Clapton isn't God. At least, I think not. But one thing I know for sure, if Slowhand isn't God then DJ's certainly aren't to be worshiped. The "DJ is God" complex is something I've never much understood and nor is it a religion I care to practice. For the most part, I think DJ's are self-absorbed clowns and talent-less attention whores. I mean, who do they think they are Creative Loafing bloggers?!
One could argue that they're the vital ingredient to a successful soiree. I disagree. There are only two prerequisites for a lively ballyhoo women and booze. The rest are just details. It doesn't matter if a retard is spinning "The Electric Slide" on repeat at a wedding reception in a community center as long as there's a wealth of honey dips and hooch. A six-year-old can DJ that party and it's the same party.
These are harsh truths, especially when considering some of my better acquaintances are DJs. But the difference between such people as Brian Parris, Cristo and Black Dominoes and other DJs is they don't take themselves too seriously. They understand their high art is boiled down to the simplicity of pressing play. The party comes before their ego. They realize they are just the candles on the birthday cake.
The irony is, no matter what club, pizza party or bat mitzvah I go to, I always find my way to the DJ booth. It's where the women and good drugs are! Some Dangerous anecdotes...
A couple years back, I spot Big Boi and entourage at MJQ heading into the booth. It's the half of OutKast I've never met, and being a Grady baby, this is a no-brainer. As the self-anointed Mayor of Ponce, there isn't much entitlement I deem off-limits. I've logged many hours in the Q's main concourse DJ booth, but this is a moment I can't really crash.
Perfect timing, I spot the owner Ben Rhodes. It's meant to be. After already notching about 10 drinks, I express my desire with eloquence. He thinks it over, bounces it around his head, nods and says, "Yeah. Follow me."
I follow behind Ben up to the congested nook where Rob Wonder is on the decks. He sees me coming up the two stairs and throws a fit, "Hell naw, Mayor of Ponce. This is my DJ booth!"
Ben calms the situation, "Actually, this is my DJ booth. He's cool."
I'm standing eye-to-eye with one of my heroes in a cramped DJ booth and there's definitely a contact high. And I don't think it's from his Purp. I'm nervous and babbling. He takes my hand, gives me a million dollar smile and a hug. I'm incoherently going on about how ATLiens changed my life and so forth. He says hes grateful for my sincerity and hugs me again.
And this is where the weird turns pro. I guess my emotions from meeting a hero, compounded with countless bourbons, get the best of me. While pulling away from the hug I decide to really seal the deal. I lean in and kiss Big Boi not on the cheek and not on the mouth, just somewhere in between.
"Get this stupid white boy off me," is the only I can imagine Big Boi mustve been thinking.
It's 5 a.m. and I'm in a condo converted from an elementary school somewhere in Grant Park. It's some sort of strange after party I've stumbled upon and Im already wishing to stumble out. I'm in a back bedroom where the DJs have set up a makeshift DJ booth to spin music for the rest of the party. There are maybe four or five other people back there doing whatever people do at house parties at this witching hour. One of the DJs is packing up his stuff and then it hits me. I turn to the weirdo beside me, "Shit ... is that?"
He shakes his head, "Yeah."
As the guy is walking out of the room, book bag packed up and ready to go, I stop him at the door. Im thinking, there's probably nothing more annoying to DJs than requests especially request from drunken idiots.
"Excuse me, bro." I say with clueless confidence, " You got any Oasis?"
He stops. Kind of turns his head. Then turns all the way around and looks at me.
"Yeah," he shakes his head, "actually, I do."
Homeboy goes back over to the DJ table, unpacks his laptop, plugs back in, stops whatever shit is playing and starts some crazy fucking remix of "Wonderwall.
Brilliant. I just made an idiotic, 5 a.m. house party request to Diplo arguably the world's biggest DJ and he complied.
This one I'm quite proud of. I'm in the DJ booth at MJQ again. And across from me is a legend. A washed-up, coke-head, mess of a legend, but rock n roll royalty nonetheless. It's Andy Rourke, former bass player for the Smiths, and he's DJing the Q from his laptop. And I use the term DJing in its loosest sense. Basically, he's just making a playlist and bobbing his head.
It's me, Brian Parris and a coupla cute tomatoes. Nobodys nervous, but it's more like no one really knows what to say to the guy. Parris obviously has "Please, Mayor, do not do something retarded in front of this guy" running over and over in his mind.
There's four Smiths in the entire world, and one of them is three feet away from me. This is a no-brainer. I step over and put my arm around Andy's shoulder and say something in his ear.
Andy just kind of shakes his head.
Smiling, I can't help but laugh at Parris, who has an utter look of disaster on his face. "What the fuck did you just say to him?!"
"Don't worry about it," I smirk.
And not 30 seconds later, blasting out of MJQ's speakers are the opening chords to "Supersonic." Andy turns around with his scraggily, mod hair cut, looks at me over his blue-tinted John Lennon glasses while bobbing his head and says, "Great call, mate!"
Noel Gallagher's hollow body never sounded so triumphant.
I can't help but tease as I walk out of the booth past Parris, "I told him, Let's bump some Oasis in this bitch!
Later on I run into Andy in the Drunken Unicorn as the place is shutting down. He gives me a hug and I crack a joke about Manchester. "Yer coming with me," he says as he takes me to the back room. Someone tries to tag along until Andy stops him, "Just me and him, mate."
Not bad. I got to party with a Smith just because we think most DJs take themselves too seriously.
The famous graffiti in the London train station about Clapton being God is misguided, but I like brashness. No, Clapton isn't God. But I like the arrogance of a statement like that. And the fact that Clapton has such an absurd ability that it leads some to wonder whether or not some heavy bartering went down at some crossroads in the Deep South is nice. It's called talent.
But the "DJ is God" complex is quite ridiculous. The fact that some guys prance around like their record collection is made up of righteous holy scriptures, that their laptop was beamed down by Charlton Heston from Mt. Olympus, is a divine comedy. They're just the candles on the birthday cake. And if they don't get the joke, then I say hang 'em. It'll make one hell of a party, where you could presumably find me. In the DJ booth.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?