Pokey’s was Melbourne’s Premiere Sunday night entertainment venue for the Gay community, their friends plus many local and international VIPs. It was the home of spectacular drag and stage productions from 1977 through the 80’s and hosted by the inimitable Jan Hillier and compere extraordinaire, Doug ‘Ellie’ Lucas.
I was the resident DJ from late 1980 through to 1983 following in the footsteps of one of Melbourne great and pioneering DJ’s, David ‘Hilda’ Hiscock who moved to Sydney in 1980. Working at Pokey’s was a roller coaster at times and whilst the shows always took center stage, I maintain that the DJ’s, David, I and the others who followed, did our bit to help create the enduring memory that was Pokeys.
Before, in between and after the shows, it was the DJ’s job to keep the place jumping. As part of the night, Hilda would use the time straight after a show to premiere the latest disco tracks to hit town. I followed his lead and presented new songs to a captive audience which became a feature each week.
This medley of hits was created for Pokey’s 5th Birthday. It was a labour of love for me spending months and many Sunday afternoons in the Pokeys office recording and editing. Mixed with 2 bulk standard Pioneer brand turntables and recorded on a REVOX 4 track Reel-to-Reel recorder, this piece of history is the result of a 100 hours of mixing and a 100 handmade tape edits. It was premiered at Pokey’s on the 5th Birthday night in October 1982 to a packed dance floor in between shows.
Recently unearthed in a garage clean-out, the master tape was carefully prepared and dubbed to digital. The sounds are balanced, levels corrected and enhanced with today’s technology but the mix is original.
I’ve created the video version presented here to better showcase the memories and styles at the time. However, please bear in mind, video clips have been sourced from many obscure locations and are the product of their time; 200 or so lines of resolution usually dubbed from tape to cassette and then onto other media. A far cry from today’s 1080p and 4K standards! I have used all the tricks of the trade to resurrect the vision but they are what they are, a glimpse into the past and sometimes through fuzzy glasses.
For those who went to Pokey’s when it reigned supreme on Sunday nights all those years ago or for others who just wished they’d been there, sit back and relive that memorable night in music with this special 33 1/3 minutes of disco classics!