Play, the 12x platinum 1999 album that made Moby globally inescapable for a while, is largely built around samples from old spirituals collected by Alan Lomax on the 1993 compilation Sounds Of The South: A Musical Journey From The Georgia Sea Islands To The Mississippi Delta. And although in the liner notes Moby gave “special thanks to the Lomaxes and all of the archivists and music historians whose field recordings made this record possible,” he never thanked the guy who turned him on to Lomax’s comp in the first place.
At least that’s how Gregor, the guy who enthusiastically loaned Moby his Lomax CDs, tells it in a new episode of Gimlet Media’s Heavyweight podcast. The concept behind Heavyweight is that host Jonathan Goldstein will go back to when his guests’ lives went wrong in an attempt to provide some form of therapeutic closure. In this case that means Gregor — who now makes marketing videos for a cleaning product — sharing a sob story about watching Moby and other friends get famous while he remained in obscurity. Allegedly all Gregor really wants is for Moby to give his CDs back, so much so that he wrote a song called “Moby Give Me Back My CDs” that he sung into Moby’s answering machine a decade ago with no response. So Goldstein forces Gregor to visit Moby’s home and ask for the CDs. Hear the awkward encounter play out below.
Moby has a new album coming out, by the way.