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Stefan Prescott – Memories of David

On the day we all woke up to the sad realisation that the Father of the Dance party had relocated his positive vibration back h-om-e, we thought to ask a friend of the Station (and the man who introduced Tim Lawrence to David), Stefan Prescott who, along with his business partner, Joe Claussell used to own & run the legendary Dancetracks record store on East 3rd St in Manhattan, to share his memories of David;

There is not going to be much more I can say about David Mancuso that has not already been documented by people far more articulate and deeper connected to David than me.

In 1988 I was working in NYC for Lloyds of London. I had been a vinyl junkie since about the age of 12 and so not knowing many people in NY, I would spend my weekends and evenings in record stores or going to Clubs in order to meet people. On one such day John Hall, a David disciple, invited me to come to a club that was members only, but each member was allowed to bring a guest and he graciously offered to bring me as his. He said the best time to arrive was after about 2.00am. I was hesitant as at the time I would have expected to need artificial stimulants to be out that late, but nevertheless I met John and arrived at Third street and Avenue C.

The entrance fee was $10 and once inside everything was free. I remember the club was still quiet empty even at 2.00am. David was in his almost regal booth with 2 turntables sitting on 2 enormous towers of breeze blocks and he was gently swaying from foot to foot. There were pockets of people in different areas of the club, the Upper East Side Yuppies, the lower East side residents, the Japanese, the fashionistas and pockets of disparate ethnicities and social economic classes evenly spread around the Dancefloor. Everything was set up like somebody’s front room, with sofas, beds as well as tables and chairs much more likely to have been found in a dining room rather than a club.

But that was it, The Loft was never supposed to be a club, but rather a place where you could come and hear the best sound system on earth play the most diverse set of music you would hear anywhere on the planet. Within an hour all those pockets of different people would meet on the Dancefloor and be intoxicated by David and his unparalleled diverse music sensibility until the early hours of Sunday morning.

I can still remember the many of the tracks I heard on that night, which included Seal – Crazy (Do You Know The Way To L.A. Mix), Mission Control ‎– Outta Limits, David Joseph – You Can’t Hide Your Love, Sandee – Notice Me and Don Ray – Standing in the Rain. I was completely over taken and before I knew it was 10.00am on Sunday morning.

It was without question that night that made me quit my job and open Dancetracks. I continued to go the Loft, both on Third Street as well as on Avenue A and many other one off parties that David threw. We would close Dancetracks at night to let David come and listen to music on his own uninterrupted on our sound system even though David would get a lot of his new music from his close knit circle of friends.

I did not know David well as he was not very comfortable socially with folks he did not know, and I did not feel comfortable enough to bring him records on Saturday nights like so many others did, but without doubt, David changed the entire direction of my life.

He was one of a kind, that will never be replaced, his vision, musical understanding and lack of ego was something for which I am truly grateful to have experienced. He taught me that it was ok not to be normal and to play back to back music from diverse genres without the intrusion of mixing records, all the while making sure everyone in the room felt a part of a community.

I know David, you are preparing a new Loft for us all and I pray that you, Larry and Frankie are all united again in love and music.

Stefan Prescott

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