BTD Episode 02: Donnie Rescues A Naked Raver
Each week, EDM.com sits down with Disco Donnie, the legendary promoter, as he walks us through the most jaw-dropping stories of his career. As a veteran of the EDM rave scene, the dance party Don has worked with the best in the industry and seen the worst. Join us this week as he nonchalantly describes the time he had to subdue a streaker at one of his parties.
Examining how an individual interacts with strangers is an excellent method for evaluating one’s capacity for compassion. Whether it’s paying forward spare change, volunteering your time or simply recognizing a struggle and offering your energy to reconcile it, random acts of kindness make the world go round. In our tight-knit little industry, a sense of community is imperative. It is the entire reason that when going out to see dance music, it is rare to not make at least one new acquaintance. It is our inclusiveness that ensures the survival of the scene and keeps the heart pulsating for the next generation.
Disco Donnie has touched thousands of lives, both personally and through his hard work in event promotions. One such interaction stood out to Donnie as we spoke to him about his wild adventures building a name for himself in the mid-90s. Let’s heat up the fireplace and gather around while Uncle Donnie recalls the events of one very helpless and exposed young dancer that was in desperate need of supervision.
“This was in the '96-'97 timeframe," retained Donnie. "I was doing a show in an old garage. It was this huge open space with cement floors and I used to throw parties in the place. Maybe there’s like four or five hundred people there,” he stated while detailing the scene at New Orleans' Zeitgeist Theater, an old S&M venue that he would rent out at night. The event was like any other in NOLA's underground dance community, which doesn’t necessarily imply tranquility, but it wasn’t until a young man stripped down to his birthday suit and started hugging fellow party-goers did the evening turn into “one to remember.”
“The security takes him outside," sighed Donnie. "They’re getting kind of rough with him, so I went out there and was like, ‘Hey, I’ll take care of him.’ So I started to talk to this guy, and now I’m outside of the whole party and the naked guy is hugging me,” he added in an uncomfortable tone. “The guy is telling me Perry Farrell is trying to shoot him out of one of the buildings and he’s hiding. He was tripping on something. He doesn’t know who he is; doesn’t know who his friends are.”
The awkward tension between Donnie and onlooking spectators took no time to boil over, and he rushed to extract the sloppy streaker from the public’s befuddled glares. “I just knew it wasn’t going to be a good thing for this guy if the police came. I decided that I was going to take him to the hospital. So I put him in my car, drove him maybe 10 or 15 miles to the Emergency Room and along the way the conversation was just...man I wish I had a tape recorder ‘cause this guy was just on another planet,” affirmed Donnie with a light chuckle.
Donnie and the stranger arrived at the hospital, and the nurses insisted that they came to the right place. The young man turned out to be a Tulane student and once he was in safe hands, Donnie returned to the event, where the success of the evening hinged on his presence.
It wasn’t till a few years later that the student reconnected with his benevolent guardian through an encouraging letter. In the correspondence, he disclosed that Donnie had “saved his life.” His powerful words were a shock to the recipient and the student credited the evening as a turning point that later led him to graduate and get a good job. The testimony put a positive light on the otherwise bewildering occurrence and Donnie claimed, “It was just really nice for him to remember that. It was a fun night for me considering I got to help somebody out."
To celebrate the past 20 years of Disco Donnie, we're giving away tickets to EVERY Disco Donnie Presents event in 2015, along with some other great prizes. Click below to share this contest on Twitter and tell us how dance music has affected your life. We'd like to make this celebration about you, the fans, who've supported us every step of the way. Here's to a great 2015.
1st Place - 2 Free Tickets to every Disco Donnie Presents show in 2015!