I first heard Warren play at The Monster in Cherry Grove, probably in 1976 or ’77. Being a true discophile, I had a keen interest in hearing every DJ I could. I had just recently dipped my toe into the disco pool, as it were, and Warren fascinated me with his facility at revving up any audience, from a small weeknight group to the pandemonium of Saturday nights. As I watched him from a respectful and nonintrusive distance I remember his total poise in the booth and control of his music and programme. There was nothing slapdash or frenetic about his work; he was forever cool, calm, collected, and in control. I very well remember him working with two copies of the Gibson Brothers’ “Que Sera Mi Vida”… modifying and extending different parts of the song. This he did with expert style and absolute finesse. I was mightily impressed. Of course, I had seen other jocks tweak songs with two copies, but their work was more “on the fly” and spontaneous, not certain of the ultimate result.
Of all the DJs I have had the honor of working with or sharing residencies, I believe Warren came closest to my own personal ethos and work model… in layman’s terms: what we do and how we do it. On the rare occasions that we got to share a night together, we spoke to one another in our own special dialect as relating to the dance. We played together eloquently as one… rare alchemy in the DJ world where egos often intrude.
Warren was as comfortable playing progressive esoterica, cutting edge sounds, and club classics for thousands as he was in his element spinning for intimate crowds at the NY Monster. To his everlasting credit, he never shied away from playing mainstream or commercial hits if he believed in them. He never feared or coveted the approval of the self-anointed disco intelligentsia, those who spent more time judging than dancing. No, his focus was on a greater good: the enjoyment of the delighted throngs on his dance floors. (And in time, even the disco snobs fell under the spell of his insistent beats and enthralling musical journeys!)
As I knew Warren principally from the larger venues, I was no stranger to his gift of performance drama and style. His programming could be at once fearless and nurturing; rough and yet loving. And I cannot mention his renowned talent without shining a light on one of his signature songs: “Can We Try Again” was a forgotten disco single that I rescued from the ashes in the early Eighties and initiated a re-release of the single. But it was Warren who made the song eternally his own by recording his own a capella voice as a dramatic intro to his own extended edit of the opus, clocking in at a marathon fourteen minutes. That, dear friends, takes style, showmanship, and bravado to pull off. Few authentic DJs will ever equal that level of excellence!
Everybody loved Warren Gluck. No better proof may be borne out than by the hundreds of loving tributes and fond remembrances you may read today, tomorrow, and in the days to come. Warren loved to be a DJ, and that love he showered down upon uncountable masses of adoring dancers.
Many today have waxed poetic in their visions of the music and the parties up in heaven. I don’t care about heaven. Like so many of you, I miss Warren Gluck here on earth.