Tag: dj life

In The Line Of Duty…

Mastermix Producer Jules Little chats to fellow DJs about the times when they’ve been injured in the line of duty, but had to carry on regardless!

I’ve just been looking through old photographs of gigs that I have done with Absolute 80’s, and one stood out to me. Two years ago we had Tony Hadley performing, and as he pulled the microphone back it swiped against his nose, cutting the skin & causing him to start bleeding. He finished the song, wiped himself down with a towel, then got a plaster from somebody in the crowd and placed it over the bridge of his nose leaving him looking more like Adam Ant rather than the former lead singer of Spandau Ballet. Ever the “True” professional, he carried on with his amazing set, pure “Gold“. (How many more Spandau titles can I squeeze in this paragraph? I’m certainly not going “to cut a long story short”… quick, someone throw me a “Lifeline” (groan!)

OK back to the point… this got me thinking about my experiences as a DJ, have I been injured in the line of duty and still carried on regardless? I have played whilst having a broken toe (not funny if you are standing up for a 4 hour set), I have played whilst on crutches when I was recovering from a car accident & shouldn’t use my left leg at all, yes, I’ve been a true warrior of the wheels of steel (as it was back then). So who else? I needed to find out. So I asked the question of a few of our mobile friends. I figured that as they have equipment to set up & break back down again, they would be a rich source of stories. 

These legends are true warriors (of a MacBook Pro & Denon controller?)

  • Ade Sands

While leaving the house one night to a gig, I went over on my ankle coming down stairs in the house.

It hurt a bit, and so hobbled on to gig, was late and absolutely no chance I could have got cover. Carried speakers and gear down stairs, and set up gear – ankle and foot starting to swell, to a point where I had to take my shoe off. Did gig, left gear there for collection the next day, and drove to A&E afterwards. The doc checking my ankle out was not amused, told me off for not going when it happened, and then treated my ‘very badly sprained’ ankle..

  • Andrzej Biliński

I had a DJ booth with a shelf made of 2 metal sides that you join together and tighten up with locks… Well I hadn’t tightened them up correctly and part A slid down onto part B with my finger between them… I cut out a huge chunk of skin and a little bit of juicy meat from the finger. Ouch!

  • Alistair Gillies

I use a “dancing on clouds” effect and at one wedding I had forgotten to bring my knife that I use to cut the dry ice box open. I asked the venue if I could borrow anything to do this and they gave me a pair of scissors. As I proceeded to run one of the open scissors across the seal it slid and not realising how sharp they were I almost sliced off the top of my finger! There was blood everywhere and we had to delay the first dance until the blood stopped and I got bandaged up. As the saying goes “The show must go on” & it did! I went to A& E next day and ended up with a few stitches. I still have the scar to this day!

  • Stephen Brown

I was at a wedding of a friend and provided the DJ services as a gift to them. Long story short, I had to head to the car to grab batteries for my radio mic and when I went out the door of the venue slammed shut on my hand resulting in a broken finger! Excruciating pain! My hand was swollen and completely black but as they say the show must go on. I was in agony throughout the night and it completely restricted my hitting of the sync button!

  • Daren Deakin

I had a similar injury to Tony Hadley as described above, I was doing a 16th birthday party in a school on the stage with a polished wood floor. I had completed setup when I noticed my fog machine on the overhead bar was pointing too far up. So instead of the sensible option – getting my small ladder back out of the van (I’m not the tallest person BTW) I used a school chair. This slipped from under me and I went down full force vertically, and hit the floor, full force! I lay there stunned for a few seconds and saw stars. To my horror my nose was split open so I  put a big plaster on, and carried on albeit with massive headache, and the Adam Ant look! 

  • Liam Smith

You could say I’ve got form here. A poorly assembled folding stage collapsed during my set up resulting in 3 broken ribs. Twisted my kneecap unloading the van at a venue. Slammed my hand in the van door breaking 2 fingers on my right hand. On all 3 occasions I did the gigs.

  • Adam Chapman

Just got resident spot at a hotel and first wedding and I torn the MCL in my left leg. Hobbled on but was off for 2 weeks after that. Had to do a Cartman…. MUUUMMM and got a roadie. Everywhere I went I was called happy feet after that!

  • David A. Thatcher

Came out of hospital had a tube in me to help me pass water for a week while in there. Had a friends party booked, I didn’t want to let them down. I arrived and partially wet myself in the booth. No one knew, until now…….

  • Ashley Duncan

And finally this EPIC tale….

On my way to a gig in a club in Dunfermline during the January storms of 1989. Driving to the gig I hit over a foot of water on a road passing Knockhill. My van skidded off the road and nosedived into a ditch and I did three nose over tail somersaults at 70 Mph. In the process I went through a dry stone wall, knocked down two railway sleepers and the van ended up on its back doors pointing up into the sky! I still made my gig at Lourenzo Marques that night. The next day it was a trip to hospital as I couldn’t walk.

Have you got a story to tell the DJ community like this? Then get in touch with us here at Mastermix, we’d love to hear from you. 

In the meantime, can we suggest playing songs from the Crash Test Dummies & Men Without Hats ‘Safety Dance’?


Hands Free…

Mastermix Producer Jules Little shares his most cringeworthy DJ experience…

2002 or 2003, DJing in a packed, VERY well known venue on Broad Street, Birmingham’s “Golden Mile”. It’s Saturday night, the venue is at capacity (1300), one in, one out, party in full session. Now the downside of having a full night is that you don’t get the time to talk to your guests much when they ask for tunes, and not wanting them to feel ignored I hired a student to help me across the night, take requests, play music whilst I crossed to stage etc. His name was Nugget, total party guy, perfect! It is wise to point out for the purpose of this story that I wore a head mic as “get your hands-on the air” carries more sway when you have the ability to do it yourself!

This particular night the whole place was bouncing, I felt like the conductor of a large orchestra of people, magnificent.

Nugget approaches me. “Jules, can you read this?” as hands me a filled in request slip. I look at it, nothing apparent to me. I turn it upside down, still nothing. I flip it over, totally indecipherable.

“Who gave you this?” I asked him still struggling to comprehend the scrawl that emblazoned the paper before me.

“That lady over there!” says Nugget as he points to the lady waiting patiently at the bottom of the 3 steps that lead to the raised DJ booth.

As I don’t drink when I am working generally, I have always found it amusing when people ask me for records trying to sound sober when they are anything but. Writing when drunk however, that is just art! I approach the lady to ask her what it says.

I however had neglected to turn off my head mic….

Especially important as you know that to talk to somebody in a noisy environment requires you getting very close to each other, mouth to ear almost…

“Hiya!” I approached her cheerily. “I’m sorry I can’t read this. In fact, I would go as far as to say the in all of my years DJing, it’s probably the worst handwriting I’ve ever seen. You must be having a great time & downing a few!”

(Remember that head mic, still switched on…. And now, a breakdown in a track)

“In fact, I’d say REALLY DRUNK! (Remember that mic). What have you had?”

Then it happened. Mid track breakdown with microphone on & 1300 people within earshot of the powerful sound system.

“I’ve had a stroke!!!”

You know that moment when your stomach hits your feet? I do!

A huge gasp went throughout the venue, then a huge cheer! The lady then realised it was on the microphone too. She took it in good spirits, Jack Daniels from memory, I paid for her drinks all night!

True Story.

 We reached out to our fellow DJs on Facebook to ask them for their funniest and most embarrassing tales from the DJ booth… here are just a few!