Random thoughts from a random mind…

Posts tagged “Arizona State

Don’t Believe the Hype! (we were warned)

In the immortal words of Chuck D and Flava Flav – “Don’t Believe the Hype!” We should have stuck to this advice as we so eagerly awaited the start of another season, but Sun Devil Nation was in awe of what could be.  With talks of a Pac-12 South title, a spot in the first ever Pac-12 Championship game, and even a few whispers of a National Championship, Devil fans around the nation were on the edge of their seats in anticipation for this, possibly, legendary season.  I mean, how could they not be good this year, we were returning 30 seniors! And then, injuries…oh yes, the unthinkable, season-ending injuries of some of our top players began to deplete this team, and deflate the bubble of hope yet again.  Spring and summer practices brought more hope though, as the team began to show depth in the positions affected by the devastating injuries.

The season began with the standard “cupcake” game, and a Devil win.  Week two would record the first Black Out game at Sun Devil Stadium, and a big win against Missouri – could this be a sign of the strong season everyone had been talking about? Nope…It was just the first blip of false hope that had been an ASU tradition for way too long.  Proof of this would be the lack of being able to close out a close game on the road (and a weak secondary), as the Devils lose to Illinois by 3.

The biggest “upset” of the season was the commanding win against USC.  I say this was the biggest upset, because it was the biggest tease to make us think that things could be different for the Sun Devils.  They shut an arguably, overrated Matt Barkley and USC team down, showing other teams that if you can get to Barkley, he WILL crumble (see you in the NFL, kid).  With this win, Devil fans began to feel that this really could be the sign of hope we had been looking for.  With a win over USC, all we needed to do was, at the worst, come in second to them in the Pac-12 South, and we’d be in the championship game – and looking ahead at the schedule, this seemed doable, with the only major road-block being the Oregon game in Eugene – which, in fact, turned out to be our next loss.

At this point, we were still in the hunt of the Pac-12 South title – sitting at 5-2 with the next 5 games being ones where we would definitely be favored.  This “great” season was still within reach – Pac-12 South title, Pac-12 Championship, and even a possible BCS game.  But this was when reality hit, and the wheels fell off.  The hype had run its course, and we lost 4 of those very winnable 5 games.  “Very winnable” is an understatement here; we lost to a Washington State team with a coach who has only won 9 games in his four years at the helm.  We also lost THE game; the one that can cost you an entire season if you lose no matter the final record.

Ending out the season at a measly 6-6 was never a thought for this team.  There was no reason that the Sun Devils should not have won at least 9 games with the talent on this team, and the state of the teams they played.  The hype was just that, hype. As usual, the Sun Devils are placed in a category before the season starts, and are unable to perform.  The sad thing is that each season when the critics talk about ASU and their potential of being a “good” team, it is followed with the thought of being able to live up to the hype.  When the critics take note of the trends that are followed each year, and aren’t able to put much stock in “potential,” there are definite problems.

As I am finishing this post, it was just announced that Erickson will be let go as the Head Coach of the Sun Devils – well, he is “retiring.” (Wonder how that translates into buying out his contract?)  Should it stop with the coach though? What about the AD? Currently, the hype “issue” doesn’t stop with just the football team:

  • The basketball team has struggled for a very long time now.  Although, I truly feel that Herb Sendek is the man for the job; he just needs better backing from the top.
  • The baseball team is still in its appeal process for violations stemming back to Pat Murphy’s wrong doings.

Are we cursed as Sun Devils? Or would putting more money into our facilities, recruiting and coaching staff make things better?  Would hiring a $10+ million coach be the answer? Who knows, but I do know, it is hard to be a Sun Devil, and I will ALWAYS be one!

 

Sparky and I at the ASU Alumni Tailgate at the Utah game


Been a while…

Wow, has it really been over 3 months since my last post?  Not that any of you were losing sleep, wondering what the next “great” thing to come out of my spacey mind would be, but I’m sorry that it has been so long.

So much has happened over the past 3 months:

  • For starters, we are only 8 weeks away (give or take) from an anxiously awaited addition to the Brooks household, Jacob.  I can’t believe it is going to happen so very soon.  We are excited to finally meet the little ninja that constantly attacks his mother from the inside.
  • Brendan has started the sixth grade!  I can’t believe how fast they grow up.  I mean, it really only seems like not that long ago, he was so excited to start school.  It truly is amazing how fast the time flies.
  • Another school year has begun…not only Brendan has started another school year, I have also.  This really doesn’t mean much since I don’t get the summers off, but this year has been a bear thus far.  Truly seems like summer never even happened.  This is the start of my 5th year at the school, and I have never felt so overwhelmed.  Not sure what that is a sign of, but we’ll see how the rest of the year goes.  Hopefully things will get back to normal.
  • I had one of my photographs entered into my first Gallery along with some of my PikTripper friends.  It is at Buon Giorno Coffee in Grapevine if you’d like to go and see it.  The Gallery will be up through the month of September.
  • Football season has started! After a record-breaking summer, finally, there is a sense of fall in the air and along with that comes another season of college football.  There is just something about the cooler fall air, and meat on a grill in preparation for another great game.  Really looking forward to the hopes of a great season for ASU this year…Go Devils!

I guess that’s about it, but it seems like a lot has happened since we last spoke.  I will do my best to get back into the swing of filling the screen with my random thoughts.  I’m sure that will be easier said than done once Jacob arrives, but then again, he may be just the fuel needed to spark a few more random thoughts.

Hope you had a good summer, and are ready for whatever is next.


There’s “Bandwagon” and Then There’s “Confusing”

Some of my collection: ASU hat, Tigers hat, Red Wings hat, D-Backs hat from Opening Day 1998, 2001 World Series "Official Ball," ASU flag and Suns throw.

Have you ever sat back and really thought about how big a role sports plays in our lives?  I mean think about it, we complain about the millions and millions of dollars these guys make in a year, but we pay millions to see them play.  Cities (and you) pay millions to billions to be able to build the next, state of the art facility for their team or teams to play in.  I remember as a kid, and even still today, when I fly into a city, I’m always looking around trying to see the arenas or stadiums from the air. It’s the only time you get the opportunity to see the whole thing other than a photo.  Sometimes you don’t realize how pivotal the placement of a sports facility can be until you’ve seen it as you descent into a city from the air.

As a guy, you often get the question: “what is your favorite team?” This can often be a tricky question to answer.  If you happen to say a team that is currently playing really well, then you quickly have to justify the answer to not be tagged as a “fair-weather” or guilty of “jumping on the bandwagon.”  There are even times that if you happen to say the wrong team, you could be looking at a fist fight due to the person asking being a die-hard fan of a rival (slightly over-exaggerated, but could happen).

This question has often bewildered many friends of mine through my answers.  I could, at times, be accused of trying to hitch a ride on a couple of wagons, but I can justify all of my answers (at least to myself, and that’s what counts).  You see, growing up in various places throughout this sports-loving nation, it is very difficult to just have one favorite, or be a fan of just one team.  Is it really a crime to be a fan of multiple teams from a few different cities?  Feel free to judge.

When it comes to college that’s an easy one, Arizona State (Go Devils!!!) – You become slightly biased when you’re an alumnus, no matter how good or bad your teams may be.  When it comes to the Devils, not too many people are jumping on your wagon (hoping that 2011 proves to the hype for the Devils in football.  Unfortunately, hype, has never bode well for the Devils in years past).  The Lady Devils just won the softball National Championship and the baseball team is still battling its way to Omaha, but being a fan of the Sun Devils has been very trying over the years (Ahh to be a Sun Devil).  I will admit though, being a member of my wife’s family has also made me a fan of the Irish (fan, not a favorite…is that ok? Oh, and living near South Bend for a few years may have helped this as well).

When it comes to professional sports, it is a much harder story to tell.  My first professional influences came from the NFL.  It all started in the mid 70’s when we lived in Powell, Wyoming, and my father was a sports announcer for the local radio station.  They just so happened to cover the Orange Crush – you may know them better as the Denver Broncos.  I had a little plastic helmet that my dad had painted to mach a Broncos helmet, they were my team….until I heard about the Cowboys.  Yes, I do live in Dallas now and wouldn’t exactly consider myself a true blue Cowboy fan, but back in the day, yes, I was a fan.  Ok, so they were in their heyday (one of them).  Can a five-year-old boy really be guilty of jumping on a bandwagon? The point is, that at the time, living in “the middle of nowhere,” Wyoming, there weren’t any teams to be a fan of.  Looking elsewhere was your only option, even for a five-year-old.

Now is when it all starts to really get messy – at the age of 6, I was relocated with my family to Arizona.  Actual years are needed here for clarity, so this would have been 1981/82.  What that means for those of you not in the know, is that there weren’t any professional sports teams in Arizona except for the Phoenix Suns (NBA), but I didn’t really learn of them until a few more years down the road.  We lived in Kingman, AZ, again, middle of nowhere.  Like most families, my family went in different directions.  I lived with my mother and sister, so there weren’t many influences on sports.  I did enjoy playing baseball, soccer and basketball though.  Finally I became more aware of the sports world that was out there.  I began to learn more about professional teams around the nation – again, none in the local area.  I learned of the Phoenix Suns, and to no surprise, they became “my team.”

In 1986, I again relocated.  This time we moved to Michigan, Trufant, Michigan to be exact.  AGAIN, middle of nowhere! (Starting to get the picture?)  By this time, I was really getting into sports.  I knew all the best players on all the best teams in all professional sports, except hockey (more on that in a moment – remember, in Michigan now).  January 1987 was the year that I got to watch “my” Sun Devils down the Michigan Wolverines in the Rose Bowl.  I knew then that I wanted to be a Sun Devil.  I was still a fan of the Broncos (NFL) – even after all of the Elway (still one of my favorite players ever) chokes in the Super Bowls, the Cowboys (NFL), and the Suns (NBA).  Raise your hand if you thought KJ was the man!  I knew all about baseball and its best players/teams, but hadn’t really thought about a favorite team yet.  Again, it was hard to have one when there wasn’t a team nearby to follow; I mean, the Tigers were all the way over in Detroit, a 4-5 hour drive from Trufant.  Many of my friends would follow the Tigers.  It didn’t take long until I began to follow suit.  I also found myself becoming a fan of the lowly Atlanta Braves as we watched them climb from the trenches to go from “worst to first” (OK, maybe this one was bandwagoning, but it was a great story and hard not to follow).  Soon, I became used to the cold Michigan winters, and began to learn of hockey.  I truly fell in love with the sport, and what better place to be than the state of Michigan, home of the Detroit Red Wings (NHL)!  This was definitely a team that was hard not to love.

Ok, just to be sure you’re keeping track: Sun Devils (NCAA), Broncos (NFL), Cowboys (NFL), Cardinals (NFL), Suns (NBA), Tigers (MLB), Braves (MLB), and Red Wings (NHL).  Confused yet? Oh, yes, I’m sure you noticed the addition of the Cardinals in there – even living in Michigan, I still felt a connection to Phoenix/Arizona.  My dad still lived there, and kept me abreast of the latest happenings.  They moved to Phoenix from St. Louis in 1988, so I slowly began to adopt them as one of “my” teams, even though they were horrible for many, many years.  So there I was, now a teenager, all confused with who was my favorite team, and then I graduated HS and made another move back to Arizona.  This time I was off to college, to be a Sun Devil.

I moved to Phoenix in the summer of 1994.  Shortly thereafter, a new team had come into my life.  This one isn’t considered a definite “favorite,” but they are still a team that I will follow.  The Winnipeg Jets had made a move to the desert and had become the Coyotes.  Yes, there was now hockey in the middle of a place that was too hot for anyone to exist let alone play on ice.  It’s hard not to be into a team when you see them grow before you.

Which brings me to the next state of confusion…the Arizona Diamondbacks.  In 1998, the D-Backs franchise joined Major League Baseball.  Again, and even more-so, it is very hard not to be a fan of a team that you get the opportunity to see start from the very beginning.  The 2001 World Series win over the Yankees might have helped a little too (I say this as I look at my “Official Ball” from the 2001 Series that is on my desk).

Now I find myself living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Now, as you may recall, the Cowboys were “one” of my original favorite teams, but I truly don’t follow them in the same way.  In fact, I honestly find this current team to not fit into any class that earlier Cowboy’s teams have.  Romo just won’t ever be the leader that Staubach, White or Aikman were.  As for the other teams here: I don’t have any plans to ever follow the Stars for the Wings had my heart long ago; it was fun to see the Rangers go to the World Series, and I enjoy going to a game now and then, but the Tigers and D-Backs are enough for me; and lastly, yes, the Mavs are currently in the Finals, and I do honestly hope they win, but not as a fan, more as being not a fan of the Heat and the egos of Wade, Bosh and that other guy…oh yeah, the “King.”

So, would you consider my choices of “favorites” a sign of bandwagoning? I’m sure some could argue a few of them, but I feel that my mobility through life from town to town and the confusing nature of some of my locales has legitimized my choices.  When it comes down to it, I’m a fan of sport, of competition.  I am one that will watch a game, because I know it will be a good one.  Not caring who will win, just wanting to watch some good competition.  Maybe some of my “favorite” choices are because of this i.e. Atlanta in the 90’s, but that’s ok to me.

 


Origins of a DJ – Part 4

I’m Really Doing It!!!

So here it goes; DJ Buck-5 has begun his journey into the life of a DJ…Well, more like a DJ in training still, but I’m really doing it!

My first official gig went really well at the Mill Avenue Sports Club.  In fact, they offered me a regular spot: Wed and Sat nights.  It was pretty funny, Wednesday nights were South Park night! I would DJ for a little while, and then we’d stop to watch the new episode of South Park – Keep in mind, this was back in ’97 when the series first started, so there was a market for a night dedicated to the show.  Once the show was over, I would spin the rest of the night.  Then came Saturday nights.  This was fun.  Usually there was a band scheduled or two, or three, and then me.  This was something that I got very used to in my “career.”  The places I would spin would usually also be a venue for local or touring bands that would play, then I would wrap up the party into the wee-hours of the morning.  I digress, Saturday’s at Mill Avenue Sports Club became very interesting.  Tempe was, like any other college town, a thriving base for upcoming musicians – you may have heard of  some of them: Satellite (Stephen Ashbrook), Dead Hot Workshop, The Gin Blossoms (Robin Wilson), and The Refreshments (Roger Clyne – one of my favorites of all time).  Maybe you have heard of all of them, or at least one or two.  I know you’ve heard of the Gin Blossoms, and can guarantee you’d know a Refreshments song if you heard it.  Anyway, These were only a few of the many bands that have come out of Tempe.  These are ones that have at least made a name for themselves…not that others haven’t, but they are partial to me.  These are bands that we used to go and see on a pretty regular basis while going to ASU.  We used to go and see Satellite every Thursday night at Long Wong’s in Tempe on Mill Avenue, and as for Robin Wilson, lead man for the Gin Blossoms, and Dead Hot Workshop, well…I got to work with them quite a bit.  I’m sure by now, none of them would know me, but I used to do shows with Dead Hot on a pretty regular basis.  And then Robin and his then band, Pharaohs 2000 began playing there on a regular basis as well, with me rounding out the night.  I got to do some Hip-Hop nights, some pretty big weekend parties, all sorts of cool things.  I was getting very good with the beat mixing too.  I would even invite my mentor Marcus along for help with some of the events if he was available.  I felt like this truly was my first step to making something of this DJ’ing thing….and then we moved.

You see, my ex-wife was pregnant with my son, Brendan, and she wanted to be closer to her family as the baby was coming.  So we picked up and moved to Western Michigan, a home-coming of sorts, but I never really wanted to go back.  I mean, I’m one of those, “everything happens for a reason” kind of people, so without this move, I wouldn’t have done all the things I have….but I really didn’t want to move back to Michigan.

As for DJ’ing, this meant I would be hanging it up, at least for now.  I had eventually set up my tables in our apartment, but I had no crowds to play for.  I did do a few small things for friends here and there, but it wasn’t the same (no offense).  I felt lost at times.  My release had been released.

Eventually, we found ourselves moving to Detroit (well, north of Detroit), but I saw this as my chance, my opportunity to once again get my wheels turning – pun intended.


Origins of a DJ – Part 3

I NEED A DJ NAME!

So, here I am…I’ve now learned the basics (still plenty to absorb). I’ve helped do a few gigs now, and I’ve cringed at all the “train wrecks” I’ve orchestrated.  It is now time for me to move on…Really??? I just started, I’m not ready for that, not yet…too bad! I’ve now been given my first gig, and it’s only a week away.  As I said in the last post, my fraternity was having a large party at a local bar, Mill Avenue Sports Club.  I have my equipment, and I’ve been practicing every day…but wait!!! What is my name? My DJ name, what is it? I have my first gig in only a few days, and I have no name!  I spewed this afterthought to my co-workers, and an idea emerged.

You see, for a while now, some of my co-workers/friends have been referring to me by a slightly degrading, yet funny and truthful, nickname – Buck-5.  What would be the meaning of this you may be asking? or maybe you have already figured it out and are laughing hysterically.  Well, it referred to my weight.  Yes, at the time, I weighed in at a solid 105 (one-hundred five pounds)…some dogs (many actually) outweighed me.

So I now have a DJ name….DJ Buck-5! It was a cool name, I thought.  It had a story behind it, it had meaning (or was it demeaning?), it was somewhat catchy; no matter the questions it had raised, it would be my namesake for the next 13 years…at least.


Ahh to be a Sun Devil – the disappointment continues

So, here we are, 2 games into the CWS, and 2 games out of the CWS.  The Arizona State Sun Devils came into this year’s College World Series as the #1 seed – apparently that didn’t mean sh*t (pardon the expletive), as usual.  I mean really, the Sun Devils hadn’t lost 2 games in a row ALL season! – Until tonight.  They were one of the last college teams to even lose a game in the regular season (24-0 to start the season, 25-0 if you count the exhibition game).  I say as usual, because what else can we really expect being a Sun Devil fan.  I hate to be so cynical, but one can only take so much heartbreak.

Do you remember January 1st, 1997? I do, I was there…oh the horror!  This was my first taste of the drama of ASU athletics.  The UNDEFEATED Sun Devils had won the Pac-10 title and were on their way to the Rose Bowl to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes whose only loss was to Michigan in their last game of the season.  Here is the wrap-up:  With just over a minute remaining, Jake “the Snake” Plummer scrambled to lead the Devils to a 17-14 lead over the Buckeyes.  OSU got the ball, and began driving down the field, finding themselves on the 5 yard-line after some crappy penalties called on ASU.  With only 19 seconds – YES, 19 seconds – on the clock, David Boston walked into the end-zone untouched after blown coverage by Courtney Jackson (who’s jock strap can probably still be found on the 5 yard-line) to take the lead – 20-17.  Game Over!  Standing the bench seats in the stadium, in the corner directly above the aforementioned touchdown, we went from jubilant screaming and yelling to a deathly silence drowned out by the scarlet fans 50-plus yards away.  We could have been the National Champs!!! – Thanks Courtney.

What about the numerous “good” teams that Bill Frieder led onto the court only to flop below expectations – Ok, we made the sweet 16 ONCE, but what was that? Now we have Herb Sendek, who is doing a great job of re-building.  We can only hope the cycle will be broken…although that early exit from the NIT this year wasn’t exactly a good sign.

And how about the countless times that Dirk Koetter’s squads were listed as a #2 favorite (second to USC) in the Pac-10, to end up having a losing season? Koetter was Kut and now we have a proven coach, Dennis Erickson.  Please Dennis, let’s get this turned around!!!

And now baseball…well not now, but it is just the latest example.  Pat Murphy was brought into this storied club from Notre Dame to lead ASU to another championship.  He did that, but only Pac-10 championships (4 of them).  He got ASU into the post-season numerous times, but missed the expectations each time. This year was just one more sampling of the heartache a Sun Devil fan goes through each year.  The Devils were in the top 5 in the nation all year long…hell, maybe top 3.  They went into the post-season this year as the #1 seed – only to end up the first #1 seed to go 0-2 at Omaha since 1999.  Again…they didn’t lose 2 games in a row all season! – Hope be for next season, once again, due to the fact that this team is young.  Only 4 seniors on the squad (providing no one leaves early).  Best of Luck Esmay!

I love ASU, if you know me, you KNOW this.  I am always reppin the Sun Devils; whether it be shirts or my sweat-laden ball cap, I’m representing Maroon and Gold.  It is great to be a part of such a HUGE family.  In fact it is like being part of a family…at times, they make you so happy, and other times, there is disappointment…but, you still love them, you will still do anything for them.  It is just hard to go into each season with the high hopes (sometimes) – due to the stupid analysts and their predictions.

BUT…we love you Sun Devils, and we ALWAYS will.  Go Devils!!!

OK…this last line is being added for one reason and one only – superstition!  Prior to this line, when I ended with “Go Devils”, my word count was 666…that along with “Go Devils” was just a little too creepy…hope you understand.

Oh, and Go Devils!!!


Origins of a DJ – Part 2

DJ Cheesy Dad

ADD MUSIC AND MIX

My love of music grew more and more as I was introduced to more genres.  In fact, even today, it still grows.  My appreciation of truly talented artists is really what I base my “favorites” on (more on this varied list later).  I knew long ago that I wanted to do something with music.  In high school, I began my trials of making mixes (in a very elementary sense) of music for parties.  I would be the one going from CD to CD, playing various songs to make the people enjoy their evening.  I wasn’t ever one for drinking or really partying.  Music was my drug, it was what made me happy (or at least one of the things).  Dancing also became one of my favorite past-times.  I found myself very good at being able to follow a beat.  My friends and I would go “clubbing” every weekend all through high school.  Our main hang was a teen dance club in Big Rapids known as Gatorz.  Prior to Gatorz was the Skate Estate lol…oh the memories.  Gatorz eventually was closed due to “racial tension” – can’t we all just get along?  Gatorz was my first real interaction with a club DJ.  Occasionally I found myself hanging out in the booth in awe of the equipment and the crazy things you could do with music and similar beats.  My friends and I would constantly joke about buying a club one day where I would get to be the DJ.  One day…part of that dream did come true, and it lasted over a decade.

While in college at Arizona State, I was working for FDS (Federated Department Stores – Macy’s, Bloomingdales, etc.) in their call center. During my time there, I met my mentor, Marcus McBride aka DJ Metro (well, back in the day…now he’s known as DJ Marcus McBride, and has his own remix company, Full Tilt Remix – So jealous!).  Marcus shared my enthusiasm, no, hunger for music.  We would have many conversations about music styles and artists, both current and past.  He enlightened me on the magic of techno and electronica music.  This was a genre that I hadn’t had much exposure to as of yet.  I explained earlier that my mother showed me many types of music, but my old stand-by was hip-hop/rap, more specifically – old school hip-hop (nothing like “diggin’ in the crates”).  I don’t really know what it was, but I was always (then and now) drawn to it.  Marcus and I would go on and on during our shifts at work about these topics of musical creativity.  At this time, Marcus had already been a DJ for a few years while living in Cincinnati.  He was beginning to toy with the idea of getting back into the game now in Phoenix.  I was so intrigued by this.  This was something I had always dreamed of.  We got to a point to where he was willing to help teach me the art of mixing.

The first lesson was more on BPM’s (Beats Per Minute).  I already knew the concept, but I needed to learn more.  BPM’s are very crucial when DJ’ing.  You truly need to understand and begin to simply hear the BPM’s of a song, and how it will connect with the BPM’s of the next song.  Just as a marker, most rap songs are 80-90 BPM’s, hip-hop 90-100, Techno 120-140.  Now, that isn’t always the case of course, but that is a pretty close summation of where your songs will lie.  Understand this is the first step to learning how songs can be mixed together.  You wouldn’t (although you can in some circumstances) mix a 92 BPM song with a 123 BPM song.  Back then, a good rule of thumb was to stay within 5 BPM’s of each other; using that rule to build up or down to your next set.  We were just working with turntables and a CD deck that didn’t have the bells and whistles of those out today; we didn’t even have any type of beat counter!  Therefore, we had to stick to this rule pretty closely.  Now, keep in mind that this was back in the mid-90’s, so no Serato or MP3 mixing programs yet (which in my personal opinion are so not the real form of mixing – the MP3 programs that is…Serato at least still uses tables).  The tools Marcus had to begin my journey were a pair of Technics SL-BD2200 belt-drive tables (1200’s were on order) and a GLI DC-5000 dual-CD deck.

I got the concept of BPM’s down pretty well, because if you understand music and can count, you can get this part quickly.  Although, you do need to keep learning BPM’s of all your songs…that takes time.  Next came learning how to manipulate a song to match the one that is playing.  Oh, this is the fun part! This is when you get to use your fingers to speed up, slow down, or bend the songs.  This is the true art…to me anyway.  Well this and being good at song selection, but this was something I always had a knack for.

For the most part, we stuck with getting me started by mixing on the tables.  The GLI CD deck was very touchy, and we wanted to get that soft touch needed for vinyl.  In my opinion, I think I picked it up pretty fast.  I do believe I even heard Marcus say that I was a “natural” at some point.  After only a few sessions, I was mixing…matching beats…it was heaven.  I truly can’t explain what this does for me, but it truly makes me feel good.  If you’ve ever seen me DJ, you would understand.  Don’t bother talking to me, I’m truly in a zone when I mix.  I was by no means good yet, but the concept was absorbed.  Now on to the first gig!

Marcus and I went around Tempe, selling our talents….well his, I was just his roadie for the most part.  One of the places we went to was Bash on Ash.  It was a newer club on the backside of the infamous sports bar, McDuffy’s (Which I’ve heard is no longer in Tempe? – very sad).  We (Marcus) got the gig.  It was a pretty sweet place, just not too many people knew about it yet.  If you’re in the business, you know and understand how hard it can be to get a new club going.  I got to mix a bit here and there, when Marcus would go off for a drink or what not.  It’s way different mixing in front of people instead of in your own apartment.  I very quickly learned I still had a lot of work to go, but I would NOT give up…Hell, I couldn’t give up – I was on the verge of getting MY first gig!

Practice, I would, every night.  I quickly went to Guitar Center to get my own set-up:  a pair of Numark TT-1700’s and a Numark CDN-24 (hey, they weren’t anything fancy, but they got the job done).  As I saw it, if I could learn on these “no frills” instruments, I could use anything.  I’m not sure how long we had been working at Bash, but it wasn’t very long.  I had just recently pledged with AKPsi at ASU.  Word got out that I was a DJ, so…I was recruited for an upcoming social event as the DJ.  OMG, I was a DJ!  Here it was, my opportunity to really do this.  Working with Marcus at Bash was real, but this was going to be a huge party at a small venue, and it was going to be just me….Tell you the truth, I was scared out of my mind!