For Throwback Thursday this week, Maurice recounts our first Digable Planets show! Get the scoop below.
I first found out about Digable Planets around 1992. I received a call from Dennis Wheeler, President of Pendulum Records, which was an imprint on Elektra. He knew what we were doing at Giant Step and told me he wanted to send over some demos of a new band they’d signed to hear our response. So, they sent me the demos and I thought it was very Tribe-esque [see: A Tribe Called Quest]. I ended up meeting with the band and the label to explore how Giant Step could help Digable Planets, and this actually became a very early marketing project for us without really realizing it.
Digable Planets finished “Cool Like That” and brought the test press of the track to the Giant Step club, which was then in the basement at Metropolis Café. We tested the song out on the Giant Step crowd – first time that record was ever played in public – and it went down brilliantly; people went crazy. Inspired by the response from the crowd that night, the guys went home and they made The Crashing Giant Step Mix, which was on the original 12” of “Cool Like That.”
After that, we wanted to do a show with them, obviously. We ended up doing it at the Supper Club, which was a venue that we’d just started using and was a fantastic space for shows. Dana Bryant was a poetess we were managing at the time and had just gotten signed to Warner Brothers Records – we put her on the bill as the opener. It was a great show. And in fact, about a year later, we had the Digable Planets back again along with Guru, Pharcyde, Donald Byrd, Ron Carter, The Last Poets, Tony Williams, Meshell Ndegeocello, MC Solaar, and others as part of the Red Hot, + Cool show that we had filmed for the Stolen Moments documentary. A must see if you already haven’t.