Flop Idol


When I end up actually being incensed by a certain situation, then it’s pretty much always time for me to write about it. I said to my brother a few months ago, after he said I waffle some shit (he’s right I may add), that I find writing about things therapeutic. It helps me get it off my chest and I’m on to the next.

What got my goat this time? Well, primarily the inability for an A List DJ to remember to have any manners. I genuinely do not care how much money you get paid to do the job a) we are all humans and b) I can do the job just as well as you. That’s not me being big headed. It’s true. It’s DJing not brain surgery!

The thing that made this all the more ironic is the person involved was (please note the usage of past tense) a definite house music hero of mine. I bought compilations from him when I wasn’t even a DJ. Bought remixes and tracks loyally over the years and even filmed his emotional speech at Ministry of Sounds 20th birthday bash. I’ve included it for you btw. When I was confirmed to play on this line up with this hero of mine, I was genuinely made up. It’s still great to be excited about something like this so many years into my DJ career. My first ever festival and I was due to be playing after…….David Morales. No biggy!!

So, lets set the scene. I’ve been driven to the Schengenfest festival site in the middle of the Slovenian countryside. Plenty of banter in the car with ATFC and Lisa Millett who were also on the line up. Along the way we find out Morales has missed his flight. He was in Ibiza so was able to get some other flight eventually and the panic was over. The reason he missed his flight? He was handcuffed to a bed in Pikes and couldn’t find the key!!! Naaaah that’s a lie, he was simply in McDonalds  and missed the flight. That’s it!!

The big man arrives back stage. I was a tad anxious. Really wanted to say hello, but didn’t want to be a douchebag and make a big deal. ATFC was doing his thing with Lisa Millett freestyling and working the crowd and David went to put his laptop on the stand. A short while later he came off stage and I was asked to go on and fill in for a while. I went and DJed for half hour and David came back to the stage with a face of thunder. He took over and I went backstage to find out that they hadn’t provided the mixer he requested on his tech rider.

Any DJ up in the upper echalons, will carp on about them wanting the specific items requested on their tech rider to do the job at the best of their ability. In fact Morales went on his FB page to state exactly that. DJs will recite similes like ‘Lewis Hamilton won’t be driving his F1 car with retreaded tyres’ and I absolutely get that. However lets look at it from the punters perspective, who are expecting to see this legend DJ. Do they give a shit if the mixer is right or not? It’s not like he’s not able to use it properly. Talk to the grass roots DJs who are grafting week in week out, that aren’t paid, in one night, the equivalent of the average UK wage in many cities, and ask them about the equipment they have to use!? Oh but they’re not at the top of their game. No, they’re not, but they are being professional and getting on with it without acting like a massive diva.

Getting on with it Morales was. He had his top off and was chugging out some nice tribal beats littered with the occasional classic track. I went out into the thick of it to experience it from the ravers side and the sound went dead for the second time. He took to the mic to explain technical difficulties and to bear with him. Fair enough. Little did I know that his USBs were glitching and after the third time it happened I was ordered up to take over.

I’m on the stage keeping well out the way. My mans body language is not good. I feel a bit nervous but try and defuse the situation with a bit of banter. Nothing. Man got parred you know! He took his lollipop headphone & USB out & I stuck mine in. But after that I couldn’t get anywhere near the set up, to even cue my first track. Why was I such a pussyhole? I dunno really. Because I held this guy in such high regard. I wanted him to be a good guy. I wanted him to smile and go something like ‘That wasn’t fun but they’re all yours’ or words to that effect. Instead he worked his last track with an array of effects. Faded it out and then bowed and walked off. Yeah, thanks for that!

Before you think this is an isolated situation born of a frustrated top level DJ who’s had a stressful day (not too stressful to get a manicure & pedicure before his new flight….I kid you not) I can assure you it is NOT. Armine Edge had a similar experience of late. He, like most DJs, held him in equally high regard. He continued into Armines set for half an hour and actually went so far as to close his laptop. Why are you touching next mans laptop fam??

It wasn’t my fault that all the things went wrong that did, so don’t treat me like a chief, like I’m somehow to blame. I just got on and done my thing till the close of the festival. I loved it. It was a bit of a bittersweet experience but most importantly my USBs didn’t crash once. If David would like me to recommend where I got my USBs from, I’m happy to help. Especially my Star Wars Stormtrooper one.

Maybe there’s a lot of truth in the statement about not meeting your inspirations as you’ll end up being disappointed. I’ve met two of mine and we’re at one all. So, don’t give up hope people, unless you too have American DJ drama queens as inspirations?

6 thoughts on “Flop Idol”

  1. Thanks for sharing. Its good for the ordinary punters to get a different and insightful perspective from the other side of the decks. I recently had a similar experience also where a stalwart of the community proved to be a ‘reprobate’. It’s good, I see it as a learning curve viz. not to put people on pedestal especially because they may be good at something and/or good at something which I like.

    As for DJs its members of the public like myself that gives them adulation etc. However, at the end of the day, no matter how much money, fame etc the DJ needs to remain humble and remember s/he is a servant of the people whether David Morales or to the local dj playing in a pub

  2. FLOP IDOL!! Hilarious! Despite the occasional tech hitch (& i had a few of my own, but all manageable)I thought it was fabulous… The crowd were awesome & ready party. And then to jam with ATFC who I haven’t played with in a while was an added bonus. And you Mr. Richardson…what a pleasure. It was an honour to get you a chicken sandwich …lol… Only one spoiler on the scene & he arrived late & left early! YIPEE!

    Kisses to you honey & Jeremy B of course

  3. The thing is, the more insecure and self-conscious you are, the more you will come across as a complete tool to other people in a bad situation. Truly confident people ride through a bad situation and can often laugh it off…. With self-conscious A-Listers, this gets translated into being a ‘diva’. So, when things go wrong, they can’t deal with it as they feel belittled and persecuted, they seek to blame others and mood wise, they come across as complete tools because they fear (ironically) that people will think bad of them! They need a good strong dose of therapy, but of course most of them are too ‘big’ for that and carry on using their fame and status as a ‘shield’. Respect their work, yes ‘cos you can’t deny how good they are, but respect them as a person – rarely sensible until you know them! There you go, deep but true!

    1. May be a deep response but I genuinely think you’ve got something there. It’s something I thought about whilst knocking up the blog but it was long enough as it is without going into the psychological side.

      Cheers for the response mate.

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