Tuesday, March 21, 2000
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York, NY
A new century, and an old broad.
The Dame Shirley Bassey made a rare live appearance at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, so I went to see her, along with about ten other friends. We had the whole row! Noel, Bernhard, Roger, Troy, Lisa, Julie… I can’t recall the whole crew, but we all came out for Dame Shirley.
She did not disappoint. Standing ovations abounded. She sang show tunes, pop songs, Bond themes. She did “Hey, Big Spender” — twice in a row! It was a great night.
It’s hard to imagine getting to see a legend in a space like that for $62 anymore. How times have changed.
Weezer - Undone (The Sweater Song)
Hard to believe it’s 20 years old. Produced by Ric Ocasek from the Cars!
Pet Shop Boys - I Want A Dog (Frankie Knuckles Remix)
In the early 90s, I was living my life in Boston, but visiting New York City often, with a mind to move here. So I naturally gravitated to gay bars and nightclubs to find my footing: Pyramid, Boy Bar, Crow Bar, Mother, Sound Factory.
One Friday night, I ventured to Sound Factory Bar to hear the reknowned Frankie Knuckles. It was astounding how many men were stuffed into the joint, piled on top of each other, moving in time to melodic house music. It immediately felt like home.
However, my introduction to Frankie Knuckles was a few years earlier. In 1988, after two huge hit albums, Pet Shop Boys released INTROSPECTIVE, a brave 6-song album of extended club tracks. Nestled on side one was a track called “I Want A Dog,” credited as a remix by Frankie Knuckles.
Here’s what was unusual about this moment: albums by huge pop stars didn’t contain “remixes.” If included at all, they were relegated to a bonus track on the cassette version at the end of side two.
This was the second song on side one! It was a fucking statement. They weren’t treating this as a throwaway moment. This track demanded attention — they were proud of it! And it would be a harbinger of things to come. House music was suddenly a mainstream possibility.
I only went to Sound Factory Bar that one night, but it was a momentous night that helped shape my destiny (ask me later). And over the years, Frankie Knuckles created some of my favorite house tracks of all time. Here are just a few…
Inner City - What’cha Gonna Do WIth My Lovin’
Crystal Waters - The Boy From Ipanema (Frankie Knuckles Ipadreama Mix)
Lisa Stansfield - Never Gonna Give You Up (Frankie Knuckles Mix)
Hercules & Love Affair featuring Antony - Blind (Frankie Knuckles Remix)