Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Part 2 - How I Started DJing Clubs - Wheels, 1983

When I was 15 in '82, I said I was done with private parties, what a big-shot I was. I was doing parties every friday night, saturday night and alot of sundays for years and I felt it was time for clubs....but i was 15 and all the club dj's were around 30 years old or older.

When the Roller Disco Craze hit in the late 70's and early 80's, a new skating rink opened in yonkers called Wheels. It was a Roller Disco, Big Sound and lighting and it was the ONLY place to be. I went there every saturday night with my best friend Harry (he was my best man at my wedding in 2005) and we were nuts about this place. We became friendly with the manager, Everett. Older guy, good guy. I told him I was ready for a shot Djing there. Long story short, I screwed up and didn't get the job. On the day of my tryout I was in school with a 102-103 fever - I had to go to school because if i didn't then how was I well enough to go to Wheels that night? When I got there I felt like crap and was completely overwhelmed with the sound and lighting and everything else (i was 15!). I didn't do good and Everett felt bad, but I knew that I just didn't "have it."........that time.

So I'm 16 now and I was again done with private parties, but i wasn't very comfortable going to Wheels to ask for a job. Since me and Harry still went there on saturday nights, we became friendly with the new manager Trevor Watson. One september afternoon, I was out with my friend Nick, he was a little older, had his license and he was a big dude. I didn't know where we were going, but we ended up at Wheels and since I was weirded out about asking for another tryout, Nick physically dragged me out of his car and carried me into Trevors office and simply said "He wants a job here." To my surprise, Trevor gave me a shot. As it turned out they were hiring dj's and rink guards and had that night coming up in 2 weeks, time to practice.

My day was here, I went from school, all dressed up - catholic HS - and when I got there, there was a bunch of much older guys getting ready for their shot too. It was me and about 10 other spanish, white, black, columbian jamaican....I remember thinking "What the hell did Nick get me in to!" Trevor gets up and says "OK, Who's First?" and as expected, they ALL pointed at me and collectively said "HIM!" Well that was it, no turning back and forget about the last time I tried this. I walked up to the booth with my crate of records and put Madonna's "Borderline" on the turntable and just let it go from there. When I was done, Trevor said good job and all eyeballs were on me as i walked out of the booth and across the rink to the pay-phone to call my mother for a ride home.

Well, my mother came and got, my crate of records and a job at Wheels, out of all of the other DJ's there trying to get a job, I was the only DJ hired that night. I was hired to do Friday after school and 2 sessions on saturday. After about 6 months I became Head-DJ and took over Saturday nights 16 years old in 1982 this was un-heard-of. I was on my way.

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