Stories About Records – Dan Phelan

9 March 2021

Welcome to the 6th interview in our series, ‘Stories About Records’ where we ask our members and some of our favourite Djs about their most cherished 45. 

This is not about perceived or discogs monetary value but personal value that is tied up in memories, stories, love, loss, life, family and a passion for this particular 7″ vinyl record.

We want to know what the record is, what it sounds like and why it is so important to you. 

If you’re interested in being apart of this series drop us an email or sign up for our Newsletter to be informed when these wonderful stories drop.

Now to Dan Phelan from Australia.

Firstly, tell us about yourself as a Dj and Collector of 45s, how long have you been playing and collecting, why 45s, what was the first 45 you were given and also the first 45 you bought? Do you still have them?

Firstly thanks Rob for inviting me to take part in the Forty Five Kings Collective.

I’m Dan Phelan aka The Scorcher from Newcastle, Australia. I’m 47 and didn’t start DJing until I was about 35 in 2009.

I’ve been a music obsessive my whole life, and have always bought and collected music as long as I can remember.

I started DJing playing original reggae, raw soul, ska, northern soul and rocksteady from 45s and LPs in a bar here in Newcastle. It was a Sunday afternoon session called Soul Shakedown Party, that I started with my good friend Luke Dolan aka Kid Mince.

Soul Shakedown Party is named after the Wailers song.

I think I went with 45s because we were playing vintage music, and it just went with the whole vibe of it. I mean if you’re playing 60s music it just feels so right to be playing a 45!

I’m a 60s style DJ, a selector, I don’t mix or scratch, I just play good music, so for me playing 45s adds to the excitement I get from playing the music I love.

My first 45 was an 8th birthday present in 1981, an Australian novelty song by Joe Dolce called “Shaddap You Face”.

I was completely shocked when DJ Boogiemonster recently told me the song was sampled by KRS-One. As an Australian it seems totally crazy.

The first one I actually remember buying was Genesis “Land Of Confusion” when I was thirteen in 1986. I remember that I thought the film clip was awesome and went out and bought it.

I don’t have either of my first 45s, and have no idea what happened to them.

In my teenage years I bought mainly Australian punk 45s from bands like Hard-Ons, Massappeal, Hellmenn etc. I pretty much continued to buy 45s from then on.

After I started playing in bars I started digging everywhere I could looking for new treasures and stuff I hadn’t heard before. Surf, 60s rock, jazz, anything that I got a thrill out of.

I always bought 45s if they had cool or weird titles or had “Twist” in the song name.

Now most of my digging is done on online.

I’m constantly searching for that song that does it for me.

Since I started DJing my music taste has expanded and changed immensely, my sets are more 70s and new release 45s with a sprinkle of 60s Soul, Latin, disco, jazz, funk, reggae that’s my bag.

What is your most cherished 45? Why is it so important to you? What is it’s story (label, year, artist, musicians), where did it come from? Is the B-Side any good?

I would say my most cherished 45 is The Scorcher by Errol Dunkley.

It’s a Jamaican rocksteady song from 1967, on Joe Gibbs’ Amalgamated record label.

Errol sang it when he was just 12 years old. It’s absolutely wonderful.

I took my DJ name from the song, and my friend Jim Fox said to me “you can’t call yourself The Scorcher and not have the 45!”

I agreed and ended up tracking down an original Jamaican blank. I think I purchased it from Thomas, a big Reggae collector, from Norway.

The record itself looks like it has lived a good life and has a lot of character, with a massive chunk or burn out of the centre hole, you’d probably grade it a G, but it plays beautifully and I love it!

I know it sounds crazy, but I don’t think I’ve ever played the B side until just now.

It’s not as exciting as The Scorcher.

I have a terrible habit of not flipping records over!

Check out Dan’s mix he did for The Forty Five Kings with Chuan

Find Dan Phelan at the following places!



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