Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Chemical Cowboys: The Club King Of New York


The drug Ecstasy
The drug Ecstasy
During his trip abroad, Caruso met a blond Grateful Dead-loving British hippie in his late thirties named Meru, who handed Lord Michael his first Ecstasy pill and encouraged him to bring techno back to New York City. Techno was high-energy, aggressive dance music. Whereas regular dance music was about 115 to 120 beats per minute, Techno revved up the floor at 140 bpm. Caruso was energized by the London rave scenethe all-night parties, strobe lights, and thumping techno beatsand the serotonin rush of his first hit of Ecstasy. When he returned to the States, he gave a crateful of techno records to spinners Anthony Acid and DJ Repeat, who played gigs in Staten Island. Michael Alig's boyfriend, DJ Keoki, happened to catch one of Repeat's shows, and soon Repeat, Anthony Acid, and their manager/party promoter, Lord Michael, were working parties at Limelight.

Caruso's popular Thursday night "Inner Mind" parties in Limelight's chapel room attracted the same faithful bridge-and-tunnel crowd that attended his Staten Island gigs. Gatien couldn't have been happier, because the B&T kids from the outer boroughs paid full-price door fees and bar tabs, unlike the Club Kid divas, who didn't think they should have to pay for anything.

In the spring of 1991, Caruso's mentor, Meru, traveled to the States and paid him a visit in Limelight's chapel. Meru gave the new party promoter 150 Ecstasy pillsa free sample to seed the clubs. Caruso would later testify that he handed Ecstasy out no charge at his "Inner Mind" parties and gave twenty doses to Peter Gatien as a show of respect. The pills were a huge hit. A few months later, Caruso made a deal with Meru for two thousand pills at $8 a pill and sold them for $20 each. Two months later, Caruso placed another order for six thousand pills.


Excerpt from Chemical Cowboys by Lisa Sweetingham