The story of Madonna’s origins as an artist is as important as the music itself in understanding the impact she’s had on bringing the underground into the mainstream. A huge chapter in that now-infamous tale took place at New York City’s legendary nightclub, Danceteria.
Unlike many of today’s pop starlets, Madonna wasn’t born in a board room. She’s not a formula based on focus groups, Billboard charts, polls and Nielsen ratings. She isn’t the brainchild of some calculating record exec, plotting from behind a desk. While her career and image may be no less calculated and carefully crafted than performers like Britney and Lady Gaga, the Queen of Pop’s early influences were far more raw. What she is, is a member of a formidable group of artists who’ve impacted the world in a variety of meaningful (and entertaining) ways, all tracing their roots back to one spectacular moment in time: Danceteria. A dance club that NYC nightlife veteran Steve Lewis describes as having been "…a creative cauldron, like a brilliant comet that flew the sky and cut through all the other bullshit."
Lewis, a self-proclaimed "lifer" in the nightlife industry, is a legend in and of himself, having successfully worked in virtually every facet of nightclubs: From interior designer for some of New York’s most famous venues and restaurants to event organizer, club operator, occasional DJ, historian and philanthropist. Since 2008, he’s written “Goodnight Mr. Lewis,” a nightlife column for Blackbook. Lewis’ first gig in the clubs was at Danceteria, producing a series of epic fashion shows that introduced the industry to unknown designers from all over the world—Isabel Toledo, for one. He later went on to produce Moschino’s first US fashion show.