Where Love Lives (Frankie Knuckles & David Morales Remixes) Dimitri From Paris Tribute Edit
I remember going up to the booth at Sound Factory and watching Frankie thread this song (the original edit) through the reel-to-reel machine. I’d never seen anyone mix from turntables to a studio tape before. He might as well have pulled a rabbit from a top hat.
What becomes a legend most?
A couple of club flyers I designed in 1997 for my friend Rob Fernandez. Rob was a promoter who loved parody ads. These two happened to feature his close friend Frankie Knuckles, and I was happy to work on them.
Frankie Knuckles died earlier today. He was the legendary Godfather of House, and like any proper godfather was a kind and gentle man. The music he mixed, produced, and wrote was hugely influential on me as a young DJ and remixer, and his residencies at Sound Factory, Twilo, Sound Factory Bar, and the other big clubs of the day kept me out dancing at least once a week until 10am.
(I write this as I listen to some of his most classic mixes: “The Pressure,” “Where Love Lives,” “Always There,” “Talking to Myself”. And the music he introduced me to: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by First Choice, “Pride” by C&C Music Factory, his own “The Whistle Song.”
Here’s how I got to know Frankie Knuckles:
At one point in the early 90s I had a healthy rivalry going with one of my roommates, also a DJ, who had managed to ingratiate himself with Frankie. (Not hard since he was so generous.) Frankie eventually gave my roommate a pre-release cassette of remixes that he’d just mastered – I don’t remember the song, but I do remember being more than a little envious. I mentioned it peevishly to Rob one night at the downtown gay bar we both worked at – him at the door, me in the DJ booth.
Rob and Frankie were close, and Frankie would often stop by that bar late on a Monday night to chat with his friend after a studio session. I’d usually come out of the booth to pay the proper respect, but didn’t spend a whole lot of time with them since I had to run back to the booth every few minutes to cue up the next record.
Rob must have said something to Frankie about my lucky roommate, because one night soon after, Frankie handed me a cassette of a song he’d just finished: his never-before-heard remixes of Lisa Stansfield’s “Change" which was still a few weeks away from release. I went to the booth straight away and played it to the room, and it was gorgeous, majestic, and quietly powerful.
That tiny gesture, by the man who was quite literally the most famous DJ in the world, meant everything to me. His generosity was as outsized as he was.
Thank you, Frankie, for everything.
From a few thousand feet up #costarica