Orlando & Firestone in Rolling Stone Magazine

Cover_Orlando_EDM_Rolling Stone Magazine_Cover

Rolling Stone 1997 Hot Issue – Featuring Orlando & Firestone

Years ago, before Electronic Music took over the music world, there were millions of people who knew it would happen. I was one of them. I found the Underground club scene in 1996 after hitting a few clubs in Atlanta during the 96 Olympics, where I worked in the Georgia Dome as a cook. When people heard I was in town from Orlando they asked me about the famous Orlando club scene and Firestone. Firestone, I thought? The gay club? Why were so many straight people from other cities interested in what was going on in a gay club in Orlando? What I didn’t know was that at 2am on Saturdays, gay night turned into Late Nite, and the most colorful characters in the world came out to play. A big part of the gay crowd stayed, you had Hip-Hop and B-Boys in the side room, frat boys by the bar, famous people, rich people, people who spent their last $25 on a party favor, Kandy kids, Old Skoolers… it was a wild mix of people you’d never expect to hang out, enjoying the party and loving one another’s company.

The first few times I can remember being exposed to Electronic Music was in the 80′s through movies and Tv shows. Harold Faltermeyer’s Axel F was in Beverly Hills Cop and it was HUGE! My friends and I would run around doing the song with our mouths. Hit play on this video, you KNOW you sang this wordless song all the way through at least once! I can remember a few times hearing some kick ass dance music in Eddie Murphy movies before I was ten, here’e another example from Trading Places. It seemed like every chase scene in the 80′s had some kind of Breakbeat behind it too, so Dance and Electronic Music was always something I could identify with. I remember the theme song from CHiPs too, one of my favorite shows as a kid. It’s a little bit Disco a little bit Funk, and the part that comes in at 13 seconds blew me away. The late 80′s Synth Pop and New Wave started to get popular and I got in to that as well. I guess finding the Underground Dance scene in the late 90′s was inevitable, even though I had taken a sharp turn into Hip-Hop in the early 90′s.

Everyone in the 90′s club scene knew we were part of something big. You could look around the club and talk to random strangers who instantly became your new best friends, and we all sensed it. We were the new hippies, the new counterculture, raves were the new Woodstock. We walked around in public like we were at the club, with big ass jeans, chains, bright colored hair, tats, piercings, the whole nine. We were proud of who we were and wanted everyone to know, especially the suits and common ham and eggers. There was an unspoken brotherhood between the ravers and club kids… You know when you see 2 motorcycles pass each other and they do a little wave, or a heads up acknowledgement? Much like them, if you saw another kid in huge JNCOs or KikWears and a visor, you gave them a head nod both of you knew what each other was up to in the dead of night. You could see in their soul, and you knew they were just like you and they were helping to create a scene that would live on for years to come.

When Rolling Stone came to Orlando, FOR US, for the scene WE were BUILDING, our thoughts were validated. Sure, there were club scenes around the country, but for us, and for the United States, Orlando was the epicenter. Not only did we think we were part of something, now we had proof! This was Pre-Internet and Rolling Stone was still at the top of the mountain as far as music publications were concerned. There weren’t a thousand blogs reporting twitter beefs and other nonsense at the time. This was ROLLING FUCKING STONE, coming to interview our superstar DJs and feature us, members of the best damn scene in all of Electronic Dance Music.

Anyone around dance music in 1997 loved The Prodigy, and we were proud to have them land on the cover, especially people like me who were GETTING SILLY in Firestone, wondering when the rest of the world would catch up. If you asked me or anyone else when Electronic Music would finally break through and captivate, and more specifically, hold the interest of the world, none of us would have said we’d have to wait until after 2010. Things like Pop-Hop, Rap-Rock, Swing Music, Latin Music, and Boy Bands, all took the spotlight while we danced in the underground. So now “EDM” is the thing. I’m cool with that. The masses can enjoy it as long as they want, have their fun, and stick around if they want. If not, I’ll still be here along with millions of other people like me who were here before, or stayed for the right reasons.

So here is the famous Rolling Stone Hot 97’ article, written by John Weir, that changed everything for Orlando and the world.

I’ve never seen the article online anywhere besides here, and I did the best I could at getting pictures with no scanner. Play around with your zoom settings on your browser and you can read it pretty easily. If I get to a scanner any time soon I’ll get better pics but this should do the trick for now.

 (Click pics to expand, they get pretty big)



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  • Jenna B =)

    Firestone will live in my heart forever!! Ahhh the memories!!! =)

  • Jdub

    I wouldn’t trade my teenage years & early 20′s for any other lifestyle. My “posse” in those days are still loved like family members, the spiritual & physical connections to the music shared with my “family” inside & spilling/tripping over & outside Firestone, road trips to the many raves, all the clubs in Orlando (and later Cocoa Beach & Cocoa Village;)….I couldn’t wait for the weekend to arrive so we could do it all over again. The poor fellow who forgot to bring sunglasses leaving for the night- haha- “go get yourself some cheap sunglasses” never made more sense at 6am, sometimes 9am walking out of the club drenched in sweat running skipping hugging the family

  • http://www.ampmseo.com/ Ed Luvables

    I wouldn’t trade it either my man, we all felt the same exact thing. It’s amazing to meet people that lived through it all. You have that connection immediately and it’s like you knew each other for a lifetime even if you just met. I have to admit I envy crews that have stayed together, mine kind of fell apart because of moves out of state and whatnot. Whenever I hang with the NLP fam and crews like yours I get that old skool feeling back and feel like a teenager again :)

  • Cliff T.

    Awesome! Thanks for putting this up! Still can’t believe I got to be apart of this article and so lucky to be apart of the 90′s scene.

  • http://www.ampmseo.com/ Ed Luvables

    No problem, I never saw it anywhere online and felt it needed a home :)
    I feel lucky too, I could have easily missed it all if I didn’t meet the right people. Good times!

  • TequilaMan2000

    I have a PDF copy if you want it… :)

  • Andrew Heaberlin

    I am almost positive that I am pictured in the 6th picture down …the half face you see above the photo of Firestone at night…Craziness!!

  • Chris S

    I got into the scene in 98 when i went to college down there. I remember the first club I went to was Sol Rays and I was hooked the minute I walked in the door. The music was awesome and the vibe was great. After a while everyone was like family. I’m from Hauppauge on long island which BTW is right next to Smithtown if you can remember Cliff. My cousins kids are both 18 and are into the scene in NYC. They tell me about their parties and I tell them that they’ll never know what a real party is or what the scene was in the good ol’days. i’m 33 yo, have a great job, i’m a firefighter, and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the times i had then. I’d trade it all to go back and do it all over and i wouldn’t do anything differently. Great article.

  • Serena Debesa

    I was there for it all great article. Best time of my life. It was our modern day Woodstock. So lucky n blessed to be there. Much love to all my fellow club kids! :-)

  • http://www.ampmseo.com/ Ed Luvables

    To upload in this post? That would kick ass if I had some cleaner images.

  • TequilaMan2000

    It’s on my home computer… let me see if I can’t post it here.

  • Guzzy

    I was next to the storm trooper, my buddy Caveman is behind him in the hat. That was in Sanford at a one off. Still got that issue, good times!

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