The legend Pete Tong.
The legend Pete Tong.
Chris Davison

Pete Tong at Mansion October 27

Don't believe Wikipedia. When it comes to the origin of that infamous singsong Cockney slang phrase "It's all gone Pete Tong" (translation: "It's all gone wrong"), the online compendium of crowd-sourced information is entirely inaccurate. As Tong himself will tell you, it wasn't his BBC DJ peers Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley who first brought this sideways slam into popular use. Actually, the ones responsible were the smart-ass editors who produced millennium-era club kid fanzine Boy's Own.

Now why exactly was this slag bestowed upon old Pete? Well, simply because he was the biggest DJ in the world at the time. He was ripe for ribbing. He'd done everything from witnessing the birth of UK club culture in the mid-'70s to writing about its evolution through the '80s to shaping its worldwide takeover as a London Records A&R exec and BBC superstar tastemaker in the '90s. The man had even begun a career soundtracking and scoring films for big Brit directors such as Danny Boyle and Michael Winterbottom. In short, he'd done everything.

These days, Tong has settled into his role as EDM's elder statesman, a legend who can take a little friendly abuse. So when you greet him Wednesday with an overeager "It's all gone Pete Tong," he'll probably still shake your hand and take your mixtape.


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