Celebrating Jonathan Toubin: Gibby Haynes, Jon Spencer, Neil Hamburger And Others Share Their JT Stories

Eleanor Logan
Certainly you've heard that New York's very own soul-and-rock DJ Jonathan Toubin was injured in a freak accident where a taxi crashed into his Portland hotel room and landed on top of him while he slept. As the kind of guy who knows all his local bodega owners, DJs in four states in six days, and will let your dad judge one of his dance contests, people around the country have responded accordingly, starting a iheartjt web site and an events-benefit calendar; artists from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Margaret Cho to Ariel Pink have pitched in to raise money. As Jonathan's friend and agent Michelle Cable says, "I've been joking about how the iheartjt movement is larger than Occupy Wall Street."

We've asked people who know him to share anecdotes illustrating why he's awesome and what he means to so many people. Unsurprisingly, they had a lot to say.

Eleanor Logan, musician I took [the above] picture of Jonathan the day I met him. I'd invited Michelle Cable to a barbecue at the Williamsburg waterfront, and she asked if it would be okay if she brings this DJ she'd just started booking. So she showed up with Jonathan, he was in a full suit even though it was the middle of summer, and he'd already eaten, but he's too much of a gentleman to ever arrive at a barbecue empty handed, so he brought a fish head.

Gibby Haynes Jonathan is one of those guys that everybody loves to hang out with—his positive attitude and an honest willingness to listen to "your bullshit" makes him a friend to all as well as one of my favorite folks in the whole wide world. His empathy puts him in touch with people; that's what I think makes Jonathan a great DJ. He knows what the crowd wants and gives it to 'em. It's a great relationship: the people love Jonathan and Jonathan loves people!

Jon Spencer Jonathan's enthusiasm and passion for music are infectious. My band Heavy Trash has had many a great evening playing some of his events and he has turned me on to some cool new bands. In addition, he was always very patient with me when I was DJing with him and inspired me to go strictly old-school 45.

Neil Hamburger I met Toubin in Toronto when we were both in town doing separate shows, and was very impressed with knowledge and commitment to quality music, but even more so by what a warm and genuine character he is. He instantly made a real impression on me, and the fact that this shitty runaway taxicab literally made an impression on him has been very upsetting.

Jim Sclavunos (Grinderman / Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds / Silver Alert)
Jonathan Toubin is a genuinely sweet and soulful guy. Generous, stylish, tirelessly optimistic, and always totally up-for-it. Jonathan has added another chapter to the NY club scene; anyone who's ever been to any of his parties knows they are simply the best. The party isn't over yet: it's time to stand behind Jonathan and give him all the love and support we can.

Mark Sultan (aka BBQ from the King Khan & BBQ show) Jonathan is the only person I know who discussed how garbage Senuti is to a Senuti 'DJ' without being rude, but by really espousing the magic of vinyl in such a reverent way that it meant much more than the usual, warranted insults. He is so gracious to everyone around him—a truly awesome guy.

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