Monday, July 20, 2009


Saturday morning I woke up (well it was around one in the afternoon but, you get my drift) singing Donna Summer's Dim All The Lights.

"Turn on the Overtoner, gonna dance the night away!"

Halfway from walking the Shar-pei to the the coffeemaker I thought "Uh,Overtoner?" For thirty-seven years I’ve just assumed that an Overtoner was a device used in the recording or the playing of disco music. Like some sort of equipment that Studio 54 had pioneered to play back the quick beats and bass in disco and dance music. This Overtoner would sit next to the DJ and was wired into the amplifier and mixing board.

When I was a mere tiny queerling I would lay on the sculptured shag carpet in front of our huge console radio, I’d listen to Donna Summer coming from my sisters 8-track. I’d think of all the music drifting onto the dance floor. Imagining me in the middle dressed up in only the finest polyesters. That incredible voice being made even better with the aid of the humming Overtoner.

So, Saturday morning I find that there is no such thing, this incredible disco making device. In case you ever get asked it’s “Turn up the old Victrola, gonna dance the night away.” Not that you’ll ever be asked.

But, I’ve learned something, if you’re ever wrong about something like this. Don’t get embarrassed and wonder how if you’ve got this wrong, maybe everything else you’ve ever learned is wrong. Do the American thing, the thing that I plan on doing later today. Just Go to Wikipedia and make a totally fake entry. I do plan on giving Donna Summer credit for the Overtoner’s popularity in gay dance clubs.


Howard said...

Don't worry, it wasn't until I was in my teens that I figured out that.

Anonymous said...

Even downtown, voice carry.

JSH said...

It took me years to realize that Madonna was not singing "Last night I dreamed of some bagels..."

alphasun said...

Hi Steve,
Thanks for clearing up the Overtoner issue -- I heard the track on BBC programme and wanted to get the truth about that gadget!
Paul Nash