Dance Music Pioneer David Mancuso Dies At Age 72

The Guardian reports:

David Mancuso, DJ and pioneer of New York dance culture, has died aged 72. Kid Recordings owner Craig Shifty announced the death on Facebook on Monday, writing: “He will be greatly missed, but, thankfully, he left the world a lasting vibrant legacy that continues to inspire and influence countless generations of music lovers and clubbers.” Cause of death is not yet known.

The founder of The Loft, an establishment regarded as the “first underground dance party” in New York, Mancuso made his name as a champion of a different kind of 70s club scene. Unlike the commercial clubs that existed to make a profit, Mancuso and particularly his event Love Saves the Day, offered a space for its members, often an LGBTQ audience, to celebrate nightlife without police interference.

“For me, the core [idea behind The Loft] is social progress,” he said in 2013. “How much social progress can there be when you’re in a situation that is repressive? You won’t get much social progress in a nightclub. In New York City they changed the law [for entry into clubs, from] 18 to 21 years old; where can this age group go to dance? In my zone, you can be any age, a drinker or non-drinker, a smoker or a non-smoker. And that’s where I like to be.”

  • TuuxKabin

    I didn’t know of this man, but his achievements were breakthroughs, and that’s enough to appreciate his accomplishments. He gave us some freedom without our realizing it. For that I am grateful, and sorry for the loss. Condolences to his family, friends and the community.I liked to be where he liked to be. Hope we’re in the same comfort zone together one day. Appears to be a person I’d want to be hangin’ with. Rest in Love.

    • RobynWatts

      Beautifully said, TuuxKabin.

      • TuuxKabin

        Thank you Robyn. Being closer to the end than not, some core beliefs I put aside are coming forward and bring some comfort. All I can focus on is banding together, locally with friends and neighbors, the community and hopefully work our way back up. We joined the National DNC and local district party. A pot luck dinner on the 4th will be the beginning of new contacts with our peeps. Hopefully, similar to what we have here with Joe. I hope you and yours are bearing up. The worse right now would be isolation. But I know it exists, by being the nature of the beast.

  • DirtyPierre

    Mancuso is mentioned often in Peter Shapiro’s “Turn The Beat Around” book that accurately chronicles his efforts and helped to make house parties the parties of a lifetime. His motto was “Love will save the day”. His acute ability to bring a crowd to a frenzy then let them down gently without losing the energy was legendary. He turned the ethereal into a club hits with “Sweet Sixteen” by the Diga Rhythm Band, Eddie Kendricks “Girl You Need A Change Of Mind” and Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa” all songs that helped to define the disco era. A true pioneer, he marched to his own beat and took us all along for the ride. I celebrate his talent and his legacy.
    Now to dig out that old vinyl and get those feelings back again…

  • Professor Barnhardt

    I love the ’70s audio equipment – Klipsch speakers, Thorens turntables, Grace tonearms.

  • Duh-David

    Later David Mancuso house set:

    By the time I made it to the Loft it was at its first Alphabet City location (maybe 1990), but we still knew we were in a temple. Even then people would say, “you should have been here back-in-the-day.” Little did we realize this was still back-in-the-day.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    RIP Mr Mancuso, you were a good man.

  • karmanot

    The Saint!