At 60, he is stayin’ alive.
A legendary disco-era disc jockey will spin some of his favorite tunes during a dance party celebrating his 60th birthday at Eldorado Auto Skooter in Coney Island on March 21. Birthday boy Nicky Siano, who grew up in Sheepshead Bay, said the bash is shaping up to be one to remember.
“It sounds like it’s going to be some party,” he said.
Siano has fond memories of the People’s Playground, and remembers stealing money from his mother’s purse to ride the roller coasters. But, by the time he left the borough in 1971, Coney had become a dangerous place, he said.
Siano got his start playing records in a Manhattan club called the Round Room at the age of 16. The next year, he designed and opened a new club, the Gallery, growing his reputation as a purveyor of underground dance tunes and an influencer in the nightlife scene. Siano also served a short residency as one of the original disc jockeys at the famed Studio 54, before being axed for his excessive drug use.
But even in his heyday, Siano said he came back to Coney Island for a different type of thrill.
“A few times on Sunday morning after the clubs closed, we’d hop in a cab and come out to Coney to ride the roller coasters,” he said.
Back then, Siano said he had to do all of his partying in the other borough, because Brooklyn simply was not cool enough. But now, he said, that has all changed.
“I went to a club in Brooklyn back then, and I said, ‘I could never play records for these people. Look at what they’re wearing,’ ” Siano said. “Now, Williamsburg is like the hippest place in the city.”
So when he started planning his birthday party, Siano knew it would have to be in his native land.
“There’s no middle ground, and no low ground, in Manhattan,” he said. “It’s all bottle service. This is my birthday, I don’t want people paying for bottle service or coat checks.”
Drinks will be complimentary at the seaside shindig, and there will be pizza from L&B Spumoni Gardens and hot dogs.
“Some real good Brooklyn treasures,” Siano said.
As for the music, Siano resists the term “disco” and prefers to say he will be spinning the “classics.”
“Because when I started there was no disco, just R&B,” he said.
You can expect to groove to some of Siano’s favorite songs from Eddie Kendrick, Patti LaBelle, and the B.T. Express, among others. The dancing will take place in the bumper car room, with a separate space in the arcade for refreshments.
Richard Long, who engineered the acoustics for Studio 54 and other famous clubs, designed the sound system in Eldorado, which was a big reason Siano said he chose the venue. That and the lighting, because those are essential elements of a good party, Siano said.
“I want to show people how lighting and music together can make an experience over the top,” he said.
The Last Party at Eldorado Auto Skooter [1216 Surf Ave. between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street in Coney Island, www.nicky