By the time the ’80s had come, North Jefferson was perceived as a desolate industrial area west of Chicago. But at the corner of the city and in the heart of an area that had seemed to have been forgotten by God, one venue was able to re-ignite and convey the spirituality of an entire community and transform itself into its very own temple. We are talking about the mythical Warehouse, the club/warehouse that sat right at the center of a 3-level edifice on that dark and sweaty party of town, celebrating every Saturday night the most physical of collective rites: dance music.
Frankie Knuckles, the great master of ceremonies, DJ, and storyteller would one day recount the many years spent behind the Warehouse console: “The amazing thing was, despite being full of people of the Midwest, kids with their feet on the ground grown in bread and cereal, the environment was full of feeling. For many who came, that was the church.” Yeah, the reference to religion is rather recurring – and let’s say it – often forced to dance music, but when it comes to something unique and unrepeatable built by Frankie Knuckles at the Warehouse, then it could really not be more fitting. In an old interview with Chicago’s WMAQ broadcaster, Knuckles was ready to remember the magic at the old club: “When you’re faced with three thousand people, you’re faced with three different personalities. And the amazing thing is when those three thousand become one. In church the same happens. When the priest starts, when the choir starts, at a precise moment, when things are coming to the apex, the entire room becomes one thing. And that’s the most amazing thing.”