Trude Heller’s

Trude Heller’s

418 6th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Bar Club Music Venue

Joshua Light Show founder Joshua White designed lighting at Trude Heller’s and other discothèques in the mid-1960s, where he began to develop techniques that he refined at the Fillmore East.


Joshua White’s Lights


Before founding the Joshua Light show and establishing himself at the Fillmore East, White had studied lighting at film and theater school and worked at discothèques before his tenure at the Fillmore East. “Lighting was always a key interest in my life,” he continued, “but I didn’t know where to apply it.” White initially created lighting systems for discos such as Arthur, Salvation, and Trude Heller’s, where he began to develop techniques that he refined at the Fillmore East: color washes, lights mounted on motors that could rotate and reverse, and reflective objects that moved and bounced light in asymmetrical ways. White had seen Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable, but he was much more impressed by what was happening in a venue that opened on St. Mark’s Place, in the basement space where the Dom had previously been located. “It was now remodeled as the Electric Circus,” White said. “Now, when you say remodel, what it really means is they put stretched nylon over the space inside, changing the space by throwing light all over the place. Even though it was just a ratty ballroom, it now had a shape, and they brought in an older light artist from the San Francisco scene named Anthony Martin who filled the place up with psychedelic-type projections based on the San Francisco ballrooms. They did very good stuff there.”

From Chapter 19 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore