Personalities | Grandmaster Flash | Eighties | Rock

(DJ/turntablist, b. 1958)

Born Joseph Saddler in Barbados, Flash was the inventor of turntablism – the use of a DJ’s equipment as a musical instrument. He started out in the Bronx in the early 1970s becoming the first DJ to manipulate records by hand, cutting and mixing songs into each other. Blondie’s ‘Rapture’ opines ‘Flash is fast, Flash is cool’; Flash returned the favour in 1981’s ground-breaking ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel’, which sampled ‘Rapture’ as well as Chic and Queen. ‘The Message’ was the track that broke Flash and The Furious Five, the team of rappers he had assembled in the late 1970s: Melle Mel (Melvin Glover), Cowboy (Keith Wiggins), Raheim (Guy Williams), Mr Ness (Eddie Morris) and Kid Creole (Nathaniel Glover). ‘White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)’ credited to Flash and Mel, followed in 1983. The two fell out and continued solo careers, reuniting for 1988’s On The Strength.

Styles & Forms | Eighties | Rock
Personalities | Guns N’ Roses | Eighties | Rock

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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