Toronto DJ diaries - Chapter 1 - In the beginnig...
I grew up in Agincourt (in Toronto) and as a kid, I used to spend hours in my basement playing records on my Mom’s old stereo. She had such a amazing collection of music from the 50’s and 60’s, from rock & roll to Motown, mostly on 45’s. I really feel in love with the music from that era, especially anything with a hard beat. It had such a “rawness” to it. The way the vinyl crackled, and the sound the needle would make as it kept jumping once the song had finished and it hit the label in the middle. One by one I would play a song. Manually removing each record and placing the next on the turntable. Hours and hours I would listen, and loved every minute of it.
In grade 7, I would get my Mom to take me to the Scarborough Town Centre so that I could go to the record store. Music World is where I would spend a good chuck of my allowance, buying albums and 45’s. My musical taste had no boundaries and my collection included everything, Prince, Bon Jovi, Roxette, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, New Edition, Bobby Brown, Def Leopard, I think you get the hint. While many of my friends were making the move to cassettes, I stuck with vinyl.
In my grade 8 year, my music teacher at my Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Mr. Gene, thought it would be a great idea if instead of hiring a DJ to play the school dances, that the students should have the opportunity to DJ them, and they would hold “DJ auditions” to determine who would perform. So, the morning of the audition I packed my backpack with all my favourite tracks and set off for school.
As a kid, I was extremely shy to the point that I couldn’t even look you in the eye when speaking. I vividly remember walking into the cafeteria that afternoon and seeing the other kids on the stage getting ready for the audition and I froze. I was mortified. As fast as I walked in, was as fast as I turned around and walked right back out and straight home. This was my first foray into the DJ business.