Sunday Soul – Dying For Disco
October is always a heavy month for me. 30 years ago I was a very different man, on a very different path. Needles, leather, lonesome alleys and rough trade were the way I rolled, and I didn’t give a shit about anything at all. Right around the end of October I am visited by memories, faces, ghosts, and a flood of usually unexpected feelings from the past. Like voices reaching up from inside of me, aching to be heard, and they ask a lot of me. I know the past is what has conspired to make me the man I am today. And I am grateful for my life. This year I decided to keep my heart, and my eyes wide open and attempt to look at this strange anniversary in a different way.
In 1980 or so I was befriended, adopted, undertaken by a small group of girls who introduced me to disco. I was a shut down, mostly silent, sarcastic, confrontational leather clad little Sid Vicious clone. I didn’t have a place to stay, or much to live for apart from more of the same. Disco dancing wasn’t easy for me in my boots, but eventually I would give in. This life saving activity was the first of a series of events which collaborated to save my life. Music beyond punk rock, feelings beyond anger, smiling, laughing, and even working and tying (at the very least trying to look like I wasn’t trying) all began a very different journey for me.
I wanted to piece together a mosaic this week of music which expressed the release, and the filthy intimacy of The Stud in 1981, the Powerhouse in 1982, the White Horse in 1980. I wanted to weave a sexy, dark, deep and personal tapestry of sounds and words which recalled, at least for me, the kind of political conversations we were having between fucking in the bathroom, amyl nitrate huffing, vodka chugging, cocaine snorting, and disco dancing on the dance floor. In the late 70’s and early 80’s we were under the impression that we were invincible, and the man was on the run, and we – the oppressed, the filtered out, the lost and lonesome – were on the rise. Mantras like “If it feels good, do it” and “Try it, you’ll like it” got mixed up with “Fuck you,” and “Power to the people!” And as America prepared for a new and brutal wave of unexpected conservatives, christian morality and a merciless wave of aids, arc, grid, and hiv we ran for cover in the darkest corners we could find and did the only things we knew how to do. I wasn’t there in the 60’s and I wasn’t there in the early 70’s either, so I missed the party, but I was deeply involved in the backlash.
Trying to explain how the pressure was on to say “yes” to everything, and how broken down the boundaries really were in those days seems useless now. People don’t understand. It’s almost impossible to express how Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford – the detestable republicans of the era just before, whom we considered fascist, and intolerant, and horrible – were liberals socially and financially compared to Ronald Reagan, and George Bush. Television was forced by popular demand to talk things out at length, and get involved in local communities. People were “awake” and active in local politics, community groups, and the people got together to pressure any organization who didn’t listen and respond to “the people.” It’s unthinkable today. And in truth, by the time I was slouched in a doorway with my leather pants, no shirt, and an empty look in my eyes that era was already gone. It was a moment in time which even sounds like folklore to me now too.
Somewhere in there I made a decision to live. I don’t understand how I came to this decision – not when it happened, or where I was at the time – something tells me it was a slow awakening rather than a sudden decision, but I pulled the needle out of my arm November 1st 1982 and I never put it back in. I put the cap back on the bottle and never took another sip. I set aside the pills and the powers and I never snorted another line, or swallowed another Quaalude.
This transmission is my effort to look at this transition differently, and to say thank you to the people who rallied around me, and collaborated to save my life.
The show was really fun, well attended, and emotional. I loved it. Thank you for listening.
Here is the track listing for Sunday Soul – Dying For Disco:
1. Sunday Soul – Program ID
2. All-Night-Long – The Groovers
* intro one and two
3. Like an Eagle – The Noddleman Deep Edit – Dennis Parker
* do it for you tonight
4. Come On Baby – 78 Edits
* the fantasy of trade
5. High Energy – Fromage Mother Edit – The Supremes
6. Brown Eyes – Maulongated Version – MAU vs Fleetwood Mac
7. You’ll Never Know – Dean ‘Sunshine’ Smith
8. Can’t Believe – Slow It Down edit – Nancy Martin
9. I’ll Be Around – OHYEAH Remix – The Spinners
10. Whitworth Strut – Monkey Boots
* the wordless struggle between beauty and death
11. Missing – The Starkiller Remix – Bruce Springsteen
12. I Can See The Light – Satin Jackets
13. Mercy – Edit Murphy – Marvin Gaye
14. The Hustle – Satin Jackets
15. Sugar & Spice – Hey Champ Edit – Luther Vandross
16. We’ve Only Just Begun – TM Juke Remix – Lee Mc Donald
17. Burning Up – Daniel Solar
* resistance to love (taking it out on the world)
18. Love In Me – Situation Edit
19. What Have I Got To Do? – South West Seven
20. Nu Funk – Abstrakt Audio
21. White Horse – Laid Back
22. My Fantasy – Bottin Remix – Sally Shapiro
* a tiny light of hope on a filthy little dance floor
23. Atmosphrique – Metro Area
* don’t you wanna live?
24. Holiday – LNTG Muscle Mix – Chic
25. Darkest Star – MAU vs Crosby Stills & Nash
26. Hit It Off – Sunshine Jones Re Edit
27. On Fire – Cole Medina
* Living for disco
28. Shack 54 – Two Lone Swordsmen
29. To the brain – Force of Nature
30. Philly – DJ T.
* baby doll (second try, probably the last try)
31. Robotism – Methusalem
32. Glad to Know You (Todd Terje re-edit) – Chaz Jankel
33. Falling In Love – Red Hearts Edit – Surface
34. Love Like This – Late Nite Tuff Guy Muscle Mix – Diana Ross
35. Spiral – Andy Hart Edit – The Crusaders
* Now that you’ve chosen to live…
36. You Can’t Hide (Your Love From Me) – Sunshine Jones Re Edit – David Joseph
37. Rodando a Carmen – LSB
38. Need Your Lovin – Tiger & Woods Remix – Tensnake
39. It only takes a minute – Moplen [it took more than expected] edit – Tavares
40. Turn Your Love Around – Shit Hot SoundSystem Re-rub – George Benson
41. Urgent – Strutt’s not in any rush mix – Foreigner
42. HOLD TIGHT – Sunshine Jones Re Edit –
* a dedication to love
43. Sunday Soul – Program ID
44. Aqua Marine – Deepspirits Edit – Santana
* sweat pants
45. Sunday Soul – Program ID
Total Running Time: 04 Hours 33 Minutes 20 Seconds* Performed Live