PETE "DJ" JONES

                INTERVIEW pt . 1

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JayQuan : Peace ...I don't know where to start....when did you start actually spinning 2 copies of the same record...and what kind of records were you working with ?

 

Pete Jones : Well it was around 69 or 70....stuff by James Brown , Peoples Choice , BB King , Johnny Taylor , Fatback Band...I have actually done production work for Fatback . ...People from their record label would see me spinning in the clubs and bring me records to rate......then I started producing for them .

 

JQ : What made you spin 2 copies of a record back in 69 ?

 

PJ : Well you know the best part of the record is the breakdown....what guys started calling the break or breakbeat. That was the part that got people dancing....so I would play that part continous . I had a mixer that had a cue ...so that you could hear the record on one turntable while the other one played . I would have 2 copies....usually a 45 (rpm) and a 3 minute song could get extended to 10 minutes. There weren't that many songs out , so if I had to Dj a party that lasted 3 hours ; I had to extend those breakdowns.

 

JQ : What kind of equipment were you working with ?

 

PJ : Sony Microphone mixers - Later a GLI 7000 Mixer  - it was about the size of a TV .  They didn't even have cross faders.

 

JQ: Who else was doing this sort of thing at this time ?

 

PJ : Grandmaster Flowers from Brooklyn , Maboya , Plumber....then Flash Herc and Bam came after them . Grandmaster Flowers was the best mixing Dj that I ever saw.....Flash was the fastest.

 

JQ : Who was the first person that you heard rap ?

 

PJ : Dj Hollywood .

 

JQ : Did you ever have any Emcees rhyme for you ?

 

PJ : Luvbug Starski....he was like a son....I took him off the streets and he worked in my club. Also JJ The Disco King and Kc The Prince Of Soul .

 

JQ : Didn't you retire at one time ?

 

PJ : Yes around 1980 ... I had a few clubs....I needed to run them .

 

JQ : Do you feel that your name has been unfairly left out of Hip Hop history ? (Flash does mention that you were the first person he saw spin 2 copies of a record.....and the first with a cue on your mixer)

 

PJ : Well I was a club Dj downtown....you had to be an adult to get into the places I played . Therefore some guys talk about Flash , Herc and Bambaataa because they were park Djs.....anyone could go to the park, there was no age limit ,but they were too young to see me .

 

JQ: Did you ever play clubs where any so called stars performed ?

 

PJ : Yes....it was different ....the bands use to open for us !! GQ and Fatback would open for me , and I was the headliner !

 

JQ : When did you return to Djing ?

 

PJ : 1987 ....its hard to stay away...I still Dj , and I have a house full of records and records in storage .

 

JQ : Do you listen to Hip Hop and if so who ?

 

PJ : I like it all ...Ja Rule , Jay -Z....I don't know what they're saying , but the music is good....they're just using old music.

 

JQ : If I may ask , how old are you ?

 

PJ : Im 62 years old .

 

JQ : Incredible.....Aren't you down with Kurtis Blow & some other Old Schoolers ?

 

PJ : Yes we have a Hip Hop Alliance...Me , Kurtis Blow , Russell Simmons , Herc and Grandwizard Theodore.....we just look for ways to make Hip Hop positive .

 

 

As told to JayQuan October 2001

* Special thanks to Troy Smith *

 

 

2001 JayQuan Dot Com / Magnetic Soundworx

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