Strange, death’s effect on people. I know that’s quite an obvious and throwaway statement to make, possibly even insensitive, but right now I’m referring specifically to someone who died and of whom I never met. This legend who has quite an unnerving effect on me is Frankie Knuckles, the “Godfather of house music”. He died a week ago and I feel as though I’m mourning him. The music world was in shock as at age of 59 he unexpectedly died in his sleep. After some research, it seems he has had complications with Type 2 Diabetes and previously had problems with bone infections, even having to amputate his foot because of his gruelling work schedule – something of which I would never have known that time I was at Ushuaia Club in Ibiza, amongst other ravers in their highly glamorous outfits as we all danced side by side to his soulful Defected set in the comforting humidity beneath the sparkling stars.
Although he has remixed hundreds of famous tracks for the likes of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and some of the more underground stuff, this track below was the defining point of his timeless career, entitled ‘Your Love’. It’s one of those tracks that everybody knows, whether through the reinterpretation made world famous via Candi Staton’s “You’ve Got The Love” or through his own 1980’s version. It’s one of those era-defining tracks that will live on forever.
As I’ve been travelling to work, the commercial radio stations that don’t usually complement my journey have, to the pleasure of my soul, been paying tribute to Frankie and each time they have I’ve felt a real sense of loss. It was a strange feeling, and as I was feeling it I acknowledged that it was strange – my face became confused and my expression turned to a wide smile, those expressions changed in quick, bipolar succession. At one point, as I sat on the back seat of the lower deck of the bus, I looked at the people sitting in their seats, oblivious to these waves of contrasting emotions going on inside of me.
See, he’s accompanied my journey through music and my journey through music is essentially my journey through life. He’s held my hand through the hard times, the good times, the slow times, the bus journeys and so on. Even if it wasn’t his particular track I was listening to, what I was listening to would have in some way stemmed from his and a few others’ ground breaking visionary ways. Music has been an integral part to what I feel, to the events that have taken place in my life. Music, more specifically house music – the term of which was coined by the legend himself as he played in the nightclub The Warehouse, has documented my life up to now and although my vision of what’s out there has over time widened, it is house music, real deep house music, that has been my friend to talk to when I’ve felt alone or segregated or weird or unhappy.
So.. to you Frankie Knuckles, I salute, one love, thank you and rest in peace my friend.
BBC Article = http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-26832310
LOVE Greg Wilson’s blog, his amazing tribute = http://www.gregwilson.co.uk/2014/04/frankie-knuckles/comment-page-1/