Photo courtesy of Lee Foss.
Hot Creations label owner, DJ and producer Lee Foss plays in clubs across the globe to packed rooms full of fans eager for a diverse, house-heavy set. But before Foss made a name for himself around the world, he moved to Los Angeles and played regular sets at AVALON, the mega nightclub in Hollywood.
Here, Foss reminisces about the weirder moments during those early DJ sets and how he learned “what happens in the club, stays in the club.”
Before I was travelling as a DJ, I moved to LA from Chicago and became a local opener for other DJs. I would say I played once a month at Avalon.
I think any place that tries to be open a few nights a week for a couple thousand people to make it filled will have a couple of weird stories and that was Avalon.
Most people who go to clubs have a “what happens in the club, stays in the club” attitude unless someone’s sick. Most people are out to enjoy themselves. As long as they’re safe and healthy, it’s good. With the possible exception of people getting jealous and getting into fights, people tend to stay out of each other’s business unless they’re unwell.
Lots of random things would happen in the space.
Avalon is a big room and usually you DJ on the stage, but a couple of times when I DJed there, they’d turn the room around. The seating would move to the other side of the room, to make it different or interesting.
One night, the club flipped the DJ booth to the other side to where the seating is normally located. At one point, I looked to my right and two people were having sex in the club at 3:30 a.m. and no one was stopping them. It was right out in the open.
Even just the logistics of people having sex and doing it in a public space, in that space, was one of the weirdest things I’ve seen.
Me and my friends who were DJing that night were pointing and laughing at first, but I guess part of Avalon’s charm at the time was that no one was really paying attention to what anyone else was doing.
And about eight years ago, there was this dance that large groups of older people would do called “The Washing Machine.” They would take loads of drugsI think probably ecstasyand they would shake each other like a washing machine.
You’d see a group of them grab each other by the shoulders and dance in these big circles. They’d go back and forth, pulling each other really hard, while they stared off to the ground to get some sort of physical effect off of the drugs.
They were some pretty old people in the club, like people in their 50s doing this sort of washing machine dance.
That was a strange time because they had a weird mix of house and techno fans and this strange drug subculture. It was a big space, so they had to fill it.
I hadn’t gone backI hadn’t been there in about seven years and then I played there earlier this year. I hadn’t been there since I started touring. I headlined there. I had a great time.
I’ve got a good sense of humor. Probably the only thing that distracts me as a DJ is people either really inebriated or unaware they’re trying to take up your time at an inopportune time to get a picture. I think stuff like thatnot accepting that you’re a being and you have feelings or being inebriated and not respectful of your time and your spacethat’s distracting. But people having a good time … if you can’t laugh at it, even if it’s weird or it’s gross, then you’re not going to be able to laugh at life.