The 45 Brains: Year One

A year has passed since I started journaling this adventure and now it is time to thoughtfully reflect. I have gained a lot, learned more, and lost an unfathomable amount. And fortunately, I have made some new friends along the say.

Project-wise, The 45 Brains has been a busy place. The goal for this past year was to learn as much as I could about music through the vehicle of the 45 rpm record. To that end, I did my best to attend as many DJ events and parties as I could; The 45 Sessions was instrumental in that vein among a few other parties. I also tried to pick as many brains as possible. I learned a lot from chatting with people like DJ Lucky, Primo, Nick Waterhouse, Skeme Richards, and the man who has become my mentor, Dick Vivian of Rooky Ricardo’s. And to flex my research muscles, I started a collaboration called #45Fridays with friend and fellow collector Reggae Delgado and I began writing 45 spotlights for Hot Peas and Butter, a true honor.

But most importantly, I bought a ton of records to learn from.  Over the last year and a half, I spent about 11% of my annual income on this adventure. That is, one out of every ten dollars I earned was funneled into The 45 Brains. It’s not too bad though because sooner or later it will pay for itself, and become sustainable. Although I’m currently seeing red.

And with such a monetary investment comes a massive time commitment to match. I started The Juggernaut Database as a system to catalog and learn about the records I procure, and it has been grueling. The JD is by far the most demanding aspect of this journey and I am glad I chose an adequate name to describe it. I am no where near a completion point.

But I anticipate that folks will be keen to see that hard work pays off. These are people who took a chance on me. I especially want to thank DJ M3 (owner of Black Pancake Records) for letting me spin at his club’s grand opening in December and then again to kick off the new year. I truly appreciate the support, sponsorship, and teachings of this man. And to pay him back, I recently started a monthly party called The Payback at Monarch, a party that I have big plans for. I also want to thank DJ Lucky for inviting me to spin with him at Slow Jamz, DJ Keybumps for letting me open his event, Soul Stax, and to DJ Primo for inviting me to spin with him this friday at Oldies Night. And of course to DJ T.O.D. who gave me my debut gig at Koko’s and to all my friends (old and new!) who keep coming to see me play records, dancing, and supporting.

This friday with DJs Daniel and Primo (flyer by Primo)

And undoubtedly, I have learned the most from Dick Vivian who has become a very close friend. Him and I have collaborated on a a number of projects (all of which were his ideas) under the name Get Sama Dick (also his idea). We have played records together at different events but our favorite have to be the soul parties at the Verdi Club, organized by Dusty Stax and The Bold Italic. I’ve learned a lot from Dick and I hope to continue on that route.

But as I have said, this past year has been rife with loss. Five key people have stepped out of my life. This past year is for them, and more; I will always think of you. With a wholehearted love, I dedicate myself to the memory of the times we have shared together. And I look forward to a (hopefully) fantastic new year.

Enter: Here begins…

The 45 Brains: Year Two.

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