Scratching Turntablist Grandmaster of them ALL Christian Marclay, the Scratch...and THIS Dude. HIp-Hop with a Comb Over in 1931!
Get me the Guinness World Record of Vinyl Records folks! Grandmaster Comb Over is in the house (and rocking the DOLL house)
William S. Burroughs was one of the first Hip-Hop artists I guess, as it appears he conjured up similar notions while junk sick one day and experimented with the technique in the 1950s. Another artist who scratched outside of the Hip-Hop Culture is Christian Marclay, who has done just about everything and anything one can imagine with a piece of vinyl and even the packages they came in, his early shows in Manhattan were wonderful events, part Hip-Hop, Part record collector and all fun. Even the late wanker Malcom McLaren figures in the mix, remember the single Buffalo Gals from 1983? But of course, it really all came from the Bronx. DJ Grandmaster Flash, Grand Wizard Theodore...Pure genius. I define genius as putting two things together in a new way. Like two turntables and a cross-fader. Cue it up and go backwards.
This enterprising fellow certainly beat them all to it. Most press photographs in my collection come with a caption or notes on the reverse. Sadly, it is missing from this one. All that remains to identify the photo is the date March 23, 1931. A tragedy, as we might just have here the very first Mix Master and turntablist. I'm not sure if he could Scribble, Chirp, Flare, Crab, Twiddle, Tweak, Orbit or Flare...but it sure looks like he was trying. This here is some serious scratching, but it don't look like the Bronx. The technique is the same though...a hunk of plywood with some turntables. I wonder if he ever tried to plug it into a city lamp pole?
Anonymous Press Photograph 1931 Collection Jim Linderman