Over the next few months I will be interviewing a range of DJs who have either influenced my career, or had a significant influence on the dance music scene both here in Australia and overseas. First interview this month is with my all time favourite DJ Paul Goodyear.
My first 3 x12″ I bought we’re “You Make Me (Feel Mighty) by Sylvester, “In The Bush” by Musique and “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor. I’m trying to pinpoint exactly why I wanted to be a DJ and I guess it was the love of the long disco 12″ mixes I was hearing. I was drawn to disco mixes with long percussion breaks and also disco that was very electronic. I loved the Giorgio Moroder / Euro disco sounds that were coming out at that time (also my older brother was an influence as he was going to disco’s at the time and telling me what they would be playing) It was roughly 3 years later that I started venturing out to the clubs myself.
How long did you buy music before you got your first gig, and what year and venue was your first gig ?
I started purchasing music around 1978 (buying some K-Tel compilations and 7″ singles before I discovered my favourite format the 12″ single) My first DJ gig was playing for friends parties in 1982 (I had my own mobile set up at this point and had just left school and was buying import records with my hard earned cash) I did a one off gig around 1984 at The Unicorn Hotel in Oxford Street Darlinghurst. But my first proper paid gig was at The Flinders Hotel (also in Sydney) April 1985.
Where did you buy your music from ?
I was buying music mainly from a store called Disco City. I also worked there for a short time and also worked at Central Station Records here and there around 1988. There were about 5 other import record stores around this time. I made some great friends that worked in record shops that I hold dear to this day.
What records, artists, remixers or producers have influenced you the most in your career and why ?
As far as records go the ones that have influenced me mostly would be “Dancer” by Gino Soccio, “Megatron Man by Patrick Cowley & “The Hills of Katmandu” by Tantra. These are heavily electronic based classics and still sound amazing to this day.
Artists like ABC, ABBA, Donna Summer , The Pet Shop Boys , Erasure, Chicane, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Sylvester and Chic to name a few! I have always loved pop music as well as straight up dance and I love a great melody and music that moves me spiritually. These artists do that!
Favourite Remixers include Cicada, Frankie Knuckles, Shep Pettibone, John Luongo, Tom Moulton, Peter Rauhofer and Eric Kupper. Some of the old guard mixed in with some of today’s hot remixes. All these guys have helped the sounds keep moving forward!
Producers that have rocked my world are the likes of Quincy Jones, Trevor Horn , Giorgio Moroder, Dan Hartman, Patrick Cowley and Joey Negro.
You’re renowned for your incredible mixing and programming skills. Which DJs have been the main influence on your career and why ?
There have been many DJ’s that have influenced me but there are three that really stand out – Stephen Cribb (the best dj I have ever heard to this day) was flawless with his musical selections, programing and mixing skills. He took you on the amazing musical journeys but unfortunately was one of Australia’s first HIV/AIDS casualties), secondly Stephen Whiteman from Patchs ’83 and ’84 where he would rework popular tracks on the fly with 2 copies. Sometimes extending them to 20 mins long to a mesmerised crowd. Thirdly Jerry Bonham from the USA for his amazing disco sets at San Francisco’s yearly event called ‘Remember The Party” (there are many other favorites of mine like Peter Rauhofer, Stephen Allkins, Paul “Flex” Taylor, and Neil Lewis)
What have been some of your favourite venues over the years ?
Well first of all the Midnight Shift is probably my favorite as this is where I discovered “The dance” I was lucky enough to have worked there on and off for more than 20 years. ARQ Sydney was another great club where I held a residency for over 7 years. Playing at San Francisco’s The End Up has been a highlight too. I have also had some great experiences just being a dancer at the likes of The Roxy, Palladium and Twilo in New York city.
What have been some of your favourite dance parties over the years ?
My first party I ever went to was the first day of Summer party in 1984 where music was played by Paul Holden holds great memories along with many Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sleaze ball parties. DJ’ing at Mardi Gras 30th Anniversary is definatley a highlight along with playing the Pines Party on Fire Island and Sydney’s 2002 Gay Games.
What records have defined some of the high points of your career ? By this I mean, records that you personally took ownership of and made your own.
Records like “Drop Some Drums” by Love Tattoo, “Drums 4 Better Days by Lovesky, “Sex Drive” by Glam and Pete Burns, “No One’s Gonna Change you” by Reina, “Life Love and Happiness by Brian Kennedy. Some favourite tracks that I have remixed for DMC records have been “Unbreak My Heart (Toni Braxton) , “I’m Every Woman”(Whitney Houston), “Boogie Tonight” (Tweet). I feel that I have certainly put my Goodyear stamp on them!
What do you consider to be some of the most important / influential dance records of all time and why ?
I would say (and yes they are obvious) “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer for it’s hypnotic driving sequencer bass line. This record was created by Giorgio Moroder who was working on an LP called “I Remember Yesterday” where he was trying to capture all different musical genres from the thirties right through to creating a track of the future which was “I Feel Love”. This record has been sampled and covered a zillion times over the last 35 years to become the song that is really the backbone of Trance right through to Progressive and Electronica! Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” really influenced a lot of Hip Hop including one of Hip Hop’s biggest moments “Planet Rock” by Africa Bambatta and the Soul Sonic Force. Anything produced by Trevor Horn (Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Grace Jones, Propaganda, ABC) came under his banner of productions and remain timeless! The Chemical Brothers are always pushing the boundaries and starting new trends as well as Depeche Mode who continue to inspire us.
What do you consider to be the big changes in the way a DJ has to build their career to when you first started ?
These days unfortunately it is all about marketing yourself. It’s not so much about the music and the dance anymore. It seems like even porn stars are becoming DJ’s and the art of dj’ing certainly isn’t what it used to be. Technology has changed things so that almost anyone can become a DJ. Computers can even sync up the music and mix if for you! That being said there is still some great talent out there but you have to wade through a lot of ego and bullshit to find it!
If you had to compare dance music from when you started to today, what are your observations and feelings ?
I think the first thing to point out is that there are not many “great songs” in dance music anymore. You can still find them but we don’t seem to have those great records that will last forever. The likes of “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, “Relight My Fire” , “I Will Survive” and “This Time Baby” will remain classics forever ! Most dance records that come out these days have a life span of 6 months and then they are gone!
One genre that will always last is gold old House music. You can still find great vocalists in these genres (Barbara Tucker, Sandy B and Peyton) putting out great material. At the end of the day people love to go out and dance. It’s always been in our soul to let go and release the tensions through the expression of “The Dance”
It’s in every culture since the dawn of time. So we will always have dance music…. no matter whether you call it house, disco, progressive or electro. We will keep on dancin’.
Producer DJ Paul Goodyear