I distinctly remember making jokes 20 years ago about how in the future I’ll be going to 80’s parties and they’ll be as ridiculous as the 60’s parties of the day.
Despite my soothsaying smart ass, I didn’t take into consideration a little thing called “frame of reference”.
I had no context or emotional attachment to the 1960’s. It was just an abstract concept â€” my parents’ decade of social progress, bell bottoms, consciousness expanding drugs and relatively free-for-all fucking with few consequences – aside from maybe… Babies.
Enter Generation X.
Now here twenty three years after the close of the decade that largely formed my personality – I got my first invitation to…. Yup….
A “1980’s Dance Party”.
It wasn’t until a good couple of days after wringing my hands over outfits that my 21st Century consciousness weighed in and said – “wow – our fashion was ridiculous” – but the eye rolling I did about the 60’s parties never happened… Just a, (for lack of a better description), “sustained squee-buzz of warm fuzzy nostalgia” overtook me.
What do you bring the hostess of an 80’s dance party? Traditional dinner party flowers and a bottle of wine wouldn’t do. So in a Starbucks-fueled frenzy last night I threw together a 50 minute run of largely rebooted oldie-moldies from my youth.
My fascination with dance music started in high school while working for Radio Shack… The strip mall where it was located was anchored by (strangely now on retrospect) a night club called “Club 747”.
One evening just before close this guy barreled through the door with two speakers under his arms and panic across his face.Â It was the club’s DJ – and he’d blown out his monitor speakers.
Despite his profession – he wasn’t terribly technical. To the nerdy-birdy 17 year old behind the counter – this was gravy. All was needed was a philips screw driver and the ability to tell the difference between red and black wires.
Nonetheless I had his speakers repaired in 15 minutes and had became his hero for the night. He invited me to come down to the club after I closed the store and see the booth.
I did… And as I stood by wide eyed and watched him weave songs together a love of dance music and envy of DJs that would follow me to this very day was cemented.
I’d got a couple of (cheap) direct drive turntables and started DJing parties with a couple of friends. That was as about as occupational as it ever got. Once college got underway my practice just became a method of making mix tapes for friends. Then once life got underway the tables got sold and my vinyl crated and put into storage. I’d never stop collecting remixes though.
In 2011, one of my gal-pals Amy asked me for a disc which reignited the long shelved hobby – which spawned a series that’s still running called BEAsTmix.
I have zero aspirations of doing this in any professional capacity. I’m way better at taking pictures and moving type around. But it’s fun to make mixes for friends…. Every one has a story and theme for whomever they were crafted for.
And this one’s for Jill – and what I’m sure is going to be a blast tonight.