13 August 2015


25 years ago, Deee-lite gave us "Groove is in the Heart!"  i was moving from Brussels to Quito when i first heard the song.  i had to ask a friend in New York to get it to me on vinyl & ship it to my new provincial home city in the Andes.  i often invited my new friends from the Lycée Français to parties at my house & played the record over & over & over...  the following summer of 1991, i flew back to Brussels to spend a few weeks back home, and from there, flew out to New York City to meet up with my younger brothers who had gone to summer camp in the USA, like i used to myself when i was younger.  our parents would send us out as far from Europe as possible on PanAm or TWA flights with our passports hanging down our necks in those ugly pouches, to the mountains of West Virginia or Idaho's Sun Valley so that we would be forced to practice English with mostly preppy white American brats for 4 to 6 weeks.

anyway, the Paramount Hotel was still very new (or rather had just reopened after Ian Schrager's reboot) & i was to meet up at the hotel with my two brothers, my father & my then step-mother.  the moroccan one.  she had a miscarriage on her way to NY so my dad & her weren't able to make it.  i was only 16 & arrangements were made for my younger brothers & i to stay alone at the Paramount for 2 nights.  awesome!

in the elevator of the Paramount, i ran into Lady Miss Kier & immediately recognized her, even though Deee-lite wasn't even that huge yet, and in spite of her being in sweats instead of the colorful club kid staples she wore on stage or just out on the town.  i introduced myself & asked very excitedly if she was performing anytime soon (because i needed to see that!).  without skipping a beat, her cool response was "Honey, I'm always performing!"

i found out they were doing a show in the basement of the Paramount or some adjacent basement around there; i can't quite remember.  i was underage, but at that time, it didn't really matter in NY.  besides, i now had an invite from the lady herself!  that night, i tucked my 2 brothers to bed, snuck out, made it to that basement & had one of the best nights of my life.  

yesterday, this video by musicologist Douglas Hovey surfaced online.  this footage of the early days of Deee-lite at Wigstock 1990 brought me right back to that magical night in NY.  when i saw them, the room was darker, but the ambiance was very similar.  maybe a  bit more debaucherous though.  it's a blur.  one thing's for sure, i had a blast & i get excited still today when i think about that night.