The Secret DJ by Anonymous

4 out of 5 stars

The international DJ sounds the most perfect life; the glamour, jet setter heading off to exotic locations, headlining all the top clubs, being a household name and being wealthy, surrounded by the most beautiful people. Turns out it is not quite like that…

The Secret DJ was one of those who was at the top of his game for 30 odd years, but there is a chasm between how people perceived his life and the reality of it. Yes, he would fly into various places for the weekend to play to the crowds and get the place jumping, but he could only keep doing that with a regular supply of drugs and alcohol. These hedonistic weekends moving from flights to hotels to clubs and back to the airport. Sleep didn’t really exist in this drug-filled life.

Then there was his tour manager who he says took more drugs than anyone else that he knew and would always be late for the everything he attended, and from what I can make out didn’t really manage anything at all. Since he started the scene has changed dramatically, now it seems that any bedroom DJ with deep pockets can get themselves a set of CDJ’s and can become a DJ. They are obviously not as well known as the big guys, but the effect they have had is to drive the amount they get paid down. The common currency to be paid in seems to be exposures… Which will give you a lot of publicity but you can’t pay for groceries with them yet.

I had always liked dance music and can trace my love of that back to Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream and still listen to a lot of trance at the moment. However, the club scene has never really appealed, the introvert in me would much rather have a quiet drink in a pub. As well as being an interesting expose of the club scene, The Secret DJ is prepared to share his experiences to stop others making the same mistakes. He is not a bad writer either, fairly blunt and holds strong opinions and at times this was hilarious. There were nice touches too, it is split into two sections, A Side and B Side of course and Chapter 6 made me chuckle…

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  1. Liz Dexter

    Oh that does sound interesting. I love a good music book although know more about dance music now, as a transcriber for music journalists, than I did back in my days of going to more gigs, etc!

    • Paul

      I have always liked the music and the technology, just not the clubs… What do you actually do as a job then?

      • Liz Dexter

        I’m a freelance transcriber, so work for various journalists, writers and ghostwriters, typing up their interviews (if you see stuff by Alexis Petridis and Jude Rogers in the Guardian or lots of things in Q Magazine, I often transcribed them, and I can say I worked on Goldie’s recent autobiography). I’m also an editor, working mainly with people whose English isn’t their native language, and do a bit of localisation from US to UK English.

        • Paul

          Ah right! Interesting work by the sounds of it.

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