Way back near the dawn of time, the cheapest way to have music in a bar was to put a jukebox in the corner. Somebody else provided the equipment and the customers payed by the song. Problem was all the silence between songs prevented any momentum from building up. But all that changed with the introduction of the club deejay. And today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl is dedicated to one of the pioneers in the field, a guy outta Brooklyn by the name of Francis Grasso. He’s credited with inventing what’s called the slip cue. He’s also thought to be the first deejay to beat-match records, seamlessly mixing from one song to another. Now, that was easy during the disco era, when deejays categorized their records by beats per minute. But before the simple beat of disco, Grasso was working with increasingly complicated rock albums whose tracks weren’t so easy to blend. He was famous for playing two songs simultaneously for long stretches. From what I’ve read, it was around 1969 that Grasso came up with his most famous mix where he took the percussion break from Chicago’s “I’m a Man” and laid it over the psychedelic mid section of Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love.’
And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do, but with a little something extra because I found a way to break the two songs into five parts with the big overlap in the middle. Now since that’s only a total of thirteen minutes, I took a pair of previously assembled sets that, coincidentally, involve Zeppelin along with Grand Funk, and an excerpt from “Aqualung” to complete the set. But even then, we came up a few minutes short. Now, I suppose you could make the argument that I should just leave well enough alone, but I’d argue otherwise. And by argument I mean a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition, not just the automatic gainsaying of any statement another person makes, that’s just simple contradiction. Well, here I’ll let these guys explain.
|The Argument Clinic
|Living Loving Maid
|Grand Funk Railroad
|Good Times, Bad Times (part 1)
|Whole Lotta Love (part 1)
|Chicago Transit Authority
|I’m a Man (part 1)
|Whole Lotta Love (part 2)
|Chicago Transit Authority
|I’m a Man (part 2)[actually both Zeppelin and CTA]
|Whole Lotta Love (part 3)
|Good Times, Bad Times (part 2)
That’s part two of “Good Times, Bad Times” one of three Zeppelin tracks in that set, all of which came from 1969, but from two different albums. Their debut was released in January of that year, featuring the song we just heard. Nine months after that was released, they dropped their second album which gave us “Living Loving Maid” which we heard near the top and “Whole Lotta Love” which we broke into three parts and mixed with Chicago Transit Authority’s “I’m a Man” broken in two. And we did all that in honor of the late, great New York club deejay, Francis Grasso, the guy who invented slip cueing and beat matching, the indispensable tools of the modern club deejay. The last thirteen minutes of that set is my variation of how Mr. Grasso used to mixed “I’m a Man” and “Whole Lotta Love” back in 1969 when he was deejay at night clubs like Haven and Sanctuary. There’s an entry on the All Music Guide website that gives Mr. Grasso his due, check that out for more details. Before all that we did a mix coming out of Grand Funk Railroad’s “Aimless Lady” and into Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” using the identical drum beats.
We broke the Zeppelin in two, put the good times at the top, the bad times at the bottom. And why not? Earlier in the set, a segue I used to do back on the FM, going from the abrupt ending of “Living Loving Maid” into the middle part of “Aqualung.” And at the very top of the set, just for the funny of it, we heard Monty Python’s “Argument Clinic,” featuring the connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition such as: if you’re looking for the set lists or the show commentaries, you can drop by my website, billfitzhugh.com. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. I’ll be back with a fresh batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl next time and I hope you can join us right here in the Deep Tracks.