Hedonism… Warehouse party spirit in Trip City…
I am not sure how I arrived at the second or third Hedonism party in 1988, but Hangar Lane was far from anything I knew in the West End. Obviously my memories of this era are fractured – largely because of the drugs and alcohol. BUT what made the Hedonism parties unique was the cross section of music you might hear. The House and Electro. The Dub. The live music or Jam Room – an uncommon feature at Hedonism – with lots of very talented players doing something that almost felt like freeform jazz or funk. Somewhere I recollect a drum-kit getting trashed, though. And endless thrashing on maracas and tambourines. This was tribal. Our drum circle. It felt liberating.
Hedonism was the first time I did Ecstasy. I am not sure who we got it off – but I do remember feeling changed and it not being quite the same as the speed or the acid. I felt my mind bent in different ways. I felt THE LOVE. And I mean I really did feel it – like the group of friends I was hanging out with were the greatest group of friends the world had ever seen.
By Hedonism 4 all sorts of West End characters I knew seemed to have come to the party… Chris Sullivan from The Wag. Paul Rutherford from Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I think Roy ‘The Roach’ Marsh had one of the soundsystems down there as did Soul II Soul. Graham Silbigger (the bass player from Cerrone and Pure Sex) had invited us to this one. At least I think that’s how we got down there with Steve Keeney, James White and others. The house music was everywhere this time – as were the pills. And I think suddenly everyone was ‘on one.’
I wouldn’t visit New York City until 1989, but Hedonism was exactly how I imagined an NYC warehouse party might’ve been. The dirt and grimy majesty. Off-the-beaten-path. Great music and drugs. A life changing experience, almost. Still, this was Hangar Lane – London W5 – and all the better for that. If some of the warehouse party spirit in Trip City came from anywhere – it came from those early Hedonism parties.