Saru Bobo Kun (saruryujin) wrote in bustedeardrums,
Saru Bobo Kun

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Origin of Rave

1987 (Everything Starts with E)

The Times newspaper reports the first ecstasy seizures in London. The drug, it says "Is used as a sexual stimulant"

January - Steve 'Silk' Hurley has the first House number 1 with "Jack your Body"

Early summer - Trevor Fung & Ian St Paul open a small bar in San Antonio called the Project (named after a club in London Paul was partially running). it acts as a focal point for young British youth's out for a good time on the island. Taking ecstasy and going to open air clubs like Amnesia where DJ's like Alfredo were playing some of the early house imports.

September - Trevor and Ian invite their friend Paul Oakenfold to Ibiza for his birthday. Paul brings with him Johnny Walker, Nicky Holloway and Danny Rampling. Trevor and Ian close the project bar and they spend the rest of the summer back and forth between Amnesia and Cafe Del Mar.

Autumn - The newly converted Ibiza crew return to London and immediately they feel something has changed. "How can they forget what has happened in Ibiza over the summer". Paul starts to open the original Project club 'after hours'. At 2am when the club officially finished they would let the Ibiza crew in and party until 6am. This lasts only a few weeks until the police raid it.

November - Danny Rampling and Jenni open Klub Sch-oom (soon shortened to Shoom) at a fitness centre near Southwark bridge, just south of the Thames in London. Two weeks later Paul Oakenfold holds the first Future in the backroom of the Heaven, a huge club on London's Charing Cross.


January - Shoom adopts the a Smiley face logo from the for its flyers. The smiley face becomes the symbol of acid house.

February - First Illegal warehouse parties held by Hedonism

March - Shoom moves to the YMCA on Tottenham Court Road, but there are still more people dancing and partying outside than inside! So it then moves to a small club called Busby's Joe Smooth's "Promised Land" sums up the feeling surrounding Shoom at this time, as people take ecstasy, dance, smile & hug each other. Concepts unheard of in such a stiff British culture.

At a time when football violence was escalating, rival fans dance together in an ecstasy induced euphoria thinking the world is going to change. - " angels from above, come down and spread their wings like doves..."

Paul Stone & Lu Vukovic start RiP. They provide a harder edged party. Located in a labyrinth like warehouse complex on Clink Street, near London Bridge, home centuries ago to Britain's first prison. RiP sees Mr C (Later of the Shamen - who played their first experimental acid set at RiP) and Eddie Richards & Kid Batchelor play a harder more underground house ("as opposed to the pop songs at Shoom" - Mr C) to a very diverse crowd, from gangsters to people in shell suits.

In Manchester the Hacienda's Hot & Nude nights kick start acid house in the North.
April - RiP (still at Clink) move to Fridays with their 'A-Transmission' nights and Sundays with 'Zoo'.

April 11th - Paul Oakenfold opens Spectrum in London. A brave move, in that it is to be held at Heaven, near Trafalgar Square (at the time one of the biggest club venues in London). To make matters worse it is held on Monday nights. Even so after 3 weeks they had 1200 people in every week with just as many locked out. Spectrum quickly gains a musical reputation as anything goes. Paul Oakenfold even plunges the complete club into total darkness and played Tchaikovsky's 1824 Overture on one occasion. They also hold a few nights at Legends in Manchester and one party in a marquee by the Thames.

June 4th - Nicky Holloway opens The Trip at London's Astoria. This too is rammed every week. A full on street party erupts every night after it closes with people dancing in fountains and on cars. Passing drivers and police are baffled by 100's of people chanting "Acieeeed!"
The British public are introduced to 'smiley culture' and the corporate cash in began. Mass produced smiley & "Where's the Acid House Party" T-shirts appear everywhere. There was even tabloid rumours that Ian Beale from the soap Eastenders would take LSD at a warehouse party and try to jump off a bridge. The Sun newspaper initially cashes in with its own Smiley T-shirt but this is quickly abandoned, as the tide turns, with an anti-drugs one with a frowning smiley (frowny?).

The BBC bans Jolly Roger's "Acid Man".

Murray Beetson meets Craig Campell (fresh from an appearance from TV's Blind Date - hehe) while on holiday in Tenerife with Richard Clarke (DJ Clarkee). ESP promotions is born at the Roadmender, Northampton. A few packed nights called Bounce follow at Castaways (later renamed to Millwalkies).

August – Tony Colston-Hayter, disillusioned with the increasingly stricter door policy of Jenny Rampling at Shoom, holds his first parties at Wembly Studios under the name “Apocalypse Now” One the last night of Apocalypse Now he lets ITN news film the event. Interviews with the DJ's are dropped in favour of 'shock' footage of 'spaced out kids'.

August 17th - The Sun publishes an investigation into the Heaven night club (then owned by Richard Branson) and home to Spectrum. Claiming "Junkies flaunt their craving by wearing T-shirts sold at the club bearing messages like 'can you feel it?' & 'drop acid not bombs'". They had taken the term Acid House and linked it with LSD rather than Ecstasy.

After The Sun's article on Heaven Richard Branson tells Paul Oakenfold that he need only rename his club rather than shut it down. Spectrum closes but opens again within weeks renamed Land of Oz

At the end of the so called "Summer of Love" the ecstasy related death of Janet Mayes at an illegal acid party sparks a police crack down on warehouse parties. During one such raid at a party in Sevenoaks, 20 year old student Paul Harnoll is beaten by uniformed officers. He recovers and goes on to form Orbital.

A young James Perkins starts a club nights in Cheltenham called Trance which becomes a massive success selling out 500+ capacity crowds each week.

Robert Darby and Leslie Thomas charged with "conspiring to manage premises where drugs were supplied" after organising a boat party on the Thames. They are sentenced to 10 and 6 years imprisonment.

October - Tony Colston-Hayter renames his organization to Sunrise after the bad publicity surrounding the last Apocalypse Now. The first event is stopped by police.

Oct 1st - Grooverider & Fabio open Rage

November 5th - Sunrise sell 4000 tickets for their Guy Fawkes Edition party. As the event kicks off in a derelict gas works (where the film Full Metal Jacket was shot) riot police raid it an shut down the music. At 5am the police withdraw hopelessly out numbered by people who climbed barbed wire fences and ran across dual carriageway's to get in.

November 7th - The Daily Mail newspaper reports Sunrise's party as "evil night of Ecstacy"

Dec 10th - Genesis ('KP' & Wayne Anthony) do their first party in a warehouse near Aldgate, East London.

Dec 24th - Genesis hold their second warehouse party. Held in an empty warehouse near Clapton Pond, Hackney. Genesis use thousands of old car tyres that littered the building to build a UV lit entrance tunnel and bar area. Combined with a Christmas tree, parachutes, netting, inflatables & some new white canopies stolen from a nearby building site they are immediately catapulted into the premier league of party organisers. The party attracts 900 people.

Dec 26th - Genesis return to the same warehouse (now with a written contract with the owner!). After initial problems with the electricity which see the first 300 or so people standing round in the dark, they are caught totally off guard as (mainly due to the reputation of the X-mas eve party) 2000 people descend on the warehouse. The drink stocks were disappearing at such a rate that Wayne sent some people to a nearby 7-11 shop and bought every drink in the place at full price! Nice X-mas bonus for the owner of that shop!

26th Dec - Sunrise IV "Boxing Day in Heaven"

30th Dec - Sunrise V "Final Party", held at the Astoria

New Years Eve - Sunrise team up with Genesis for parties under the name Sunset at Leeside Road, Hackney, London. A venue already used by Genesis on Christmas Eve & Boxing Day. Tony Colsten-Hayter is confronted by a gang of West am football thugs who demand a cut in the profits. This leaves him looking for party venues that do not fall within the 'territories' of football gangs.


January to April - Genesis / Sunset parties. "The Fight Goes On", "Against All Odds", "Hedonism" & "Strength to Strength".

Inspired by what he had see at RiP, Joe Wieczorek starts holding illegal warehouse parties in various east end locations (Shacklewell Lane, Essex Road, Homerton & Ferry Lane to name a few). Labrynth is Born.

Around the same time, Andy Swallow and Tony Wilson having already run a successful after-hours club at Mile End, Hackney, starts Echo's in a small club at the foot of Bow flyover, East London. Friday's are Tony Wilson's "Adrenaline" while Saturdays sees Andy Swallow's "Pasha". With links to ICF (West Ham United's football hooligans) the club soon becomes a notorious gangland venue.

Jan 28th - RiP move to "The Dungeons" at Leabridge Road, Leytonstone.

Feb 25th - Biology hold their first party in a film studio in Battersea.

April - Rat Pack run Trip City at the Elephant & Castle

Labrynth hold a party in a disused warehouse at Silverton Way, Canning Town. An East-end gang try to take over the security but Joe refuses them. This leads to 3 men sneaking into the warehouse and attacking people with machete's. Joe is threatened at gun point and decided to get out of the warehouse game. Labrynth move to a licensed venue, The Four Aces Club in Dalton.

The scene takes a new direction as the parties move from inner city clubs and warehouses to the countryside. Soon there are Sunrise, Biology (Jarvis Sandy), Energy (Quintin "TinTin" Chambers & Jeremy Taylor), Back to the Future (Dave Roberts, also a partner in Sunrise), Weekend World & World Dance (Anton Le Pirate). All competing to be bigger and better than the last.

They all hold some immense illegal parties with 1000's of Kwatts of sound, lasers & fun fairs attended by sometimes tens of thousands people cladded out in Baggy tops, smileys, bandanas & kickers. Acid House becomes a phrase reserved for the newspapers as the parties themselves begin to be called Rave's. The term Raver is born :o)

Source: A Timeline History of Rave at Fantazia
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