Welcome to the 20th interview in our series, ‘Stories About Records’ where we ask our members and some of our favourite Djs about their most cherished 45.
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 Gu from Germany!
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?
My name is Gu and my first given 45 was “Bruttosozialprodukt” by Geier Sturzflug, a German group that charted in 1982 as part of the Neue Deutsche Welle, which was basically pop music with a bit of a punk attitude. I still have that record. I was seven or eight then.
My first 45 that I bought myself could have been “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins two years later!!
I needed my favorite tracks on record to hear it at class parties and such.
By 1986 I started buying all the music I liked on records (as far as the budget allowed), which was also the time I started Djing.
I usually went for 12”s and LPs, but bought a few 7”s back then.
I played at school events, private parties and the local youth center almost all of my teenage years.
In about 1996 I restarted my Dj career in clubs in the big city and played mainly Hip Hop 12”s and Funk, Soul and Jazz off a lot of compilations and the occasional album track.
In 1999 I joined the team of the “Urban Jazz Groove” (which is still running today) and got more into Funk, Soul, Jazz and Latin, also looking for 7”s here and there.
2001 started my new look upon the 7” format after meeting a certain Keb Darge, who carried nothing but those 45s with him.
Working in a record shop helped this new love combined with the old and so I basically refocused on all formats at about that time.
For Djing at the local Urban Jazz Groove and the re-occuring guest spots at “Keb Darge’s Legendary Deep Funk” in London (UK), I started carrying more and more 45s and less and less 12s.
Most of the records I buy these days are 45s, unless I am filling blank spots in my Hip Hop collection.
I put 45s out myself via Our label Records and the Origu label.
Here are just some of the 45s I have released!
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?
Well, well. As with most people asked that question, there isn’t that one!
BUT I do have a nice story about a 45 that has a dear spot in my heart.
In the early 2000s, while working in a record store, I came across a Funk and Soul CD series, that seemed a little sloppy upon the first look.
Some volumes had some of the same tracks and such.
It had some known tracks along with a few that I hadn’t heard before.
As I played it in the store, I came across one tune that caught my attention right away.
And I remembered it… As I thought.
We sold those CDs, and the internet wasn’t in any way what it is today, so I was trying to get a 45 of that very track.
I remembered the name (as the lyrics stuck in my head) and the sound.
It had to be a New Orleans Meters-type track, so I went and looked and finally found a 45 of that title. “All I Want Is You”, the b-side to “There’s A Break In The Road” by Betty Harris.
The compilation had it right but I didn’t have that compilation anymore.
Some youtube clips still have it wrong today, as they had back then and so it left me wondering for a while.
I kept searching with the pieces I had: Female vocalist, New Orleans Funk, All I Want Is You.
I looked any way I could.
People I knew in the business (and with far more knowledge about music than I will ever have) weren’t able to help and I actually do not remember, if I just came across that compilation again or if by any other chance made me find the right name: Zilla Mayes.
I was so happy. Until I realized that track was hard to come by and only released on a 45 (There are some compilations from the 60s and late 70s/80s, but I was in no way skilled enough to find out about that).
Still, Discogs wasn’t at today’s level at all, ebay didn’t have copies.
Records By Mail didn’t… oh wait, they did. For a day. Because I bought it. And finally owned it. And I play it a lot. To me, it is one of the best pieces of music ever recorded. And worth a wait 🙂
Zilla Mayes brings an urgency and depth to her music, it makes me want to holler for real.
The A-Side is nice, too, but it’s no “All I Want Is You”.
Zilla Mayes “All I Want Is You” is the B-Side to “I Love You Still” as released in 1968 on Tou-Sea Records.
There is two versions, the green label official release and the black and white promo (which is what I own), written by Allen Toussaint.
The wrong Betty Harris Version…
The correct Betty Harris version:
Find all my musical adventures at www.homediggin.com