Drop the Needle: Everyone should know Eugene Tam’s story

Why Thursday was so important for DJs going to Play De Records? "What if Play De Record did not exist?"

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Eugene Tam(Picture Courtesy: IMDB)

As an immigrant always seeking to connect with locally produced content that tells me more about Canadian stories, “Drop De Needle: The Eugene Tam Story” served as an eye-opening experience.

Prior to watching this documentary, directed by Rob Freeman and written by showcased on Amazon Prime I had no knowledge of Eugene Tam and his impact on the Canadian music industry.

The documentary spanning a little less than 120 minutes thoroughly captivates with his journey from establishing a small record shop at Yonge Street(behind his dad’s store) to transforming it into a recording studio and a learning institution – the renowned “Play De Record.”

Drop the Needle Poster(Source: IMDB)

Throughout the film, Eugene’s humility(“Maybe’s” ..Maybe we did it…Maybe we did have something to do with it.. Maybe..)and unwavering dedication to connecting record labels with listeners is very evident and continually stands out. His resilience, drive, and innovative spirit shine through as he navigates the challenges of the music industry with new competition being just around the corner(TRAX) and with CDs, MP3 and the launching of the internet in the early 2000s.

Watch Rob Freeman talk to Ian Mackenzie about making of Drop the Needle

Specially what also stands out is the immense narrative from the plethora of influential figures in the Canadian music scene, including Jug-E, Russell Peters, DJ-X, Aki Abe, Jason Pama, Peter Primiani, Shams Tharani, David Cooper, Jester, Marcus Visionary, Skratch Bastid, Michele Geister, Starting from Scratch, Nav Sangha, Melboogie, David ‘click’ cox, Spade, Nick Holder, DJ Grouch, DJ Dopey, Frankenstein, DJ Kemo, David Ahmad, Ron Nelson, Dan-e-o, Denise Benson, Jonathan Ramos, Mr. Attic, Matt C, George Lycouras, Agile, DJ Power, Kardinal Official, Maestro Fresh Wes, Saukrates, Spin Supreme, and Alex Greggs.

Drop the Needle Poster(Source: IMDB)

Three tracks that I loved from “Drop the Needle”  are Monopoly Money by Citizen Kane(Cannot find on Apple Music), Super Educated by Arcee and Take a look by Infinite.

The film stands as an ode to those who have embarked on new beginnings in Canada, whether 50 years ago or recently. It becomes clear why Toronto must continue telling its stories, especially those that showcases the tremendous impact of local talent on the global scene.


Yugbodh Singh
Yugbodh Singh

Yugbodh (YB) is a contributing writer at Onside Media, he skillfully weaves captivating stories. For him music and movies serves as an escape, and he finds them fascinating as they constantly evolve. If you have interesting tales to share, feel free to reach out via email at: info@theonside.com

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