SURE WE ALL LOVE A GOOD NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT FOR DAMON PERUZZI THE THRILL GOES MUCH DEEPER.
As one of the premiere party promoters and hosts, “Legendary Damon” has made his mark and continues to entertain the masses. After producing and or hosting events for the likes of Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Nas, and Prince just to name a few, the Detroit native is staple in the culture, and believe it or not one of the key reasons you continually visit some of the hottest clubs.
YRB: How did you start in nightlife?
Damon: When I moved here from Detroit, Michigan I got my first job doing the guest list at the Limelight. I ended up filling in for someone who became sick, the bosses liked me better, gave me the job, and the rest is history.
YRB: How has the New York City nightlife scene changed over the years?
Damon: I always get asked this question. I don’t think it has changed at all. I’m here doing amazing parties now just like there were amazing parties when I was younger, so it hasn’t changed really.
YRB: What keeps a venue or party relevant in this day and time?
Damon: Exclusivity keeps a venue going. If your opening party is amazing and you have nothing to follow up with, you’ve lost your mark. YRB: You now go by the name Legendary Damon, how did that moniker come about?
Damon: Well first of all this isn’t my first time to this rodeo. I was doing a party at a place called Room Service which had this 90s throwback theme before anyone was doing it, and there were all these young kids coming up not giving me the respect I deserved. I made everyone refer to me as Legendary Damon. It was my way of getting the respect I know I deserved.
YRB: You are equally known for the lavish and over the top birthday celebrations you throw for yourself each year. From last year’s event where you entered the venue on a white horse, to this year’s celebration where you were elevated above the crowd on a cross somewhat Christ like, as Grammy Award winning songstress Meanie Fiona sang Madonna’s Like A Prayer. What prompted you to come up with that?
Damon: Last year I did the Studio 54 theme, and yes I entered in on white horse, and it made everyone’s jaw drop. Remembering the look on people’s faces, the pressure was definitely on me to take it to the next level.
YRB: Aside from the party promoting aspect of what you do, people don’t know you actually dabbled in fashion styling. Why the transition?
Damon: I did fashion styling when I was younger, and although I was successful at it, I didn’t love it. I love fashion but the styling portion for me was a lack of creativity and if I couldn’t have creative control it proved to be more work than I really needed it to be. I love the idea of creative directing, but styling isn’t for me.
YRB: You have an eclectic style that truly is all your own. How would you classify your personal style?
Damon: In a nutshell, I’m a blend of Liberace mixed with Notorious BIG, Prince, and very Detroit.
YRB: Have you always known this is what you wanted to do? Damon: I have always wanted the glamour, glitz, and edginess of nightlife, and this year’s birthday party was about New York’s nightlife culture, which is art and music, all things I really love.
Damon: I embody that walking down the street every single day. At ten years old my favorite singers were Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson, and my favorite artists were Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, nothing has changed, it is still the same.
YRB: How does the nightlife culture vary between the east and west coasts?
Damon: The cultures between the coasts are quite different. New Yorkers like to party whereas the people in Los Angeles are a bit more receptive to all things going on. In LA there’s usually only one thing going on per night, so everyone comes out, its kind of a give or take, but in New York we party, have fun, dance, and stay until 4:00 in the morning. My LA parties are much more celebrity packed than my NY parties because generally there’s nothing else going on.
YRB: You’ve thrown parties all over the world, if you had to choose, what city would you say is the best party city?
Damon: New York City hands down.
YRB: Is there a particular time frame before the decline begins to happen?
Damon: I generally give it a year and a half. Just when people start to depend on it, boom you move it. Keep people on their toes. NYC is very fast paced, and that is how you have to keep it.
YRB: Would you ever consider opening your own venue?
Damon: Having your own venue is entirely too much pressure, and most importantly it ages you. Doing that is a twenty-four hour job that I don’t want. I would much rather consult and be fabulous. To dress like this and own a nightclub, I don’t know if I could do both
This article was originally published in our Spring 2013 print edition.