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Thread: Greetings to all - Back in the Saddle

  1. #1
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    Greetings to all - Back in the Saddle

    Hello to all my brothers and sisters that rock the house. This craft and industry has really established itself over the past 40 years. Did my first gig in a back yard in upscale neighborhood in Fresno, CA - 21st birthday party back on Friday October 13, 1978. Turntables & vinyl days, had no idea that it would be something that would "stick" for the duration. Last DJ job for hire back in California was a corporate show for what was then Continental Cable Vision at the Star Palace room in the Warnor's Entertainment complex also in Fresno.

    Moved to Fort Worth late in 1989 for a job with General Dynamics doing F-16 field engineering work. Still there, only now my badge says Lockheed Martin on it and travel is shorter trips as a Project Engineer.

    The aerospace gig is nearing completion for me. Now it's time to have some more fun! That was the plan all along, take a break and build up capital to return to Sound and Lighting. During the 80's, by 1981 I had two DJ's working with me, Eddie G. did the mobile shows (mostly wedding receptions) and James B. handled the club stuff. I headed off in a different direction moving into pro sound working with live acts mostly in clubs. Eventually into sound & lighting.

    Back to my roots. Launching the new business, I'm starting up the DJ side of the house first since I know the business and it's the easiest to do for a contractor. Once load-in and sound & light check is complete, it's up to the DJ until teardown and load-out. No band to babysit through the full show. Will be using hired gun DJ's again and initially targeting the wedding reception market. Then, get the PA up and running doing regional sound & lighting in the DFW area.

    Today's equipment selection is amazing. What was once a small niche market has blossomed into a solid industry.

    Where am I today with all of it? Well, I degreed in 1987 in Theatre Arts, Sound and Lighting Design and have a solid background with clubs, installs and pro audio and lighting. Pretty amped up and excited to get back into the fray with it.

    How does that apply to the mobile DJ business? Overall, my perspective has evolved into the realization that today, (as probably it's always been - but, a new awareness to me) that this business has a huge element rooted deeply in psychology. Reading crowds is an art, intuition plays a part. Like anything else, one is either cut out for this type of work or isn't. To walk into a wedding reception, with the wide age group generally there (or club, fashion show, whatever), and a library of ~10,000 to ~100,000 songs, selecting the 50-60 that will be played over the ~5 hour period to include dinner music has a huge element of psychology about it. That's the difference between a live band and DJ as I understand it to be today - the DJ involves more psychology, whether the DJ understands it or not. Psychology and intuition - the DJ doesn't "play" the songs, but in another sense the DJ does "play" the songs, for the DJ makes the set arrangement choices.

    Musicians connect to the crowd just a bit differently than does a DJ. Today, the mobile DJ has fully arrived. and rightfully so. It's good to be back and great that there are forums like this we I can connect with my peers.

  2. #2
    Ex Machina Manu's Avatar
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    Hey welcome back

  3. #3
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    ^^^ Thanks brother, I've seen many of your posts - the voice of experience you have sir.

  4. #4
    Ex Machina Manu's Avatar
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    Thank you, been playing for too long sir

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manu View Post
    Thank you, been playing for too long sir
    Understood - I got that read for you. What we learn over the years by simply getting it done, then factor in dealing with all the shit there is to deal with. In the old days, smashed turntable covers, broken gear, equipment failure, forgotten stuff and the myriad of assholes (some alcohol induced, those that don't need alcohol) at the events - long walkways, stairs, crappy electrical, cramped stages, no stages, low ceilings, asshole venue managers, crowd control when fights break out, in some cases dipshit clients... Been there, done that, pretty much seen it all.

    But on the flip side, there are the others in the business - many of which are very cool dudes and gals and most of the jobs go well.

    I did a wedding reception once, with a hired gun DJ in a hall called Twin Gables in Clovis, CA. This was back in the early days before I wrote load-in, load-out and sound check times into the contracts. Had 2 or 3 jobs that day, the DJ show and a couple of sound gigs. Got to the hall for the load-in around 5pm and everything was setup in the room except us, the whole crew, catering, florist, hall manager, everyone was gone until about 7 to reopen for the gig - not a soul around. We broke into the room by pulling door hinge pins (no damage) from the back door. The next morning about 1am we returned for the load out, after everything else was done. Once again, not a soul around, place was dark, parking lot empty - broke in again to pick up the gear.

    That's a true story.
    Last edited by SWS Productions; 02-29-2020 at 01:33 PM.

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