Saturday, December 08, 2007

R.I.P. Mel Cheren


I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Mel Cheren, the 'Godfather of Disco,' who passed away earlier today, from AIDS complications. I just confirmed the details, and sadly, the news is true. Having had health problems for several months, his HIV status was only confirmed last month, by which point it was evidently too late.

Founder of West End Records, as well as philanthropist, activist, artist and all-around disco pioneer; Mel Cheren was also, at least in my mind, one of the leading figures in disco's resurgence and ongoing recognition today. Although I never knew or met him; from records by Karen Young and Taana Gardner, to his championing of Larry Levan's life and legacy, he had indirectly played a huge part in my own (and I'm sure, many others') serious introduction to disco.

I suspect more articles and tributes will be forthcoming in the following days, but for now, Logo Online has a brief interview with him from the end of November, where he talks frankly about his illness. Considering his history and his activism, it's a sad and unfortunate irony that he ended up going the way many of his friends did...

As sad as Mel's passing is, he nonetheless leaves a lasting legacy in the world of dance music and beyond, that will surely live on..

Rest In Peace, Mel.

PREVIOUS RELATED ENTRIES:
THE GODFATHER OF DISCO (FRIDAY JUNE 15, 2007)
DEEP CUTS (WEDNESDAY APRIL 18, 2007)

LINKS:
LOGO ONLINE: AIDS ACTIVIST MEL CHEREN SHARES HIS STORY (VIDEO) (NOVEMBER 29, 2007)
DISCOMUSIC.COM FORUMS: R.I.P. MEL CHEREN
DJ HISTORY FORUMS: MEL CHEREN
DEEP HOUSE PAGE FORUMS: R.I.P. MEL CHEREN
DISCOGS FORUMS - ELECTRONIC MUSIC: LET'S KEEP MEL CHEREN IN OUR PRAYERS
ABOUT.COM - DANCE MUSIC/ELECTRONICA BLOG: WE MOURN THE PASSING OF MEL CHEREN
THE GODFATHER OF DISCO
DISCO-DISCO.COM: INTERVIEW WITH MEL CHEREN
IN DA MIX WORLDWIDE: INTERVIEW WITH MEL CHEREN
AMAZON.COM - MY LIFE AND THE PARADISE GARAGE
WEST END RECORDS

CATEGORIES: IN MEMORIAM.., DISCO NEWS

9 comments:

juana said...

Descanse en paz (R.I.P.)
Thanks for everything Mr. Cheren.
We will miss you...

DJ Boris Bertrand said...

West End Records was my favourite dance music label, they still release amazing new things and re-issue. Lyn as General Manager is a joy!

°_°

Reposes en Paix.

DungeonDJ said...

What a shame. AIDS has certainly ravaged the musical arts. I heard an estimate the other day that, AIDS kills 6,000 people per day, worldwide. That's over 2 million people per year! Those numbers are way too high. Something needs to be done. I pray that you have found rest, Mel.

Chino3 said...

Rest In Peace Mel, You have been one major catasyt to many contributions in music in my era, and for this I thanks you kindly, Ju Soong "Chino3"

dabeat4u2 said...

MEL
YOU WILL BE MISSED BUT YOUR SPIRIT WILL BE CARRIED ON FOR GENERATIONS, TO COME.
YOU OPEN UP SO SO MANY DOORS, FOR THE BEST UNDERGROUND HOUSE SOUND.
WHERE EVER YOUR SPIRIT IS, YOU'LL BE BRINGING MUCH SOUL. I'M SURE YOUR ALREADY SEARCHING OUT A NEW SPACE FOR DANCE CLUB IN HEAVEN.
WE WILL MEET AGAIN.
DABEAT4U2

Tay said...

Tragic. Mel Cheren, you were a great man. You made our lives better and richer and we'll never forget you. R.I.P.

DJ STEVE THE SAGA PEREZ said...

MEL,
you were a true friend to me. if it weren't for you, I would have never known Larry, Michael,and the paradise garage.we last spoke in September you sent me some music as always. thank you for all the music you've given me and many,many others.TILL WE MEET AGAIN MY FRIEND.your friend now,and always DJ STEVE THE SAGA PEREZ...ASIDE FROM GOD, MUSIC IS THE ANSWER,AND LOVE IS THE MESSAGE...REST IN PEACE MY FRIEND...

renrut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
renrut said...

I hope there's a big old dancefloor up in Heaven and your party never ends... RIP Mel, and thanks for all the joy you brought to people all over the world. Music is Life.

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