House music legend Marshall Jefferson needs little in the way of introduction – the Chicago native lit the touchpaper for the nascent movement in 1986 with his piano-led classic Move Your Body, before going on to be a standard bearer for the house music movement in the years that followed.

On 10 February, Jefferson will appear alongside Julie McKnight (of Kings of Tomorrow), Trimtone, Matt Barker, James Sinclair and others at a celebration to mark 30 years of the Love to be promotions vehicle, taking place at the Mint Warehouse in Leeds. Tickets and information about that event can be found here.

Ahead of his Leeds appearance, and given that he was one of the first Chicago artists to DJ in the UK as house music broke, 909originals caught up with him to chat about his memories of the early days of acid house. 🙂

Read More: 909originals meets Ten City’s Marshall Jefferson and Byron Stingily

Hi Marshall, thanks for talking to us. Following on from the release of Move Your Body and other early productions, how aware were you of the emerging ‘acid house’ scene taking place in the UK?

I was aware the first time I came back after the first house tour. Acid Tracks by Phuture was out and the UK press started to call it Acid House.

I believe their original intent was to scare the parents, but like previous examples – Elvis/The Beatles/Bowie/Alice Cooper – anything that scares the shit out of parents, the kids will absolutely love.

Any particular stand-out memories from the house music tour you embarked on in the UK in 1987? Or did anything go spectacularly wrong at any point?

Highlights were the Hacienda, where Mike Pickering was playing everything related to Chicago and it felt like home. Rock City in Nottingham, I believe, had the most energy and the biggest crowd.

It went spectacularly wrong when I didn’t get paid for the last two weeks and I took a flight back home.

How did the emerging scene in the UK differ from what you were familiar with in Chicago?

It was more rebellious and more illegal. There were more drugs… and we didn’t have illegal raves at all in Chicago. It got waaaaayyyyy more press too – AND Chicago didn’t have pirate radio stations. Videos were out of the question and there was no revenue stream in Chicago in the beginning.

What prompted you to decide to move to the UK in the early 90s?

I’ve always been afraid of flying. So moving to the UK of course meant shorter flights. I didn’t want to fly at all in the beginning, but they offered me too much money – that’s a secret of why DJ fees got so high, all the top DJs were afraid of flying. 😉

Any surprises in store for the 30th anniversary event on 10 February?

Rock the party by any means necessary… but that’s no surprise.

More information on Love to be’s 30th anniversary party can be found here.

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