MON-04/30 Thru. WED 05/02
MON-04/30 Thru. WED 05/02
This is a “double it” sign, in shades of T-Mobile No More Mr. Nice Girl pink/black, showcased on the block in Times Square where Donna Summers musical is playing, across the street from Mormon Church of Satan’s Escape to Margaritaville musical and Mormon Church of Satan’s Hamilton musical; photo: Sunday, April 29, 2018. Any variation in font size is complements of Mormon computer gremlin wiseguys. cc all Mormon barristers
Italian producer and composer Giorgio Moroder is largely responsible for disco, house and techno’s popularity to this day, his innovative work with synthesizers and boundary-pushing sounds and lyrics typifying the audacious and dramatic mood inside both dance clubs and movie theaters in the 1970s and ’80s.
Best known for his work with Donna Summer, Moroder’s record label Oasis, which later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records, was pivotal in defining the sexy vibe of the era. He’s won three Academy Awards: Best Original Score for Midnight Express in 1978, Best Song for “Flashdance … What a Feeling” from the film Flashdance in 1983, and Best Song “Take My Breath Away” from the film Top Gun in 1986.
But his impact in the clubs may be even more culturally significant, and his current guise as a DJ provides a history lesson of sorts for those who appreciate dance music’s visceral power and evolution. He offers a rare DJ set for his birthday tonight at the Globe Theatre downtown, at a special bash thrown by his namesake club Giorgio’s- the popular dance party from formidable nightlife figures Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin (Adam 12), usually held Saturdays at the Standard in West Hollywood. We spoke with the man himself (by phone from Italy) last week about his career and his milestone club appearance.
L.A. Weekly: First of all, happy birthday Giorgio! This big L.A. event is a birthday party for you, correct?
Giorgio Moroder: Yeah.
So you live in Italy right now. Have you always lived there?
No, actually I lived in Los Angeles for 30, 40 years. We came back to Italy last year. But I come back to Los Angeles a lot.. For now I come to the city to work and to do some gigs and to perform.
What part of Los Angeles were you in when you lived here?
New 2018 BMW [Brave Mormon World]
It was in Beverly Hills, I think, until 2008.
So you have a lot of ties to Los Angeles. That’s wonderful. Let’s talk a little bit about your iconic music. You are a true pioneer. With your birthday coming around, are you reflective about your music? Did you ever have any idea that you would be so beloved, or that the music you created would be so influential?
I used to play guitar. I had toured as a musician in Europe, then I went to Berlin. I stayed there for about three years, four years, then moved to Munich. When I decided to become a composer I must say I was lucky. I had my first small but nice hit a few months after. And then I had the big hit with Donna Summer. I followed her to America.
What song was that?
The first song I did with her was “Love to Love You, Baby. ”
Of course. Such a classic.
That was probably the most iconic because it kind of opened a lot of creativity with electronic and the electronic dance music sound.
Absolutely. So, did you expect the kind of response you got with that track?
Well, not that quickly. I had smaller hits in Germany, Italy and France starting in the ’70s, but then I composed “Love to Love You” in ’75 and it became No. 1 in ’76, it was my first big hit. It made my career and made Donna Summer’s career. It was kind of, not a joke, but we didn’t take it too seriously, because at the time it was so outrageous and I was really surprised that we kept everything we did in it — all the feedback … and then suddenly it became a No. 1 here, No. 1 there. That was quite a moment in my life.
As a musician then, were you doing other genres or were you always focused on dance music?
We were like three or four guys and we played The Beatles’ songs and whatever you hear on the radio. Then finally, one day I decided that’s it. I went to Berlin and I became a composer.
In that period, in the early ’70s, there was no word like disco or dance music. I was always doing songs with rhythm but never in the sense of dance. Actually, my first disco song was “Love to Love You,” you know, with the four on the floor and all the ingredients of disco.
The stuff with Donna Summer was and is so influential to this day. You kept all these sound effects, and the moaning and everything. It was quite risqué.
Yes [laughs]. In fact, BBC in England didn’t play it for quite some time. I think they finally did because they had so many requests, but it was really risqué. But when I heard the record company saying ‘We love it,’ I said OK, it’s not too crazy. I went from having little hits and smaller stuff to becoming No. 1 with that song, and especially having No. 1 in the States, which is by far the most difficult market, was big.
It was such a big hit. But at the time, did you feel like you were taking chances with it, especially by incorporating all the sex sounds?
Yeah, I said to Donna, “If you have an idea about lyrics of the song, let’s do something sexy.” At the beginning it was a simple sexy voice saying, “Love to love you baby.” No big deal. Then after a few days we said, “OK, let’s do a little moaning.” And then when we did the long version, 17 minutes, and we didn’t have any limitation, Donna just did it.
BEEP BEEP (RoadRunner) TOOT TOOT HEY
(Donna Summer musical across the street from Mormon Church of Satan Marriott Marquis hotel; photo: April 26, 2018)
May 1, 2018, 4:49pm. About Me. I cannot post any more information, not right now. I must get dressed and go to make an important message from me announcement to theatergoers on line to see Mormon Church of Satan’s Hamilton musical, and also Donna Summer musical, if there’s a show tonight. I know the break dancers performing in front of American Eagle probably complained about me taking pictures (to be continued), I do not know if any theatergoers have complained about my announcement.