so, tonight the bunneh and I went over to SF to hear disco legend Bobby Viteritti spin at Gus Presents "Paradise - Gay Tea Dance" at 1015 Folsom.
1015 is a lot nicer than I remember - haven't been there in ages - especially the downstairs room which used to be a little black box and is now a very pleasant lounge with great lighting, nice banquettes and much better ventilation than I remember. the upstairs (where they were playing boring-ass Standard Gay Club Music) was fantastically cool (almost chilly!) and down below was still a bit of a sweatbox but MUCH better than it used to be. they also had a HUGE mirror ball in the center of the room - what with the low ceiling and the size of the ball, it cleared the floor by barely two feet. :-) it really brought to mind the famous mirror ball cluster at the Troc. (I still resent that they did so much remodeling there - it's pretty much unrecognizable, and the mirror balls, which were still there back in the '90s are now long gone. damn shame.)
Bobby's name was on the flyer in the biggest font, and his set was billed as his "first sf performance in 25 years!" I was so excited to get to hear him! he played a bunch of my favorites including some of the classic spacey stuff that is his tademark. the sound was good, and not too loud. sadly, however, they gave him only about 75 minutes (after he flew out from NYC!) and it was over all too soon. dude, come ON - this is the man who used to spin at the Troc from midnight until 10 am!
Bobby still has it, and people were definitely loving his music. there were a good number of folks who seemed like they had been there the first time around, plus a healthy bunch of us new(er)-school kids. it was awesome! I especially enjoyed watching one woman who was dancing beautifully with two fans. after Bobby had finished his set (all too soon) and hung out for a while, she was in the group he left with, sporting a letterman style jacket with "Trocadero Transfer" embroidered in script on the back (what I wouldn't give...! but, then again, there is no substitute for *earning* stuff like that.) if only I'd been old enough!
I was absolutely delighted to get to hear Bobby spin live, and he did not disappoint! when he threw on the Space Invaders track, Jovino went up to thank him. I decided it was as good a time as any to fangirl my DJ hero, and thanked him and introduced myself. he totally remembered me! he'd very kindly sent me some of his awesome remixes via express post just in time for Pink Saturday 2007 - which BTW went over like GANGBUSTERS - and we'd gotten to chatting on the phone while working out the logistics. he's one of the people I'd most like to have a beer with - just briefly getting to talk with him about the disco era in SF was so rad. I also felt grateful to be able to tell him how much the quote at the top of this entry meant to me.
I'd love to see Gus Presents bring out more of the old-school DJs - how about Robbie Leslie next?! but, for more than an hour, please! (and bring Bobby back for a longer set! how about FOUR hours?!) two hours should be the bare minimum - less than that is really rather disrespectful (and for someone in town from NYC who is a legend, hasn't spun here in ages, and is famous for going long, it's disappointing to the dancers too). I certainly mean no disrespect to the DJ who followed Bobby - he was good. I just wanted more Bobby!
so, this book, Tribal Rites... when I found it, I'd already gotten into house and was starting to really understand DJing and dance music. I hadn't given disco much thought ever since I stopped going to the roller skating rink (not that I'd given it much thought then, but I sure did hear a lot of it). I picked it up because I love learning about SF history - and became fascinated with learning about the roots of house music and rave culture - I suddenly understood where this stuff came from and I became eager to learn more, and to hear the original music. (plus, you would not believe the parties these folks used to get up to!)
discovering the Salsoul catalog, David Mancuso's Loft compilations, and eventually that Larry Levan live mix was a real eduction in itself! the salsoul tracks alone held SO many basslines, vocals and other bits that I recognized (since they'd been sampled like crazy). I really began to understand this groove that I'd been so into - and began falling in love with the *source* of it all (aka classic disco - not the cheese, drr, but the real deal) all over again.
my love affair with disco continues apace, and as time goes on it seems like more and more people are beginning to really appreciate it (not that disco ever died - that's just what you were supposed to think). more books are being written, more tracks re-released - and, even better, remastered! (thank you Tom Moulton and West End Records for your wonderful work on the Larry Levan live set, and for helping keep this amazing music alive!)
I am REALLY hoping that things will calm down enough for me to plan out and record a disco demo set before too long. it seems to me there are ever more disco nights and it would be a huge thrill to get to spin at one! also, please keep your fingers crossed for me for Pink Saturday - best night of the year for disco.
k. time for beds nao. I go to sleep, happy and tyord.
"I was so right (so right!)
thought I could turn emotion
on and off
I was so sure (so sure)!
but love taught me
who was, who was the Boss."
- Diana Ross, The Boss