THE DISCO ERA
For those that do not know me outside of the disco community, please KEEP READING
In brief, I was around during the beginnings of the disco era and have been encouraged By many to write my thoughts down, so it can be a permanent printed record of the actual happenings in the music industry in the early 70's.
I am not a great writer as you will shortly see, but I ask your indulgence. My reason for doing this is to straighten out many misconceptions, that I have read in the recent years.
Why do I do this?
Simply because much of the information told to the public is incorrect.
Why do I know?
BECAUSE I was there.
This will be a free form discussion from me, including commentary, interviews and documents from the era. It will be on going as I contact many people over the next few months. So keep checking in TO THIS site and look for my link.
One major reason why I believe I have such detailed and accurate information, is that I was the writer of a column , called Disco Mix in Billboard. I was there for four years starting in the mid seventies.
Prior to me, the column was written by Tom Moulton, a great disco remixer of the time. We were very close friends and I was privy to many of the items he wrote about.
Also as I writer, I was in contact with DJs all over the country as well as record executives and artists of the disco era. Please feel free to write in to THE DISCOMUSEUM care of me, if you find there is an error, it was a while ago, and I am open to anyone who has insight into this time and has a correction for me.
Just to give myself a pat on the back, let me quote from a great book called "Turn The Beat Around" by Peter Shapiro and published by Faber and Faber Inc. in New York and is currently available.
During this quote you will hear many names mentioned, which I will discuss at a later time. First let me something very important which has never gotten its proper due.
During the years 1971 to the late 70's, Fire island was the hub of the gay world. It consisted of the Sandpiper in the Pines and the Ice Palace in the Grove. It was from these places that the origin of disco music had one of its beginnings and where hits were made in the disco community and to the world at large.
Many NY djs went there (Fire Island) and both Tom and I who were there at that time playing (would you believe tapes not vinyl) would report the great reaction to certain songs in our Billboard column. Since Billboard was read by almost all DJs across the country and especially, the record labels, they were very aware how much a mention in our column could bring a record to the eventually attention of the dancing public.
I am very proud to say that both Tom and I never took advantage of our position. Once you give in to temptation, your credulbility is lost.
WE NEVER DID !!!!!!!!
The Ice Palace was the first success at the island in 1970, followed by the Sandpiper which trumped it the following year. This was do to the brilliant music of Don Finlay, who had the island in the palms of his hands. He brought new music to the island(to be discussed later), that no one ever heard of. It was the pure magic as far as I was concerned and was the height of dancing. Don was incredible. Everyone could not wait to go out(and quite stoned).It was A magic moment in time and perhaps the highlight of my dancing life(except for 12 West's DJ Jimmy Stuard(again to be discussed later). The following year I was at the Botel and Tom at the Sandpiper. In the Grove, BobbyDJ Guttadaro brought back the Ice Palace to top notch form due to his genius with music.
We were both the first DJs to play "Loves Theme" on Acetate, months before the general public heard it.
The reaction was enormous and eventually the record would hit #1.
While Francis Grasso (The Sanctuary) and David Mancuso (The Loft) laid down the basic framework of the disco sound in NYC, the Fire Island crowd's reaction to the music spun by Guttadaro, Moulton, and Lederer helped create disco's intensity.
-My words-The rest is history-Disco was born and a new era of music began.
The relationship between the DJ and the crowd had begun and became the hallmark of gay disco.