Robert the DJ
I always liked the idea of playing records for others and I used to idolise Tony Blackburn on BBC 'Radio One'.
My DJ 'career' as such started when I went to a pub in the city of London called 'The New King Lud' in Seacoal lane, EC1 at lunchtimes while I was an apprentice back in 1972.
I started talking to the DJ, Rick Cooper, who used to work on behalf of ?? but eventually took over the whole event.
By the time he had, I was doing a regular show on a Thursday & Saturday evenings.
On Friday's Rick & I did a joint show which often turned into some form of competition like 'how many records can you play in 60 seconds'.
I was accused of cheating because I just put disks on top of each other rather than removing each one before putting on the next one - initiative I call it!
There also used to be 'stripogram' girls performing just in front of the stage.
One weekend, a group of us - Rick and the manager & managerss of the pub, John & Jenny, went to a place called 'the Global Village' which was a big local nightclub.
The new commercial station for London - 'Captial Radio' - used to broadcast live on a Saturday night featuring live bands etc. and being somewhat confident with the booze on board, I approached the DJ and had a chat.
I got a job!
This was a common feature of my going to clubs - the Sundown (Charing X road, London), The Great Harry & 'Champs' in Hemel Hempstead as well as ? in Watford.
The DJ at the 'Village' was Stuart Gensian and he allowed me a short demonstration which he seemed to like and gave me a job!
The place was advertised as 'Over 21' and they had quite a strict door policy but I was working there and only 17!
On my 18th birthday, as I was leaving the upstairs disco, I was grabbed by my (long) hair by Stuart who annouced to everyone that it was my 18th birthday that day. I think it was a bit of a shock to the management but the reaction from the punters was excellent!
I continue to be very interested in broadcast radio but only from a technical point of view. The role of DJ has changed considerably now and is much more 'personality' based whichbrings with it its own show-business problems of envy & bitchiness.
I'm far more likely to be listening to what the presenter says and how seamless the driving of the desk is than the music any more.