Archive for December, 2011

To my mentor: Dr. Huxtable, R.I.P.

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized on December 9, 2011 by bitpusher2600

I was shocked as hell today to find out about the loss of an old friend and the man I always deemed my mentor, Jon Fox, better known as “The Raggasaurus” Dr. Huxtable or “Doc Hux.” We lost touch quite a while ago, but I remember him very well. I wish to tell the story of how I knew Jon and why he’s my mentor.

I started a job, somewhere in the year 2001 I believe it was at a warehouse called Transworld. I also met a great friend whom I admired and respected named Scott Paris. But anyway, at this point in my life I was just a wannabe, truly going no further than daydreaming about being in the music is so passionately listened to, which for me was primarily old school hiphop and various styles of electronica. I had a monster stack of bass tapes before I was even 13 🙂
Anyway, I loved the art and magic of the DJ, and at the time I had an ultra cheap pair of turntables and mixer from Radio Shack. I met his, at the time, fiance Rachel. We got along in the beginning I believe because I was talking about music nobody else had heard of except her. She told me her man was a DJ after I told her about my little fantasy. Next day, she came in and Jon told her to tell me “tell him if he spins old school, I think that’s awesome” or something along those lines.

Flash forward just a hair, she had arranged for me to meet him after begging her to hook me up. She wanted me to be able to meet him anyway because she knew me by now and knew how much I loved what I was trying to do. Next thing I knew, Jon was arranging to take me along as a guest to sets he was spinning. I got to watch him work first hand many times. It was thru this and a couple times at his house he’d let me get close and learn what he was doing, thus I considered him my mentor because he was teaching me how to DJ. Of all the electronic shit I was into, I had never heard of Speed Garage till Jon introduced me to it and man do I love that stuff to this day.

Jon sold me my first real set of turntables and mixer. I couldn’t afford that shit without winning the lottery ya know? But he sold them to me dirt cheap, I don’t know if its that just wanted the stuff out of his way, he didn’t care about it, or if he really wanted me to have them after hearing what I was trying to work with. It was a pair of motor driven Gemini’s and a 3-channel NuMark club mixer with transformers. With what vinyl I had, this allowed me to finally move beyond just studying and actually hands on practicing. They were “OK” for turntablist (read: scratch technique) stuff, but perfect for beat blending. That was another monumental step in my mind, getting to do the real thing.

I also recall a trip I got to make with him as his Roadie to a show he did in Pennsylvania called SevenSpeed. While up there, I got to do a little cornball freestyling on a stage, and I got to shake hands with DJ Freaky Flow and MC Flipside. We absolutely had to go so I didn’t get to watch their set, but I helped carry Jon’s stuff and set up.

Finally, he gave me the go ahead to come by the studio from time to time to see him do his thing there to. He was the head engineer for CMC Studios at this time. I learnt some neat things about production there, but I never placed a finger on his equipment unless he told me too. I have several memories in my head of stepping out the back door of the engineers box to have a smoke and talk about all kinds of shit. Jon had also put me in touch with whom I needed to be and essentially got me a few gigs back in the days of BB McClains.

In closing, him making efforts to bring me along, to show me how to do things, and being patient knowing how on his Jock I was, I owe that man a lot. Jon seemed to me to be a naturally gracious person. From my vantage, as I said at the beginning, he gave me the means and know how to go from fantasizing about DJ’ing and music to actually doing. I wish I hadn’t lost touch with him, for the times I’ve talked about here are a long time ago. I’ve always had an unending passion for music, hell when I was elementary school it was not uncommon for me to be walking down the hallway with pockets full of cassettes. I was born with passion for music and a natural ability to understand and feel rhythm, but Jon Fox enabled me to step into it and as major a force as music is to my existence, this a much deeper subject than it may sound. His friendship, his knowledge, hell just him being him meant an awful lot to me, and this is the story of why I always labeled him as my mentor.

Jon, I’ll always remember you brother and there’s no way I ever felt I could properly thank you for the stuff you did for me. I’ll never know for certain how inconsequential all of this was or wasn’t to you, but I owe you a lot and Ive missed you for a long time besides. Any and every musical endeavour, I hope you’re seeing it. You brought what I love most to life for me, how much more can one person really impact another’s life?
R.I.P., and once more from the heart and soul, thank you.