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DJ GARTH

Garth

1. What’s your name, and how were you involved in the San Francisco rave scene in the 1990’s?

Garth. I threw free outdoor monthly Full Moon parties with my friends starting in the spring of 1991. We called ourselves Wicked Sound System. These parties, along with a mid week club night called Come Unity at 1015 Folsom and hundreds of lawless loft, basement and warehouse parties Wicked threw, set the stage for SF’s rave scene.

2. What was the thing about San Francisco in the 90’s that made it so special to you?

Coming from London the climate in SF was a huge improvement. I spent a couple of summers in SF in ’88 and ’89 and fell in love with the City. It wasn’t expensive. Very free, no helmets on motorcycles, gays comfortable in their own skin and all that. The best thing about SF in the 90’s for me was just living the dream. Playing records for a living, throwing incredible parties, great friends. The city was very international and for a while the parties brought all the different factions of people together, gay, straight, black, white, red and yellow. Hippies, trannies, skaters, punks, art students.

3. What are a few stand-out events for you at this time?

Wicked, Full Moons, Come Unity, The Gathering, The Top, Bullet Proof Boats were my haunts. Our annual tours across the country were incredible. Nobody had dance music as a band before Wicked. Back home in SF we threw some great parties at Townsend and King St Garage with some early House hero guests – Harvey, Louis Vega, Tony Humphries, DJ Pierre, Francois K, Joe Claussel, Robert Owens and a few others.

4. Who were some of the people involved in making the scene what it was at the time?

Wicked was DJ’s Jeno, Garth, Markie, Thomas and Alan & Trish. Then we had a personnel change and CB took over sound and driving us on tour in his 1947 Greyhound bus, which inspired my record label Grayhound. Malachy and Simon Pearson from Come Unity, Eddie and Gail from Bullet Proof. DJ’s Josh, Ernie Munson, Hardkiss, Third Floor, BPM Records, Record Rack. Too many to mention. It was an army! There were loads of us.

5. When did you realize the significance of what was happening in the scene there?

We were having a ball throwing our parties and seeing the music catch on to a wider audience. Each month the crowds got bigger until at the 3 year Full Moon anniversary we had over 3,000 people at Bonny Doon Beach in Santa Cruz. Cops had to close down Highway 1 and Rolling Stone Magazine wrote an article about it. That was a pinnacle moment.

6. Why were the 90’s the right time for the scene to blow up in San Francisco?

The city had it all – psychedelics, beaches, sunshine. But the music hadn’t been presented right. Acid House deserved a new setting. We had to get people out of the clubs and out of their comfort zone. Everyone was pretty bored of the pick up scene, over priced watered down drinks etc. So once we showed them the way, they embraced it. There was a lot of fresh music coming out at that time. Mostly from New York, Chicago, Detroit and London.

7. What’s your top 10 tracks from SF artists from that era?

I’m not sure I could even name 10 from SF artists. We didn’t start making music right away. Most of the innovative records were coming from New York, London, Chicago and Detroit. Here goes…

DJ Garth & ETI – Twenty Minutes of Disco Glory

Thomas Bullock & Tim Love Lee – No Hassle From The Man

Rocket – People

DJ Rasoul – True Science

Furry Phreaks – Gonna Find A Way

Freaky Chakra – Trancendental Funk Bump

Simon – Future Dreams

Daisy Glow – Sunday In The Park

Hardkiss – 3 Nudes In A Purple Garden

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