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Episode 130 : Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton on DJ history + Dom Phillips + Elvis

24 June 2022

In this episode we welcome dynamic duo Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton to Hammersmith as they prepare for the publication of a newly expanded edition of their mighty Last Night a DJ Saved My Life.

Bill and Frank talk about the original mission behind the book, as well as their different routes into dance music. They recall how they met and combined forces in '90s New York, where DJs such as Frankie Knuckles and Junior Vasquez proved transformative figures. Co-host Mark recalls seeing Bill and Frank DJ'ing at Fabric in 2000 and then reading the original edition of Last Night

Recalling their first articles for Mixmag in the '90s, the DJ History duo reminisce about the late Dom Phillips, the magazine's former editor who was so brutally murdered in the Amazon this month. They praise the courage Dom showed in confronting Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and exposing the criminal gangs behind much of the Amazon's deforestation.

Bill and Frank discuss the process of researching and writing Last Night…, barely knowing if figures such as Bronx hip hop legend were even still alive, and explain what turned clubs like Larry Levan's Paradise Garage into "religious" experiences.

The week's new audio interview – Bill and Frank's own 2005 quizzing of drum and bass legend Fabio – proves infectiously enjoyable as they hear themselves asking the Brixton-born DJ about Crackers and Spectrum.

The episode concludes with thoughts on Elvis Presley and the new biopic made by Baz Luhrman, after which Mark talks us through library pieces he's added about Bill Haley (1957), Billie Holiday (1959) and Buffalo Springfield (1968), while Jasper concludes proceedings with quotes from pieces about Kanye West (2016) and Arlo Parks (2019).

Many thanks to special guests Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton. The new edition of Last Night a DJ Saved My Life is published by White Rabbit and available to pre-order now.