Episode 42: Eddie Neal Brings It Back To 88

Eddie Neal is a super old school Boston DJ who we were lucky enough to meet through Ross The Boss. Eddie gave Ross a CD for us to check out and we were just totally blown away and had to podcast it for you. Here’s what Eddie had to say. Respect.

When did you start DJing?
I started DJing in 1976. I was a sophomore at Boston University holding down a course load, enrolled in the School of Management and dividing my free time between martial arts and the gym, doing a radio show on the student run radio station and doing Disco and Funk dormitory parties on the weekends. I actually taught myself BPM mixing on two standard non-variable speed turntables.

Why did you start DJing?
I started DJing because it was fun to get a crowd of heads movin to the beat. I was on the cutting edge when new music was introduced. As a member of the New England DJ Association I was able to listen and make a determination regarding what would work on the dance floor and what would not. Call it “research of sound”. It was love at first spin and I was into it pretty bad.

What was Boston like back then (music, clubs, record stores etc)?

Back then the Boston club scene was not as open as it is now. Club managers and owners were very closed minded regarding patronage. There was a lot of prejudgements made about people around race and ethnicity. To put it bluntly; most club managers and owners liked to control what jocks played to keep the dance floor as “undiverse” as possible. This served as a deterrent for minority patronage and allowed very few opportunities for jocks of color like myself. I taught myself how to become multi-dimensional when it came to rockin a dance floor. This meant I could be successful regardless of the format. I spun dance rock, progressive rock, top 40, disco, funk, hi-energy, reggae and merengue. I also worked at the now extinct Strawberries Records for a few years in the early 80’s. This opened doors for me and I was one of very few black jocks to spin in the major Boston clubs including on Landsdowne Street. I also enjoyed a successful mobile DJ business for several years after college. Then I found my niche…

It was the music coming out of Chicago and New York in the early to mid 80’s that secured my interest and motivated me to built my proficiency in the art we call house music. Sure in the past 20 years house music has been put through many stages and branched off in a multitude of forms and factions. But when everything is said and done, progressive underground house will always be the original form, created from the soul and still powerful to this day and back in the day.

What’s this mix all about?
The “mystery” mix takes you on a journey through Chi-town and Uptown on a Friday night. I was going for soulful impact selections and basic masterful effects with three tables before the emergence of “push button” DJ technology. It was 1988.

What music are you into now?
House is in my blood and is here to stay. Occasionally I still do come out to lay it down the way it should be done. Cease to create and you will cease to exist. These days I’m feeling house, smooth jazz, neo-soul. I will forward a picture within the hour.

Pressure – Hunter Hayes
Mystery – Phase 2
Devotion – Ten City
The Opera House – Jack E Makossa
Do It Properly – 2 Puerto Ricans, A Black Man & a Dominican
Move Your Body – Marshall Jefferson
I’m Strong – Robert Owens
Easier Said than Done – Vanilla
You Usta Hold Me – Ralphie Rosario w/ Xavier Gold
Can’t Get Enough – Liz Torres
How Soon We Forget – Colonel Abrams
For So Long – Mr. Fingers
Movin On – Carol Harding
Mind Games – Quest
Like This – K-Joy
Good To The Last Drop – C-Bank w/ Eleanor Mills
Feels So Good – Najee

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Episode 42: Eddie Neal Brings It Back To 88