Quite a few moons ago I used to be a DJ. It’s not on my about page, because I wanted to keep it concise. Who knows maybe one day I’ll be a good enough writer to write a book … would anyone buy it ? don’t know, who knows, doesn’t matter because I’m not a writer …
I started my DJ’ing as an assistant to a friend of a friend. George, as we’ll call him I used to work with. A good guy, a friend to me, encouraged me a lot and gave me a push to get a 300% pay increase. I was also a good friend to him, I remember once he came to work with an awful hangover. You know the one where you’re considering suicide because it feels so rotten. Well it was one of those. I took him out for a walk by the river in London, gave him a pep talk, got him some food. He was good to go for the rest of the day.
George and I liked to go for beers in one those huge London pubs. The kind without any music and just a loud hum of people shouting their conversations everywhere. George liked his beer as did I and usually (well always) we’d be drunk by the end of the evening. He’d also been a DJ, and knew a friend Kenny, who was an active DJ. Introductions were made, and I turned up at a gig in North of London at a large pub that had a student’y night on Fridays. Basically I ended up being a free gear-lugger, and beer fetcher most of the time. The DJ’s bitch, basically.
Gradually I became friends with Kenny. I slowly learnt what he was doing and how he was “reading the audience”. He was/is my mentor, teacher and friend. He’d got this uncanny ability to play what the audience wanted at any given moment. Probably something to do with the fact he’d been doing it for 30 years. He could also remember any UK pop tune, since pop tunes were around. He also knew oldies back probably as far as the 30s. Put any piece of popular music on, he’d recognise it, without fail, genius level of remembering. At least that’s how he seemed to me.
Of most enjoyment to me was the pub we did in North London, on a Friday night, a young student’y type of crowd. We’d play basically up-to-date pop, mainstream dance music and some older stuff (60’s, 70’s, 80’s) that’s upbeat and recognised by most people. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and as I started to step up to the plate and actually play the music myself, the element of control of people’s emotions became apparent. Not in a sinister, evil plan, world domination type of power, NO, in contrast it was actually so lovely to see people enjoying themselves, laughing smiling because of the tunes that I’d chosen. This is a really satisfying kind of power. It does take skill, although we used to make it look effortless. Make that many mistakes and it is almost effortless.
It’s like paying a genuine compliment to a girl you really like and seeing her face light up. That to me is magic. No money can buy that feeling, that you’ve brightened someone else’s day and made them recognise that someone loves them. Only way it could get better is if she kissed you.
So why rattle on about DJing for so many paragraphs. Well powerblogging for me isn’t that dissimilar from DJing. It’s the same trip really. When you first start blogging you have all those awkward moments, you misjudged the audience, put the wrong track on, tempo too fast, you make an ass on yourself on the microphone, stuttering idiot. Shit we make a lot of mistakes, but slowly we learn, slowly we learn what makes a good set, what the audience likes. Eventually we get up on that stage and we’re god’s for 5 minutes or 3 hours. Not gods like we’re better than others, but gods like we’re doing something good, playing music that other people like, the feelings grow and grow, it’s exciting, it’s fun. IT’S THE ULTIMATE OF ANY REWARDS I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED. The most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on.
Did I do it for the money, the girls, the fame, the fringe benefits. NO, none of these reasons. In fact it cost me money to do. I worked a job all week, long hours, leave work Friday night 5pm, an hours journey to the pub. Then lug the VERY HEAVY gear out of the van into the venue. Another 1.5 hours gone setting up. Then there’s the quiet part while people are arriving, probably play any old crap on low volume, it’s just background anyway, nobody’s realy listening. The place fills up, ramp the BPM slowly up. Just keep on pumping the emotions, tune after uplifting tune. Right up to the crescendo. Think fireworks or orgasm, whichever way you’re inclined. Then a slow track or two to end the night, calm the revellers down so they don’t want to fight each other (or you) because you’ve taken their good time away from them. Another 1.5 hours of HEAVY LIFTING whilst exhausted, back into the van. The hour drive home. 4am arrival back at base, that’s 11 hours straight on the go. Well actually I got up at 6am for work, so more like 22 hours straight. Shattered, yes, but usually still buzzing, as it takes a while for the adrenaline to leave the system.
Girls, no, not really, I should have been so lucky. Fame, no, it’s a relatively insignificant pub, not a huge elite nightclub, with my name outside in lights. Fringe benefits, what exactly ? Paying for my own beer, train tickets, food, CDs etc … No, there is/was/will be only one reason to do it, PASSION. That’s the driver. The being up on stage with the audience dancing like crazy and the whole place buzzing that tells me that’s I’ve succeeded, I’ve made it, I’m truly doing what I was put here on earth to do. Not money, girls, fame etc, if anything those things are a burden as they start to make one lose sight of why you’re really doing it – you’re doing it in and of itself, not for a goal or an incentive, the doing is IT, what you’re passionate about. Serendipitous moments of being so lost in the moment, YOU are the moment.
I eventually got married and downed tools with my DJing. It’s more a of single man’s passion than anything, and didn’t suit my (at the time) married life. There is also another aspect – boredom.
Bored, why ? Well my friend Kenny also used to do Weddings and Engagement parties. I was his right hand man, so I used to do everything he did. Playing easy listening, “Dancing Queen” by Abba for the gazillionth time to a middle of the road audience, frankly bored me witless. I was at the time more interested in dance music, what I’d call uplifting house music. You can’t play much of that at a wedding or birthday party, well not if you want to get paid and/or recommended to others. My friend “made” most money from these gigs. I think weddings he used to get like £400, now probably more like £550. Not a bad income for a Saturday’s work. But it is hard work AND IT DOES TAKE SKILL AND EXPERIENCE.
What really turns me on is cutting edge stuff, stuff that’s never been done before, bit like the uplifting house music. It’s niche though because the majority aren’t interested in cutting edge stuff. They like life to fit their ordinary commonly accepted illusions, stay in denial about the HARSH REALITY. Stepping outside their comfort zone, well, isn’t comfortable and therefore not fun for them. I AM actually not criticising this way of being, sometimes I’m like it myself, I enjoy the middle of the road and don’t want to think outside the box. Just that it gets very very boring always being in a comfort zone, with that socially acceptable “muzak” playing endlessly. It’s like elevator music, comforting but mind-numbingly mind numbing !
Being successful and popular can often be about just doing normal middle of the road stuff well. It can also provide a good income. But can be mindlessly boring. Such are the breaks in life ! If you want a safe life then don’t do anything extraordinary, don’t write anything controversial on your blog and for gods sake never ever play high-BPM house music at a wedding party. I’ve done these things and survived, but they definitely put me outside my comfort zone.
So for me it’s a mixture in my blogging, sometimes I’m test pattern blogging with the middle of the road stuff that everybody likes, most of it’s just as enjoyable for me, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I’m doing what stirs up real passion in me, that gives me that high of DJ playing the really def tunes, and the audience in ecstasy. Pushing the boundaries within a comfort zone, perhaps ?
I guess somewhere round about where my friend Kenny ended up with his DJ’ing. Maybe, we’ll see what’s to come.
And lastly, I NEVER EVER understand these haters. You know the ENVIOUS ones who’d like to be me. How on earth do you think fighting with me will ever help you achieve my success ? When I was an apprentice DJ, I never ever disagreed with my mentor. I followed him everywhere, helped him in any way I could. I constantly asked him questions, explain things to me. And you know what, a few months later I’d learn’t to almost be him. So HATERS and ENVY’ERS you are morons, you really are, you’re just showing the world how small and stupid you are. And you know what else, you’ll never learn to be successful, because you haven’t learn’t the first rule of success which is humility. Stupid morons. Imbeciles.
Phew, that feels better !
For the bottom feeders (whoops I mean summary readers !)
I’ve taken my experience of DJ’ing and analogised it with powerblogging. The real reward is the social aspect of being a leader who stirs up PASSION, HAPPINESS, JOY AND ENTHUSIASM in their audience. Powerbloggers get a “buzz” off of this, and that’s why we do it. It’s a healthy altruistic buzz, before any of you holier than thou sorts get on your high horses. Only issue is that some powerbloggers give far too much, can leave them burnt out. This is the negative side of being superhuman, it catches up on you ! Bit of R&R and we’re normally back to our charismatic selves 🙂
Read the above if you want to understand me, and people like Opinionated Man a little better. You might also gain some insight into what it takes to write popular posts and attain a popular blog. There is skill but I don’t reckon I’m any better than anyone else, so anyone could do it.
Resources & Sources
Fatboy Slim The World’s Best Ever DJ – Wikipedia
Sexy Girl’s Tummy – morgueFile
Hate – morgueFile
Dean Martin Star – morgueFile
Notes for commenters:
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I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.
Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.
Warm regards, Don Charisma