I’ve tried to remember back to a time in my life when there was no bloody email or blogs or digital cameras on phones to record your life for future reference. Ther first time I put a needle on a record in public was in the “Donkeys Ears” pub in Cork. Sadly this place no longer exists, but the memories I have of this place as a young man discovering life for the first time are priceless. Around the Summer of 1992 they decided to have a competition for anyone who wanted to try their hand at playing a few records. 3 DJ’s in one night with one winner who would then go on to a semi final to compete in the grand finale. My cousin and I decided to enter. He had a massive selection of records due to fact that he had a lot of older brothers who had collected steadily over the years. Mine was still in the early stages steadily growing over the years.
I’ll never forget the first time I played. Everyone I knew was there…the songs were picked….we were the first of the 3 to go on with myself to play the first few records and my cousin to play another couple. We only had 45 minutes so we had to make the most of the moment. The first tune I played was The Selecters first single “The Selecter”. It took me ages to get the needle on the record ….my hands were trembling so much with nerves, but eventually I lined it up and away we went….mostly Ska and early 80’s….obscure tunes but good…in our view anyway!
And we won the bloody thing…well that leg anyway…the semi-final was a disaster due to lack of planning and too many pints before hand but we had our day in the lime light and the bug was planted. The one good thing that came of it was that the final party for the winners was held in the back bar of Sir Henry’s niteclub….a seminal night club in it’s day. We got to play some of the tunes.. we loved..mostly ska …on the night. And people loved it, people love to dance to a few of the old ska tunes….happy music and happy people! What a thrill it was for the 2 of us to see the dance floor packed with people dancing…a dream come true!! Here is the first song I ever played…..