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The Beat Goes (Back) On!

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February 7, 2010

From Dave Hucker, "Hey Mr. Music" columnist 1989-

CC Smith first danced into my life when she came to my Sol Y Sombra club in London 's Charlotte St. in the mid-80s. She asked me to start writing a column for The Beat covering the music I was deejaying, which I described as "The music of two continents and a few assorted Islands." I appreciated the freedom she gave me to write what and how I wanted.  But she was always there ready to question my hyperbole plus check the facts and spellings. My writing sometimes went over the top--such as in the infamous Bill Holm/The Whale episodes--but it was necessary to stretch the gonzoid-ism a bit, just for me to find my limits and so write more sensibly most of the time.
It was a real honour for me--a mere dj--to be parachuted in among such a seminal group of real, true music experts, people who really knew their stuff and had their ears and feet on the various global musical pulses and hotspots.  
The amount of musical information that was contained in each copy of The Beat was quite incredible. Even the adverts! If you wanted to know what was happening anywhere in the world each edition told you--in depth. It was a bimonthly, fine grain, full colour, detailed snapshot of where the musical action was, keeping us abreast with the latest developments and trends. The Beat's year-by-year coverage of carnivals was unsurpassed. Also its features about artists and styles went very deep into the subject, giving a quality and detailed insight, containing much information that was not available anywhere else. I don't think ever again will there be such a bringing together in one place of so many musical experts imparting their considerable knowledge.
Technology changes over time--my first columns were sent by post, then fax. I'm sure we will find different ways of keeping together. I made many good and lasting friends in my fellow Beat contributors and for me it was a great privilege to be involved. Thank you CC.
[Photo above: Dave Hucker visiting CC Smith in LA at her KCRW radio program, late 80s-early 90s. Other images are flyers for Dave's Sol y Sombra dance club in London.] 

1 comment:

  1. Apart from CC, Huck was one of the factors that made me never want to stop writing for The Beat. (Okay, the free music, too.) He never lost an erg of his passion for tropical music, and his knowledge and enthusiasm sparkled through every installment of his 'Hey, Mr. Music' column. Thanks for all of the great writing over the decades, Mr. Dave. (Visit www.Technobeat.com to read many of Dave's columns.)