I found that you can actually read the chapter on Detroit techno from Laurent Garnier’s book on Vice’s Thumb. This was actually one of my favorite chapters, and is partially made up from interviews with Jeff Mills and Mike Banks.
Mills about hist first steps into dj-ing:
‘In 1979 I was 16. My older brother had been a DJ for several years. He let me practice at his place, on his gear. At around the same time we both began sending mix tapes to radio stations in Detroit. It wasn’t really something people did back then. On my brother’s advice I must have sent about 15 tapes in just one year to the station WDRQ, but never got a reply. When my brother decided to stop DJ-ing he gave me all his records and his equipment. I set it all up in my bedroom and started practicing for several hours a day.
And about his first gig:
My brother arranged a meeting at a downtown club called Lady so I could audition. As I wasn’t yet the right age legally (21) to be allowed into the club I had to sneak in through the back door and scramble up into the DJ booth without being seen by security. It wasn’t yet 10pm and the club was already packed. The bosses and the resident DJs came into the DJ booth, “OK, show us what you can do.” I started off my set with a move that they had never seen before. I put the needle on the first record in the middle of the break and then played a second copy of the same record from the beginning. I won my ticket to play the week after.
The chapter also tells the story about how he became ‘The Wizard’ and landed him his radio show.
These stories by Jeff were a joy to read and makes me wish he would take the time to write down his stories and follow in Laurent’s footsteps writing a book.