News » Local

Remembering DJ Danae Jacovidis, who died at 63


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday March 12, 2012

Eminent pioneering DJ, Danae Jacovidis, unexpectedly yet peacefully passed away February 24, 2012 at 11:06am. He was 63 years old. Recently of Dorchester, Danae was a resident of the Back Bay and South End for over 30 years. He also resided previously in London and New York City.

Danae was born June 25, 1948 in Reading, PA. He was a very talented artist and after high school attended the famed Cooper Union School of Art on full scholarship.

Danae a.k.a. "Duchess" was one of the handful of people who pioneered the disco music, dance club culture in its infancy. His professional career began in 1972 at the A-House in Provincetown. At the same time he worked at 15 Lansdowne Street in Boston (later BostonBoston, Metro, Citi & Avalon). In Fall 1973 Danae became resident DJ at a new club called Styx where he continued until 1979.

Simultaneously he also played at the 1270 with another legend, his best friend and DJ-partner, Jimmy Stuard. In 1979 Styx was purchased and expanded into the famous Chaps. Here he tirelessly continued his lifelong passion of bringing the best and newest dance music to Boston's packed dance-floors.

In 1982 Danae began Sunday Tea Dance at Chaps that became his signature event until 2005. He is also remembered fondly for Tuesday night Retro at Chaps, Friday night Trance at RamRod as well as long-term gigs at Eagle and Machine. Additionally, the Duchess made many guest appearances at renowned New York clubs such as 12 West, The Saint, The Palladium & The Ice Palace.

Danae worked behind the scenes as well. He was one of the first (and longest serving) Billboard Reporting DJs. His work there earned him many gold and platinum record awards. Danae was voted Billboard's #1 DJ two years running in the early 1980s. Danae's medley mixes, "At Midnight" for the record pool service, Disconet were and still are much sought after.

Danae maintained a long professional and personal relationship with Mel Cheren, "The Godfather of Disco" and his West End Records. He collaborated on many songs and albums as both producer and remixer. Most notably were his mixes of North End's "Kind Of Life (Kind Of Love)" with fellow famed DJ John Luongo (1979) and Patrick Hernandez's "Born to be Alive" which won him a gold record in 1979. His last remix to chart was of Dame Shirley Bassey's cover of Pink's "Get this Party Started" in 2007 with his friend DJ Manuel Ferreiros. Through his Saturday night radio show on Boston's KISS 108FM, Danae's talents were heard far and wide for over 10 years.

Danae is survived by his sister, Joanne, of Atlanta, GA, a nephew and multitudinous friends, fans and dancers. He is predeceased by his father, Patrick, mother, Helen and two brothers, Donnie and Billy.

Danae Jacovidis was an integral part of not just the club scene in Boston but also of our culture and community as a whole. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. He will be sorely missed.

One of Danae's long-term friends Bobby Shaw said, "He was the one DJ who never had a day job." When would he have had the time?