Marilyn's Backstreet Discotheque
Marilyn's Backstreet Discotheque was located on 220 South Lake Avenue in Pasadena. The entrance was in the rear, facing the parking lot, thus the "backstreet" slogan. The resident DJ was Boris Granich whose seamless mixing would transport young teens and adults through one seeming continuous mix beginning with a low b.p.m. beat and climaxing with fast, bass-pounding songs. Unlike Michael-Angelo of Gino's II, he stayed within the contemporary disco club and radio hits of the time, varying with New Wave and the like songs. The majority of these songs were being played by only a couple of local radio stations at the height of the late disco era before the "Disco Demolition Night" in 1979. The glory days of disco were arguably in the summer of 1979 when KIIS FM's playlist consisted of "technologically advanced" compositions such as Arpeggio - Love and Desire, Voyage - Souvenirs, and Erotic Drum Band - Love Disco Style. The rest of the songs only received air time at the KUTE radio station's "underground disco" show starting on weekends beginning at 11:00 p.m. These "underground" songs on Boris' playlist (see image below) were significantly edgier both in content and technology.
As the world shut the door on disco, clubs like Marilyn's, Ginos II, My Uncle's, Circus Disco, etc. etc., kept theirs open as the record producers kept the songs coming. Disco had become a sub-culture. It was not until late 1982 (estimated) that Boris fully embraced New Wave via the trending Ska and Rockabilly styles. Disco eventually evolved into what is now called High Energy and remained the playlist foundation for other clubs in the Los Angeles area such as Circus Disco and Brandi's. Marilyn's new wave had become "preppy".
During what may arguably be Marilyn's Backstreet Discotheque's best years, 1979 - 1983, it was the hottest spot in the valley, where music dictated attire and attitude. Where lives were transformed. Where teenagers became adults. Where "Rockers/Surfers" and "Homeboys" turned Disco overnight.
Marilyn's was known for the freestyle disco battles. One dancer at at time, not challenging nor "calling out" anyone in particular, just a demonstration of his or her moves (considered "whacking" by today's terminology).Then there were what were called "productions," these were what would now be called dance crews. These groups consisted of either boys or girls and never a mix thereof. Other productions such as Le Vissio, Cowboy Productions, Playboy Productions, organized and promoted event/parties in back yards and halls. The Valentino Productions and Marilyns Boys mainly stuck to the nightclub, the latter wearing matching padded shirts with Marilyn's emblem on the back, it's members attended John Marshall High School in the Silver Lake area. Some of the members were Robert Hernandez, Marco, Henry, Carlos and more.
Some preferred songs were "Rock It" by Lipps Inc., "Moon Over Moskow" by Visage, "The Visitors (Remix)" by Gino Soccio and "I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix) by Donna Summer.
Owner Marilyn Feldsher, forced by poor health problems, reluctantly closed the club in August 1992 and is now a Panda Express. It had become an 18 and under club then.