Peter Rauhofer was a legend, who along with superstar DJs like Junior Vasquez and Jonathan Peters completely defined the era of the large dance floor and late-night parties. His death last week sent clubland reeling, and with good reason. His WORK! parties continue to be legendary, and his remixes, while not as frequent as they used to be, still are spectacular productions.

When I asked the community for special thoughts or memories, the response was overwhelming. Armando G. (a former Navy man) told me a story of his first taste of Rauhofer on a CD, then danced live to him at Roxy and was able to escape the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” era, if only for a moment. Michael C. mentions a comment Peter made to him on the closing night of the Roxy, when he asked Peter why he turned to music. “I turn to the music because it never lets me down,” he had told him. Luis A. remembers talking to Peter on the night Roxy closed and Peter was playing the legendary “This Used To Be My Playground” as his final song and how Peter told him that he got to keep the Roxy sign outside.

Peter was an industry person who I got to know through so many other people, but he could not have been nicer (especially when I lumbered into the booth with 35 other people). His emails to me were always short and sweet, and I was lucky enough for him to sneak me a remix or two before he released them. I always could count on a wave from the booth whenever he was spinning. Small moments like that meant so much and are also what will make me miss him.
So many memories from so many people were experienced. Here, some of Peter’s fellow DJs and producers share some thoughts.

DJ Eddie Baez (DJ & Remixer)
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Peter Rauhofer. Although he is gone, he will definitely live on in our hearts and minds with his music.

Shep Pettibone (DJ, Remixer, Owner of Paradise in Asbury Park)
I always looked forward to the “Rauhofer Mix” of a song. He put power and a sense of urgency in his music that made you have to move in every mix he produced. He truly was “one of a kind.” I will miss him and his music greatly.

Corey Craig (DJ & Remixer)
With an evil grin, he called me “Precious” because he caught me watering up. I shushed him, explaining that I felt blessed to be in the booth right then. Paulo was spinning, Hex Hector was carrying on, and the both was strangely packed with promoters, DJs and producers that I have looked up to from the “Gay 90s” to present day. It was surreal because we all took photos with Peter that night. Rest in peace, and thank you, Peter.

Tracy Young (DJ & Remixer)
There are too many memories to just pinpoint one. Our times in the booth together were definitely some of the highlights of my life. We did several performances together, and they were always magical moments. The beginning of our friendship was a night that he was booked to play at Liquid in Miami where I had a residency. The music, the energy and the drive that we shared were one of a kind. Most importantly, it was the private moments I cherish. Peter had a brilliant sense of humor and had me laughing until my stomach hurt. The rare times of sharing a cab ride, flight or phone call where we could speak freely and openly are the moments I will cherish for the rest of mine. I learned a lot from you, and I am forever grateful. I will miss you deeply, Peter.

DJ DeMarko (DJ & Remixer)
I still have Peter’s very first business card that he gave me 20 years ago (UNIQUE PRODUCTIONS)! When I moved to NYC, his office was on Lafayette St. and was one of my first stops in getting to know who’s who in the music industry and the record labels. Peter would be in the back of his office, almost like a deity, glancing up and saying, “How’s it going DeMarko?” As years passed, we got to know each other well, and my first gig at Limelight was opening for him (I still have the framed flyer). I got to know a side of him not many knew. He spoke his mind, he never held back and you knew where you stood with him. I was lucky enough to remain good friends with him, so much that when he called me I would say to myself, “Did he just call ME to talk business?!” I’ve always held Peter in the highest regard of NYC DJ/producer royalty. I play his music with the utmost respect and gratitude.

DeMarko mentioned a quote from one of my favorite Peter Rauhofer/Club 69 era tracks, “Unique”:

Unique is what you are
Unique is what you seek
Unique you’re one of a kind
Unique you blow my mind

Peter Rauhofer, “Unique”


///BY michael cook