I Knew Dom Phillips. He Was a Very Good Man


Dom Phillips was. Every time I’ve typed these three words since his murder last month, I freeze up.

I pause and collect myself. I will never accept how Dom’s life was unfairly taken. I imagine his final terror-filled moments facing down the barrel of a thug’s gun in the thick of the Amazon, and I sob. I think of his wife and family. I think of Bruno Pereira and his family, too. He lost his life alongside Dom. The pain and heartache their families have to live with are beyond words.

I am going to do my best to honor Dom. A colleague. A man of integrity. Someone who influenced me greatly. A man I am proud to have called a friend. Continue Reading

An Interview With Prince Conducted at Paisley Park in 1999


In 1999 Prince was in comeback mode. After massive success in the ’80s, he was in the throes of a public legal battle with Warner Bros. over the rights to his music. Upset with the situation, he thumbed his nose in the face of the music industry and changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol. At the time I was the Editor-In-Chief of Mixer, a monthly DJ magazine published by DMC. A publicist I had worked with over the years, Lois Najarian, pitched me on interviewing the Purple one about his new album, Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic. The only caveat was the interview had to be a cover story. The decision to put his Purpleness on the cover was a no-brainer.  

A few days later I was in the studio at Paisley Park interviewing Prince. Some things I vividly remember from that day: 1. He had a major disagreement with the photographer from Interview magazine. The row actually set the stage for what became an interesting discussion about ego, something Prince told me he’d been working on. 2. Our pizza-and-salad lunch was inspected by his security people upon its delivery (“He doesn’t allow meat on the premises,” we were told.) 3. Prince arrived three hours late, wore heels and make-up. 4. He was personable, friendly, funny, charming and engaging. 5. Prince’s recording studio was a sight to behold, boasting a massive SSL mixing desk and an arsenal of studio gear. Before Prince switched on the lights, I accidentally touched the neck of his famous symbol guitar that was perched on a stand while he was turning on the lights in the control room.

An invitation to interview Prince is one of the highlights of my career. I was not allowed to record the interview but was allowed to take notes. I came prepared with a thick pad and filled up every page by the time our chat was over. I wrote so much, so quickly, that my right hand hurt for a week.

Prince disrupted the world of music, fashion, movies and never apologized. He was a showman, an iconic provocateur whose impact will be felt forever. As is evident in the interview below, he pulled no punches and made no apologies. As the song says, I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray. Continue Reading

Inspiration: Museum of Love

musuem of love

Museum of Love is an artful New York City-based dance-rock duo comprised of LCD Soundsystem drummer Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany. The duo came out swinging in 2013 with a one-two punch of singles — “Down South” and “Monotronic” — that set the stage for a brilliant full-length issued on DFA in 2014.

Seven years later, they’ve dropped a wonderful, wildly eclectic full-length exhibition album, Life Of Mammals (Skint Records). Mixed by LCD’s James Murphy, their second album is a sonic document of their musical maturation.

We checked in with Pat and Dennis and asked them to share a few tracks that have inspired them. Continue Reading

Kevin Hedge Shares His Musical Inspirations


New York City-based DJ/producer Kevin Hedge has helped play a big role in pushing house music forward as half of the songwriting/production team Blaze. Together with partner Josh Milan, they’ve written dance floor gems such as De’Lacy’s “Hideaway,” collaborated with Louie Vega, Barbara Tucker and Jody Watley, and remixed Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé.

Hedge is formidable behind the decks, playing alongside Timmy Regisford at Club Shelter NYC and helming the ROOTS NYC parties at meatpacking club Cielo alongside Vega back when those influential clubs were open.

After taking a 10-year hiatus from producing, Hedge, who became president and co-owner of West End Records in 2002, returned last month with “Reach For The Stars,” a soulful, uplifting collaboration with Rick Galactik for Quantize Recordings. With hopefully more new music on the horizon, we checked in with Hedge to learn about his vast musical inspirations. Continue Reading