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Danceteria

Serving as a template for the countless new-wave clubs that sprung up in the city in the ’80s, the original Danceteria opened on West 37th Street in ’79 to great fanfare, but it was Danceteria’s second incarnation at 30 West 21st Street, which ran from 1982 through 1986, that cemented the club’s place in nightlife history. It was there, of course, that Madonna’s first live performance took place in 1983 and would later serve as the setting for a pivotal scene in Desperately Seeking Susan. Three months after opening, the owners hired Ruth Polsky as the club’s talent booker and under her direction, the club became quickly became renowned as one of the centers of new music in New York. As such, the venue was frequented by countless musicians and artists who went on to become big names of the ’80s, such as Madonna, New Order, Duran Duran, Billy Idol, Sade, Wham!, the Smiths, Squeeze, Cyndi Lauper, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Run-DMC, Depeche Mode, Butthole Surfers, The Fall, the B-52’s, Samhain, Bauhaus, RuPaul, Berlin, the Units, Romeo Void, Sonic Youth, Swans, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, the Cult, Karen Finley, Violent Femmes, Soft Cell, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Rob Zombie.

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