Last night I watched two more episodes of The Get Down on Netflix with my daughter. About 6 minutes into episode 3 of the first season where members of I think the Notorious gang visit Grandmaster Flash to show him the bootleg cassette, you see Flash sitting at a desk with a fat old 2 or maybe even 5-watt resistor and a multimeter. I think it’s a 2.7k ohm value(!).
In the background, there are some signal generators and a big Tektronics oscilloscope. If you visit https://auction.screenbid.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/83/lot/56599/ you can see the actual prop currently being auctioned off. It’s a Tektronics 545A which was made between 1959-64.
The Smithsonian Institution has one of his actual turntables – a Technics SL-1200 MK2 model.
The description mentions
“Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler), was born in Barbados in 1958. Growing up in the Bronx, he was influenced by his father’s massive record collection. As a teenager, Grandmaster Flash first experimented with DJ equipment and became involved in the New York DJ scene while attending daytime technical school courses in electronics. The innovations and techniques developed by Grandmaster Flash established him as one of the pioneers of hip-hop and deejaying.”
A Guardian piece (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/aug/07/the-get-down-baz-luhrmann-grandmaster-flash-hip-hop) on the Get Down talks about Flash…
An electronics geek with scant funds, Flash constructed a stereo system using parts scavenged from scrapyards and discarded cars and asked the girls he dated if their parents had any records they didn’t want.
This makes my walking a wheelbarrow around my 1960s middle-class neighbourhood as a 13-year-old gathering old discarded radios during council clean-ups quite tame, compared to the virtual war zone of the late 70s South Bronx.