Jerry has been the official Remember The Party DJ since 2005 when he debuted with Remember The Party "Soul Recharge". We had known Jerry on a professional and friendship basis for many years and he was the perfect fit for Remember The Party.
Many people think of Jerry has a top contemporary Progressive House DJ, which of course he is. Jerry has a long pedigree though, that goes way back to 1976 and his love for disco shines through not only in his fantastic sets of authentic Trocadero Disco but also in his contemporary music which always has a melodic soulful quality to it. Here's what Jerry tells us about his love for the music that has shaped his life:
My love of Disco music started in of all places, Grand Forks, North Dakota. It was a time when even the radio station in Grand Forks would play everything, before radio was segregated by what style of music they played. My friend Don and I would go to the mall and buy all the LP's with the cool covers, cool to us were the covers of LPs like "Migration" by The Creative Source, Yvonne Fair, (the one with the pills round the edge, before they censored it and took the pills off!) Donna Summer "Love to Love You Baby" LP, MFSB, The Ritchie Family "Brazil", Parliament (tear the roof off the sucka!) and of course those sexy Ohio Players LP Gatefold Jackets.
I moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1976 and was inspired to DJ by local Minneapolis DJ Jim Wessels at Suttons. Jim was a masterful DJ. He kept up with the new music by going to New York and bringing back musical gems he had discovered.
Later that same year a new bar opened down the street from Suttons, THE Y'ALL COME BACK SALOON at Ninth and Hennepin, where it still stands today. I applied to be one of the DJ's and lo and behold, having absolutely no experience, I was hired! I held my residency there for 12 years, with a year in New York at the Ice Palace in the city and on Fire Island in 1979.
I would take trips to Chicago and go to places like The Bistro, and watch the Bearded Lady freak out to "Spring Affair "and "Summer Fever", and dance all night to songs like: "My Sweet Summer Suite", "Quiet Village", "Native New Yorker", "Trouble Maker", "Down To Love Town" and "Soul Cha-Cha" by Van Mc Coy, and Alfies, where Michael Graber was the DJ. He was the first DJ I heard blend records together in a cohesive fashion, and he was amazing. Michael Graber (check your 12" of "Have a Cigar", he did the remix) was my inspiration to learn how to mix. I started to experiment with the music and began blending songs together, and playing sound effects over songs, much to the surprise and joy of the dance floor. For me, it was like discovering the music all over again.
Before I left for New York in 1979, my fellow DJ"s and Billboard magazine voted me Best Regional DJ for Minneapolis and St. Paul 1979.
In New York I played at Harry's Back East, Ice Palace 57, and Ice Palace on Fire Island. Roy Thode was the main DJ that summer '79 at the Ice Palace on Fire Island, Warren Gluck was spinning at the Monster, and Howard Merrit was at the Sand Piper in the Pines. I remember one of the nights Jim Burgess played on the Island at The Palace, and played "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" at the wrong speed, on purpose of course, and did an exquisite mix into "Love For the Sake Of Love".
I moved to San Francisco in 1989 and began spinning at Dreamland. My first night to play was Halloween, it was fantastic, the room was huge and it was packed. It reminded me of The Ice Palace on Fire Island. I also landed a gig at another club in San Francisco a few months later, Colossus, which was originally in the space formerly known as The Trocadero, it later moved to 1015 Folsom. I played the 2-6 a.m. set.
I was asked to be a resident at The Pleasuredome after playing at Colossus for about 2 years. Bill Camillo was the manager and creator of Pleasuredome, and it was here that I made my home for many years, playing from 6 in the afternoon till 12 in the morning, when DJ Alec Cunningham would take over the shift, and wow the crowd with his blend of funky house music. The light jocks at the Pleasuredome were none other than Chris and Bob Bear, of BearEssense fame and now producers of the REMEMBER THE PARTY events celebrating the TROCADERO TRANSFER.
I had stayed in touch with the promoters of RTP and had sent them some mixes of classic disco that I prepared for myself for a trip to Brazil, something to pass the time on the plane. They were of the opinion the the sound was very Trocadero. I wasn't "wrecked for life" at the time, that came later, after my first RTP event that I played, SOUL RECHARGE, so I wasn't sure what they meant, I was just glad they liked the mixes!
Since playing the 3rd installment of the RTP Events, I became the resident DJ for these Events, something I treasure. I have played to crowds of 10,000 + on the beaches of Colombia and around the world, but the feeling and energy of playing at the Trocadero surpasses those events. It's very magical. The crowd is fantastic, they come to hear the classics peppered with the rare and obscure songs that were part of the Trocadero experience, and morning music, something that is mostly lost from today's club experience.
The "Trocadero Experience" is more than the music, it's the lights and the theatrical presentation of these events that really harken back to the way the Trocadero was back in the day. It only comes about because of the love that everyone involved in these productions has for bringing the Trocadero back if only for 1 night a year. To hear the crowd roar with approval when the music and the lights come together and create that magic, well you have to experience it for yourself, and then you'll get an understanding of what being "wrecked for life" means.
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