John Grant, one of the UK’s leading black music DJs of the late-‘70s / early-’80s died last month – he was 71. Apart from his family and close friends, his passing went largely unnoticed – his legacy somewhat forgotten. This is because he retired from DJing in 1981, right at what was seemingly the peak of his powers, completely disappearing from sight as he moved to the South coast, as the legend at the time was told, to become a lighthouse keeper, or, in another version, a harbour master (the truth seems to be that he moved to Peacehaven to work for a Hovercraft company).
Tag Archives | Golden Guinea
Bostonian John Luongo is someone who seemed to have slipped through the cracks of dance history – his legacy largely obscured, whilst that of his contemporaries, Tom Moulton and Walter Gibbons, has served to inspire a new generation of Disco enthusiasts.
Just come across a few paragraphs I wrote as part of my Time Capsule series, where month by month I compiled a selection of the tracks I was playing back in the ‘70s when I started out as a DJ, writing accompanying text about the music featured and my own progression within the local club scene on Merseyside, and more specifically my hometown of New Brighton. I managed to cover the period January 1976 (December 1975 if the prequel, ‘First Impressions’, is included) to September 1977 (each edition originally put together exactly 30 years on, between Jan ‘06 – Sept ‘07) but the process became too time-consuming to maintain, at a point when my DJ trajectory had really built momentum.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of my first club appearance. Last night I played for 5 hours at The Garage and tonight I’m at The Jacaranda to conclude a celebratory weekend in my home city of Liverpool with a talk about what it was like to be a DJ back in those proto-Disco days.
When my agent, Matt Johnson, booked me in for ‘A Night With…’, I hadn’t realised that it did exactly what it said on the tin, namely present just the one DJ for the full 8 hours the venue was open. I generally play for either 2 or 3 hours, with the odd 4 hour slot along the way – the only times I can recall playing longer (since I started out again), was a night at The Key in London back in 2005, and then the Credit To The Edit launch parties, both Sunday All-Dayers held at a couple of East End boozers (The Dolphin in 2005 and The Horse & Groom in 2009), so, as you can imagine, it came as a bit of a shock when the penny dropped and I realised that I’d unwittingly signed up for a marathon, but I quickly warmed to the idea and began to ponder the possibilities it presented.
Recently found this piece I did in June 2007 for the now defunct magazine One Week To Live, where I listed a track per year from the summers of ’74 through to ’80. It’d be good to hear your own memories of summers gone by if you’d like to post a comment.