Unlike everyone else, who posts a bio to promote themselves for the next gig this is the very last time I will ever DJ so I thought I would just tell a few stories. When Jeff asked me if I could play at Connect this last year I couldn’t find the letters N-O in my alphabet so had to very quickly say YES. Connect to me is about friends and my friendship with Jeff is a 25 year journey through dark warehouses, night clubs, buses, vans, living rooms, big sound systems, marriages, kids, BBQ’s and love. I have been fortunate enough to play at many connects, I headlined a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, brought the concept of the sunrise house set to the festival by playing the closing set on all the nights at different points, I was fortunate to close the festival a few times in the early years, played afternoons, played in the garden, had my kids on stage with me as I played, babysat DJ’s, babysat Jeff and just plain hung out enjoying the music.
I remember the first Connect like it was yesterday. 200 likeminded souls in a small campground spending a weekend immersed in the music. It was about friendship that very first year. You knew everyone at the party and if you didn’t you made new friends before you left. I played Friday night with Huggie from LA and Deko-ze. I was half way thru my set, and back them we got solid 2 hour sets to do it right, and Huggy comes up and says I didn’t know what to expect coming up here but you are fuckin killing it dude. We are talking as I play and we start swapping records right there. I am handing him a promo of the Rabbit in the Moon mix of Sarah McLachlan that he was searching for and he is handing me a promo of Speedy from Minneapolis. We connected musically and a friendship is made. I can still remember most of the set that night now 21 years later. I closed with Nitzer Ebb “Join in the Chant” and a bootleg of the Doors “Roadhouse Blues”. That weekend I met Monty, Misty, SFS, Orion, Fran, and others who stay friends with me and constant forces in my life.
A few years later my favorite Connect happened. The last year at Oyama was my favorite year for so many reasons. That to me was the perfect year with the massive thunderstorm on the Friday night, we encased the stage in plastic tarps so the DJ’s could play. We didn’t have a DJ but played a Mark Farina mix CD as we worked on keeping things dry and safe, I told Mark in 2012 he had played in the early years but didn’t know it and he laughed. People still danced through the storm, and when it let up we cut open the plastic to let the crowd and the DJ connect. Tryptamine from Edm. was playing and the crowd cheered like mad. That is the first year I played the sunrise house set from 4:30 AM until we shut the system down sometime after 7:00. Deep, funky, disco, smiling house became a staple of a festival known for the best techno and trance. The Saturday turned into one the most amazing days and nights with astounding clear skies and the brightest stars imaginable. It was like 2 extremes on the same weekend. We had Freq Nasty and Tayo that year from London and they forever changed the sound of Saskatchewan I think that weekend. We got a taste of the world famous London club Fabric. Saturday night was magic and Jeff closed the festival I think for the first time that weekend. I also spent much of the Saturday night getting to know a girl who went on to become my wife in between MC’ing the night.
Every year is memorable and full of stories of friends, music, and encounters. In fact when Jeff asked me to play we spent an entire evening recounting stories from all the Connect’s and other music trips we have shared. We talked about Ritchie dancing at sunrise to my set at Maclean and not stopping even though he had blown out his shoes and was bleeding on his heels. We talked about the year Peter Ward and we basically lost him, all the times Jeff dropped mad sets, the crazy DJ’s and stories of hotel shanghaies. We talked about going to Minneapolis for some of Woody McBride’s shows like Stairway to Headphones but mostly we laughed at how much fun we have had as friends over each of the last 21 years and how much we are looking forward to what this last special year will bring…..and that is my not-so bio Bio
Love to all