Ahead of Cream Reunion 6, we caught up with Hacienda and Cream legend Graeme Park to chat favourite remixes, being a lecturer, which DJs he'd have at his party - and English football.
Date published: 22nd Jan 2013
Firstly, you must be looking forward to going back to Nation. How will you go about creating your set for the Cream Reunion? The same way I create all of my sets. Wait and see what the crowd is like. One thing I've learned over the years is that too much preparation is pointless. You just don't know what the vibe is going to be on the night, especially at an event like this. I'm looking forward to it.
Given that you were already resident at The Hacienda, what was your first night at Cream like? It was good. I played early doors before racing over to my regular Hacienda night in Manchester because in those days, clubs filled up early because they closed early. The DJ booth was accessible by everyone too so it was quite difficult to concentrate.
Whilst working in Nottingham record shop Selectadisc in the early 1980s, which artists were you first influenced by when they began to filter through from Chicago, Detroit and New York? Pretty much every 12" from North America was amazing and influenced me in some way, but the one name that has remained a constant influence to me over the past 30 years is Frankie Knuckles. His work is timeless.
As well as being a DJ, you are well known for your remixes, particularly Cream anthems such as The Brand New Heavies - 'Back To Love', Maria Rowe - Sexual and Loni Clark - Love's Got Me (On A Trip So High)'. During 1993 and 1994 you were churning out lots of amazing remixes over a reasonably short space of time. Do you still spend much time in the studio, and which is your favourite Parky remix? I spend as much time as I can in the studio but these days I spend more time working with students at Glyndwr University in Wrexham where I pass on my experience in my role as part time lecturer. I have been quite busy in recent months working on my new Yellow & Black Project and you'll hear the results this year in the form of remixes, collaborations and new original material. More details from thisisgraemepark.com Of all of my remixes my favourite changes all the time, but at the moment it's my remix of Inner City's "Share My Life" which I recently rediscovered when choosing tracks for the Hacienda 30th Anniversary CD.
What is your favorite memory of Cream? Mrs Park. Of course she wasn't Mrs Park then.
Still going as strong as ever, you've made a very successful career out of being a DJ. If you hadn't become a DJ, what do you think you would have ended up doing? Before becoming a DJ I played saxophone and sang in bands. It was going pretty well too. Otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd have been a journalist.
Do you ever get tired of being asking questions about The Hacienda or what it was like? No. How could I be? The Hacienda's legacy goes on and I'm proud to be a part of it.
If you held a private party and weren't playing out yourself, which five DJs from the past and present would you most like to play? Frankie Knuckles, Tom Wainwright, DJ Harvey, Norman Jay, John Peel.
We know you're a big Aberdeen fan, but do you have a soft spot for any English club? No. I'm only into the highs and lows of Scottish football. I just don't get the showbiz nonsense of English football and fail to get excited by overpaid, out of touch players with few social skills. I do follow Scottish players and managers in England regardless of who they manage or play for.
Graeme Park returns to Nation on Saturday 2nd February for the Cream Reunion. Tickets are available below.