Acid jazz/ rare groove/ eclectic dance music pioneer Gilles Peterson chatted to Skrufff this week about his upcoming tenth anniversary show on Britain’s Radio 1 and revealed that he once got bumped off the decks after just ten minutes for playing Fela Kuti at a celebrity wedding.
“I’m a terrible wedding DJ, I’m probably the worst DJ to invite to play at weddings; I’m just too serious,” Gilles confessed.
“I remember playing at Peter Gabriel’s wedding in Sardinia for just a couple of hundred people. He had a private beach, Richard Branson was there and Phil Collins was performing and they had African music and so on. Then I had to DJ.
“I lasted something like ten minutes, when I suddenly heard different music than the record I was playing coming out of the speakers, they’d literally cut me off. The bride’s family, who were regular working class Irish people, had put their own cassette into the master mixer then faded me out- they ended up playing tracks like the ‘Birdie Song’.”
“I still had a good time,” Gilles added, “though Peter Gabriel was very, very embarrassed. And then I went home. It was fine,” he laughed.
The wedding playlist would have proved no problem for Gilles’ French experimentalist counterpart Laurent Garnier who in 2001 boasted of owning not one but two copies of The Tweets’ early 80s classic.
"When I'm really drunk with a few of my friends I love playing that shit," Garnier told the London Standard, “Hey, I'm not embarrassed," he added. "I'm proud of my 'Grease' and 'Saturday Night Fever' albums too."
Gilles had more wedding grief courtesy of London rival DJ Norman Jay over the duo’s football rivalry, he told Skrufff this week.
“Norman Jay is a good friend though he supports Tottenham Hotspur and I support Arsenal and we’re both quite well known for supporting these two teams and we both hate each other,” Gilles laughed.
“I remember one day I found out that he had been DJing at (then Arsenal star) Thierry Henry’s wedding. I phoned Norman up and I nearly fell out with him after that. He hates Arsenal so much, but he still played at Thierry Henry’s wedding. That was the one party I would have died to play at. A big regret,” he chuckled.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/gillespeterson (listen to Gilles on Radio 1 here)
http://tinyurl.com/2tdutg (The Birdie Song video: classic Youtube)
Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)