I can still recall what I went out with to my first few gigs. An 'iccle musician's PA system and about 25 CD's. I did have a pro set of CD players (of the time) and it sure was difficult to beat mix when you could only launch in the next track/song on the first beat and then hope for the best, as control was fully relinquished from that point onward. I'm surprised at how well it went considering.
I used to love having a fag whilst I was working and for some reason my frequency doubled during a gig. I'd come home having to plan each breath about 5 seconds before I took it, such was the asphyxiating effect. I eventually gave up for two years. Nothing happened. I didn't feel any better and then my smoking girlfriend Becky came along, so I thought what the hell? I'll never forget the look on the woman at Tescos face as I announced. "I want to take up smoking again so I need all the stuff" (papers, baccy, lighter but no filters - I'm not a poof you know. Not that there's anything wrong with poofery. See what I did there? Now everything's cool.).
Back when I started in this business the guy who got the most work was the guy (flash git) who could afford the biggest advert in the local Yellow Pages. I recall one "big cheese" saying he paid something like 10 grand for a full page ad. The most I ever shelled out was around £500.00 and that used to pull in quite a steady flow when I was in Brighton and Hove. (bigger market see.. Would I want to live there again? Never! Damn ruddy traffic wardens and huge fixed penalties. Anyway. I was born in the country and you can park in the country without having to take a bus from the parking space to the gig). I used to have around 5 deejays covering work that I couldn't do and paying me commission. I don't really do that a lot now as I value my customers and my heart health. I recall one DJ who was working for me on the Saturday and I called him up for a Friday gig that came in that day. I called and called and called but got nowhere. I never did find out what happened to him. One other agent says he thinks the dude got sent to jail but I can't confirm that. Mind you, I always suspected he was a bit of a "funny" bugger. Covering his gig was a mad scramble at such late notice. Another DJ always wanted paying in cash as he didn't have a bank account. Christ I was so green in those days and I'm not talking ecological either (although I try to do my bit). Needless to say if I ever send anyone out again I'll check out their "use by" date first.
I have though, had some great times over the years. I've backed comedians, strippers, magicians, sword juggling unicyclists and a Ricky Jervais lookalike who was so like the man I swear to god it may well have been Ricky Jervais. Not to mention Clint Eastwood. Though being Clint (fist full of dollars look), he naturally didn't do jokes. I once did a wedding where all the blokes stripped off and ladies and gentleman, that wasn't such a good one for me. Luckily I was behind them so I didn't have to experience the full glory.
I've done some (quite a lot actually) wild gigs where it wouldn't have been out of place to see some dude swinging from the chandeliers naked. Actually that reminds me.. By the way, I did a gig once where the host was so unpopular that no one turned up at all. I have to say on balance though, given the choice, I'd prefer the former to the latter most every time.
I did a gig once where they only wanted 50's and 60's music. I wouldn't have minded, but the songs were so short there was no time to go to the toilet!
Well I suppose I'd better stop waffling on for another week. I'll just end by saying thank you so much to all my customers so far. All have been thoroughly nice folks. It's true. You get back what you give out. It's taken me ten years to well and truly confirm that, but I'm confirming it now. Be nice. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself (unless you're a masochist) and you'll be happy and fulfilled or even filled-full of decent food with the resulting success.
Take care and until next time enjoy some more classic comedy: