John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez

I’ve mentioned John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez a couple of times already at Those City Nights, so I thought I’d post this interview I found from 1979. It’s from a very early stage in his career – before he’d become resident DJ at the FunHouse. Jellybean got his first break at the Manhattan club, Experiment 4. This interview was filmed for a show called Dancing Disco, but I don’t know whether it was filmed at Xenon or Studio 54, both of which were hot for him to play. You can see why Madonna fell for him.

In the interview he talks about regularly doing eight-hour sets and wanting to get into production. The following year he did the remix for the Simonetti/Meo classic, ‘Fear’, by Easy Going, and in 1982 for the same duo’s amazing Kasso track ‘Key West’. Being obviously a fan of the emerging Italo disco sound, what it must have been like to spend a night at Xenon… the club had a 16-channel sound system (the most expensive system ever installed in New York) and a $100,000 Close Encounters-style lighting rig called “The Mothership”.

Posted by Manny Z

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