One of the genres most successful and easily
recognizable disc jockeys, Bobby Viteritti grew with the disco scene
from it's infancy. Bobby told me his career started in 1973 around the
same time as Lou DiVito's did.
Bobby began spinning 7" 45's. Anyone who
has every mixed a record will tell you that it's hard enough to spin
12" singles let alone a 45. But Bobby, always the pro, figured out the
key to "quick mixing" the tiny vinyl discs to thrilling results. His
early career gained noteriety when the native New Yorker moved to
Florida and began spinning at the now legendary "Poop Deck" at the Marlin Beach Hotel.
His career kicked into high gear when he began spinning at the still legendary "Copa" in
Ft. Lauderdale. Lou briefly took an opportunity to spin there, although
I'm not sure if it was before or after Bobby's reign there.
Word about the talented spinner at the
hottest club in the south quickly spread like wild fire throughout the
industry and the club scene. Bobby was soon the most sought after D.J.
in the south and the most widely respected.
It wasn't long till Hollywood came a calling,
actually it was San Francisco that called and Bobby answered. Bobby was
inticed to move to the west coast gay mecca to be the resident spinner
at a new club, "Trocadero Transfer." The
club scene in San Francisco was inspired to import it's early D.J.'s
from New York, Florida and Boston, among other places. The club scene
became a dancer's delight with some of the world's greatest jocks
competing for the nightly floor trade. The competetion became so fierce
that at one point the city was divided by the "Troc" group and the "Dreamland" gang. The D.J.'s were paid handsomely for their talents, at one point
Viteritti was making a $1,000 per evening, which was an unheard of sum
of money in the late 1970's. But listening to his tapes it's certainly
Great pains were taken to enhance the "experience" at "Trocadero." Bobby and his equally reknown lightman Billy Langenheim would carefully plan the scope of each evening's set. "Billy
and Bobby would get together at the beginning of the night and plan
where they would take the crowd and with what songs. They believed that
if they could totally control the audio and visual enviroments, then
they could actually control the group consciousness and influence
people's trips, which they did. It was like nothing I've ever seen," gushed a clubber in David Diebold's book "Tribal Rites."
suddenly go into a wild, frenzied, high energy set and we'd beat the
crowd with strobes and wild music. We'd whip them up with one rough
song after another then throw them into a whirlpool, smoothing out with
"Touch Me In The Morning" by Marlena Shaw or "Rise" by Herb Alpert, and
bring everybody back together in the same head space," proudly claims Viteritti.
Without a doubt the formula that Bobby and Billy used created magic and
the long lines outside and the packed dance floor inside were proof. As
the disco-era began it's slow painful demise and the calendar turned
into a new decade the Bobby/Billy team moved over to San Francisco's "Dreamland." They
continued their magic but the club scene was changing. A.I.D.S. had
moved in, the drugs were changing, the 1970's dancers were growing up
and moving on. Bobby continued doing his famous parties and tape
remixes while retreating to the comfort of his place up on the Russian
During the 1980's Bobby took to the
road doing guest spots at some of the top clubs in the world. He
related to me his "5-minute guest spot at Studio 54." Seems this took place in 1979. "I
was at the annual Billboard convention in New York and as Lou and all
the other visiting jocks would do, I stopped by to see Richie (Kaczor)
at "54." While up in the booth Richie left the booth, probably to go to
the bathroom. I watched as the record was nearing the end, I grabbed
Bonnie Pointer's "Heaven Must Have Sent You" and sorta slammed into it
as the other record was fading out. The crowd went wild...it was kinda
of a joke. Their was no expertise involved, they just screamed I guess,
because after all it was Studio 54....you know all the hype."
Bobby also told me the acoustics in the booth at 54 were horrible. A
fact I could relate to as many booths I played in were acoustic
Bobby spent the remainder
of the 1980's and into the 1990's dabbling in his wonderful and unique
tape edits and remixes, doing the occasional guest spot and party.
He moved back to his native hometown,
New York City, and enjoys an easy going and relaxed life style after
many years of club life. He works on his tapes, he's in the process of
converting them to compact disc. He offers them for sale and is always
happy to hear from his fans. Bobby is a truly gracious and delightfully
funny legend. His stories about the "good old days, Lou DiVito and disco in general" kept me in stitches and gave me a wonderful insight into his world, my friend Lou and life at the top in the disco-era. Thank you Bobby! I'm so glad that you're still here and still sharing your talents with us.