Stories About Records – Dj Babs

23 March 2021

Welcome to the 7th 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 the interview and it’s great to finally present our first interview with one of our female members and 45 Queens, Dj Babs from Canada.

Firstly, tell us about yourself as a Dj and Collector of 45s, how long have you been playing and collecting?

I’m DJ Babs.  I’ve been collecting records all my life and spinning in clubs since the mid-1990s. 

I’m a selector and therefore all about the song. 

I play both 12″ and 45s…but have really come to enjoy 45s again because they are quite frankly, easier to lug to the club! 

My parents were music-loving European swingers, so 60’s German, French and British songs and classical music featured heavily in my upbringing.  

Into the 70’s their collection ran the gamut from Johnny Cash, Kraftwerk, Peter Tosh, and King Crimson to party records by James Last and Blowfly!

I think that diversity and playfulness shaped my own preferences.  

Here’s a record for Mom from my 45 collection:

What was the first 45 you were given? 

When I was about 5 I had a wee little turntable…And a bunch of 45s that were probably castoffs from my parents. My absolute favourite was Disney’s read-along book “Haunted Mansion”.

Who wouldn’t love a scary story about ghosts, complete with spooky sound effects?

For some reason, at age 9 this song by The Scaffold called “Thank U Very Much” was on heavy rotation.  

We watched a lot of British comedy so I’m guessing that’s how it got into my ears. 

It’s a goofy tune that borders on annoying but the bridge part is pret-ty sweet…Bonus fact: Paul McCartney’s brother was in this project!

What was the first 45 you bought? Do you still have it?

In 1982 I discovered New Wave and synth music and really…never looked back.

My first purchases were ALL of Duran Duran’s extended 12-inch singles, which I still have…but because we’re talking about 45’s I’m including “View To a Kill”.

This 45 has become a bit of a gag because my husband loves sneaking it into my DJ streams even though we know it’s definitely not their best! 

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 tend to fall in love with different songs all the time, it’s a never-ending obsession. So I’ll go with my most recent score.

This song is everything I love about German Post Punk/New Wave.

“Telephon” was released in 1981 by a band called Palais Schaumburg from Hamburg on the Zickzack label.

It’s a joyful, danceable, angular, Dada-ist romp with its nonsensical lyrics and driving baseline.  

I love any song that can make you feel like a cool badass singing “I am a telephone, a romantic little telephone!  I am a vase, a romantic little vase!”  

And yes, the B side is amazing! “Kinder Der Tod” (Children of the Dead) 

DJ Babs spins an all-vinyl New Wave/Post Punk/Britpop/Two Tone/Indie night called “Juicebox” at the Piston Bar in Toronto/online at Mixcloud on the last Saturday of every month. 

Links:

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Check out the set that Dj Babs played for us during our Canada Live Stream Special:

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