Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Jim Fouratt

Jim Fouratt can be exasperating--he's very headstrong and not as idealistic as he sometimes comes on. But it was his taste, ideas, enthusiasm, and bottom-line honesty that turned Hurrah into New York's first and finest dance-rock palace, and every club he's run since has had an aura about it. The second Danceteria wasn't the best of them by any means--though the space itself was remarkably comfortable and the booking relatively adventurous, arch chic and doomsday consumerism cut into its energy and integrity. When Fouratt was ousted by his longtime partner Rudolf in June, these trends only intensified, and the music policy never entirely recovered.

It was a bitter split. Fouratt is suing Rudolf for substantial damages and rights to the name Danceteria, and he's had a lot of trouble finding a new gig. Early in December he launched the Wednesday-night On the Waterfront series at the River Club on Hudson Street, but at the second gig December 8 he was raided by the State Liquor Authority. Apparently the club's licensing was not in order, but as it had operated for over a year without attracting the S.L.A. the timing seemed rather odd. The following weekend the Riverfront was back in operation and Fouratt was looking for a new space.

He found it quickly enough--at the Underground, near Union Square. But whether it's his demanding personality or his old radical connections--Fouratt was a Yippie and an early gay liberationist--I think he's running into more flak than he deserves, and I wish him well.

Apr. 25, 2005

Postscript Notes:

Manuscript, no publication information.