Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bobby Viteritti - A Night at the Trocadero..

Bobby Viteritti - 1980 Salute to the Gay Men of S.F. Set (sample)
Bobby Viteritti - 1981 Trocadero - A Closing Party Set (sample)

San Francisco's Trocadero Transfer has got to be right up there with venues like The Paradise Garage and The Saint as perhaps one of the most highly revered disco scenes out there. The success of the annual Remember The Party events (next one coming up this October 7th) which I've heard so much about (but haven't actually been to yet), along with the websites and other testimonials devoted to it are practically living proof.

Several months ago I had come in contact with the Trocadero's legendary, award-winning DJ Bobby Viteritti, who had informed me about the opening of his new website at While much of it has been up and running for the last little while, the website is now fully functional, with the recent opening of the highly anticipated Music Store section, where he has made a number of his own edits and DJ sets available for purchase. Before I get to anything else, I have to thank Bobby for being generous enough to let me put some samples from his sets up here.. So far there are over 14 different sets available for purchase including one of his own exclusive edits. The first excerpt here is from a great section (tinged with some choice electro/italo faves) of the awesome four-part 'Salute to the Gay Men of S.F.' set with a Cheryl Lynn live appearance part-way through (see his interviews where he recounts one of the more infamous stunts he once pulled on her). The other is a small section of a stellar 1981 'closing party' sleaze set from the Trocadero. What he does with the third track (One Way feat. Al Hudson's "Now That I Found You") on the latter set has got to be one of the most achingly beautiful, emotional things I've ever heard in a mix.. If that doesn't tug at your heart-strings, then I don't know what will..

The sets in his web shop are divided up into a series of high-quality mp3 downloads, each of them made to fit a single CD. Most of them are at reduced prices for the time being and as a bonus, signing up as a member of the webshop will also get you a free download of one of them..

While 'legendary' might be a gushy, overused adjective; after reading people wax poetic about Bobby's skills and his storied nights at the Trocadero on disco forums and websites for the last several years, it's really the only way to describe the effect his work has had on people and the memories that it holds.. For me personally, it was only after hearing one of the low quality live tapes floating through the internet - one of his classic morning music/sleaze sets (the 'Morning Magic' mix, to be exact), that I finally realized what everyone was talking about. Widely recognized as one of the most technically and stylistically proficient DJ's of his time, listening to his work while reading the excellent interview he recently did with (also see the ones at and Disco Museum) was like a little lesson and glimpse into the artistry of the DJ.. While I'm not knowledgeable enough about DJing to really espound on the technical side of things, it's been said that his emphasis on the midrange of the song, as opposed to the bass was his hallmark. Listening to his mixes, his ability to make those smooth, graceful transitions, seamlessly weaving through different moods are completely indicative of that. It's an approach that seems to go past the beat, into a much higher plane of mood and feeling.. It's enough to make one wish they could have been there to experience it all.

To hear more of Bobby's work, go to the samples section of his website where there are generous samples of several different styles and moods in his work.. Also, in the 'Videos' section you can view a montage of clips from a little John Goss documentary from 1993 called "Wrecked For Life: The Trip and Magic of Trocadero Transfer". If you enjoy hearing people's real live back-in-the-day testimonials like I do, then you'll likely get a kick out of those too..

Anyway, in closing; if you, by any chance, haven't heard of him yet, or are only familiar in passing, then do check him out. Pardon me for using a tired old cliché, but as far as artists and DJ's go, Bobby's the real deal.






Anonymous said...

Tommy: My god, these samples make me want to cry. They're so beautiful and so technically on-point. I'm completely blown away by Bobby Viteritti's skills and ear for the music. I'm definitely heading to his website for more... Having been too young at the time to actually go the Troc during it's heyday, I'm really excited to attend my first Remember the Party this weekend in SF. If the sets are even half as good as these, I'll definitely be in disco heaven! I only wish I was able to hear/experience Bobby spin live back in the day... Thanks so much for this post. Once again, you've outdone yourself.

Tommy said...

Hey Enrique,

Thanks for the comment :), I'm glad you enjoy them! They really are beautiful! I'll have to admit, the 1981 set, in particular, leaves me a bit misty on occasion.. If I had a record label, I'd do for Bobby's material, something similar to what West End/Strut did with the Larry Levan Paradise Garage set some seven years back. In the meantime though, I'm glad Bobby himself is taking the initiative and making them available for the rest of us to enjoy..

Anyway, I hope you have fun at RTP.. Maybe one of these days I'll make it out to one of them..

Anonymous said...

about a year ago i had found in a record store (in their dollar bin no less) a couple of double cd's that looked like it was once sold at one of these reunion parties.

trocadero transfer 2 a.m. "essential troc music - 12" collection played at trocadero '80"

i have another double cd called "sleaze mix". it's got "changin" and that ozo record. i was pleasantly surprised to see anambra was being played at the trocadero.

as soon as i figure out how to upload them i'll post it up. that might take a while lol

Tommy said...

Hey thizz markie,

I apologize, I've been a bit late in replying to my comments lately.. Anyway, talk about an awesome find! Those collections must be awesome.. I wonder if the sets on those CDs are also available on Bobby's website? Anyway, if you check this, let me know (by email, see link at top right) when you do upload it!

Robert Drake said...

Tommy - thanks so much for this entry! I've always been a fan of Bobby's even though I only heard about him via friends from out west who spent many a morning grooving to his beat.

I've been to his site - purchased a mix or two and I TOTALLY recommend everyone go purchase the mix that jumps out to you... there's so much good music in those hour-plus sessions on his site and the fact that you're listening to exactly what the crowd was listening to back then - makes it even more exciting!!


Unknown said...

Tommy: The Remember the Party event was fantastic. One of the best nights I've had in a long while. I even met Joe.My.God. by accident. I thought I was complimenting some random guy in a Love to Love You, Baby t-shirt; and it turned out to be Joe. His morning music posts were the main reason I wanted to check out the party in the first place... You should try to make it next year.

Anonymous said...

i looked on his site and the cd's that i have are completely different.

i'll hook you up after i download it. bare with me. might take a while.

Tommy said...

Hey Robert!

No problem at all, thanks for the comment! :) Let me just say that I totally echo your sentiments! Thanks again :)

Hey Enrique!

Glad to know you had a great time at RTP, thanks for reporting back! That's so cool that you bumped into Joe.My.God. haha I think I've seen pix of that T-shirt on his blog.. I totally want one!

Hey Anonymous, no problem! Thanks for the update.. Don't worry, I'm pretty patient hehe :)

Jan Yahu Pawul said...

!!! - very egoist
... can you imagine ?? many disco era DJs against Caril and me who try to defence old female DJ who very disabled / ill - not walk, not stand.

read details here:

They simply very selfish egoist and cruel crap humans: Bobby Viteritti (pix attached), Al Magliano, etc. They prefer to collaborate with crooks against real disco era pioneer DJs - they prefer cheap, crap, plastic LOV plate than US !!

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