L’Amour, Rock Capital of Brooklyn

L'Amour, Rock Capital of Brooklyn

I got this shirt at my first show, back in the 8th grade. If you ever see me wearing it, that means it’s laundry day. In fact, last summer, I got accosted by a metalhead-looking guy in the parking lot of Krappy Kroger in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati. He wanted to know where I’d gotten it. “Ugh, there.” Where else? Hot Topic? Anyhoo, I’m going to take a rare walk down memory lane and tell you a bit about this place.

L’Amour [pronounced “Lamorz” by those in the know] opened as a disco club in 1978. In the early 80s, it transitioned into a rock and heavy metal club, hosting pretty much every band that mattered [and plenty that didn’t] from hair metal to thrash to hardcore. It was to the late 80s and early 90s what CBGB had been to the 70s and early 80s. It closed in 2004.

My first show was Yngwie Malmsteen. Yngwie who? Yngwie J. Fucking Malmsteen, that’s who. [That’s what the shirts said.] A few months later, I saw Biohazard at L’Amour. They had just played Battle of the Bands at South Shore, my soon-to-be high school.

Starting in 9th grade, the shows became more frequent — Murphy’s Law, Circus of Power, Type O Negative [during their brief moment as Repulsion], Overkill, Mucky Pup, Exodus, Faith No More. For a while, I was there every weekend. I was a L’Amouron. It didn’t matter who was playing; I loved the scene. Here is Life of Agony, who also went to my high school, performing at L’Amour:

Life of Agony at L'Amour

I hated high school. I was in the honors program with a bunch of nerds and nouveau riche JAPs and guidos from Mill Basin and Bergen Beach. My family lived in the projects across the street from South Shore. I had a few school friends, but my world was mostly outside of school. I spent a lot of time with metalheads who were a bit older, some studying at Brooklyn College or Kingsborough Community College, some just working. It was a community for whom my grades or where I lived didn’t matter.

Zig Zag Records in Brooklyn

By 10th grade, I had graduated from babysitting for neighbors to ghost-writing papers for my college friends. I thought they were cooler, but I was starting to suspect that I was smarter.

L'Amour ad

Our radio station of choice was WSOU, the metal station out of Seton Hall University [my favorite DJ was Al Mancini]. I also discovered WNYU and WDRE, which exposed me to the Screaming Trees, Nitzer Ebb, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nine Inch Nails. I had a subscription to Spin Magazine because my stepfather worked there, which introduced me to bands on Sub Pop, Alternative Tentacles, and SST. I ordered the cassette of Nirvana’s Bleach just on the strength of the review. It was life-changing.

L'Amour ad

My metal friends and I spent our afternoons on the project benches or on the roofs of our buildings. I watched the guys play hackey sack and street hockey, or tagged along to band practice. We drank wine coolers in the tunnels in Riis Park and spent hours in diners — the Arch, KPD, the Floridian. Sometimes we went cruising through Canarsie in my friend’s 79 Monte Carlo.

L'Amour ticket

During 11th grade, a schism started to develop. I still hung out at L’Amour and Zig Zag Records, but increasingly at other clubs in “the city” — Limelight, Ritz, Marquee, Roseland, and CBGB, where I met Joey Ramone [and was so flabbergasted that I called him “sir”]. I wore vintage dresses from Domsey’s. I started spending more time on St. Marks Place, harboring a little crush on a burgundy-haired guy who worked at Ian’s. One day, a woman interviewed my friend and me and took some photos of our outfits. A few months later, I saw her on “60 Minutes” — she was a trend spotter, working for clients like Coke and Nike.

Ian's on St. Marks Place

At this point, my hair was almost down to my waist, dyed jet black. The art program at my school had been cut, so I took photography, fashion illustration and silversmithing with the vo-tech kids. One day in silversmithing, my hair fell into the flame of the Bunsen burner. I was fine, but a huge chunk of my metal mane was missing, so I got my hair chopped into a cute little bob. Everyone knows that a metalhead’s long hair is at least as important as the ubiquitous MC, and mine was suddenly gone. In a way, that eased the transition, trading in lycra for flannel, cowboy boots for army boots.

I probably didn’t know the word at the time, but the misogyny of the metal scene had started to get to me. I was looking for direction, for role models. Dressing like a groupie was sort of lame since I had no groupie intent. Dressing weird and artsy seemed more fun and expressive. I started spending more time with people my age — college-bound high school students who were aspiring artists, New Wave kids, graf boys, vegetarians, feminists.

I volunteered on Earth Day and did some writing for a local music publication. My friends and I tried to start a recycling program at our school. I got involved with NOW. I started listening to Babes in Toyland, PJ Harvey, Bikini Kill. It was cool to see chicks rocking out on their own terms. I became increasingly obsessed with getting the hell out of Brooklyn.

After the Rodney King riots touched my cursed corner of Brooklyn, I couldn’t wait to leave, and my acceptance letter to Cornell was the long-awaited salvation. People seemed surprised that, for all my posturing, I had been a nerd all along. This video for “Bruise Violet” by Babes in Toyland was shot at CB’s a few days before I left for college. My family didn’t have a car, so one of my metalhead friends drove me to Ithaca in his mom’s station wagon. My legs were still bruised from this show, and I fretted about being perceived as ghetto trash.

"Bruise Voilet" video for Babes in Toyland

Once I got to Cornell, what struck me was not so much everyone else’s superior education [which I had assumed, and which was mostly true] as their wide-eyed curiosity. My schoolmates were excited about their sudden freedom; I felt world-weary. I had already witnessed a few lives going nowhere or spiraling out of control and had lost a friend to an overdose. I was excited to finally be able to focus on studying.

People express shock sometimes at the fact that I’ve left NYC. I find it surprising that everyone’s hometown isn’t poisoned in their minds. My New York isn’t a tourist destination or a movie set. It’s not even a famously bad ‘hood. If it weren’t for Ill Bill, Glenwood Projects wouldn’t even be on the pop culture map at all.

It’s taken me a while to come to terms with BK. At first, I was self-conscious about being a product of that place, and it took years for me to finally feel like my own person. In some ways, I am and will always be ghetto trash. I don’t glorify the experiences I’ve had, but I try to own them without nostalgia. I still think about “going home” and it’s hard to accept that, right now, my home is here in Cincinnati.


I remember reading about the closing of L’Amour — we were living in Boston, and I was teaching at an art college. My mind was far away from that place. This ratty club in Brooklyn with its impassioned bridge-and-tunnel scene, which had featured bands that sold out larger venues just across the river, seemed sort of quaint to me. I was surprised that it hadn’t closed years before.

It turns out that there’s a book in the works. It’s being put together by long-time L’Amour DJ Alex Kayne and will feature photos and other memorabilia. Here he is, discussing his book project on “Late Night with Johnny P” [worthwhile for the accent alone].

Most of the above photos are from elsewhere, found here, here, here, here, and here. This rare trip down memory lane was brought on by having stumbled onto this blog.

UPDATE: To add to this little archive, here’s a photo of me wearing that same L’Amour shirt circa 1987. Note the peacock bangs:

L'Amour, Rock Capital of Brooklyn

If anyone is looking for this shirt now, you can get a bootleg via Cafe Press. It’s not the same, but it’s close:

fake L'Amour shirt

Dabbling in biker chic circa 1990, resplendent in my L’Amour 10th anniversary shirt, which I hand-colored with fabric markers:

L'Amour, Rock Capital of Brooklyn

Leslie submitted this photo of her WSOU shirt:

WSOU t-shirt


105 thoughts on “L’Amour, Rock Capital of Brooklyn

  1. cool
    Growing up in a mid-size midwestern town long ago, the best pre-drivers license venue was a coffee house in a Presbo church. After a drug raid, that was pretty much kaput.
    With cars, it was 15 minutes to the country or 30-60 minutes to larger cities.
    Reading your article after reading this article about small town / rural life yesterday, I’m wondering if there’s a better / worse or just different way to grow up.

  2. Now that I’m, you know, older and wiser, I think it’s all just different. But, when I first went off to college, everyone else did seem really naive. It took me a while to find people with whom I had common ground and then to discover that, just because they came from money and/or grew up in the suburbs, didn’t mean that their lives were perfect, or that they hadn’t experienced anything.

    That meth article was intense. I guess city life is just more familiar and easier for me to understand.

  3. Oh how I remember “Lamorz”. So many bands, so many crazy nights. The Ramones, the circle jerks, suicidal tendencies, etc.

    Very different time in my life, I was a very different person, but then again, weren’t we all.

    Good times, sad times. Many friends will remain teens and twenty somethings forever.


  4. One of my high school friends contacted me before our 10-year reunion and lobbied hard for me to attend. I said no, and she kept pushing. I finally told her that I was happy that high school was basically ancient history. She got really upset and said that those were the best years of her life. Ouch!

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  6. ahh zig zag records…remember buying the first voivod album(yes album not cd) there and the guy behind the counter said he rather listen to a vacuum cleaner!!!….would be there saturday afternoons, nights a l’amours and sunday afternoons at the cbgb;s hardcore matinees…to be young again…

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  8. Friends, Mike, George and John Z. opened L’Amour. It was a disco for a few years. I DJ’d the first rock night, Thursday. Cover bands, first one Crystal Ship, Sticky Fingers, Zebra, etc, followed by Metallica, Twisted Sister, etc. They did so good, it became a rock club. It was George’s idea to do the rock night.

  9. Jimmy, thanks so much for filling in the details of the early days. Sometimes I wish I were just a bit older, so that I could have started going there earlier!

  10. The Ivanhoe Theatre in Chicago. I saw Don McLean and Vasser Clements there. They had a fire. Billy Preston played there a couple of weeks later. Must have been less than 100 people show up. They closed it not long after that.


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  13. Thanks so much for this blog on L’Amour. It brought back alot of great memories of me and my buddies (weren’t many girls around us then) taking the train from Queens or getting a ride from one of our parents out to the club to see the thrash bands of the moment Slayer, Anthrax,SOD, Overkill to name a few. It really was Heavy Metals answer to the Hardcore punk scene at CBGB’s. Ironically Lamours East located in Queens was walking distance from my house but it hosted the cheesiest glam metal bands of the moment ,the antithesis of what LAmour in Brooklyn was. I was also saddened to hear Zig Zag Records closed that was another Brooklyn spot worth the train ride from Queens. Anyway thanks for bringing back the memories and I loved the photos.

  14. Jimmy Carillo did work tuesdays and thursdays and Mike Pace was the clubs resident disco dj and he did dj when the club went rock. But the club is famous not for rock, but for Metal. The venues MOST FAMOUS DJ is L’Amour’s FIRST METAL DJ Alex Kayne, who also worked there the longest – over 25 years – he also worked L’Amour East, and the Staten Island version of L’Amour. The book, “Rock Capitol of Brooklyn” is going to be awesome and it is set to be released in the Fall of 2012 or early 2013.

  15. Dude, the memories. Metallica-Raven-Anthrax in 84 was my 1st Lamour show. I too have a 25 yo Rock Capital of Brooklyn shirt.

    As a matter of fact, I attended the “Last Bash” in 1991 and have that tee shirt too. I can take a picture of it if you would like. It lists all the bands that played Lamour on the back.

  16. I forgot, I also have 2 WSOU Pirate Radio Tee Shirts. One is a 5th Anniversary shirt. THE HARDEST ROCK WSOU 89.5 FM.

  17. Chris, I’d love to add photos of the shirts! I’ll email you about it. I’ve got some photos of me wearing a couple of L’Amour shirts that I’m adding to the end of this post. One is the original shirt that I still own, and the other is the 10th anniversary that I think I got in the Fall of 1990 and then hand-colored with fabric markers, or something like that.

  18. Love the memories! I, too have my WSOU shirt, so how should I send you a photo? We bought a L’Amour shirt for my daughter in 1990, around the time she was born and took pics of her in it as she grew up, so we would never forget the great times we had there. Cafepress is selling a L’Amour shirt at http://www.cafepress.com/+lamour_dark_tshirt,158756163 so we can get a new, but not original one. Thanks for the great post!

  19. I’ll email you about the photo. Thanks for the link to the “impostor” shirt; I guess I’m glad it’s pretty different from the real thing. I rather like having this obscure signifier in my t-shirt collection.

  20. I remember the night Dee Snyder went out front to tear down the L’Amour Discoteque awing down when the went all metal. Surprised that braincell holding that memory survived

  21. I attempted to go to L’Amour twice as a teenage skinhead from NJ around 90-91. The first time we got in a huge brawl outside over a girl. I went back around Fall of ’91 to see Sheer Terror and Biohazard, and again I was standing on the corner and a group comes up and this guy starts attacking me. Turns out he was the one that had problems with my other friend over a girl. he somehow sliced my pinky when he swung a backpack and I grabbed it. So my friend and I walk over to L’Amour with blood gushing out my hand. We somehow find a fire station nearby and ring the doorbell. They called an ambulance for us and went to Mamoidies (sp?) hospital and got 14 stitches in my pinky. Don’t care about the scar as much as not ever seeing Biohazard or Sheer Terror.

  22. thanks for the memories bro. i still have all my old stubs from the shows including back to back nights catching metallica in jan. ’85 with. armored saint and w.a.s.p. opening. blackie lawless really was a pussy! later that year at a raven show one of the bikers employed as a bouncer caught my friends and i doing coke at a back table and just asked for a blast! we told the hot cocktail waitress serving us about it for a laugh and pointed him out and she said ” i’m gonna kill him! he’s my boyfriend and he promised me he quit doing coke!” we said “shit don’t tell him or he’ll kill us” lol. think the funniest story was when exodus played and paul bailoff got so wrecked backstage the band played without him! what a place it was! when slayer was playing there in 1984 and 1985 i don’t think there was a more intense/scary place on the face of the earth! and i;m including san quentin, rikers, and the killing fields in sierra leone! now i gotta go bust out some old albums! cheers!

  23. Wow, Bob! What a trip down memory lane. You’re one of the many people who have commented here about L’Amour experiences that were before my time. Color me jealous, but thanks for sharing your memories!

  24. I’ve seen many of the shows mentioned here. The comment about the scariest place on earth was so true. The club used to play the most violent movies “The Warriors” was one they showed over & over. The violent scenes pumped everyone up between the bands. What amazing memories.

  25. thanks again to you for starting this thread/blog! greatly appreciated! and @ steve s.–that’s right the projection screen with the movies/videos. fantastic! for some reason i always remember they always played that plasmatics video with wendy o. williams! i also remember they served a drink called “red death” which was some sort of concoction that tasted like hawaiin punch but knocked your socks off! the bands start times kept getting later and later until the headliner would be getting done after 3am. we would be getting back off the train in forest hills after 5am and hitting a diner on queens boulevard then rolling in my house about 6:30am. my parents had to be like w.t.f.? the one time my buddy drove and parked around the block we came out to find his hubcaps had been clipped!! thanks to all who have posted!

  26. This has been fun! I’m glad that so many people have been sharing their memories. I definitely remember how insanely late the shows went — I was in high school at the time and always had to wrangle my way out the door for shows. We used to go to a pizza place near L’Amour afterward. Sometimes the show would get out around, 4 or so, we’d go split a calzone and, by the time I got home, the sun was coming up.

  27. Hey Bob Staats, yeah that was DJ Alex Kayne running the video screen at the time, he would show movie clips like The Warriors bathroom fight scene and Scarface clips among others in between spinning tunes. He was way ahead of his time, a powerhouse DJ who broke many of the early metal bands on the east coast by spinning their records and playing their videos.

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  29. Lamour was my 2nd home growing up, I still have my shirt as well as the WSOU shirt pictured. I also have all my albums, most which were purchased at Zig Zag. Thank you, thank you, thank you for that trip down memory lane.

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  31. YNGWIE!! I saw him open for Triumph at the Garden. He was drunk.

    L’amour was pretty much my second home while I was growing up in Bay Ridge, I saw so many great acts there (and so, so many bad ones). My favorite of all time was probably Anthrax, right before Spreading the Disease came out. The surprise shows were always good too, I caught both Ozzy and Iron Maiden playing under different band names (“Charlotte and The Harlots”, anyone?). I used to love L’amour’s commercials late at night on U68.

    Anyway, great post. Thanks for the trip back.

  32. Wow this brings back so many memorys. I was in a band called DeathSlayer that played lamours a few times in the early 80’s. I played with Disciple at lamours when they needed a guitar player to fill in one time. I was good friends with them. I remember Joe Bravo from Big Bad Wolf i use to be friends with. My favorite band that played lamours was Battalion. I use to go see them all the time.
    I was the first guitar player in Carnivore for about a week, but i quit cause i didnt want to wear the caveman outfits they wanted to wear.
    Pete steele was a super nice guy. My sister was a waitress at lamours , she worked with Dizzy another waitress there.
    My first time at lamours was in 1981 when i was 15 & they let me in even though i wasnt 18. I saw a band called The Third Rail.
    I used to live 10 minutes from Zig Zag records & was there almost every week. I met Iron Maiden there when they were signing autographs , also met Maiden when they were hangin out at lamours when Lee Arron was playin. I miss those days, they were the best times.

  33. Unfortunately I wasn’t alive to witness the glory days of Lamour. My grandfather and uncle owned the club and its been a family legacy ever since it’s refreshing to see how greatly it effected your life. Mike and George say thanks and keep rocking!

  34. I used to work at there in the 80’s great times, waitressed there, answered the phones, sold t-shirts and sold hot dogs too over in the corner next to the waitress station. Nothing could compare to that time, miss hanging with the guys from Nuclear Assault and Faith No More…..I was lucky to have worked there and then when I moved to the West Coast I got a job working at the Whiskey A Go Go!!!!!! How great it is to have worked at 2 of the most historic rock clubs ever….that is when I was dating Jani Lane from Warrant. Good times on the west coast, but that scene on the whole Sunset Strip can’t even compare to the scene we had at Lamour’s!!!! Thanks for the walk down memory lane/.

  35. Wow, Nancy! Thanks so much for sharing your memories. From L’Amour to Whiskey A Go Go to Jani Lane, it sounds like you got the full experience circa 1990.

  36. I loved L’Amour’s…my boyfriend at the time for 6 yrs, and best friend who passed away last July 3rd always drove in from NJ to see all the great bands..His favorite the Ramones, Humans from Earth, Metallica, well so many to mention, as they were such great times. I remember entering into the place the first time and saw the pinball machines and though what is this place..then ALL THE FUN STARTED…he always go into the mosh pits..I just moved my legs at the bar when someone came my way…OH, to be a youngster again..Thanks L’Amour’s for all the fond memories…Pete loved it there!

  37. We (Pete and I) remained friends for over 30 yrs..we always talked about L’Amour’s…We also went to CBGB’s so many times I can’t remember, but Loved your place…

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  39. weird, i also went to south shore (graduated in 1991) and lamour’s. from reading your post it’s hard to imagine we didnt know each other back then. but not that hard haha.
    me and the singer from LOA used to sit next to each other in science class with a real baby raper of a teacher. and you even mentioned ill bill, i recorded him and necro’s demos in my mom’s basement on my 4 track.
    lamour to me back then was oddly ultimate. i was really young when i started going there, even tho i loved the scene it was never very often. the bus ride from canarsie to lamour SUCKED. amazing memories there though for sure.
    at lamour i saw suicidal tendenices, napalm death, godflesh, white zombie, life of agony (empty house at that show haha), exodus, a few more. i remember seeing scott ian’s camaro’s anthrax license plate? random good stuff

  40. Crazy! I knew Keith but didn’t have any classes with him, and I knew Billy and Ronnie from around Glenwood but never really saw them in school.

    South Shore was a big school, plus it was very well segregated, so I’m not entirely surprised that you and I didn’t know each other. Thanks for sharing your memories, Evan!

  41. You can only imagine what a club like L’Amours was like to someone such as myself who came there working with a band from West Virginia.
    With directions on the inside of a matchbook we got lost and ended up at the Cafe L’Amour in Manhattan and was going to start unloading our equipment there until one of the guys working there realized we would most likely be playing at the Brooklyn “L’Amour’s” club.

    We were opening up for Twisted Sister that night so being late was not an option as this was a pretty big deal for the band.
    Our drummer, Shannon Larkin of Godsmack, playing Pacman with Dee Snyder was a pretty memorable way to start off the night. Especially when Dee lost and yanked the machine out of the wall and slid it across the dance floor.
    Shannon was about 98 lbs soaking wet and Dee was, well he was Dee sized at the time.

    We ended up playing there on many an occasion and even opened for Twisted Sister again. God they were an unbelievable bunch. (in a good way)
    Dee referred to us as “The Child” on the radio after the show and before our second time there with them.
    We opened for Accept there twice I believe though the first time sticks with me the most as most of them didn’t even speak English and we had to go through their manager to even talk to them.

    I remember paying bands like White Lion 50 bucks to open up for us when we did our first headlining gig there as they practiced in the basement as well as the band “Ratt” if memory serves me correct.
    Also will never forget partying with Bruce Dickinson and Steve Harris from Iron Maiden in the dressing room at L’Amour East in Queens.
    They signed my backstage pass “You do Trooper too bloody good” which I still have today.
    That meant quite a bit since we had gotten the name of our band “WrathChild” from one of their songs and their style was a big influence on the band.

    The club got shut down early that night by DEA agents because of a number of the “Pagens” biker members being there and numerous underage girls there drinking.
    I think “The Pagen’s” had a bad rap in NY at the time though we had a great time with them there that night.
    God what great memories seeing all the posts here bring back.
    Still have my tee shirt in a box somewhere. Will have to dig it out now after reading all the posts here.

  42. Rick, wow, West Virginia?!? That’s quite a trek. Thanks for visiting my neck of the woods; it sounds like you and your band were treated well and came away with some great memories. Thank you so much for sharing!

  43. Wow! I was a kid trying to survive the “neighborhood change” of Flatbush in the 1970s-1980s. Crack was everywhere, purse snatchings, car thefts, burglaries, gold snatchings, white flight, neighbors bailing out in the night without saying good bye, the whole deal. I came from a big Irish Catholic family, but found my escape by singing lead vocals with various bands based out of Brooklyn. Rocking Horse, Black Plague, The Hoods, Sinister Minister, and even roadied for a friend’s punk band called False Prophets. I fronted a punk/New Wave thing called Mental Problemsz for a bit too doing covers.

    L’Amour was always a nice escape from the oppression and brutal family life at home. We sometimes took the bus but my Metalhead friends and I usually hiked from the equivalent of East 14th Street and Cortelyou Road all the way to L’Amour (pronounced LA-Morz by us Brooklyn yutes). We’d spend what little money we had on a couple of 40 ounce beers to help us on “the long grueling walk” which I usually did in engineer boots. None of us had cards and all had BS jobs (I was a waiter at George’s Diner on Coney Island Avenue and Cortelyou Road after school so I sometimes had some coin for and would usually spring for the beers on the way).

    After seeing the amazing shows at the club and sometimes hooking up with some girlz we knew, we’d take the epic journey through the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Boro Park to get back to Flatbush. It seemed like it would take days.

    I sang anything. Metal, hard rock, punk, standard rock, because I could basically imitate any lead singer. We’d play high school parties like at Bishop Ford, or mixers at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn Heights, bars like The Cove, The Showboat, Lauterbach’s, any venue basically. I remember I sang with Sinister Minister when we played for the rich kids at Regis High School in Manhtattan and hooked up with an older artsy lady teacher and making out with her in her office after the gig … when I came back downstairs, my band had left me with the van so I took the epic subway ride back to Flatbush, still in my spandex, leather, and eye liner I wore for the gig. Took me ages.

    Growing up in Brooklyn was very hard. We were kind of poor, and had to move from the Berry Houses into my Grandmother’s house after I was born because there were too many of us kids. Us Irish Catholics take that “Be fruitful and multiply” kind of seriously I guess. I really did love Brooklyn though, and loved Flatbush. I had some great friends and we were pretty tight. Some OD’d, some went to Rikers, some of us did alright and moved on. Now I see my neighborhood is called Ditmas Park and has bed and breakfasts, a food co-op, an artsy flower shop/bar, and barrista pushing frozen mocha cappucino espresso latte blasts in hipster coffee shops on Cortelyou Road, It’s friggin’ rich yuppies now who bought up the old Victorians and renovated them and taken over the old ‘hood.

    I miss my Metal daze, spray painting band logos on walls, drinking beer in the school yard of PS 3 at 16 playing tapes we made and blasting the music on a friend’s boombox, stealing D cell batteries from the obnoxious store owner’s place on Argyle Road so we could keep the music blasting.

    I am glad for you, my sister. You escaped from Brooklyn and made something of yourself. I wish you all the best and always remember the great times we all had growing up in Brooklyn.


  44. Thanks so much for sharing your memories! I love that this post has become a repository for everyone’s stories from that era.

    You might be amused to learn that a lot of people end up here by searching for “lamorse” or “la mourz” or other crazy variations on the name.

    A few years ago, I found out that a relative was moving to Ditmas Park, and I was just like, “Where the fuck is that?” Rename, rebrand, reinvent. Next people will start calling it DiPa.

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  46. I used to come from northwest Jersey, Hackettstown, to be exact, quite a haul. I remember the first time was Anthrax, “Spreading The Disease”, tour. There I am, a 17 year old, a long haired sob, with my bass player giving me directions to the club. We are in my Mustang, that was barley legal, with a case of Bud in a big Coleman cooler, on my back set. He can’t remember if we should take Route 3 or 46, so I am stopped in the, “V” of the split, in the rain. A Jersey Trouper comes up behind us and says you better move this car, “NOW”. Needless to say we moved asap and made it to the show. I remember walking in going, wow, so this is, “The Rock Capitol of Brooklyn”.

    The next time I saw Anthrax was, “Among the Living”, at Lamour. I was with my cousin/friends. We are drinking beers across the street from the club before the doors opened. All of a sudden the waiting crowd starts to cheer and we see three guys, one wearing a Def Jam jacket, walk down the street. I said to my cousin, “Yo, that’s Scott Ian, lets go”. We catch up with them at the corner and I said Scott, can we get an autograph? Scott says, “Man, I gotta go eat something. if I don’t eat now, I won’t be able to eat something decent until after the show. I said, “Come on man”. Scott says, “If I give you one then I have to give him one”, and he points to my cousin. I said, “He is my cousin” and Ian says, “So what the _uck does that mean, you’re going to share it”? We did get the autograph and I have a pick from Scott from that night. On the way home we had no money for the toll and I remember the toll collector going, what’s with all these kids coming through tonight with long hair and no money? LOL – They would make us pull over and fill out this little paper and give you an envelope like we were going to send the money in. I have seen Johnny Z help security through stage divers off into the crowd.

    I moved to Southern Cal. in the early 90’s and they were always asking me what the east coast scene was like. I still had my Lamour shirt back then and they were in awe, like I met Jesus himself, it was funny.

    BTW – The cover of Eddie Trunk’s first book, Eddie Trunk’s Essential Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, is a picture of a Lamour crowed from the Anthrax show I was at, I am in the pic, from Among the Living tour. Anyway, there will never be a place like that again! Thanks for putting this up! Please let me know what the story is with the book that is coming out. I heard about it awhile ago but I do not think it ever came out?

  47. Jeffrey, thank you for sharing your stories! Last I heard [late last year], it’s a book in search of a publisher. So, I don’t know even know if the book itself is done, but it’s not currently scheduled for a release. I’m on pins and needles here!

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  49. I have so many memories from L’amours. I grew up in Bensonhurst, literally a 20 minute walk to the place. I am not old enough to have been a part of the 80’s hair metal scene but it became a habitual Friday/Saturday night spot for me in the early 90’s. When I was a kid I never really had any type of music in my life, the first album I bought was Appetite For Destruction at a K-Mart in Webster, Mass for the cover art and nothing else, After listening to it months after buying it I discovered all things rock. My first show there was a Life Of Agony, they still had a keyboard player who, from what I gathered was no longer wanted in the band since Keith Caputo smashed the shit out of his keyboard and tossed the pieces into the audience. So many memories from that place, hanging out before shows outside getting drunk from 40’s of Crazy Horse which were of course stolen from the 7-11 up the block, almost getting arrested for tagging up the Gwar tour bus, a Type O Negative show on Halloween where they passed out their “devil’s brew”, shooting the shit with Ice-T before a Body Count show, Ferg the skinhead doing his ridiculous moshing in the pit alongside side this kid Pickle who danced an Irish jig. I could go on and on.

    I was never really into metal but I was heavy into the Hardcore/Thrash/Punk scene. I always found it such a welcoming environment for myself and my friends at the time. It was a perfect place for perfect memories to be formed by kids who felt they didn’t have a place in society at the time, where you can meet people who had similar interests, likes and dislikes and for a few hours every week not only did you feel like you belonged, you felt that there was no other place you would rather be. Great memories from a moment in time when lightning was caught in a bottle in of all places, South Brooklyn. Hahahahahahahaha.

  50. YES!!! Your description of your experiences there completely mirrors mine. [Not the Keith Caputo keyboard freakout — wow, what a moment!] In hindsight, it’s strange that this club fostered such a strong sense of community when, in my experience at least, most of the others were just music venues. I guess CBGB, even circa 1990, was like that as well.

    Anyway, thank you for adding your memories here.

  51. Wow, Visualingual, did you think this blog post would garner so much attention, even three years later!? Pretty cool. I found it because I was curious about what happened to old clubs and just google L’Amour. I guess thats how everyone else found it.
    Great pics, you’re like the perfect high school girlfriend I wish I had.

  52. Ha, thanks! I mostly wrote this to explain to my current friends a bit about my adolescence. I never imagined that so many people would come out of the woodwork to contribute their memories here, but I love that — every time there’s a new comment, I’m reminded of how important L’Amour was to me growing up.

    Now, is that books ever going to come out?

  53. I love this. Only got to L’amour at the end, but also worked at NOW, got pierced at Ian’s and loved Babes in Toyland.

  54. I remember seeing a number of those bands at Lamours. I really liked a band called To Die For which is on the ticket above. I saw them a number of times and still have an album of thiers. They rocked especially when they played with Biohazard.

  55. Huh, I don’t specifically remember To Die For, although I found myself at L’Amour tons of times just to hang out, but barely paying attention to the music.

  56. Is that Jeffery Becker? From Hackettstown NJ. Ha
    Loved L’Amour , Love Metal, and more importantly loved the time and era it represented.. It was all about the music scene. We had to use our imagination.. Bands had to work hard to get noticed. It was a very social event. Unfortunately there was alot of collateral damage from getting in too deep. Since the early eighties I lost some good friends to drugs, booze, incarceration, etc…. Every night was about getting to the fun in NY or North jersey…

  57. Thanks for your nice blog about L’Amour … do anybody know how many people ( capacity ) there could be there in i.e. 1984 where I played there with King Diamond and Mercyful Fate …

  58. I think the max capacity I heard was around 2000 people. Heard that they hit that number during an Anthrax show, although I’m sure there were plenty of others,

  59. I remember hearing that 1500-2000 was the maximum — not the legal maximum but, if you were ever there packed in like sardines, sweating to death, that literal maximum number of bodies that could possibly be crammed into the space.

  60. I was there on Friday October 17th 1986 and Possessed was headlining. The guys from Slayer were there just hanging out. Rain In Blood had just come out a few days earlier but they hadn’t started touring yet, so Slayer gets onstage using Possessed’s gear and played a few songs, starting with Angel of Death, I have never seen a room explode like that, everyone went nuts.

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  62. Thank you for this blog. I played Lamour so many times in local bands like Panther, Next of Kin, and Hangtown. My gf at the time shopped at Ian’s and Religious Sex next door. Actually, Sean from RS is in a few of my tribute bands. He played guitar for TNA and now we do Foreigner, BonJourney, and Adrenalize The Def Lepp Tribute. I remember coming off the stage at Lamours when my band opened for Love/Hate and I accidentally slammed the stage door in the singers face! Ha! We opened for Dee and he started doing pushups right before his show. George and Mike Parente were always cool to my bands. Thanks again for the time warp. 8)

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  64. Great post and an interesting read. I found this while digging around for something else about the club that my brain could not lock in. I have so many concert memories from the place and was even fortunate enough to play there a number of times with my band “Machine” (this was NOT a Pink Floyd cover project but a traditional meets Thrash type outfit).

  65. Excellent post and even better memories!
    Looking for a little help here… WSOU used to play a tune (’86-’88 or so) called, “Heart of a Lion.” Can NOT remember the band’s name for the life of me. Anyone have an idea, PLS share or email! Much appreciated!

  66. That was a Judas Priest song from the 80s, and then Racer X covered it. So one of those is bound to be the one you’re looking for.

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  68. I was a bit earlier than you, 1984- 1989 my primary years there, last show probably Metal Church, on a Sun Afternoon. Met all my favorites at Zig Zag records, Venom, Metallica, Motorhead, Maiden. Those days are long gone and watching our heroes die one at a time.

  69. I have LAmour tee shirt pictures I can send you. Also, I may have some ticket stubs. email me.

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  71. I just found a few Lamour Rocks ‘from hard rock to heavy metal’ vinyl records on ebay. I didn’t know they existed. Funny that these are located in the UK rather than NYC. I just purchased the best one for $20 with shipping. Apparently it was produced in 1987.

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  73. I used to hangout at Lamours right when it changed to a rock club. Saw the Metallica show as well as non metal legendary guitarists like Leslie West, Alvin lee, Gary freakin Moore, Robin Trower, Joe Perry solo with the project. The best night was running into Lemmy and hanging out with him,my friend John who lived next door to the club and various others till 11am in the morning. Lemmy was one of the nicest coolest musicians I ever met there. Thanks for the pics and the blog.

  74. I started hanging out at Lamour right after it turned into a rock club. Twisted played the Odyssey before that. Also in the beginning the stage was on the 63rd street side. Also anyone remember new wave night on Wednesdays? Saw lots of my favorite guitarists there as well. Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Gary Moore, Leslie West, Alvin Lee. Also Iggy Pop, The Ramones, David Johansen. The best night I can remember was meeting Lemmy and hanging out after closing time till about 11am the next morning. Thanks for starting this trip down memory lane Maya

  75. Hey, great read…just wondering since im from Glenwood, and South Shore, who you are lol..I lived in 4 different buildings in Glenwood, 1672, 5804, 5802…which building did you live lol, and if you knew ronnie and bill i HAD to of known you…:)

  76. Hey Thanks for the blog!
    I lived in the ‘burbs’ of Jersey in the 80s,and I used to see the commercial for L’Amour on UHF channel 68 NY/NJ (remember that free rock video station?). Anyway, I was in high school and my father acted like an a$$hole and threatened, you sneak out to NYC at night don’t bother coming home! He had a severe case of New York phobia and other issues.
    One weekend, when I was a high school senior my parents final, left me alone for the weekend to go to Washington DC. On Friday I cut school and went to the WNEW concert in Asbury Park, NJ and on Saturday night I planned to go to L’Amour in Bayridge. I figured out how to get there using the NJ transit trains/NYC subway and when the last trains ran, I picked out my outfit: a black leather biker jacket with a spiked dog collar on the arm held by a heavy chain to the epaulet of the jacket, heavy black leather pants, black leather vest, black leather biker boots, black leather spiked bracelets and a threadbare ripped black cotton t-shirt. It may sound clique but it looked good and I felt like I was a mile high!
    Yes, I was going alone I didn’t trust any of my preppy a$$hole “friends”, to go with me and NOT to tell my parents what I did.
    Anyway, after nursing a hangover from the Friday concert, I dragged myself out of bed and was working my way to L’Amour but it was raining like hell and the weather forecast said it would continue the whole night into the morning. Not one to let a little rain spoil my well-deserved excursion, I drove myself to the train station in Middletown, New Jersey, which at the time did not have a proper station or even a shelter. Walking from my car to the platform I got soaking wet and even better the train was delayed, my leathers absorbed water like a sponge! I thought f&ck this sh!t and drove home!
    I graduated from the suburban prison that was high school, moved far, far away and went to university, I have never regretted leaving Jersey but I still have that thought in the back of my mind, damn I wanted to go to L’Amour!

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