MOREFUNINTERVIEW7/23 – 24 (PRE)
Non-stop rocking with Jim West
One of the first people I invariably see when I arrive at Fuji Rock is the delightful, Jim West. I expect most festivalgoers have a similar experience when they encounter him as he’s generally the man behind the decks at the Blue Galaxy which sits centrally in the World Court. Should the weather turn wet or chilly, a crowd quickly rushes into the tent. The same is true late in the evening as other stages close while Jim keeps on rocking.
For Thursday night’s soft opening, Jim will play 6 straight hours of music. A feat that he has done on more than one occasion, and if not for last year’s typhoon, he would’ve managed a similar trick. “I lost two records last year, they just flew away.” West describes a wild night when it wasn’t just the needle which had a hard time staying on the platter, but also nearby fencing, ing equipment and even camp. “It was simply quite dangerous and we had to turn things off. They lost about 250 tents last year, just blew away.”
While many know Jim for his record spinning and enviable record collection, what you may not know is that he was part of the set-up crew a decade ago who would spend nearly 3 weeks in Naeba building everything from Palace of Wonder to World Court and elsewhere. He says it was hard work which he doesn’t miss as it was a “lot of lifting” and always up against a difficult time schedule. Worst of all, he found that there was absolutely nothing for him to do when the festival started. This probably was the inspiration for the early incarnation of the Blue Galaxy which was “Jim’s Vinylnasium”
Fortunately for all of us, Jim’ relishes role spinning records throughout the day and late evening. A job he would not give up for anything.