The End Is nigh
What you have read is a snippet, of the place I dreamed of being & a place I ended up at & loved. In between these two wonderful experiences loads of stuff went on, I'd done a lot of resident work which I either loved or loathed, too many parties & weddings to mention, but the most important single thing for me was the music.From the Beatles to Bowie, The Punk, Rock & Roll, New Romantics, yes I've played the lot & enjoyed it, but always lurking in the background was the Northern Soul & the Motown, that was me, my music, I owned it. I was fortunate to complete the full circle three quarters of the way through my DJ career. Looking back I suppose three quarters of the way through my career, as a DJ, was the most memorable part of it. For the first time ever I was playing what I wanted to play, I more or less chose what gigs I wanted to do, but the main thing for me 1980 to about 1986 was a happy time for me.....I served a long apprenticeship up to that point.
When I look back I realise what a crazy life I was living. I was doing two full time jobs, plumbing by day, DJ by night, living on adrenalin & booze. By 1983 my life had took another turn......I'd started riding my bike again....which led to racing again .
My life as a DJ was never destined to go out in a blaze of glory, just a slow, long, drawn out drift towards settling in to some sort of normal life [if you can call my life normal]. As I said before, the Book & Candle was possibly the most enjoyable residency of my career. I connected with the punters & I know i got the balance right because the punters kept coming back . My only regret is that I stayed at the place too long (about 6 years ) . I never got any recognition for what I achieved there......when I started there the place was not quite on It's Knees & was run by an independent promoter . Later on the promoter got kicked out & the pub gaffer took over .....then the Brewery invested in the place & turned it into a nightclub . Looking back I'm thinking the promoter , the pub gaffer , the brewery didn't bring the punters in....I did.....like I had done at a couple of other places around that time . I almost quit the Book & Candle after my first year there.......money . My reward for taking the place from 60/100 punters on a Friday & Saturday 300 plus per night was a £5 per night . I must have been totally naive back then....thousands of pounds worth of equipment , 2 roadies to pay , a large record bill each week......but I did enjoy that period of my life .
Overall I prefered doing the late night pubs to the clubs . In hindsight a few things I should have done was firstly realise the impact I had on these venues & screwed them for more money ( 'cause the money I got for the service I gave was poor ). I also stayed at these places too long . Back then if I'd have moved to any venue within 5 miles of wherever half the punters would have followed . When I left Redditch I'd more or less grinded to a halt on the DJ front, my personal life was in turmoil & I needed some sort of new direction to follow. I briefly resurrected my career, I called in a few outstanding favours, done a couple of small residencies, a few private parties but that was it, my enthusiasm had gone. Nothing I was doing could compare to the past, the atmosphere had either changed or was clouded over, or had I just dried up? I never DJ'd for the money, I just enjoyed the scene, the people & most of all the music. In the end I just honoured my last few gigs, no big party or anything, & then I shut the door.
In reality ,from where i'm at now, that time was the last days of disco....the scene literally slowly dwindled from that point onwards.From 1968 to 1985 I kinder lived in a dream world, then I woke up & done a bit more, but it wasn't the same as in that dream world. I actually carried on doing gigs until 1996 but the burning desire was no longer there . At that point I'd set my own plumbing business up & something had to go.......The Deejaying . I've done the odd gig since 1996 but I feel I've lost my mojo now . I had a bit of a resurection about 10 years on from 1996.....I started going to a few gigs from time to time & got to know other DJs & promoters . This lead to me turning up at places with a box of records & playing for an hour or so . I've quite enjoyed doing things like that . I probably go to 3 to 4 gigs a year & perform . The gigs I've played at are generally soul or mod gigs where vinyl tends to rule . I've always thought of myself as a commercial DJ not specialising in any particular genre but I've just aquired a great collection of old soul , mod music , etc . The proper Mod scene happened as I was at school so my only real recollection of it came though my brother .What followed on was more my scene...the Skinheads , the Birmingham Club Scene etc but coming full circle I've started collecting a bit of 60s stuff I missed out on , mainly British R&B records .
I've still got the music, I've still got the memories & I still remember all of them people I met along the way. People are what make stories so special. Not many people get the chance to write about a special moment in their life, I've been fortunate to be able to write about a huge chunk of mine.
Bob [Mr 15 minutes] King