"You just heard the drums. It seemed like he kept them going forever."
February 7, 2008 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Mixed With Love: The Musical World Of Walter Gibbons: "This tale begins with a skinny white DJ mixing between the breaks of obscure Motown records with the ambidextrous intensity of an octopus on speed. It closes with the same man, sick with Aids and all but blind, fumbling for gospel records as he spins up eternal hope in a fading dusk. In between, Walter Gibbons transformed the art of DJing and marked out the future co-ordinates of remixology."

Like fellow disco oddball Arthur Russell (mentioned previously on MeFi), Walter Gibbons stood out on his own, his inventive genius – he was the first DJ to bring reel-to-reel mixing into the booth – and his dogged determination often going unsung. I thought about posting this in flapjax at midnite's (excellent) disco thread the other day, but Gibbons has gone long enough playing support to other artists, and Tim Lawrence's essay – orginallly written for the liner notes of this compilation – is a beautiful tribute.

Walter Gibbons discography

Walter Gibbons on Youtube:
Luv You Madly Orchestra: Moon Maiden (1978)
Strafe: Set It Off (1984)
posted by Len (6 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
This is good; I can't believe I've never heard of him before.
posted by chunking express at 11:04 AM on February 7, 2008

I don't know why; I use semi-colons sometimes.
posted by chunking express at 11:04 AM on February 7, 2008

I thought I recognized that text. It's cribbed from the book, Love Saves The Day, which I highly recommend.

Jesus, would anyone have ever thought it possible that a Disco Geek could ever exist? If it is, then Tim Lawrence definitely meets the criteria. Great book. Great website. Great post.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:24 AM on February 7, 2008

I just ordered the CD that these liner notes were attached to, so thanks for making me spend $22!

Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco and Last Night A DJ Saved My Life are both pretty close to essential, fwiw, if you're like me - sick of both the long-running, rockist, anti-disco attitude and the majority of commercial disco that ends up on crappy complations.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 11:56 AM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

I just ordered the CD that these liner notes were attached to, so thanks for making me spend $22!

Well you've just sent me rushing off to Amazon to buy Turn the Beat Around, and while I was there, I was also coerced into buying A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul. Although I got a deal on the prices, my total order came to £18, which is $36 so thanks for *that*.

FWIW, beaucoupkevin, it was my old friend Pete Wylie who coined the term 'rockist'. We both shared a favourite tune at the time -- the woefully underrated Southern Freeze by Freeeze, and I can remember how cool I felt, wandering around Liverpool City Centre singing it in duet with my pop star mate.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:46 PM on February 7, 2008

Also: Walter's remix of Loletta Holloway's Hit and Run on YouTube.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:00 PM on February 7, 2008

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