I stayed away from anything explosive last night.
Through good karma, my fellow WRIR DJ, Tracy, invited me to join her behind the turntables at Ipanema. After setting up Tracy’s mixer and tables, we ate, then started spinning at 10. The start of Tracy’s set was sparsely attended - 2 or 3 tables of guests and about a half dozen employees. It looked like we’d be playing to a small party, which was fine by us. I switched over around 11ish and suddenly folks came in through the door. I was already nervous - I’ve never DJed in front of a live audience. Also, my vinyl collection is considerably thinner than Tracy’s - I had brought what I hoped was some choice 80’s dance music. However, I survived, turning heads for a couple of tracks and getting some nice compliments from the crowd.
Tracy took over for the countdown - she found a record with a rocket launch countdown, then spun up to one in the morning. Tracy is awesome to watch, gleefully cuing disk after disk. She’s even more fun to listen to. At one, I took over and spun CDs (which was tough since we had portables that beeped) playing a poppier twee set. As we wound down to last call, Tracy and I traded off on the cuts. Ipanema seemed very full from the stroke of midnight until last call, so I hope we did right by Kendra.
While DJing last night, I remembered that I had done a show on WTJU on New Years Eve 1986 - 20 years ago exactly. I had a 2-6 am slot and dutifully drove my blue Dodge Dart down I-64 to my show. At 2am, I wished Easter Island a Happy New Years and started the show with the Talking Head’s “The Great Curve”. I’m sure people were making their way back from parties at that time, but it was awfully quiet in that studio.
So, two decades later, I get to DJ for free food and drink to a small crowd of revelers. That looks like progress to me. And I start another new year with all of my fingers and toes intact.