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45 Live Lowdown #13 - Greg Belson

45 Live Lowdown #13
Greg Belson

One of the top collectors in the world for sure, main man on the 45 Live Radio Show, relentlessly touring DJ and top bloke, Mr. Greg Belson...

Where are you based?
Los Angeles, California.

Why 45s?
The sound, the feel, the look….all of it really. LP’s are great for home listening, reading liner notes and checking out the artwork. 45’s have an air of mystery about them. It’s a pure listening artifact….just awesome!

Your inspiration/mentor/hero?
Nobody, really….I just do my own thing and hope somebody likes it.

Your most elusive 45, what is it and how long have you been looking?
It’s the one I currently don’t know about so haven’t found it yet.

Best ever dig?
Kansas City 1993, in a basement filled with cat hair and a rotting toilet in the corner….but rows and rows of killer 45’s. Kalamazoo 1996, where we found an untouched warehouse full of around a million LP’s, supposedly. The owner kept saying in a faux English accent ‘You guys are taking all my best records’. Well, yes….yes, we did.

All originals pressings?
Absolutely. I think sets are always fresher that way, rather than hanging out and waiting for the latest reissue. Case in point, I was walking around Shoreditch UK recently and went into 4 different DJ bars in one night….and heard the same 45 played that was released earlier on that day. There’s no need to spend big money. Scour the cheap stuff and make your set your own….it’s far more imaginative and personal that way.

Do you hoard or buy and sell?
Yes, yes and yes.

How many 45s have you got and how do you catalogue/store them?
Last count was around 8,000. I divide into genres and then, specifically with gospel, get a bit more involved. Major labels alphabetically, and in catalog number running order, with the smaller labels organized in alphabetical order.

Cover up or share the love?
I used to cover-up, mainly due to peer pressure in the soul scenes. I’ve come to realize that it’s really a bit daft, even though some claim ‘it’s just a bit of fun’. Share the love, always….hopefully  the original artist is still alive and might finally get some shine from their record being played.

What’re your top 3 LPs tracks that you wish had been pressed onto 7”?
I’d love to see many obscure private pressed LP cuts make it on to a 45….but here are some that can be found on youtube for you to check out….all of ‘em would sound amazing, no doubt!

4th Cekcion 'Betsy Lee'...

The Charlatans 'The Blues ain’t nothin’...

The Left Rev McD. Eugene McDaniels 'Lovin’ man'...

Biggest disaster whilst DJing?!
It happened earlier on this year. Somehow the housing for the tone-arm on the Technics 1200 managed to crack whilst the DJ before me was playing, which led to no sound at all coming out of the needle. I have no idea whether it was a connection issue or whatever, but I pulled the crossfader over to dead silence….in front of a packed out dancefloor. The engineer couldn’t figure out the problem, so replaced the deck….not before a total of two or three minutes dead air time blared outta the speakers. Yeah, I’d call that a ‘disaster’!