mentors..

residentgiantresidentgiant 619 Posts
edited April 2005 in Strut Central
I'm just curious, I've seen people on here talking about having digging and DJing mentors.. Now granted, I'm definitely of "little dude" status, but I've never really had anybody to show me the ropes. I've had to figure shit out on my own. Which has its merits, but there are times I wish I had somebody around who knew what was up. I mean I've got like 1 other friend who's into this shit and we try to keep each other informed..Guess that's why I lurk here.So anyway, how many of you had mentors or have mentored someone? Even if it wasn't like a formal mentor-student relationship. I'm betting most weren't.
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  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    It's weird, I learned a lot from older dudes whom I considered "real headz", but I never thought of this as "mentoring". Mostly, when I was a youngster, it was trying to find cooler stuff that yer friends so you could bragg, ya know?

    I guess I've "skooled" a couple people in my time too. This is scary cause I don't consider myself an expert at anything. There is always a ton you don't know, & I've learned just as much as I've "dropped mad knowledge" when it comes to people less experienced in "tha_game???" than I...


  • good topic.

    My first mentor in the record game was t.sherman. We were high school friends. When i moved back to LA in 1996 I had no real money and was living back at home with my Mother. I did not know shit about rare records or business for that matter. I always had records but they were like common records. Great music but no heavy value or anything.

    I developed this business because of Tony. I had no idea until he showed me his records.

    One day I was over at his parents house and we were talking and he was telling me all about these records. I knew he had been into this for years. He actually was buying Harlem River Drive and RAMP and all of this back in the late 80's and early 90's.

    He was living in San Francisco and was a part of that whole Nikki's BBQ and the Groove Merchant scene. He was always talking about this shit like Quintessence Sonoma Rag and Roy Porter. I remember him telling me about how he used to buy Roy Porter at Record Surplus for $1.85. I did not know what the hell he was talking about. I did not know what he meant. I really did not see the big deal in it.

    Then he took me into the back room at his parents house and showed me these records. I specifically remember seeing Erma Franklin Soul Sister ( along with 1000 others ). I remember Erma's afro and pock marks and the hot pink cover. Johnny Hammond Gears and Spaces and Places and on and on.

    I instantly got it. I now knew the difference between rare records and records. I was like " what the fuck? ". I was stunned. The tactility of these rare objects really blew my mind. I was like " is this rare? where did you find this? what does this sound like? ". I remember rattling off these kinds of questions to him like 100 times a day for 2 years straight. He must have gotten sick of this.

    Well the two of us basically started buying up records all the time from that point on. We ran together to all kinds of piles of records. When we found out about records we were there. You could still find a lot of good stuff with quite a lot of ease back in the mid 90's.

    Of course my second great mentor was Leon Leavitt. He showed me an incredible amount of things about many records that I thought were worthless. Vocals and certain swing records and jazz titles that seemed unhip but actually had value and were totally valid. More importantly he showed me quite a bit about the good and the bad sides of this business and how to deal with it and how not to deal with it. His life was an example for the good and bad of it.

    Nothing like those days 10 years ago when Tony and I used to run and buy up whatever, wherever. Like Candido Thousand Finger Man and shit. Things that I only get now by buying collections. We used to just find these things just sitting around and the fun of it was awesome.

    ap

  • Birdman9Birdman9 5,417 Posts

    Nothing like those days 10 years ago when Tony and I used to run and buy up whatever, wherever. Like Candido Thousand Finger Man and shit. Things that I only get now by buying collections. We used to just find these things just sitting around and the fun of it was awesome.

    ap

    Ain't that the truth, even 5 years makes a big difference...both in what drys up, and the how certain untraveled paths take on the look of the familiar.

    My guru/mentor(though I am sure he didn't realize it or care) was a dealer out at Eastern Market in DC named Floyd. Floyd drove a cab an dealt strictly on Sundays or privately. I would occasionally run into him in the field at a thrift(one memorable time his exact word were, "I wouldn't look at my pile unless you wanna feel reaaaalll bad, man! It was a good day!") I used to pick up crazy stuff from him cheap, partly because he priced stuff to move, and partly because he really enjoyed blowing your mind open with cool, groovy, funky shit. He looked just like Horace Silver and was fun to just shoot the shit and watch girls with while you were scoping records. His stuff on any given Sunday was maybe the same stuff he had out for two or three weeks running, but then he would come with an all new rack of shit that just blew me away. I went from being the kind of guy who was like "no, I am no collector, just interested in music", to "Floyd, man, I gotta get more! If I like XXXX, will I like XXXX?" I became an addict under Floyd's tutelage. And he could clean LPs by hand better than any machine, too. A special touch. And he told great story.

    I have no idea what ever happened to Floyd, one week, he just stopped showing up at the Market, and that turned into 2 or 3 months....I am forever asking old dealers, wax junkies and Flea dealers "You heard anything on Floyd?", but nothing concrete ever surfaces. We know that some dealer got one of his storage units(his stickers were hand written and unmistakable). As a newbie to DC, he introduced me to the power of Go-Go, the locality of Funk, the endless sea of jazz that both flooded the city and sprang forth from it. I owe that dude a lot....

    here's to my man Floyd!

  • parsecparsec 5,087 Posts
    I've learned a lot from my boss throughout the years. Stuff like white label promo's, imports, different pressings and so forth. She's been doing something for years that I would like to do if I had more space. She's stockpiled this room in her basement thats filled with records and cd's (a lot which have gone out of print) I've spent countless hours down there working and earned some killer psych and kraut rock in the process.
    Over the last couple of years though, I've learned so much here on soulstrut. I guess that's what keeps me coming back day in and day out. I love getting hipped to new music. Props to everybody for making this place happen.

  • johmbolayajohmbolaya 4,472 Posts
    Goldmine[/b] magazine was my mentor. I remember buying that magazine for the first time in the early 80's and being amazed by lists of people selling their records. I never expected to write for them, but I did for almost two years (1991-1993).

    I didn't have some guy at a record store give me regular pointers on where the good stuff was, although places like Strawberry Fields Forever, Jelly's, and Froggy's were my stomping grounds.

    I mentioned this story on another website, but there was one store in downtown Honolulu where my mom used to do her share of record buying. It was called Music Box Records, and it was owned by a little old Japanese lady. My mom would always buy me 45's there, and in time with a savings account, I would be buying my own 45's. There was a section to the side where you could buy 6 promo 45's for one dollar, so I was in there a lot. There was a back room, and when she opened it, all I saw was 45's, it was great. I remember wanting Chicago's "Feelin' Stronger Every Day", and I expected one of those Columbia Hall Of Fame-looking labels:



    She looks for it, and then goes "well, I will give this one to you, it is an original pressing". Which looked a bit like this:


    Those words "original pressing" hooked me. I actually wanted to work at that store when I got to high school, but I found out a few years after I moved away that she passed on, and her kids sold the store and everything in it.

    So, while the lady was not a "mentor", opening the door to the back room was enough for me to want to know what else lurked inside, and I'd like to think she knew exactly what she was doing.

  • mylatencymylatency 10,475 Posts
    Like Anthony I came into this game late. I'd like to thank everyone who I've talked to, bought, sold, and traded with. You are all my mentors and school me on a daily basis, especially here and in the real world.

    I've honestly never had a true mentor, but I'd like to thank Matt Mgwire wherever that dude is (maybe still working at Amoeba in Berkeley?) Dude was schooling me bigtime on records and digging when I was first starting. I went off to college and he moved to Berkeley, and we didn't really keep in touch.

  • GuzzoGuzzo 8,611 Posts
    Wow Anthony that was nicelyput. I remember you telling me that story but for some reason I didn't put together that T.Sherman was the same T*** I see hanging out with you. I had no idea dude was so deep, makes me respect hm more because he's been surrounded by vinyl for nearly 20 years and doesn't seem like a "record dealer" at all (don't know how you read that, but trust me, its a compliment)

    My record Mentor, whether he knew it or not, was John Doe in Las Vegas. Used to come into Big B's all the time when I worked out there and little by little he put me up on records. I can remember him coming to the conter and quietly saying something like "hey....you might want to check that Idris Muhammad record over there" Sure enough I would pick up Power of Soul and just be like "OH SHIT". Without him I'd have left Las Vegas knee deep in Rod McKuen and 5th Dimension rackords.

  • I didn't really learn anything from anyone. Just having parents who had good taste and a 10 yr gap between me and my older siblings was enough of a reference point to get started. Being around Hip-Hop since'83, I knew all the common break records and I just worked my way outward from there.

  • Birdman9Birdman9 5,417 Posts
    I didn't really learn anything from anyone.

    That is my quote of the day!

  • NateBizzoNateBizzo 2,328 Posts
    I didn't really learn anything from anyone. Just have parents who had good taste.



    The above is true for me.





    Though Ben Velez taught me some shit and hipped me to some illness, but I wouldn't necessarily call him a mentor as I was already 7 years into my addiction.

  • spcspc 534 Posts
    Soulman's world of beats column on his website really opened up a new world for me. And the Dusty Fingers series of course, that's my sound. Other than that Marflix, who made the german underground hiphop mag subotage, and Jelly Jam from Knightz of Bass always gave me lots of information and pushed me in the right direction. I don't know where I would be now without them. 7-8 years ago there wasn't that much information on the internet, either you knew someone who could give you some tips or you just didn't know nothing. Looking for a dope cover didn't help either.
    I don't wanna know what dope records I touched when going through crates, looking for the ones with the obvious cover

  • motown67motown67 4,513 Posts
    My 3 biggest influences early on were 1) the Sample FAQ 2) Local Bay Area College Radio and 3) O-dub specifically.

    O-dub originally told me about the Sample FAQ and when I found it, I printed out that whole sucker and went through the entire thing front to back picking out all the songs I liked and writing down all the original samples. That was like my bible for a couple years. I found a lot of great, great records that way, as well as some crap ones that had a 5 second sample that if you weren't paying attention you wouldn't even know it happened!

    2nd biggest influences was local college radio. There use to be a TON of hip hop shows on from KUSF's Beat Sauce, to Beni B's to O-Dub's, etc. Thrown in with all the independent Hip Hop were breaks and Soul-Funk-Dance tracks. I use to write that shit down religiouslly and go hunting for it.

    3rd O-Dub. I met him by calling up his radio show one night. We eventually met in person and even now, every couple months we get together and listen to our new finds. It's one thing to hear about some great record, but it's even better to actually hear it in person so I gotta thank him for that info exchange big time.

  • gambitgambit 906 Posts
    Mentors of a lil' dude: this Puerto Rican dude that I used to roll with, Soulstrut, random producer types, Sample FAQ and old music mags.

  • nrichnrich 932 Posts
    My djing mentor was a guy named Uchin. I had a lot of Asian friends in high school and they were always on top of emerging trends at the time, wether it was digging for Armani suits at thrifts or dj'ing.
    Anyway, my friend Will from middle school who I used to skate with back in the day and I would go over our friend Uchin's house who had a set of turntables and a mixer. We watched him spin some records one day and we were instantly hooked. He taught us how to beat match and drop tracks in, fade, etc. We spent all of our free time over there for a while just practicing. Anyway, we both caught the bug. Not long after, someone had a set of turntables for sale cheap and I took money out of my savings to buy them. It was a lot of money at the time for me, but it was one of the best investments ever.

    I have been a mentor to a few people relative to dj'ing, one of them being my ex-girlfriend. I inspired her to buy turntables and she was actually pretty good at cutting up records, and then we broke up and I think she sold 'em.

  • DJ_EnkiDJ_Enki 6,471 Posts
    Well, I've had to figure out a lot of stuff for myself, which is more fun, in a way, but I definitely had help along the way. Of course, there is the more public domain stuff (magazine articles, Soulman's work, etc.), and that's an ongoing thing. But when it comes to getting me past the, "Wow! Look at all these James Brown records!" stage of funk and kinda pointing me in the right direction on digging deeper, Jeremy Thomas, aka DJ Jerm, was a major Big Dude to me. He put me up on a lot of stuff, but he also helped me figure out what to look for so I could get my own weight up.

    These days, I learn from the DJs I'm in regular contact with. In particular, DJ Platurn is the king of pulling out records I've passed over a million times and saying, "You don't know about this one? This shit is dope!" Any trip to Groove Merchant is bound to be an education as well. And damn near every time I see Joe Quixx, he schools me on a bunch of shit just because he's Joe muhfuckin' Quixx.

  • tripledoubletripledouble 7,636 Posts
    i was always obsessed with music and it all went in real catergorical waves...radio,hiphop, metal, classic rock, hiphop again (hiphop during puberty!). but when i went to college in 92 my boy phil nieves opened my ears to a whole deeper side of hiphop records. see i never had cable, so i didnt really watch rapcity or mtv, so i was just into what ever was getting a lot of play in high school. but phil was hitting me in the head with "this is beatnuts production" (before the ep even dropped) "this is kurious" etc etc...deeper levels from the norm.
    ben velez was our boy and he had all the "samples" so we were around that and his show a lot as well as our friend Nikosi, another mentor and beautiful person. it started to rub off on me and my friends. we'd find credit cards and id get people to by me old records at poughtown stores (my copy of payback was from there).
    then we the station manager hit us with sampleland and i was hooked. so id keep going back to ben v and his shows. then came the infamous paul nice louie/ruel debacle where paul rocked ultimate breaks and old school justice type classics for 2 hours. hearing apache and midnight theme and all that was bananas and it all clicked into place and i didnt give a fuck about much else for a while.
    me and my brotha ben bsk went down south in 96 for a 2 week digging excursion and of course learned a lot. but prior to that in 95 i was in sanFran for the summer and portland OR for the fall, working. digging digging digging, with no one to learn from. but i met calm man Dan berkman who made me feel very welcome in his home-store...and i absorbed a bit there. but hitting up shops in portland in 96 taught me a hell of a lot.
    back in philly it was on. my hommies frank and tonyb still teach me things to this day and tought me ins and outs of philly spots. not long after i met lenfunk at a show and he was like a momentary digging guardian angel. then maybe in 98 i found out about soulmans world of beats....and phils whole philosophy about finding your own music that you like and not just what everyone else is after was crucial. everyone always thanks soulman for info, but his open mindedness tought me the most. respect.
    i met wes gully in 99 and he put me up on a lot of weird hippy rock records and i brought him up to speed on a lot of funk basics. since then, i learn from everything and everyone. hopefully ive been good at sharing that info and outlook too. i feel like ive only been doing this a year, but its been frenetic for over a decade. i learn so much every month and i still feel like im a beginner.

    andof course soulstrut is constant schooling. one love and be well

  • CosmoCosmo 9,767 Posts
    im currently posting from a plane enroute to vancouver. a soulstrut first? truly a testament to the wonders of the modern world.

    mentors, mentors... aside from my moms who gave me her ears, my big sister who showed me how to rebel, and gabe & chris jimenez who introduced me to hip-hop in grade 2...

    my man espo put me up on the whole digging as a lifestyle thing.. dude was very instrumental in getting my mind right. also, dj jazz schooled me on some tricks of the trade, and hipped me to many dope records... his knowledge helped refine my game for sure.

    big shouts to ben velez and soulman as well on some parallel universe shit.

  • tripledoubletripledouble 7,636 Posts
    gabe & chris jimenez who introduced me to hip-hop in grade 2...
    i remember them dudes!!!! greeeeeenfield stand uppppppp
    (trueheart and polalarski sit down)

  • Sun_FortuneSun_Fortune 1,374 Posts
    yeah, Soulman's World of Beats was a major influence in my life. (i may only have 120 posts, but I think I know my records.)

    by the way, whatever happened to Soulman?

  • meatyogremeatyogre 2,080 Posts
    dad, vic, world of beats, sample faq (how come that dude mcwax isn't involved with this site, or at least stop by and say hello?), and the list goes on

  • BeardedDBeardedD 770 Posts
    Will L. is my mentor, and I like saying that because I know it will make him puke if he reads this.

    He is definitely one of the most understated, honest, and generous people in the record game. He writes on his site with tremendous eloquence and humor about records most people would keep a secret if they could find them. He also has a collection that puts just about any other to shame with the sheer level of vision it represents. I'm not talking about trends or raers, but a set that truly denotes a singular personality. He may have erred on the side of kitsch love and that Irwin Chusid bullshit in the past but I can tell you today his collection has real soul. Plus he has a lot of million dollar records.

    A light went on in my head when I met Will in 2003; it was like I suddenly realized that I had been like a little kid in the dark for the past nine years and here was someone who came to the hobby with true inspiration and style and resourcefulness. He does not like to admit it but he has a ton of rules of conduct about buying, selling, and trading. Some of them seemed insane at first but as I got to know him I learned how unconscious I have been, and it has been a tremendous lesson, in collecting and in life. Thanks Will.

  • soulrezsoulrez 565 Posts
    my momz, risk[WCA] & my boy dusk, we used to these mc battles at his HS, where he would dj, & we would be doin graf on some big ass backdrops, those were the days...

    vob88till...

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    Will L. is my mentor, and I like saying that because I know it will make him puke if he reads this.

    He is definitely one of the most understated, honest, and generous people in the record game. He writes on his site with tremendous eloquence and humor about records most people would keep a secret if they could find them. He also has a collection that puts just about any other to shame with the sheer level of vision it represents. I'm not talking about trends or raers, but a set that truly denotes a singular personality. He may have erred on the side of kitsch love and that Irwin Chusid bullshit in the past but I can tell you today his collection has real soul. Plus he has a lot of million dollar records.

    A light went on in my head when I met Will in 2003; it was like I suddenly realized that I had been like a little kid in the dark for the past nine years and here was someone who came to the hobby with true inspiration and style and resourcefulness. He does not like to admit it but he has a ton of rules of conduct about buying, selling, and trading. Some of them seemed insane at first but as I got to know him I learned how unconscious I have been, and it has been a tremendous lesson, in collecting and in life. Thanks Will.

    Will the guy who has the Show & Tell site?

  • YES.... he is.

  • hcrinkhcrink 8,729 Posts
    YES.... he is.



    His website is awesome! Real headz know the deal...


  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts
    Hey RG,



    My first record collecting mentor was my pops. He signed me and my older brother up in the Columbia Music Club, and picked out the platters for us. Pops put me up on jazz, soul, funk, and gospel music. He instilled in us an early appreciation of music (besides teaching me how to play drums). Later on, my pop's younger brother (my uncle) Phillip help me and brother broaden our tastes by playing us reggae, classic hard rock, and other stuff we weren't previously into. I got into classical music through playing in junior high and high school orchestra.



    I've mentored a few cats over the years. One of them was Papa Sagg, an MC from a group I used to produce back in the early to mid 90's. Dude started collecting music and got real nasty on the beats too. Another dude I sort of mentored was Aflex, this cat down with a group from around my way in the 'Ville. I use to put him up on jazz stuff since he was into it. He was my MC that produced himself. Me and my brother both collect music and we kind of put each other up on different music that the other may be unfamiliar. With my bro, it's more of a peer thing versus mentoring because we both collected around 20 years or so.



    Peace,



    Big Stacks from Kakalak

  • meatyogremeatyogre 2,080 Posts
    I found this LP with NO JACKET last week.....

    http://www.showandtellmusic.com/pages/galleries/gallery_y/syndicate.html

    tell Will to holler my way... I've already emailed him to no avail.

  • 33thirdcom33thirdcom 2,049 Posts
    My sister first got me interested. I started listening to jazz at a younger age and that hipped me to stuff, though it was mostly on the radio so actually figuring out what was what but alot became familiar. My homie DJ presto in Toledo really schooled me until I went to college, and then my homies in Animal Crackers in Cincinnati were really good at schooling me to different stuff, that I wasn't even looking for. The latest that helped me was DJ Soundmachine. But mostly its been myself trying out different records and just figuring it out. Musical journey right?

  • Quite honestly, I basically taught myself about music, how to dig and what to dig for. Straight research mode. I was always into music, but before college, knew very little about funk and soul, jazz or obscure hip hop. I had a ton of rock and a good basic hip hop CD collection such as LL, Eric B and Rakim, De La and such. In college I was basically a hip hop DJ, I had decks and a decent mixer and played out for clubs, the breaking crew, and opened at various events. From researching samples in hip hop I was basically dropped into a world where I had the option of tracking down original records. College is gone now, and I'm at a point where I barely buy any new hip hop (though I fiend for obscure pre-92 groups) and most of my $$ goes towards increasing my funk 45s collection....I'm definitely happy with the road I've taken but sometimes I feel like I'm always catching up and well behind in knowledge.
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