Vince Aletti Interview
|Vince Aletti was the first person to write about disco (in a piece published in Rolling Stone in 1973). He also worked for Ray Caviano’s RFC Records in the late ’70s/early ’80s. These days, he’s the Village Voice’s art critic and has one of the greatest collection of fashion magazines in the world.
Biographical details please?
I was born in Philadelphia in 1945, grew up outside Philadelphia and Fort Lauderdale. I studied literature. I went to college, just to go to college. It was 1962 when I went to college. And as much as I was not exactly caught up in the hippie thing or anything like that at that point, I was undoubtedly affected by what was going on. But I was focusing on my career; I wanted to be a writer in a sort of vaguest way.
Had you already been a record collector?
I was a music fan. I remember being a record collector as a kid, but not again until I went to college when I completely got into Motown and the early early Motown years. I started writing about music for the college paper. I went to school in Ohio, which really had a schizophrenic radio. There were a lot of country stations there, but there was also some really strong R&B stations. So I was constantly listening to R&B, and I started writing about R&B records I heard on the radio. And that was that’s what got me my job, my friend was sort of associated with a New York underground paper called The Rat. It was an important paper for New York. I don’t think I was getting paid.
What year was that?
’67 or ’68.
Interviewed by Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton in New York, 12.10.98