It’s Friday, last day of a 4 day work week. And it was quite an interesting work week. I’m not going to rehash the week, you can always go back and read what I wrote. Today was something else. I mainly played DJ today.
Some of the sub-subtenants enjoyed what I was playing and told me so. I mentioned that I used to do it for a living. But that wasn’t true. I never made a living from it. Maybe $30.00 and a burger or cavatelli with broccoli.
Occasionally I DJ’d someone’s wedding. That was always a nerve wracking experience. The first time I really DJ’d at a friends wedding was in 1986. I borrowed equipment from Ulysses Sankitts, a friend I had only met a few days before at a job I started one day before Ulysses.
He trusted me enough and talked it over with his brother Tony and they brought it to a loft on Broadway right above Canal Street. Eve who was a waitress at McSwells married Jeff a bartender at a bar in the city, so the guests were mainly the hip crowd. I guess I did well. It was a blur really.
I did spend more money on records than I was actually getting paid. Back then if given a choice between music and food, I would pick music. I was spinning records on off nights at McSwells, eventually taking over Guy Ewald’s shift. Charlie had Saturday nights so I had Fridays.
Occasionally we would switch shifts. McSwells was so insular then, whomever would DJ would sometimes work the door, always for $30.00 and the aforementioned dishes.
One time I was DJ’ing a wedding and the couple gave me a list of what they wanted played. I didn’t have Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton and it was the main number. They provided a copy but I never got around to it. The marriage was doomed anyway. The groom had quite a wandering eye and I think within a year it was kaput.
Another time a couple a few doors down from McSwells were getting married and I had the whole place swingin’. I remember a conga line snaking through the crowd at 1st and Clinton while I played the extended dance mix of Konk Party, still a favorite song 25 years later.
They paid me with a check that I cashed at McSwells even though McSwells never did that. Of course the check bounced and I got an earful from Steve Fallon’s sister Ann. But I loved to play music for other people and I still do.
I prefer to make people dance than actually dancing myself. The last time I DJ’d was at Lois and Fred’s wedding party in August and no one danced. I played nothing but hits and surefire things to move some butts and get asses wiggling but it never happened.
I guess I would be better suited for small situations without a dance floor, like office cubicles. When I worked at Farfetched, I would try to carefully select the music for the store, but sometimes Lois or Susan (or Denise) wouldn’t like what I was playing and I would get a puss on, taking their rejection of my musical selections so personally.
I think I would do well as a radio DJ, but that is my brother Frank’s area and I wouldn’t dare encroach on his space, no way.
I will say being a DJ with an iPod is a lot easier than lugging crates of records around. I would lug about 6 crates sometimes. On New Years Eve at McSwells I would bring 10 crates. That was always a big money night, $150.00 (maybe more) and various potions and drinks.
Good times from what I could remember.