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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Popular DJ Mark Thomas dies

repost from The Washington Blade obituary for my friend Mark Thomas

February 16, 2015 | by Steve Charing
Popular DJ Mark Thomas dies

Mark Thomas, gay news, Washington Blade
Mark Thomas died last month at age 55. (Photo via Facebook)
Mark Thomas, a longtime Baltimore and Washington, D.C.-area DJ, died Jan. 25. He was 55. The cause of death was not immediately available.
Thomas started his DJ career at The Hippo in 1980 and was a Baltimore and New York City resident when he died. Chuck Bowers, owner of the Hippo, fondly remembered giving Thomas his start.
“He would listen carefully to the work of other DJs at the time, listen to the music and become the best DJ he can be,” said Bowers. “He was a handsome man, but his personality exceeded even that.” Bowers brought Thomas back to the Hippo for special events and last saw him during Pride last year.
Thomas also worked at various clubs in Rehoboth during those early years, including the Renegade and the Strand. Murray Archibald from CAMP Rehoboth said, “From the Saint days, through the Strand years, and for 25 years of Sundance he was our music man.”
Thomas also played around the world in places like Mykonos, Greece and Sydney, Australia.
“I have known Mark since he was 19 years old, when I took him under my wing, some 36 years ago,” Lynda Dee, a Baltimore attorney and founder and president of AIDS Action Baltimore, told the Blade.  “We have been the best of friends since that time. He was really more like a son to me. While I will never get over his loss, I am comforted by this sentiment, which I received in a lovely sympathy card, ‘When I think of Mark, I remember all the people he made dance and be happy.’ What a beautiful legacy!”
Fellow DJ Jimmy P, a resident of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. added, “Mark was a down-to-earth and really fun guy. He was one of the Saint’s stable of hugely talented DJs. We became friends in the ‘90s and would meet Saturdays at the Eagle Nest NYC and spend time joking and laughing the night away. Sometimes he would come to hear me DJ on Fridays. I was so honored. His favorite expression was, ‘Doll’ this and that.
“Time and distance separated us but we reconnected through a music sharing group based in Fort Lauderdale and then through Facebook. I last chatted with him about two months ago. All I can say is: ‘Doll…you left your musical mark on many; you were a really great DJ, man and a good friend. Doll…you will be missed.’”
A memorial service for Mark will take place on his birthday, Sunday, May 31 at 4 p.m. It will be held at City CafĂ©, 1001 Cathedral St. in Baltimore with music by Sean Novak. May 31 would have been Thomas’s 56th birthday.
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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Computer Pop by Maggotron

Sometimes I'll throw something up just because it's really rare.  At times the tune seems not to fit in at all with the usual stuff I put on my blog.  I think that's necessary too so I don't get pegged.  Why should you know what to expect here?

So this guy from Miami named James Mc Cauley or DJX has recorded under many incarnations of his act Maggotron.  This first twelve inch single of theirs Computer Pop from 1984 is super rare.  Apparently only 1,000 copies are pressed.  I've seen it go for hundreds of dollars on eBay.  I recently sold my album called Bass Planet Paranoia from 1990.  That one is a lot easier to find.


Thursday, February 12, 2015


To know me is to know that I complain about the club scene in my city of Roma.  I've turned into a curmudgeon because if I do go out I don't have fun.  So I don't.  And when you've got clubs in your veins that ain't easy.

So my friend DJ Hugo Sanchez posts this Facebook thingy about an event he's having in his studio.  Not long ago I had been to one that my New York DJ friend Ryan Smith spun at.  It was an intimate affair, low-key but great music and cheap drinks so I figured what the hell.  So I get there around 6 PM (I love those tea dance hours) and I don't see anyone going in or coming out and I'm like almost too paranoid to knock on the door wondering if it's been canceled.

So I get up the nerve to go in and there are a few people sitting around chatting with some lovely music playing in the background.  Soon after Hugo introduces me to Severino Panzetta the London based DJ.  He smiles and we are practically instantly intimate.  A truly warm person.  He motions for me to sit on the couch next to him and basically it turns out to be an interview with he and the people present.  His whole story about leaving Monza in North Italy 18 years ago and his experience in the scene up there (Riccione, Cattolica, Radio Azzura etc.) previous to immigrating is very fascinating.  Italians always love to hear when one of theirs does well, since it's so hard to get anything done in this country.

                                             Here we are, bears getting to know each other

Of course I am eating it all up cause it's years that I've been dying to go to Horse Meat Disco.  I just really want to see in person the fact that there are people today really dancing to disco and I mean fierce disco not that Holiday Inn bar I will Survive kinda tragedy.  It seems like every time I'm in New York it's not the right weekend and I haven't had the coins to go to London in a spell.

So Severino started to spin a little in Hugo's studio but the whole affair remained low key enough that I decided to split and have dinner with my EX.  Though there was a part of me that kept wondering if I was missing something and after dinner I contemplated going back.  But it was a cold weekend in Roma and I am 50 now so it doesn't take much to get me lazy and yearning for coziness.  I called my boyfriend who was at a dinner party figuring I'd join him and maybe we'd all go to Company for a drink and a laugh but he didn't hear the ring so I went home and moped a little.  Mostly I wondered if Severino kept spinning and if it had transitioned into an actual party or not.

So the next night Hugo is holding another event.  This time at a Centro Sociale Circolo Arci called Fanfulla in the oh so trendy Pigneto area.  But those bear Monday guys, (currently Roma's hottest bear promoting team), were having an event at Piper and they were sort of implying that Patty Pravo would be there since it's the 50 year anniversary of the club.  Meanwhile my boyfriend and his crew were at a competing buffet/party in the Colle Oppio at Club O which I definitely didn't want to go to because the DJ there plays freaking Katy Perry and Britney Spears and the queens dance like they are at Studio 54 while I roll my eyes and look at my watch.

Turns out it was only a drag queen doing a Patty Pravo impersonation after another doing a Tina Turner impersonation and I'm like well I've seen this before haven't I?  So I break out.

Then I get there (Tropicantesimo was the name of the party) and one of the first songs is this tasteful delight by Max Berlin's from 1987.  Here I provide it for you including two newer edits in addition to the original as is the tradition here on my blog.
And it continues in that vein one fabulous record after another.  Severino himself is transmitting such a positive energy he is seriously dancing while he spins, throwing his arms up in the air and in general having a kiki and the young crowd who surely don't know these songs are fully enamored with the whole event.  In fact there was a bit of that EDM scene let's just stare at the DJ spinning thing going on, but in a way it was cute, fresh and innocent in an Italian way, so it didn't even annoy me.  Then I'm getting my drink on, 5 euro Long Island Ice Tea's are cute to say the least.

At one point I realize I am sobbing.  That kind of thing just happens to me.  I'm Italian, I'm emotional.  It's happened at The Loft in New York and it just means that I'm letting myself get transported.  There was only one other time in the 17 years that I've lived in Rome that I've had more fun at a club.  It was at a party at Forte Prenestino in the late 90's.  But this joy is almost purely because of the music and that is my favorite type of fun.

So then Severino says something to this kid, a real centro sociale type, you know the kind with the stretched ear lobes who rolls his own cigarettes.  Then the kid gets on the mic.  Now this could have been totally naff but it wasn't AT ALL.  This boy was not only cute and butch but he had soul.  I later found out his name is IGINO.  He was literally singing old house lyrics over the beat and it sounded great.  The levels were perfect too because they didn't overpower the music.

Then later on this androgynous creature got on another mic and she started doing it too.   Hugo later told me her name is LOLA KOLA. That was also sweet but at this point I was getting fatigued.  I haven't had my ass on a dance-floor this long in ages and by then Hugo Sanchez took over for the last hour.  And as much as I enjoy his spinning style he lives here and I will have other opportunities to hear him play.

Now I just have to haul my ass to London.  My buddy Fabrizio, a Roman transplant to London actually lives a 5 minute walk from The Eagle where they hold Horse Meat Disco on Sundays.  I've got no excuse other then the $ so let's hope some people buy my records on eBay BUY MY VINYL I POST NEW STUFF EVERY FEW DAYS  And my fingers are crossed that I get some new students to teach English to here in Rome.  Feel free to leave your cell number below fellow Romans looking for an English teacher and I'll text you back.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


What a treat to be able to post this since Terry Sherman and Mark Thomas were the best of friends.  Terry's set from the closing night of The Saint Midnight to 4 AM May 9, 1988  Thank you Michael Lott for your fabulous PodOmatic.

Monday May 9, 1988 12 MN-4 AM pt 1 of Terry Sherman's Saint Closing Set:
Track List:
The Dream: Irene Cara
What a Night: Terri Iten
Fire in My Heart: Madleen Kane
Say it Again: Santana
Without Your Love: Cut Glass
I Cant Take It: Janet Wright
All Systems Go: Donna Summer
I Can Fly: Rainey
Let Me Take You Dancing: Bryan Adams
I Hear Thunder: Seventh Avenue
Magic Nights: Zarathustra
All I Need is A Miracle: Mike and the Mechanics
All I Need is a Miracle (cont): Mike and the Mechanics 
My Pretty Woman: Cliff Richard 
Why is it So Hard: Talk Talk 
Stormy Weather: Viola Wills 
Bac k to You: Crystal in the Pink 
Love is in You: Nightlife Unlimited 
Love is in the Air(Instrumental): Martin Stevens 
The Heart to Break the Heart: France Joli 
Memory: Menage
Could This Be Magic: Donna Summer 
Never Ending Story: Limahl 
Love in the Night: V.H.F. 
Love in the Shadows: E.G. Dailey 
Take It Slowly: Nancy Martinez 
Precious Lives: The Five Sinners 
Sweet Conversation: John Sauli 
Evergreen: HaZell Dean 
High Above the Clouds: Narada Michael Walden 
I Can Hear Your Heartbeat: Chris Rea 
Endless Road: Time Bandits
Endless Road (cont): Time Bandits 
If I Love You: Pete W. Wylie 
Life Dance: Sonia Belolo 
You Can: Madleen Kane 
Take My Heart Away: Gillian Lane 
Tonight: Marlene: Ricci 
Someday We Will Be Together: Diana Ross and the Supremes 
Maybe It Was Magic: Agnetha Faltskog 
Closing scene from Camelot: Richard Harris

Friday, February 6, 2015

Eva Robins NOT REALLY A TRANSEXUAL but a Disco Panther

This is one of my most popular blogs since I started Disco Vinyl in 2008 so I've refreshed the links.  ENJOY!
Eva Robins as Cassandra circa 1977.
Swarthy Italo Disco pioneer Celso Valli.

Roberto Maurizio Coatti was born on December 10, 1958 in Bologna, Italy. At puberty he developed breasts naturally and his features became more feminine.

In 1977 after extensive hormone therapy he became the showgirl Eva Robins. She teamed up with Celso Valli the Italo Disco Wunderkind pictured above, who was responsible for The Passengers, Tantra, Macho, Azoto, Matia Bazar's Ti Sento and many more Italo Disco classics. They recorded Disco Panther using the name Cassandra. So the pairing of a trans gender and a disco version of a pop culture classic was created.


It's catchy but I have to admit I prefer the instrumental.

Eva is still around today and just as beautiful as ever. Here she is in a video with the Italian T.V. host and writer Platinette. This is a scene from the popular t.v. show Le Iene. One of their trademark gimmicks is the split screen interview with two people being asked the same question. Eva does not spare a moment from her sex kitten routine here.

I used to have this rare 12".  You can check out the wares I'm displaying in my ebay store by clicking on the title above.

I didn't have the picture cover version pictured above. It's not a great shot of Eva anyway.

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