and melodies are moving the
dance floor. The old school sound is being freshened up for a new movement of
progressive producers creating music featuring great virtuosity in vocals
and instrumentals. A very good time for Richard to come back to the thing
he loves to do. Miami Beach has welcomed this legendary NY deejay with a weekend residency at Kiss and many guest performances at Nikki Beach Club Opium Garden, Crowbar, and LivingRoom, An amazing feat to have this kind of recognition today without ever having the hype of a released remix or compilation
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