Why Blog ? DJ Don Charisma – The Powerblogger Analogy


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.

DonCharisma.org-Fatboy-Slim-in-2004

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.

DonCharisma.org-Girl-Logo

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 !

DonCharisma.org-Dean-Martin-Star

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.

DonCharisma.org-Hate

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.

Cheers

DC


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:

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

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



48 thoughts on “Why Blog ? DJ Don Charisma – The Powerblogger Analogy

  1. Hello, DC. Wanted to thank you for following my “and now for something totally absurd,” but wanted to read you first. Really great stuff… very insightful and informing, I am honored (and amazed, frankly!) that you found me and graced me with your approval. I will be following often, though I haven’t blogged myself for quite sometime. Best of luck to you!

  2. Very interesting read. I used to date at DJ, it didn’t last much longer than maybe three months. He was in it for the fame, glory and girls. Girls he got, the rest eluded him.
    Popping in to say howdy! 🙂

    1. Ah, thanks for the popping in to say howdy 🙂 Lucky for him then I guess … I enjoyed it whilst it lasted, married life and the long hours DJing didn’t mix … I gave my best shot to marriage, but didn’t last either … that’s life, move on and find somebody better !

      1. I’m sorry your marriage didn’t work out, my first lasted 7 years, my second we’ve been married for 20 years. It sure don’t seem that long. LOL. I hope you do find that special lady.

        As far as the DJ guy…he admitted to me several years later that he made a big mistake letting me walk away. I guess having all those girls swooning over him wasn’t as fun as he thought it was going to be. He no longer DJ’s, has settled down himself and they have a few children. I talk to him on occasion, met his wife when I went home for a daughters wedding last summer. Talk about strange. LOL.

      2. LOL, same seems to be a seven year itch … and already found a lady I’m happy with, although wedding bells are quite distant, my previous experience wasn’t great.

        Perhaps the reality of late night liasons isn’t all it’s cracked up to be ?

        Cheers

        DC

      3. That’s super! No need to rush when things are going along great the way they are right? I got married way to young the first time around, he had the seven year itch right from the beginning. Ah well, lessons learned well. 🙂

        Late night liaisons and groupies, do DJ’s have groupies? LOL indeed is not all that’s is was cracked up to be!

        Have a splendid week ahead, stay safe.

        MJ

      4. LOL, yup life constantly teaching me lessons …

        I guess famous DJs do have groupies … and fun isn’t always as fun as it seems 🙂

        You too hun, good to talk …

        DC

  3. Enjoy hearing some of your past careers. Have a brother who was a d.j. before ending up as associate dean of medicine at University of Kentucky. Couldn’t write anything except a report if his life depended on it, but did get free access to all the games. Big yawn.

  4. Loved this. Really enjoyed reading about who you as a person are and who/where you got to be. I love how you said that the way to success is humility. (paraphrasing) Can’t say I disagree at all. Still working on getting where I want to be but I’m not dead yet. If I never get there at least those close to me know how hard I worked at being who I am/was when I am gone. Thumbs up DC

    1. Thanks hun … humility is important, and bit different from the common definition, still ok to think about oneself for instance …

      Life does throw problems and obstacles, persistence is another element in success … I reckon it’s ok to give-in, rest, re-group, etc, but never to give up 🙂

    1. You are welcome, and yes I do burn out from time-to-time … honestly I’d prefer to be in the fray whilst I have the strength than pacing myself, so I continue to work stupidly long hours … it’s just how I was made, yoda said – “Do or not do. There is no try.” … obviously I do add some balance in there too 🙂

  5. Great analogy and wonderful insight. Thanks. BTW, thought I had been following you all this time. Fog now cleared from my old lady’s head-hit the follow button. :-/ Senior moment apology on my part, Don. 🙂

      1. 😀 yes.. I can fancy you while mixing on a precious Vestax or Gemini consolle with Dave Morales or Masters of Work or Todd Terry to name a few…

  6. I know a couple of people who DJ professionally and like many struggling creatives it isn’t their main source of income. They’re drawn to do what they do because they’re passionate about it nonetheless. Out of my 2 closest friends who are DJ’s, one is a gay guy and the other is a straight girl in a committed relationship, so I guess if DJing doesn’t attract girls that’s not a problem for either of them, at least :). There was a period in NYC, which seems to have passed, where it suddenly became trendy for people to say they were “a DJ” which seemed to frustrate the working DJ’s I knew.They say that even though the DJ is often alone in the booth, there is a skill to feeling out the vibe of a crowd and building on it to get the evening going, not just loading up a bunch of songs on an ipod or laptop and plugging it in!

    1. Put those so called DJs up in front of an audience of a 1000 or so strangers, and thousands of watts of music power and watch them wet their pants or head for the nearest exit. So yes totally agree there’s much more of an art to it than having a playlist on an ipod that a few friends at house party liked ! Takes either extreme talent or like the rest of us a lot of hard knocks to get good at something …

      As for the girls thing, maybe if I’d taken in more seriously/professionally, was famous or more skinny who knows. But isn’t there a song about if I was a little bit taller, and so on. I do OK, and had met the woman who I thought I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so not worried that much … awesome women seem to turn up in my life when I least expect it 🙂

      1. For sure, it’s part of a performing artist’s “trade” (that’s a UK expression I don’t know if it translates – tradesman) 🙂 Also being socially intelligent is important and makes a difference.

    1. Thanks Mark, I intend not to, I’m enjoying it … other pressures may make me slow down like work, but I think having a social prescence these days is mandatory …

      And same for you bro, you’re one of my inspirations 🙂

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