“The feeling, the feedback that you get from the people in the room, is very, very spiritual. The Warehouse was a lot like that. For most of the people that went there, it was church for them. It only happened one day a week: Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon.”
Back in 1995, while researching the book Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, journalist Frank Broughton sat down in New York City with Frankie Knuckles, during which the Godfather of House Music discussed the emergence of house music in Chicago, the technology that drove the early house sound, and the people that made the scene so iconic.
Four years on from his passing on 31 March 2014, the interview makes for fascinating reading.
When asked where the term ‘house music’ came from, Knuckles says he can trace the term back to around 1980 or 1981, and the “kids that were hanging out at the Warehouse. Some of the new kids that had begun to discover what the Warehouse was all about: Farley, Jessie Saunders, Chip E, and all the rest of them. I would see them around I didn’t know who they were.
“And they started having different parties on their own in these different taverns and bars in Chicago. and when they’d do this they had a lot of success with it. And one day I was going out south to see my god-daughter, and we were sitting at a stop light, and on the corner there was a tavern, and in the window it had a sign that said WE PLAY HOUSE MUSIC.
“I asked this friend of mine ‘Now what is that all about?’ and she says ‘It’s the same stuff that you play at The Warehouse.’”
While the website that originally hosted the interview, djhistory.com, has since expired, the interview is still available thanks to the wonders of archive.org. Read it here.