you won some sort of wedding DJ lottery - don’t press your luck. the next wedding gig is gonna be nothing but “daddy’s little girl” first dance songs and baby shark remixes.
Oh I’m quitting while I’m ahead.
The only wedding i’ve said yes to is a gay friends wedding… it was so much fun. What annoys me is the number of ‘friends’ who ask me to dj their wedding but don’t actually invite me to the wedding itself. Charming, that.
As a classical musician weddings are our bread and butter - but it’s usually one (hour) and done for pretty decent $$, and if they want you for the cocktail reception things get loud enough to where you can pull out more interesting music to read and fuck around with. That said, the best weddings have been gay weddings where the dudes want to walk down the aisle to the Super Mario theme or want quartet arrangements of Abba etc. Fun times.
Hahaha…that old yarn?
So no names, no pack drill. It’s summer '88 and one of the local faces is getting married. He’s asked me and our kid to DJ several times only to be told ‘We dont do weddings…we haven’t got wedding music and they will not want to hear what we play’
Local face persists…‘it’s my wedding and it’s gonna be a rave wedding…it’ll be brilliant!’ (bear in mind that in 88 ‘rave’ wasn’t yet the dirty word it was to become).
His persistence, and not really wanting to piss off one of the main local faces meant that reluctantly and against our better judgement, we agree. We bat back and forth over a fee and then it’s on!
Groom and best man have necked a cheeky half during the ceremony and are on one by the time they get to the reception…we’ve set up our gear and get started. Instantly I can read the room and I’m thinking, ‘Shit. Shit. Shit.’ Still, we’re here now so we proceed as requested and the thumping, squelching acid of Bam Bam, Adonis and Phuture bombard the startled audience. And it’s fair to say, they are startled…
We’re getting daggers from…well from pretty much everyone in there! Before long, a very irate member of the extended Irish family approaches…'what is this fookin shoite? This is a fookin wedding, play some fookin Motown! He means it as well…
I protest that the music is what we had been booked to play by the groom, but of course he cares not one jot; he only wants the noise to stop.
As it happens, I had packed some Smokey and Marvin etc so we change tack and somehow we’re able to limp through until it’s time for the wedding dance.
Groom grabs the mic onstage in his suit and little round smiley sunglasses, and by way of a speech screams…
‘Are you at a fuckin acid wedding or what!?’
He then takes to the floor with his bride and, encircled by close family and friends awaits as we cue up his requested wedding song. Is it Jennifer Rush? Champagne? The Commodores perhaps?
No, here it comes…‘Royal House - Can You Party’.
To try and describe the look on peoples faces as husband and wife trance danced to Todds finest some nearly 35 years later is not easy…agog I think would come close. Proper wide eyed, open mouthed stares.
Anyway as people return to their seats shell shocked, the focus is soon enough off the happy couple and back on us. Chip E, Mike Dunn and even Inner City fails miserably in getting anyone on the dancefloor.
We need an exit strategy!
Suddenly from the back, a carfuffle. This escalates quickly into a large sprawling ruck as chairs and bottles whistle through the air, fists fly and girls scream. The lights come on and everyone’s intervening trying to calm the situation; chaos for a good 10 minutes.
Our little crew have already started unwiring the gear and packing everything up and while everyones attention’s on the back of the room, we’re out of there in no time. Seeking refuge in the local kebab shop we try to unpick the evenings events…and we agree, sometimes you’ve just got to laugh, you just have to.
But an important decision moving forward; no more acid weddings…no more, none, ever!
The final kicker? We got knocked for our money obviously
The consummate professional - you still packed a few wedding classics.
A classic tale, my friend, and as the old biddy in Forrest Gump says… “you tell it so well!”
Love you meng x
How long did the marriage last? Couple of weeks?
You know things are going to get interesting when someone asks you to play “I’m coming out”.
I’ve had that invite, as a DJ, an event dresser and a chef. It has narrowed down my friend circle each time. A real “this is how we think of you” scenario.
‘I Will Survive’ absolutely stormed it!
Haha…far from it! I dont know if they’re still married but I do know they were together for years.
Reading through this thread is giving me the horrors. That absolutely awful sinking feeling you get when you realise that what you’ve got in your record bag is the complete opposite of what anyone in a room wants to hear.
Anxiety dream territory
I’ve only really got one. I’m not a DJ as such (I dabbled in the 90’s) but about 12 ish years ago I was asked along by the resident DJ to play some of my collection of 60’s Freakbeat/Psych/Mod/Northern and Popcorn 45’s at a Sixties night called the Go Go during the Fringe, which used to be a bit of an institution in Edinburgh.
I was mid set and a girl approached the booth and started shouting ‘Play Lady Ga Ga’ at me, repeatedly. I ignored her until she clambered almost right in and she shouted it again. ‘It’s a fucking Sixties night’ I shouted back. ‘Well Lady Ga Ga was born in the Sixties’ she replied. ‘No she fucking wasn’t’ I shouted back at her…
She turned round to clamber back down, gave me the finger and mouthed ‘Fuck off’ at me, and as she proceeded to jump down, she caught her hand on the tonearm and skated the cartridge right over my precious (currently playing) 45…
Cheers love fuxxake! Even if Lady Ga Ga had been born in the Sixties, what fucking difference would that have made to a 6T’s night?!
Another vote for the 1TB USB
speaking of, it just kind of dawned on me that i have also been on the other side of all this mess. i may have been the terrible groom, as it were.
when my wife and i got married, i asked a couple of old dear friends to dj - and i knew they’d be great; they’ve run one of the longest running soul nights on the west coast. i told them that what they do at their night would be absolutely what i’d want - great, danceable soul, fun, disco, some obscurities and “original breaks” etc. - but generally no great big top 40 hits of the last 60 or so years. real soul records, not “now that’s what i call soul vol 36”.
and - as the consummate professionals do - they arrived armed with all the wedding classics. they stuck closer to the good stuff (yes to al green’s “let’s stay together”, no to “the macarena” et al) and we all had fun and there was not a moment of angst.
it wasn’t what i expected, but it was delightful. and if it had been what i expected, i don’t know that it would have been as delightful for all the aunties and kiddos and rarely-listen-to-music’ers.
Thats hard enough for sure…
I did a thing for Moira Mitchener at Chelsea Football Club…big deal as we were just starting to get a bit of work around town.
I’ve got behind the decks and popped open the box…that’s odd I thought, I dont remember packing Public Enemy??
On flicking backwards through the box, the absolute horror dawned on me that I’d picked up the wrong box! Instead of bringing my carefully crafted set of chugging, bumping warm up gear, I’d picked up the box with all my hip hop in!!
What followed was like the scene on Fawlty Towers where he’s looking for the duck in the trifle…I was frantically searching through everything thinking ‘no no…Pianonegro must be in here somewhere!’
The feeling in the pit of my stomach
I know that crowd weren’t there to hear hip hop and I got a few sideways glances but as it was just the warm up I somehow managed to stretch out every dub and remix that sounded vaguely bumpy and managed to get away with it.
What an ordeal…but what dont kill you makes you stronger right?
I’ve just realised I know someone with that exact story @Piers
Jeez. Where does one start on this one. I asked a fairly well known house dj to play at my second wedding (dont judge) and the c£@t put on Barbara Streisand/barry Gibb guilty as our first dance. I was whisking my new wife around the floor whilst doing cutting throat motions to said dj to stop it. It was mine and my exes tune . He did it on purpose.
Some years later I am getting married again. I ask the same fella to play thinking that he may have grown up etc. He rings me up during the week and says something along the lines of I’I know you want a techno set really. Do you want red 1 or 2.? How about Jupiter Jazz?’ I naturally think he is joking…