TSOH | Close-Up: Kenny Carpenter about his DJ-residency at Studio 54 and overcoming addiction

Kenny Carpenter started out as a light jockey in the 1970’s in legendary New York clubs The Galaxy and The Inferno. His big break came one night, when the DJ was taking a break and Kenny was standing in. Two scouts for Studio 54 walked in. Kenny: “I knew I was being auditioned. I said to myself, I’m gonna rip this club tonight. If you don’t play good ever again, you’d better play good right now.” They offered him a job as the new Saturday night resident at Studio 54. He played there from 1980 until the club shut down in 1984.

Kenny Carpenter hit some rough waters after Studio 54 closed. He had developed a coke habbit, that wasn’t easily beat. Kenny: “When I was playing in the Studio, I never had to pay for my drugs. Dealers would be lining up to give me drugs. But when that all stopped, I had to start paying for it. Then my mother died, and I started using crack. At the time, I never considered myself an addict. It took me until 1990 to quit.”

As soon as he beat his addiction, his musical star started rising. In 1990, he was asked to do his own radio show at NYC’s famous WBLS. Soon after, he started touring to Japan, Italy and the UK (Ministry of Sound). Kenny has been DJ-ing around the world ever since. Most recently, he has been focused on producing and on his own label KC Recordings. We sat down with this living legend to hear some great stories from the golden disco days, and how Kenny overcame his trials and tribulations. In the end, love for music conquers all.