was born on 20 November 1951, so that definitely puts me in the
grumpy old man category. A sort of disco version of the late John
Peel! I started Dj'ing when I was 17, so that means that I have
been Dj'ing for 42 years. Like so many DJ’s of my generation
I started off playing soul music and, back in the late 1960’s
and early 1970’s I was expected to talk between the records,
just as a radio DJ would today. In the 1970’s lead guitarists
such as Eric Clapton were considered to be Gods. But by the 1990’s
it was DJ’s like Sasha, Carl Cox and Paul Oakenfold who had
become the Gods. A couple of my friends have referred to me recently
as the God from the Quad – but I assume them to mean this
have an eclectic taste in music, as will be obvious from reading
my DJ profile. However, it is the House Music of the period 1988
to 1998 that is my abiding passion. Strictly speaking, a person
of my generation (known as baby boomers) would not be expected to
be a House DJ. (Mind you Frankie Knuckles and Tony Humphries are
both in their sixties). However, I went to New York in July 1986,
to attend the New Music Seminar, and was exposed to House Music
by a little known black DJ, and dub poet, General B, from Chicago.
He described House Music as being a cross between Philly-Soul and
New Order. He then obliged me by making a list of about 50 House
tracks that he considered essential listening. I then went to Downstairs
Records in New York, which was actually up some stairs, and purchased
all of the tunes on his list with my Credit Card. Much to my surprise,
by Christmas 1986, one of the records on my list was number one
in the British pop charts: “Jack Your Body” by Steve
‘Silk’ Hurley. My copy is the original US pressing on
the Underground label UN-101. The House Revolution had definitely
arrived. Unfortunately, at the State, my audience were not yet ready
for the revolution. To quote the Last Poets: “When the revolution
comes you will know that it is the revolution because it won’t
be shown on TV”.
me the lyrics of the Italian House track “Getting Out”
by S.L.D. (On the Italian Mighty Quinn label) sum up my personal
feelings precisely: Get Ready For The Best Time In Your Life”!!!
I was 38 when I bought that record. How many people can say that
they had the best time of their life between the ages of 35 to 45.
Most people are too busy having a mid-life crisis! At this juncture
I would just like to thank Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Laurent
Garnier (who were all originally DJs at Manchester’s Hacienda)
for being there to inspire me.
I used to go to the Hacienda when ever I could, most often on a
course there have been other memorable periods in my life: like
visiting Manchester’s Twisted Wheel Club in the late 1960’s
to listen to rare soul; or attending the Wigan Casino Northern Soul
“All Nighters in the mid 1970’s; Punk Rock and going
to Erics Club on Liverpool’s Mathew Street to see bands like
The Clash and The Stranglers in 1977-78; Dj'ing at one off concert
events, in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, supporting
bands like Teardrop Explodes, The fall, Dexys Midnight Runners,
Curtis Mayfield, Big in Japan, Q Tips, Cherry Boys, Big Audio Dynamite,
Suzie and the Banshees and Ultravox; playing alternative dance music
& hip hop at The State in the mid 1980’s; and playing
upfront funky American House Music in various bars between 1995
only real regrets as a DJ are that I never worked outside
the UK ; and I never recorded or produced my own House Record.
year, 2009, is the 40th Anniversary of my Dj'ing career.
I am celebrating 40 Years of Dj'ing Soul Funk, Disco &
Jazz; from Northern Soul to Acid House and beyond.
alot of the Quadrant Park generation are all now starting
to turn 40. I have been receiving alot of requests for me
to Dj at these parties which I gladly accept, as long as
my diary is free.
I am proud of some of the work that I did at Open Eye and Square
One Studios between 1978 and 1985. As a recording engineer / record
producer, I made recordings that helped to launch the careers of
people like Pete Burns (Dead or Alive), Echo and the Bunnymen and
OMD. The ‘Birth of a Nation’ EP by Nightmares in Wax,
Pete Burn’s original band, was produced and engineered by
me at Amazon Studios in Kirkby, and was released on the Inevitable
label in 1980. According to the Record Collector Rare Record Price
Guide, an original copy, in mint condition, would now be worth £40.00.
Several of my other productions are also listed including the ‘Street
to Street’ compilation LP, for which John Peel, who was a
friend of mine at that time, very kindly wrote the sleeve notes.
& Suggested Reading:
1179 (The Story of Manchester’s Twisted wheel Club) by Keith
Rylatt and Phil Scott. Published by PCP Limited. A good read
Night a DJ Saved My Life” (The History of the DJ) written
by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton. UK Publisher not known. Mine
is a US Copy.
An essential read. Published by grove Press NY.
Up The Volume” by Sean Bidder Published by Channel 4 Books.
Scouse Phenomenom” (Parts 1 & 2) by Klaus Schwartzer.
The scrap book of the new Liverpool Rock Scene, (Self Published).