Day Becomes Night: DJing at the Big Audio Dynamite Afterparty

At one point around 2am last night, I was hanging with Morgans Honcho Sal Imposimoto and Jonny “The Lover” Lennon, drinking pineapple juice on the rocks. Sal asked me how I do it. “You’ve been going since 7am and you’ve been doing this for like 30 years,” he said. Today my day started at that exact hour, as it does every day. Mostly it’s about quality time with dogs and cats and birds, but also writing and recording design stuff that comes to me in my dreams. I know it sounds weird, but that’s where a lot of it comes from.

Yesterday I was nervous in the morning, as I was DJing that night at the official Big Audio Dynamite afterparty. I wanted to be good. I knew that many people from my generation and a hip rock crowd would be on hand. B.A.D.’s music comes from a lot of places, and I wanted to do the same.

The day was meetings about Hotel Chantelle design and some joints in Brooklyn, as well as doing lighting for Jonny Lennon, Dj Cassidy, and Dj ?uestlove’s monthly gig at Good Units at the Hudson. We bought a couple hundred dollars worth of light bulbs, and Jonny and I moved furniture to set the room. “The Lover” and I lifted and moved approximately 40 couches and dozens of tables. I must note that the Hudson staff and management were extremely helpful as well. Last month’s party was plagued by a bad furniture layout and bad lighting, so I was asked to correct. It was a put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is kind of thing. It worked out. The party was better focused and more energetic and fun. I took the praise from my friends and even admitted that my legs were really tired. It was late and my mind was filled with I-shoulda-played-that’s at the B.A.D. party upstairs.

I was supposed to cover this B.A.D. event, as I am the nightlife correspondent for BlackBook Magazine. We were hosting the event but I was DJing as well. From my corner in the Library I couldn’t cover much. It was left to our beautiful and fabulous photog Jes Leppard to meet the packed house. Her boyfriend Sam Valentine came in to spin with me for a bit. We always wanted to work together. He left early for his fabulous weekly at Le Souk. As the crowd from the sold out Roseland show swarmed in, I went punk, offering Terror Couple Kill Colonel (Bahaus), I Want Candy (Bow Wow Wow), Real Wild Child (Iggy and the Stooges), California Sun (Ramones), Oh Bondage, Up Yours! (X-Ray Spex), Teenage Kicks (The Undertones), Garbage Man (The Cramps), and Blank Generation (Richard Hell and the Voidoids). I even threw in the overplayed club punk tracks Bad Reputation (Joan Jett) and I Wanna be Your Dog (Iggy). Then it was some Rockabilly as the band stormed the booth to spell me. We shook hands and they smiled and thumbed up my selections and told me to “play another 10 minutes, it was fun.” I felt like a for-real DJ for the second or third time ever. I was always just a novelty playing at it but lately I’ve been better. When they entered the room I had on “I Fought the Law,” a Clash staple.

Earlier in the day I had asked supreme DJ Cassidy, who works at lots of gigs for huge artists like Jay Z, if it’s appropriate to play music that’s by the act or their previous incarnations, and he told me how to work it in. Still, I was a little anxious when I saw them approach the booth while it was playing. It was a little to predictable and exactly what I had decided not to be at 7am, but was at doing at 1am. DJ Uncle Mike came by and gave me a big smile and thumbs up and I felt good.

As a focused and dedicated DJ under pressure to do good, I couldn’t cover the event much. I saw familiar faces and many came to say hello but my mind was on the next 3 tracks. I don’t understand how some Dj hasn’t killed a patron for annoying them. I have decided to lay out the next fool who asks me to play GaGa’s newest release. Draw a chalk mark around them and maybe others will get the message. I did chat up rock photog icon Bob Gruen and some others I’ve know since Max’s days, but alas, as a writer covering an event, I am a failure. If indeed a picture is worth a thousand words, then these images will suffice.

Photos by Jes Leppard.

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