One of the truly legendary figures in Chicago house music and nightlife history has died.

Teri Bristol, who held down residencies in Chicago nightclubs and on Chicago radio for more than 30 years, including some genuinely iconic nights at Medusa’s and Crobar, passed away on September 25, 2023. She had been fighting kidney failure for the last several years.

A GoFundMe to defray funeral expenses has been organized by the DJ with whom Teri was and will always be inseparable, Psycho-Bitch.

Teri Bristol was a music pioneer, a Chicago DJ who paved the way for a new generation of female DJs in a scene that was incredibly male-dominated. In a Facebook post today, DJ Lady D described Teri as a friend and mentor and an idol. “The importance of this woman to Chicago and the greater house community at large cannot be overstated.”

In a 2015 interview with 5 Mag’s Czarina Mirani, Psycho-Bitch said she met Teri Bristol when the latter was working at a gay bar near O’Hare called Celebrity Club. “To this day I tease Teri because Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me Baby’ was huge back then and the first line in the song is ‘I was working as a waitress in a COCKTAIL BAR when I met you,'” she said. “That is exactly how I met Teri. She was the waitress, but ended up playing records because the DJ there got fired.”

The two became residents at Crobar. “When Teri and I took over, one of my personal tasks for the night was to not only increase the crowd but to increase the early arrivals. Within the first year I had 800 coming before midnight and between 2000-3000 coming all night. Our birthday, anniversary and six turntable shows were absolutely insane there. By 10pm the line would wrap a whole city block. We were so devoted and committed to this night that we turned down all out-of-town guest spots to be there for our loyal fans who came and supported every single Saturday.”

It is hard to name a club — then or now — that Teri didn’t play at. As a DJ she was deeply influential. As a person, she was beloved.

A note from Teri’s family reads:

Born on December 26, 1956, Teresa K Bristol (AKA Teri Bristol) entered this world as a gift. Embraced by the love of her family and surrounded by your prayers, your heartfelt blessings, your well wishes and your love, she took her final breath at 11:36 pm last night and was undoubtedly escorted by loved ones lost to the main stage in Heaven. After a lifetime of kindness, of giving, of sharing, of courage, of inspiration, of happiness, of sincerity, of strength, of compassion, of selflessness, and of pure love – she has returned to her maker’s open arms – having left the very best parts of herself in each of us. To know her was to know that the turntables were simply a conduit, a direct line, from her heart ♥️ into each of ours. Keep her close always. The family was just made aware that her life policy was cancelled when she went on disability. This will help with her final expenses and any additional funds will go towards unpaid medical bills and her celebration of life – time and date to be determined.



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