donderdag 24 maart 2011

Kool Lady Blue, Negril and the Roxy

Ruza Blue, known as Kool Lady Blue, began one of New York's most popular nightclubs - the Roxy. It started as a roller skating ring and disco in the Chelsea section of Manhattan and became a hip hop club in the 1980s.

Born into a working class English family, Ruza moved to New York and lived in the Chelsea hotel before starting a weekly dance party for her British friends.

The trend took off and helped spark an entire hip hop culture. In this first person account Kool Lady Blue recalls the wild days of the Roxy and the role she played in America's cultural history.

Check out a recent interview with Kool Lady Blue bringing back memories on the BBC.

Kool Lady Blue speaks of the first time she saw Bambaataa, Fab 5 Freddy and the Rock Steady Crew performing as support act for Bow Wow Wow. This was September 14, 1981 at the Ritz at the initiative of Malcolm McClaren who created and managed Bow Wow Wow in 1981. Actually Bambaataa had performed Downtown before at the invitation of Fab 5 Freddy. This was at Club 57 for the opening of Keith Harings 'Black Light Art' exhibition. Following that he played at the Mudd Club and the Negril.

The Negril only held 200 people and too many people. This lasted only from October 1981 until March 1982 as the fire department had it closed down by then. The parties at the Negril were initiated by Michael Holman, Kool Lady Blue soon joined him, but they got into an argument and she left to continue at Danceteria. In the summer of 1982 the Wheels of Steel parties started at the Roxy where uptown and downtown crowds really met in bigger numbers. a Screening of the Sex Pistols 'The Great Rock & Roll Swindle' being the turning point. The following video by Sedgwick and Cedar recalls this moment.

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