In the Beginning – June 1991
During the summer of 1991, while on tour in Japan, Daizo Murata (the head honcho at Yellow) asked me to visit with him an empty warehouse near Roppongi Dori. It was a big empty space, dusty and smelling of mold…..with tons of potential! That warehouse was the future home of the legendary Club Yellow! Daizo explained in great detail how the club would be structured – the location of the DJ booth, the entrance to the main dance floor, and the position of speaker’s. He also planned to open a restaurant and a recording studio on the premises.
Daizo had the vision and ability to view things from a DJ’s perspective. He understood the importance of DJs being as comfortable as possible to maximize their performances. I will always be grateful to Daizo for making sure I had exactly what I needed while touring the many cities and countrysides of Japan – topnotch equipment, comfortable hotel accommodations, proper lighting, and most importantly, the best sound system.
One vivid memory that I have of Daizo’s dedication is when he and I reconfigured an entire sound system at a nightclub in Nagoya right before a party! Daizo’s commitment was undeniable, and I had no doubt that his Club Yellow venture would succeed.
When I returned to Japan on March 26, 1992, Yellow was open and in full swing. In addition to multiple bookings I had outside of Tokyo, I played five consecutive Saturday nights at Yellow. The World Connection Saturday night dance party was a fantastic night. This party included a who’s who of Japanese and international DJs. Powered by a fantastic promotion team and staff along with the popularity and performance of the DJ’s – Club Yellow’s Saturday night party was the place to be. These nights were packed to the 800-900 capacity of the club. The crowd was electric! The dancers knew how to party and had the utmost respect for the music and the DJs. The experience was so magical, with many emotional highs. The DJ and the crowd were indeed one.
Many nights at Yellow, I worked until 11:00am, the crowd just would not leave! Management would come into the DJ booth about 6:00 am, mildly suggesting that I slow the pace for a 7am closing.… It didn’t work! When the music stopped and the lights turned on at 7am, the crowd would scream, stomp, and yell for more!…management would eventually relent, and the party continued! I played at Yellow every year from 1992 until the club closed in 2009.
End Of An Era
In 2010 Club Yellow was reinvented and reopened as Club Eleven. In 2011, I again had the pleasure of playing at my old stomping ground.
It was a sensational party and kind of bittersweet. While playing music, I couldn’t help but look around the room, reminiscing. It reflected in the music I played that evening – my own personal tribute to Club Yellow.
Long Live Club Yellow, and thank you for the beautiful memories!