Village Voice reporter Owen begins his probe of ’90s nightclub culture inside Manhattan’s late, great Limelight by trying to score Special K, a dangerous animal tranquilizer popularized by ravers. Owen fancies himself a gonzo journalist – he spent a decade on the dance floor – but too often hews toward the sensational. (He calls clubbers ”lost souls – creatures made up of pure motorized instinct,” and questionably asserts that ”stomach pumps became the new fashion accessory” in the mid-’90s.) That said, his juicy accounts of the downfalls of club kings Chris Paciello and Peter Gatien – peppered with details of Paciello’s alleged Mafia ties and the feds’ efforts to corner Gatien – more than make up for his tabloid-ready asides.

Originally posted May 23 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT

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