TDLT02TDLT02 149 Posts
edited September 2010 in Strut Central
James Hamilton was a U.K. vinyl junkie, dj and record reviewer for music magazines who is suppose to have had 250.000 records in his one bedroom apartment!!!

Does anyone know of other such dedicated collectors?
Who else would take out their kitchen so they could fit more vinyl in their house....LOL!

Here his friend Lee Evans reflects on the man himself...

James was my best and dearest friend for many years and was best man at my first wedding. We also produced the Capital Radio New Years Eve mix tapes together and were constant companions as judges on the DMC world mixing championships, We regularly went out socially to restaurants and clubs.

His home was a record library, every room was absolutely covered floor to ceiling with records in racks, shelving and crates. To make extra space for the records, he ripped out his kitchen appliances and cooked on a small stove in between racks of vinyl. His bedroom and half his bed were also covered in records. There was a record deck and a typewriter at the side of his bed where he used to write his reviews. He also had a large 13 x 2 inch letterbox cut in the front door so records would fit through it.

He was a keen photographer and had thousands of photos he took at music events. I don't know what happened to them, but they alone could be made into a historiacal account of soul music and venues.

James was a very honest, loyal and dedicated man who loved life, music, eating, the countryside and his wife Sally, who he married both knowing he was dying of cancer. Sadly she also passed away shortly after him, I suspect of a broken heart.

He was forthright and often brutally honest in his opinions and he could be infuriating at times, but nobody could wish for a better friend, Never one to give false praise, he was always the first person I went to for an option on my music, or anything else for that matter, knowing I would get an honest answer.

He was a big man in every way, stature and personality. I still miss being able to pick up the phone and chat to him about music, food or any other topic. He lived life to the full.

James was always late for everything. Even at his funeral, at his request he arrived late. The only thing he was ever on time for was his Record Mirror deadlines! If you wanted him to be somewhere at 9pm, tell him to be there at 5! I recall one occasion when he was due to be at my studio to work on a Capital mix at 3pm on a Friday??? he eventually arrived at 9pm Sunday and proclaimed, ???Sorry I???m Late! It???s too late to start working now and I???m hungry, let???s go and have dinner!???

My most surreal memory of James was sitting with him and Flava Flav of Public Enemy after a DMC convention listening to them discuss doo-wap music! Two more different looking people you could not imagine, yet totally on the same musical wavelength with mutal and total respect for each other. At the end of the conversation, James peered at the huge clock the rapper used to wear on a chain round his neck and commented, "So that's how you know what time it is!"

I loved him dearly and miss him to this day. If there is a "funk heaven", my wish is to end up on the same cloud so we can once again sit and chat about music.. and eat good food!

R.I.P. My dear friend. Profesionally and personally, nobody ever has or ever could replace you.

Les Adams.


  • DocMcCoyDocMcCoy "Go and laugh in your own country!" 5,917 Posts
    Where was this taken from?

    I used to read James Hamilton's Record Mirror columns religiously. He used to review the new soul/funk/jazz/dance releases for RM every week, domestic and imports, from the very early 80s, right through until the early 90s, when he became too ill with cancer to write and the sheer volume of releases meant he couldn't be as thorough and comprehensive as he used to be. He had a near flawless ear for predicting what would hit big, and a really idiosyncratic writing style too. His reviews would break down the BPMs across a track from minute to minute in incredible detail (if something started at 112 bpm, sped up to 115 midway through, then slowed to 113.8 toward the end, for example, it'd be in the review), telling you whether the record faded out, ended cold or ended resonant, all the time using these extravagant onomatopoeic descriptions to tell you what the record actually sounded like - 'surging', 'jolting', 'bubbling'. I always found they were oddly accurate as well, and his columns were an invaluable resource for people like me, who were trying to develop their DJing skills and stay on top of what was hot. As well as all this, he was a noted DJ in his own right, spinning at The Scene and (I think) The Eve Club, and he supposedly dated Dee Dee Sharp before she married Kenny Gamble.

  • Came from www.DJHistory.Com

    Look in the music section of forum, maybe leave a comment if your a fan, as they are talking about doing a tribute article to the man at the moment.

    Love the bit about widening the letter box so albums would go through when the postman arrived, now why didn't I think of that....hahaha

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