A Labor of L’Amour: DJ Alex Kayne On His Upcoming Book & Bensonhurst In Its Heavy Metal Heyday

The legendary L’Amour marquee, circa 1988 (image courtesy of Alex Kayne).

Often hailed by its following as “The Rock Capital of Brooklyn,” L’Amour was a staple of hard rock/heavy metal acts of the 1980s and 1990s.

Some of the genres most legendary bands (such as the “big four” of Thrash Metal: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax) got their break in the tiny club that oftentimes felt like an arena. Memories, bonds, and acts of debauchery occurred on a nightly basis in the Bensonhurst venue. The club’s promoters were also notoriously fair when it came to booking, giving any band a chance to play on Brooklyn’s biggest stage – which made it so prominent for keeping the scene alive and a staple for establishing the developing New York Hardcore scene in the early 90’s.

L’Amour first opened as a disco club on a rather desolate stretch of 63rd Street in 1978 and transformed into a rock venue in 1981. Over the next two decades, its popularity skyrocketed and three somewhat short-lived sister locations were spawned in Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island. Throughout the 1990s and into the early aughts the original club would remain active before finally closing its doors in 2004. Usually at the helm of the Bensonhurst club, was DJ Alex Kayne, who is widely considered New York’s first-ever heavy metal DJ.

To read the full story on Bensonhurst Bean, click here.

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