Tim Lawrence traces Russell’s odyssey from his hometown of Oskaloosa, Iowa, to countercultural San Francisco, and eventually to New York, where he lived from 1973 until his death from AIDS-related complications in 1992. Resisting definition while dreaming of commercial success, Russell wrote and performed new wave and disco as well as quirky rock, twisted folk, voice-cello dub, and hip-hop-inflected pop. “He was way ahead of other people in understanding that the walls between concert music and popular music and avant-garde music were illusory,” comments the composer Philip Glass. “He lived in a world in which those walls weren’t there.” Lawrence follows Russell across musical genres and through such vital downtown music spaces as the Kitchen, the Loft, the Gallery, the Paradise Garage, and the Experimental Intermedia Foundation. Along the way, he captures Russell’s openness to sound, his commitment to collaboration, and his uncompromising idealism.
Tales of nocturnal journeys, radical music making, and polymorphous sexuality flow through the arteries of Love Saves the Day like hot liquid vinyl. They are interspersed with a detailed examination of the era’s most powerful djs, the venues in which they played, and the records they loved to spin—as well as the labels, musicians, vocalists, producers, remixers, party promoters, journalists, and dance crowds that fueled dance music’s tireless engine.
Love Saves the Day includes material from over three hundred original interviews with the scene's most influential players, including David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Tom Moulton, Loleatta Holloway, Giorgio Moroder, Francis Grasso, Frankie Knuckles, and Earl Young. It incorporates more than twenty special dj discographies—listing the favorite records of the most important spinners of the disco decade—and a more general discography cataloging some six hundred releases. Love Saves the Day also contains a unique collection of more than seventy rare photos.