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The Sand Piper

Related: Tom Moulton - clubs - New York music - dance music


In the late '70s and the '80s, if you stayed on Fire Island in the summer, the Sandpiper was the place to be on Fridays. Saturdays, all the glitzy Pines residents would hop on a water taxi to the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove. The Sandpiper was owned by Gene Smith The really high-class Pines folks who wouldn't THINK of the idea of "slumming it" in Cherry Grove would party all night at the 'Piper and then have their OWN house parties Saturday night. I remember seeing John Delorean and his wife; Moor Dubin, the antiques dealer, and his date; and a few of Delorean's investors and their wives (all quite squeamish about the whole scene). They'd come in via yacht and docked at the Pines. After about a half-hour of the mayhem (this was only midnight) they decided they'd just take a walk on the beach. Later I was told that what they saw in the club was quite mild compared to what was going on on the beach, and they all left Moor at the club and retreated to the yacht, which left promptly the next morning. Next to the Sandpiper was the coolest little grocery store called the "Pines Pantry" where you could buy anything from a six-pack of Budweiser to imported french Cornichons to go with the Foie Gras you brought with you from the City. The Pines was really something in those days! --JudyDoggie via discomusic.com [Jul 2004]

Fire Island, New York, USA

Fire Island or Cherry Grove
image sourced here.

Tom Moulton was a fashion model on hiatus from the music business when he visited Fire Island's Botel during a photo shoot in the early 1970s.

"I got a charge out of it, all these white people dancing to black music."
Painstakingly, he spent 80 hours making a 90-minute dance tape using sound-on-sound and vari-speed to create a nonstop build. The Botel's owner rejected the tape, but the competing Sandpiper offered to listen, and Moulton left the reel. At 2:30 on a Saturday morning, Moulton was awakened by a call from the Sandpiper that was unintelligible except for the screaming of dancers. To a tape! --source unidentified

Along with neighboring Cherry Grove, Fire Island Pines comprise the gay community on Fire Island. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Island_Pines%2C_New_York [Jul 2005]

see also: Tom Moulton - disco - gay - dance music

So Tom, How come you started mixing stuff?

"Well, I started mixing... Eh, I went out to a place called Fire Island and I went up there for a weekend 'cause I had never been there and I watched these people dance. All these white people dancing to black music - I was so amazed. I said "Oh my God, there are other white people that like black music." I was really stunned. And... Especially seeing that many of them.
And of course all the songs were 3 minutes long and I went "It's a shame because the minute the song is over they start mixing in this other song and they don't know whether they should dance to the new song or keep dancing to the old one." And then people would just walk off the floor. That's when everybody would change and you could see that they were trying to get more intense and more involvement. I said "There's got to be a way to make it longer where you don't loose that feeling. Where you can take them to another level." And that's when I came up with this idea to make a tape. - So that's what I did.
I spent like 80 hours to make this 45 minutes tape and then I gave it to them and they told me "Don't give up your day job."
Hahaha [both laughing]

Oh, that was cruel!

Tom continued; "Well, but it was true and then I was so depressed. I was waiting for the boat and then this guy came over to me and said "I got to say something - You look soo down. What's the matter?". I told him what happened, I said "Well, the guy who has this place down the boardwalk here, he is also a model and I was invited out here and I made a mistake." But he said "Well, you know, we own a place here - the Sandpiper. How bad can a tape be." I said "I think it's incredible. It took me 80 hours to do it." He said "If you like, I'll give it to Ron here and let him play it and let him see what he thinks of it. He'll tell you! And if he says - Don't give up your day job - Then I guess it must be true." I gave him the tape and I gave him my phone number and a couple of weeks later they called me at 2:30 on a Saturday morning and said "Oh, can you make another tape - the people are getting wild for this tape!". And that's how I really got started into that side of it."

Great! So have you ever been DJ'ing?

"No! Absolutely not."

OH - You haven't???

"Everybody assumes I have, but I haven't. - I made the tapes for 2 seasons for the Sandpiper. And if you're from New York, doing the music at the Sandpiper you sort of hit the... It's like you take the most famous place you can think of and then if you played there you've made it. So, by doing the music at the Sandpiper people sort of like saying "Oh my God, he has to be like one of the best to do the music there." And no one could understand that it was a tape, so someone had to stand there behind the booth so people wouldn't know it was a tape!"

Barry Lederer

Interview with Barry Lederer of Graebar Sound

Written by Bernard F. Lopez of DiscoMusic.com

Barry began by Djing at several New York area clubs and later taking over Tom Moulton's "Disco Mix" Billboard column and being one of the principals of Graebar Sound. The team at Graebar designed and installed the sound systems for the Saint, 12 West, Trocadero Transfer, Probe and several other world class night clubs in the 1970s. --http://www.discomusic.com/people-more/2740_0_11_0_C/ [Jul 2004]

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