Share this project


Share this project

Riot on the Dance Floor's video poster

A feature-length documentary about a mailman/promoter and the punk club in a Trenton, NJ ghetto that he made famous. Read more

Trenton, NJ Documentary
Share this project
pledged of $20,000 goal
seconds to go


This project was successfully funded on August 20, 2011.

A feature-length documentary about a mailman/promoter and the punk club in a Trenton, NJ ghetto that he made famous.

Trenton, NJ Documentary
Share this project

About this project


To celebrate our last 5 days of active funding on, we decided to thank you all a little more for pledging so graciously. We decided to give away a City Gardens punk card inspired skate deck signed by Randy and all of the crew. We are all big fans of the punk card mailers that Randy sent out to promote the club back then and let's face it, they look pretty kickass on a board. All of you that have donated to our kickstarter campaign are automatically entered to win the deck and if you haven't donated there still is a few days left to help the film and to be entered to win. We will choose a person at random August 20th at 11am EST the last day of our funding campaign. We will then post the name of the winner on both and our City Gardens Facebook fan page.

Thanks again for donating and helping to get the word out.


CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE,YOU got us to our minimum goal of 20,000 in just under 4 days, no small task! We are all completely beside ourselves in the response from, a BIG THANK YOU from myself and the rest of the ROTD crew. Now even though we hit our 20,000, that really is a milestone to the 60,000 we'd like to raise for the film. One of the most expensive aspects of making a music doc. is THE MUSIC. Purchasing the music from some of the bands and their record companies will be very costly, so the closer we get to our 60K number the more this music documentary will have actually music in it.

Thanks to you all for getting us to this first milestone...LET'S KEEP GOING!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The story of Riot on the Dance Floor.

What does it take to turn a lifeless, concrete bunker into a legendary club that hosted some of the ‘80s and ‘90s biggest bands? What does it take to forge a thriving, vital scene in a downtrodden, dangerous and marginalized city like Trenton, New Jersey, with nothing but flyers, postcards and pre-internet word-of-mouth? It takes passion, vision and, above all else, a dedication to the independent spirit that drove the underground music scene. It requires the ear of someone attuned to diversity and a set of balls big enough to book the envelope-pushing bands that most promoters wouldn’t touch. That man was Randy Now, and this is his story.

Riot on the Dance Floor: The Story of Randy Now and City Gardens is a feature-length documentary from director Steve Tozzi that features the unblinkingly stark and iconic photography of Ken Salerno and is told through an oral history format of in-depth interviews and archival footage. It tells the gritty story of one of New Jersey’s most infamous clubs and its larger-than-life promoter through the recollected memories, stories, photographs and memorabilia of the people who lived for and by the music.

City Gardens was New Jersey’s premiere venue for underground music throughout the 1980s and well into the ‘90s, and New Wave DJ Randy Now was the guy responsible for booking all of the music. It was a rough club from its inception; located across the street from a housing project in one of the worst parts of Trenton. A squat, warehouse covered in layers of mangled graffiti; City Gardens was larger than a club (it held almost 1,100 people) and smaller than most theaters. During its time it hosted a multitude of live events that traversed the entertainment spectrum; everything from the comedy of Henny Youngman and Sam Kinison to the raging chaos of bands like The Butthole Surfers and The Exploited. Punk, Hardcore, New Wave, Heavy Metal, Hip-Hop, Ska, Reggae, Oi!, Industrial, Alternative, Funk, Goth… all these influences converged perfectly under the uncanny direction of Randy Now to form a perfect storm of seminal, historic moments.

*City Gardens punk card

Over the course of a decade-and-a-half, City Gardens played an active part in the rise of bands like Nirvana, Jane’s Addiction, Sinead O’Connor, Green Day, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, The Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, Joan Jett and dozens of others who went on to international success while, at the same time, providing a home for the music that never made it to commercial radio. The list of performers who graced the City Gardens stage is long and varied, and includes legends like The Ramones, Iggy Pop, Agnostic Front, The Circle Jerks, Cro-Mags, UK Subs, The Pogues, The Mentors, Joe Strummer, Fugazi, The Toasters, Dead Kennedys, Sham 69, Peter Murphy, Soundgarden, Slayer, Black Flag, The Bad Brains and literally hundreds more. These monumental shows are recalled by the people whose lives were indelibly touched and forever altered by the experience. The voice is given to the people: the bouncers, the stage managers, the sound techs, the bartenders (including former booze-slinger and current host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart); the roadies and, most importantly, the fans.

Riot on the Dance Floor tells a series of parallel tales. While at once chronicling the rise of several different scenes, it is also the story of a music business lifer; a road warrior, part-time musician, radio host and former postal worker who went looking for a place to spin his New Wave records and ended up building an independent movement out of nothing in a dead city stuck between New York and Philadelphia.

Randy’s story mirrors that of the music, and Riot on the Dance Floor captures the past by following the present-day endeavors of both Randy and the bands. It is the story of the unheard underground and the collective creativity that came out of it: the artists, the writers, the photographers, the ‘zines and labels. It is the story of how hoards of misfit kids found an unlikely home and the inspiration to go out and challenge the world around them. It’s a universal tale of violence and unity; of champions and underdogs and, above all, the freedom and liberation of complete creative control. 

-Steven DiLodovico / Writer & City Gardens Regular.

-Photos Courtesy of Ken Salerno. Salerno ©2011

What will the funds be used for?

The funds we will raise through this Kickstarter campaign will help pay for various parts of the film's production throughout 2011. We are hoping to raise 20K to cover these costs but if we go over the 20K, we may be able to actually purchase some licensed music from some of the bands that Randy booked at City Gardens. This can be very expensive, so let's hope for some overage! Remember that funding on Kickstarter is "all or nothing". If we don't reach our goal we get bupkis!  So please donate and help us tell the story of Randy and City Gardens.

Who tells your story?

Randy Now (Promoter), Jon Stewart (The Daily Show), Ian Mackaye (Fugazi), James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), Russ Iglay (Underdog), John Stabb (Government Issue), Tesco Vee (The Meatmen), Vinnie Stigma + Roger Miret (Agnostic Front), Marc Wasserman (Bigger Thomas) Rocky George (Fishbone, Suicidal Tendencies), Jack Destefano & George Messina (The Shades), Stress (Producer/Member of Suburban Hoodz), Jonathan LeVine (Art Dealer, Jonathan LeVine Gallery), Tim McMahon (Mouthpiece), Forrest Thinner aka "Peter Fluid" (BLKVampires, 24-7 Spyz), Robert Tierney (The NY CItizens), Chuck Treece (McRad), Gavin Van Vlack (Burn), Rob Vitale (Black Train Jack), Eddie Sutton (Leeway), Robby Takac (Goo Goo Dolls), Lou Koller (Sick of it All), Harley Flanagan (Cro-Mags), Rat Skates (Film Director Founder of 'Overkill'), Pete Steinkopf + Bryan Kienlen (Bouncing Souls), Peter Zaremba + Keith Streng (The Fleshtones), Peter Tabbot + Dave Franklin (Vision), Skip Skool (Hogan's Heroes), HR (Bad Brains), Johnny Steigerwald (Token Entry), Simeon Cain (Regressive Aid, Rollins Band), Greg Frey & Andy Gomery (The Groceries), staff and fans of the club. 

We have more interviews coming up in 2011/12.  You can keep up with us through our Facebook page.No slam dancing, No stage diving.

How else can I help?

You can help by telling others and spreading the word about this Kickstarter campaign. The more people that know about our film the better. So GET THE WORD OUT!!!

Our info:

How can I learn more?


facebook: No slam dancing, No stage diving


twitter: @citygardensfilm 



  • All items will be sent out after the film is completed...we have no official release date, the two exceptions are the production poster and skate deck, which will be sent out before the end of the year.

    Last updated:
  • WE MIGHT!... send your story to and maybe we'll ring you up. It's happened before.

    Last updated:
  • Randy, booked over 3000 bands at City Gardens and though I'm sure your favorite band was kick-ass there, we just can't interview everyone.

    Last updated:
  • 1.'Once' by Vision taken from the album - In the Blink of an Eye.
    2.'Rude Girls' by The N.Y. Citizens taken from the best of album - The Truth About The N.Y. Citizens.
    3.'No Money' scored by David Norland. David scored Sacha Gervasi's: Anvil! The Story of Anvil.
    4.'Insert Motivation Here' by The Fire Still Burns taken from the album - Keeping Hope Alive

    Last updated:
  • We are still in production on the film and won't have a screen-ready cut until spring 2012 the earliest. You'll be the first to know when it's ready!

    Last updated:


  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    70 backers

    For supporting the making of Riot on the Dance Floor, we will send you:
    Five live tracks from the film’s soundtrack, your name will appear on on the supporter wall of fame AND you will receive a film punk card thank you in the mail.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    80 backers

    You will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    A DVD download of the film (upon release) AND the official production poster of the film signed by Director Steve Tozzi, Photographer Ken Salerno, Randy Now and all of the crew.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    67 backers

    You will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    The limited edition first run DVD (upon release), signed by Director Steve Tozzi, Photographer Ken Salerno, Randy Now and all of the crew.

  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    6 backers

    You will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    An original signed and numbered 8” x 10” photograph from Photographer Ken Salerno’s City Gardens photo archive. (You can choose from 20 images)

  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    27 backers

    For your insane dedication to the project you will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    Official thanks in the film credits.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    8 backers

    OK... now we are getting serious here. For this level of commitment you will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    You will receive a limited edition Riot on the Dance Floor skate deck, featuring one of Ken Salerno photographs. Each deck will be signed and numbered by Ken. Note - This might be the only time that we produce these decks, so grab them while you can!

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,500 or more

    3 backers

    You will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    An invitation for you and a guest to a NJ screening of the film with the producers, director and Randy Now (travel/accommodations not included) AND the official film production photo book "Behind The Scene", where you see the film being made through the lens of photographer Ken Salerno.

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    You will receive ALL of the above PLUS:
    You will receive a 24” x 36” original hand pulled print from Ken Salerno’s City Gardens photo archive.

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Thanks for your huge support! With your donation you are dramatically changing what this film can be! For this you will receive ALL of the above premium items. You will be credited as an Executive Producer on the film and be listed on the film's IMDB. You are ALSO invited to sit in on one of Randy Now’s radio shows, where you’ll get to hang out with the man himself and pick the songs he plays. (travel/accommodations not included)

Funding period

- (45 days)