What’s your history and background working in the music industry?
I grew up in Long Beach California & got into 45s when I was 5. Played bass in bands in my teens & then moved to London when I was 20. I didn’t want to play music, so I became a music journalist & wrote for the NME newspaper for a couple years doing the 45s reviews & writing articles. I interviewed David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, Frank Zappa, etc. When the Rolling Stones went to Jamaica in December 1972 to record their Goats Head Soup lp, they asked me to go too. During that trip I interviewed the 3 original Wailers: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh & Bunny Wailer plus Prince Buster, Byron Lee & many others. Serious digging for Jamaican sevens in downtown Kingston as well.
Got tired of writing and had gotten to know Chris Blackwell who owned Island Records. He hired me to be his right hand guy in the London office. So, I worked on 3 Bob Marley albums: Burnin’, Natty Dread & then I recorded the album Bob Marley & the Wailers Live with No Woman No Cry. I produced the Heptones album Night Food. Put together the first couple of This Is Reggae Music comps as well as albums by the Maytals and Jimmy Cliff. Besides reggae, I did a lot of other stuff too.
Moved back to LA. In the punk era I produced a bunch of 45s, then recorded an ep & an album with a rock band called the Plimsouls. Went back to Island in 1982, started a film soundtrack division, released a bunch of soundtrack albums like the Big Easy, Almodovar’s High Heels, Kiss Of Spider Woman, etc. Eventually, Blackwell sold Island & I was kinda exhausted, so he gave me a bonus & I left. Started my own production company called True Sound, signed some rappers & the rock band Sublime. Had an underground hip hop radio show in 1992/93 called Smokin Vinyl with guests like the Beatnuts, Cypress Hill, Masta Ace, Freestyle Fellowship. And on & on.
What is Blazing 45s and how did it come about?
Blazing 45s began as a one-off party in 2010. I invited friends to DJ for my birthday & gave it that name. Everyone was given 15 minutes to spin, so you’d be hearing their best tunes. PB Wolf, Dam Funk, Shinehead, Nobody & about 20 others came thru & it was a lotta fun. After that, I flipped the formula & would bring in deep DJs like Boogie Blind, DJ Scratch, Kenny Dope, Rich Medina & the maestro Natasha Diggs. Now its more of an occasional party.
What’s your craziest digging story?
I was in DC & planning to drive to NYC. So I called DJ Fine Wine + asked him if there were any record shops I should check out along the way. He gave me the name of this store outside of Pittsburgh that had been there forever. It was a 3 or 4 story building but the public only had access to the ground floor record store. They said they had a half million 45s being stored on the other floors. So I got a room at the Holiday Inn & dug all day long for 3 days & never made it to NYC. Hahaha.
What kind of records you look for these days? Any favorite labels?
I like funky dance tunes from other countries. I love France, Brasil, Peru, Quebec. Those are all hotbeds for incredible music. I don’t really go after labels. The English do that a lot. I’m all about a different tune, a special one that gets u the minute the needle hits the grooves. Especially if no-one else is up on the record yet. I used to go after grails in the beginning but Im very anti grail now coz a grail is a record that is already being played and appreciated. Im looking for that lonely one sitting in the corner waiting to be noticed. Lol.
Honestly, I can’t think of just one. If I tell u my idea of perfection, it won’t be the same as yours or anyone elses.
Tell us about Ximeno records?
I once had 50,000 records when I had more of an archivist’s mentality. Then I started selling them to my friends + they all said the same thing: “you have all this great obscure music, why dont u put out a comp?” My friend Aaron came over + said the same thing. His DJ name is Destroyer. I knew his parents for a long time coz they were in the music biz too & I first met Aaron when he was 10. So, we started talking about a 45 reissue label & I kept the heaters close to my turntable & that nite we selected tunes for our first releases & boom, Bob’s yer uncle. Our 5th release is in the pipeline now.
Are you excited to be rocking at Mobile Mondays?
I’m very proud of Blazing 45s, but I recognize Mobile Mondays as the number one 45 party in the country. I can’t believe the guests you’ve had. Mark The 45 King coming out of retirement? gtfoh! I am not worthy. But I will do my best. These days I enjoy spinning a mixture of popular faves & lesser known tunes. My main goal at MM will be to keep the dance floor flowing.
What can we expect to see from Danny Holloway in the future? Any exciting projects coming up?
I have about 5 different ideas a day but realize my time is limited, so I have to be careful with what I pursue. I may do some DJ touring overseas soon & after that I hope to do something new. At my age the biggest rush comes from succeeding at something I’ve never done before.