New york: Pioneering DJ David Mancuso, whose intimate, invitation-only parties in New York helped give birth to the modern dance music scene, has died. He was 72.
Mancuso, who helped establish the techniques and atmosphere for club music around the world, died yesterday of undisclosed causes, said his friend Craig Shifty, who runs the dance label Kid Recordings.
"See you in paradise, my friend. Be sure to save a space for me on the dance floor," Shifty wrote on Facebook.
Mancuso, then an antiques dealer, threw his first bash with the theme "Love Saves the Day" in 1970 in an era when New Yorkers would throw "rent parties" in which guests would chip in to help the hosts pay for their apartments.
At a time before disco and electronica brought DJs into the mainstream, Mancuso awed his guests by spinning records well into the morning -- leaving the crowd eager for more.
The party became regular and known as The Loft, taking place legally but underground around the Noho, Soho and East Village neighborhoods, now fashionable neighborhoods that then were at times dodgy.
Mancuso kept the parties intimate, safe and affordable, with an invitation-only list. Skirting regulations for nightlife venues, Mancuso did not seek a license to serve alcohol, although guests were welcome to bring their own.
The parties became particularly popular with the gay community at a time that same-sex couples faced frequent harassment and police crackdowns at bars.
"You have people from all walks of life coming together," Mancuso said in an interview earlier this year for the Red Bull Music Academy.