Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Part 3b - Editing, Remixing, Eddie, Jeff and the Reel-to-Reel - 1985

in NY in 1978, 92 KTU was the radio station that I listened to. At 11 years old, I listened to Paco every day and at lunch time he played "Paco's Supermix." These were very special medley's of songs mixed in a way that there would be beats from one song underneath another song, then another song would come in and blend over that....sort of a weaving of music. 92 KTU also played special Re-Mixes of familiar songs. I also listened to 98.7 Kiss and 107.5 WBLS. These 2 stations were a bit more urban, (KTU played more Poppy Disco) Both of these stations also played their own special remixed songs. This is the style of Djing I was used to and this is how I wanted to DJ.

I didn't have the equipment needed to DJ like this, it required a "Reel-to-Reel" tape deck which allows editing of 1/4" tape to physically remix a song. It takes talent, alot of creativity and someone with a reel-to-reel. As I said earlier, I became friends with the original DJ from Wheels, Eddie Feraca. He was a good DJ because at Wheels he would play HIS remixes of songs and short medleys like the big radio stations here in NY, and since we were friends and he had a reel-to-reel that meant I had a reel-to-reel!

Eddie came over to see me one day and brought his Pioneer 909 reel so he could show me how to "edit" tape. We hooked it up and he gave me an editing block, razorblade and a china marker (grease pencil). He explained how to mark the edit point on the back of the tape then to pull it down to the edit block, cut it and tape it to the next's a very labor intensive process and it takes forever BUT it's the only way to do it (what's a computer??) and it will get me to where I want to be! He left me the reel that night, well he left it there for a year, and I went crazy editing and I got pretty good at it.

It's 1985 and I was ready for my first real mix to be played in the club. I did a medley of "Alisha" songs..."All Night Passion" "Baby Talk" and "Too Turned On" This mix was hot and ready to be played. On a saturday night at Streets, before I got the friday night job there and only DJ'd the early part of the night, Eddie announced on the mic "This next mix is Engineered by Eddie Feraca, and Mixed by Vinnie Campisi" OK that whole line was a bit sketchy, but it was his idea to do an Alisha mix, and he did teach me how to edit and it was his reel-to-reel, so alright, he engineered it. BUT more importantly, this was the first time ANYONE has ever heard my name at a club and it was a big deal for me.

Eddie had a friend Jeff Gebica. Jeff was a NYC DJ and DJ'd at the Funhouse. He would use 3 turnatbles and he had all the toys in the booth to do some crazy stuff. This is when Dj's had real talent and had to proove themselves to the crowd and the club owner every night in order to keep his job. So I meet Jeff (I still talk to him almost every day) he heard from Eddie that even though I was really young in the DJ world, I really did know what I was doing. As it turns out, Jeff used to do some of Paco's Supermixes on KTU which was very cool to me AND he did my favorite remix on the station - "Keep On" by D-Train.

Now I have Jeff showing me a few tricks as well as Eddie. Yes I was lucky to have these 2 guys, but by this time I was DJing for about 5 years and already worked at 2 clubs, and friday nights at Streets, and that was all done by myself......... Jeff remained with a few friends in the NYC Clubworld. He had one at WBLS radio in NY. He brought my Alisha mix to the station, and it wound up being put into rotation a few times. Yep I was on WBLS in 1986 at the age of 18. This is also when "Another VINMIX" started, it was printed on the Alisha Mix Reel and I still have the Reel.

Eddie and Jeff taught me a big part of my DJ technique, music selection, and how I run a dancefloor. Still to this day I watch the bar as well as the dancefloor because Eddie taught me that "At a club it's about money. The bar makes the money not the dancefloor. You have to have a way of switching the dancers with the drinkers and back again to keep the bar AND the dancefloor packed at all times"

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