3.1.7. Marshall Jefferson
Marshall Jefferson was a young postman who had a passion for the heavy rock sound of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. However, he had caught the ‘House’ bug after visiting DJ Ron Hardy’s club called Music Box, which he only went to because he was chasing a wild-looking girl from work, Veronica Montgomery. He asked her to take him to the places she would go as he was curious how she dressed (Bidder, 2001, p. 39). Her fashion image located her to a different social group that had a symbolic value that made her stand out and attractive to Jefferson. After that night at the Music Box, Jefferson started to make music, and he tailored it for the club and added to it rock elements. He did without electric guitars but with a keyboard, a Roland TB - 303 and a drum machine. Even though he had no previous musical skill before he bought all this equipment, two days later, he had written his first song, ‘Go Wild Rhythm Tracks’ produced under the pseudonym of Virgo. One year later, DJ’s all over the world were hiring keyboard players like Jefferson to play (Bidder, 2001, p. 38). Jefferson, even within the ‘House music’ community, was not conventional. As cited by Bidder Jefferson states’ “I wasn’t like your conventional guy, you know, every time somebody zigs I try to zag” ( 2001). In considering then, ‘House music' as the musical hegemony, it is possible to say then Jefferson created subgenera’s of ‘House music’ in a modernist self-developing way. Musically he differed and went against the norms of a scene. Jefferson recalls, “House music was too straight” (Bidder, 2001, p. 40). By influencing ‘House music’ with his background in rock music, he created a sound that drove the dance floor crazy. This sound enhanced the experience the kids had, which a lot of them were on acid (Bidder, 2001, p. 40).
Jefferson's unconventionality earned himself the attention of Larry Sherman, who recruited him as an in-house producer, and his Trax record releases came out under several pseudonyms that would broaden the Chicago house’s musical range. Jefferson recorded under other pseudonyms: Virgo, On the House and The Truth creating a deeper house sound embedded with dreamy Brain Eno textures and reflective blue sensibilities. Jefferson’s ‘Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)’ would become the blueprint for thousands of ‘House' releases to come (Bidder, 2001, p. 40).
It is clear to say that Jefferson was not a purist producer; his innovation and curiosity was eclectic, widening what he produced. His inner compulsions were modern. He was self-developing, but what he was producing was sonically bringing people together and liberating them on dance floors that he wanted to be part of. Jefferson was very much a producer like Levan or Knuckles were DJ’s. Combining the different music styles by taking inspiration from his background of different music genres and combining them in his style of music created many subgenera’s of ‘House music’. Because of the different subgenera’s of ‘House music’, Jefferson influenced that global interest in electronic music prevailed.