Thursday, February 07, 2013

Primitive Sound System at D.C.'s Tavern - Thursday, February 7th - 9PM to Closing

Hello Y'all,
Sometime around 1988 - 1989 I began working at Finyl Vinyl in NYC Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.  Saturdays I worked with the owner Robert who was a character to say the least.  Sundays and Mondays were pretty much my days.  After a while I looked forward to Sundays like a kid looks forward to Christmas morning. Friends, DJs, collectors and customers would come in with their coffee, breakfast and a record or two (some even a box) to sample in the early hours.  I got to listen to music I had never heard before and some records I have never heard since.  One of the regulars was a guy named Mike Gitelson, a.k.a. Blue Note Mike.  Mike's nickname is obvious and pretty much says it all.  He was a huge Jazz head, especially Blue Note titles.  For the most part he listened to Jazz, Dub, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop.  Mike created an imaginary company called Rock Box Productions, with an obvious tip of the hat to RUN DMC.  He would tell record companies, bands, clubs, etc that he was a promoter or writer or whatever and they would send him promo copies of music or put him on the list.  A friend of his even made him a jacket that said Rock Box Productions on the back; more than once I witnessed people come up to him in the store and either inquire about his company or tell him that they were familiar with Rock Box.  Don't you just love humans?

Mike was easily as sarcastic and annoying as I could be and he could certainly give as good as he could take.  Mike came in every Sunday without fail.  He would bring his parents sometimes, his sister and eventually his girlfriend who later became his wife.  Mike and I talked about anything and many times we also fought about everything.  No subject was off limits and his health came up quite often.  He worked as a social worker and some people will remember him because he was the guy who organized the rally at the Nike store with Chuck D after some kids were shot and killed for their Dunks.  The story was published in every local paper and even some magazines.  To most people he probably came across as soft spoken, gentle and maybe even a bit reserved.  But, I could tell if it was business and not the friendly discussions we were having I don't think I'd have faired so well.  He was exactly the kind of person that you'd want as your advocate.

Mike's Dad would come in the store on a regular basis.  His Dad was a huge Jazz fan and was a DJ who also promoted the shows at NYU while he was a student there.  He would tell us stories about how many of the musicians would include some very unsavory demands on their riders and sometimes these things were exchanged in lieu of monetary payment.  He told us that he once contacted Herbie Mann about playing at the school.  He asked him what he needed and waited for a list, coke, alcohol, pills, girls, etc… but…NOPE.  All Mr. Mann asked for was a private phone in a quiet room.  The night of the performance he showed Herbie to the room and asked if he needed anything else.  He later discovered that the phone was so that he could call his home and say goodnight to his kids and tell them that he would see them soon.  Little did he know that Mike and I knew Herbie's son Geoff who was a regular at the store.  Nothing could have been cooler than when we got to tell Geoff the story.  Those kinds of connections were exactly what the store was all about.

Mike's wife told me he didn't have a will.  The only thing he ever mentioned to her was that if anything ever happened to him that she should contact me and I'd know what to do.  It took some time before I was able to get to their apartment but emotionally that may have been for the best for her and us.  Going through his collection spun me back to each of the fifteen years I was at Finyl Vinyl.  There were records I knew he would have, ones I sold him, others I was surprised to see.  There were even records that were once mine.  We found plastic bags with my name on them and even mixed CD's that I made for him.  Believe me, I have cases of audio tapes and CD's that he made me as well, Rock Box Productions of course.  Nothing makes me happier than going through records and as you can imagine this was not easy.  The collection will be sold through Iris Records in Jersey City.  I took a few records for myself and will definitely think of him every time I play them.  I'll be playing some of them this Thursday ay D.C.'s.            

Larry the Hunter will be pouring what you need.

See you there.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -

First Thursday of Each Month - D.C.'s Tavern

Thursday, February 7th - 9PM to Closing
Pat. James Longo - Primitive Sound System

D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Between Jefferson and Madison
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550


I'll also have many Sire Record releases for 1976 - 1978 with me.

Some of Mik's records I'll have with me:

We Got Latin Soul Vol. 2 (Caliente / FANIA cat. HOT 111)

Jackie Mittoo - Now  (Studio One cat. SOL 9016)

James Brown - …Presents His Show of Tomorrow  (King Records cat. 1024)

Melvin Sparks - Spark Plug  (Prestige cat. 10016 (Not For Sale))

Boogaloo Joe Jones - What It Is  (Prestige cat. PR 10035)

Tina Brooks - Minor Move  (Blue Note Records cat. BRP 8043 (Not For Sale))

Harold Vick - Steppin' Out!  (Blue Note Records cat. ST 84138 (Toshiba / Japan))

The Soul Society - Satisfaction from…  (Dot Records cat. DLP - 25842)

The Afro-Latin Soultet - Wild!  (Tower cat. T 5051)


Fela Ransome Kuti & The Africa '70 - "Alagbon Close" Part 1 & 2  (Editions Makossa cat. EM - 2719)

Willie Mitchell - "The Crawl" Part 1 & 2  (Hi Records cat. 45 - 2044)

Kastle - "Getting' Down (With Hoss)" b/w "Why Don't You (Do It)"  (King cat. 45 - 6418)

Mongo Santamaria - Mongomania (ep)  (Columbia cat. Stereo Little LP 7 - 9412)

Lavell Kamma and his Afro Soul Review - "I Know Where It's At" b/w "Soft Soul"  (Tupelo Sound Records Inc. cat. 1444 - TS - 001)

Charles Spurling - "Popcorn Charlie"  (King Records cat. 45 - 6267 (Promotional))

Dance The Latin Funk  (Jazzman Records cat.JMAN 064)

Bumps Jackson - "Funky In Jamaica"  (Alatac cat. ALA 102)

The 13th Amendment - "The Stretch" b/w Eugene Blacknell - "Getting' Down"  (Soulstream / Soul Patrol Records cat. SPR 05)