Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Ultimate Legal Entertainment Experience

Not your great-grandfather's Barnum and Bailey Circus, The Electric Circus was right smack in the midst of tuning in and turning on in the late 60s. I had a girlfriend who went to work there.

Jacqui Morgan — The Electric Circus — 1967

From Wikipedia:

The Electric Circus was a nightclub and discotheque located at 19-25 St. Marks Place between Second and Third Avenues in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, from 1967 to September 1971. With its invitation (from one of its press releases) to "play games, dress as you like, dance, sit, think, tune in and turn on," and its mix of light shows, music, circus performers and experimental theater, the Electric Circus embodied the wild and creative side of 1960s club culture.

Flame throwing jugglers and trapeze artists performed between musical sets, strobe lights flashed over a huge dance floor, and multiple projectors flashed images and footage from home movies. Seating was varied, with sofas provided. The Electric Circus became "New York's ultimate mixed-media pleasure dome, and its hallucinogenic light baths enthralled every sector of New York society." Its hedonistic atmosphere also influenced the later rise of disco culture and discotheques.

Experimental bands such as The Velvet Underground, jam bands such as The Grateful Dead and avant-garde composers such as minimalist Terry Riley and electronic music pioneer Morton Subotnick, played at the club. Other bands played there before they were famous, such as Raven and "Soft White Underbelly" before it became known as Blue Öyster Cult, the Allman Brothers Band, Sly & the Family Stone and The Chambers Brothers.


docnad said...

What an era!

Congratulations, Thom, on surpassing 800 followers! Your readership is growing more and more quickly. Great job on the blog!

Thomas Haller Buchanan said...

Thanks docnad. 800! wow. cool.