Saturday, August 21, 2010

DJ Bobby Viteritti & The Trocadero Transfer

San Francisco's Trocadero Transfer was THE city's disco venue in the 70s and 80s. It was of the caliber of the large New York disco clubs (Studio 54, Paradise Garage), but, because it was in SF, it had a more bohemian "anything goes" vibe (maybe less coke, more poppers and shrooms?) with a choreographed light show to add to the journey. The venue and its cast of characters shaped gay dance culture in SF and across the country. Icons like Sylvester, Cheryl Lynn & Martha Wash performed at "The Troc" and the stories of what went down on a typical weekend night are legendary. As with any successful nightclub, The Troc had its share of successful dj's, and, I've become enamored with one in particular, Bobby Viteritti. Viteritti was an East Coast transplant who could mix his way through a 5-hr set so seamlessly, you couldn't tell when one song ends and the next one begins. Viteritti has talked in interviews about how he would start a song in the middle, play it til the end, maybe go to a new track then start the old track from the beginning just to mess with the crowd, to throw off their expectation of what was coming next. He was also known for using rotary knobs instead of faders, and, considering the mastery of his mixes and the equipment he was working with completely blows my mind.

I've tried in vain to find mp3's or cds of Viteritti's mixes, and, it looks like his website is under construction with promises of samples in the near future. In the meantime, the following blogs have posted his work: Discoworkout posted this absolutely mind-blowing 1st hour of a 5-hour 1979 Trocadero set; and, one of my favorite blogs, Beat Electric, posted this 1980 set.

If you love dance music or disco, gay culture, or San Francisco history, check out all you can on Viteritti.


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