David Mancuso was born on October 20, 1944 and died November 14, 2016.
He was an American disk jockey who created the popular “by invitation only” parties in New York City, which later became known as “The Loft”.
The first party, called ‘Love Saves The Day’, was in 1970.
David pioneered the “private party” as distinct from the more commercial nightclub business model.
In the early 1970s, David won a long administrative trial when the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs found that he was not selling food or beverages to the public and therefore did not need a NYC “Cabaret License”.
David’s success at keeping his parties “underground” and legal inspired others, and many famous private discothèques of the 1970s and 1980s were modeled after The Loft, including the Paradise Garage, The Gallery, and The Saint.
He also helped start the record pool system for facilitating the distribution of promotional records to the qualified disc jockey.
Elements of David’s influence can also be seen in the famous nightly scene outside of New York City’s Studio 54, where legendary owner Steve Rubell understood the appeal of selectivity and took Mancuso’s “invitation only” idea and expanded it to ridiculous, and ridiculously effective, extremes.
Some nights Rubell would famously keep almost everyone standing outside and only admit 100 patrons or so.
The effect was to make admittance to 54 even more sought after, increasing the club’s popularity exponentially over the course of the mid and late 1970s.
David Mancuso passed away at age 72.