L'Amour was a musical venue in Brooklyn, New York, run by Mike and George Parente. L'Amour opened as a disco club in 1978, transformed into a rock club in 1981, and closed in February 2004. It was promoted as the "Rock Capitol of Brooklyn". Commonly pronounced "La-Morz" by patrons, the venue was known as a familiar venue for some of hard rock music's biggest artists, including Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, and Kiss. But as familiar as it was for the biggest and best, it was also for the up-and-comers. L'Amour was never afraid to book over a dozen local acts to open up for a headliner and frequently featured underground bands from across the country and even across the globe. The original L'Amour in Brooklyn remained a relevant part of the rock/metal scene for almost 25 years.
Some notable acts that performed at the venue were Iron Maiden, Metallica, Kiss, Megadeth, Guns N' Roses, The Ramones, Slayer, Poison, Anthrax, Type O Negative, Immolation, Entombed, Ace Frehley, Manowar, Dream Theater, Quiet Riot, Motörhead, Overkill, Queensrÿche, Exodus, Whiplash, Cheap Trick, Stryper, W.A.S.P., Sepultura, Jane's Addiction, Opeth, King Diamond, Twisted Sister, Anvil, Soundgarden, Corrosion of Conformity, Voivod, L.A. Guns, Fates Warning, Testament, Lacuna Coil, Faith No More, Cro-Mags, White Lion, Toxik, Carnivore, Lillian Axe, Kix, Nuclear Assault, Covenant, Moonspell, Hatebreed, Accept, Savatage, Cannibal Corpse, Godflesh, Murphy's Law, Nightwish, Saigon Kick, Saxon, Amorphis, In Flames, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, and Zebra
L'Amour spawned two spinoff rock clubs in the mid-1980s, L'Amour East in Queens and L'Amour Far East on Long Island.
L'Amour East, located on Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst, Queens, existed for several years (circa 1983-1988), riding the coattails of the Brooklyn club's fame. The Queens club not only showcased rock performers and some of the top hair metal bands of the era, but as a dance club, also hosted many freestyle music acts.
L'Amour Far East, situated in Commack on Long Island, folded soon after its 1987 opening.
A name that is synonymous with L'Amour, Alex Kayne is considered the venue's most popular and influential DJ. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he started out as a mobile DJ in the mid-1970s. His club DJ career began when he was just 18 years old, when he beat a multitude of other DJs to win a borough-wide turntablist "Battle of the DJs" mixing contest at the Night Gallery Discothèque in Brooklyn. Word spread quickly and Kayne began deejaying in several local clubs. Over the years, he worked at various clubs large and small in and around the New York City area. Kayne came to work at L'Amour in 1979 and deejayed there on and off until the venue closed. He was the venue's original metal DJ and its longest resident DJ. His raspy, booming voice and more importantly his unique brand of rock and metal spinning style gave the venue its unrivaled personality, directly contributing to the venue's worldwide fame. He is widely credited as the first club DJ in New York to spin Metallica, Biohazard, Y&T, The Rods, TNT, Queensrÿche, Anthrax, Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Manowar, White Lion, Helix, Talas, Motorhead, Metal Church, Tygers of Pan Tang and Slayer among many others, breaking and expanding their notoriety on the East Coast. His production company Rockmachine Concerts presents original hard rock/heavy metal shows throughout the Tri-State area. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Kayne is still actively working the New York club scene, where he is highly regarded and respected as a legend among rock and heavy metal DJs.
Chuck Kaye, a local metal DJ from Staten Island, was known as the "Roar of L'Amour". Kaye was the house DJ at L'Amour in the classic years from 1984 to 1988. As Jagger Kaye, he is now an acting coach.
Michel Gutman was L'Amour Far East's only DJ (after the opening night, when WBAB's Fingers hosted the show) and a favorite among everyone who attended. Blending a mixture of all types of metal and hard rock, Gutman would spin everything from Pat Travers and Queen to Slayer and Exodus. At a time when records were on their way out and CDs were just gaining popularity, Gutman owned a huge collection of both formats and was able to satisfy everyone's musical tastes.
Impact on NYHC
In its later life, L'Amour gave rise to many of the most promising acts in the hardcore scene. Some of the pioneers of this genre give credit to L'Amour for starting and or lifting their career to new heights. Such bands include Biohazard, Madball, Agnostic Front, Pro-Pain, Sick of it All, Candiria, Full Blown Chaos, Most Precious Blood and Sworn Enemy.
L'Amour in Print: "Rock Capitol of Brooklyn"
Longtime L'Amour DJ Alex Kayne put the tale of his time at L'Amour into print in the book Rock Capitol of Brooklyn: The History of L'Amour, the World's Most Famous Heavy Metal Nightclub, with accompanying photos by Frank White. The book is set to be released in 2013, and a Facebook page named L'Amour Book has been set up for L'Amour patrons and bands to friend and send in photos and stories about their most memorable times at the venue for inclusion in a section of the book. L'AMOUR BOOK PRESS RELEASE
- Kurutz, Steve (2004-03-07). "NEW YORK NIGHT LIFE; At Least the Fans Will Keep Their Hearing" (Website). New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-07.
- THE LAMOUR BOOK 2
- Neilstein, Vince (August 9, 2007). "LEGENDARY BROOKLYN METAL CLUB L’AMOUR REOPENS DOORS…" (Website). MetalSucks.