Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Cameron Paul Tells All
Pt. 2


The night I was hired at Broadway Power & Light I was ecstatic. I raced home to tell my parents that I was now a “Professional DJ”! They were astounded that I was actually hired. Their son had actually turned all that noise and pounding that came out of his room for the last several years into something that would actually make some money!

Broadway Power & Light was open Wednesday to Sunday nights. I worked the slowest nights at first which were Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday. Peter Brown was their weekend guy. The owner, Marvin, wanted me to hang out on weekends to listen to him, his music and his “style”.

My first night I came in to listen to Peter was a Saturday night. I had never been in this club except to audition when there was barely anybody in the place. Then it looked cavernous. But when I walked in that Saturday night it looked like a completely different place. It was packed, wall to wall. The music was blasting, lights were flashing on the dance floor and there was one more thing that was impossible not to notice. I was the only white face in the whole crowd.

I realized just then that this skinny white kid from the suburbs was going to have to keep a club full of urban African American customers dancing and happy. To say a little panic set in would be an understatement. But I decided right then and there that I would make it work. I would listen to Peter and pay very close attention to the music. But hearing the music would be a challenge.

Peter Brown was a very large black man who could barely fit in the tiny booth. He was the epitome of what Marvin wanted in a disc jockey.

Mixing? He never heard of it. Talking on the microphone? Boy could he. In fact he wouldn’t shut up. He talked in between the songs. He talked over the introductions of the songs. He talked over the breakdowns and over the endings and he talked over the singing! He could have been playing polka music for all anybody knew.

He cracked lame jokes. He talked to fine women on the dance floor. He talked to any woman on the dance floor. He ordered his drinks over the mic. In fact, one time, I could have sworn he was reading from the dictionary! And the amazing thing was the dance floor was always packed and no one seemed to mind the verbal barrage.

As I listened it dawned on me that keeping my mouth shut and actually mixing great music was going to be my claim to fame at Broadway Power & Light. The club may be packed and not an inch to move on the dance floor but these people can’t possibly enjoy this aural assault. I knew that if I could build up one off night to a sizeable crowd, Peter Brown’s days would be numbered. It may sound devious, but I wanted weekends. And I wanted them now.

...more to come

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cameron,

I remember you at Studio West. Those were the days. Do you have any mixes from those days? I remember seeing tapes called A Night At Studio West.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait for part III.

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW - my husband stumbled across this site - actually - he googled you looking for your old stuff. AMAZING.

I'll never forget a night in 1988 I saw your corvette parked out front of City Nights with the MIXX IT plate and has excited you were there. Being from the San Jose area, we didn't make it to City NIghts that often, but loved your broadcasts on KMEL.

Can't wait for part III

we were all sad when you stopped... all we heard was a bunch of gossip about how 'they' ran you out of town, but of course no one could talk about it (at the station or on the air) so we always wondered.

write on cameron.......

5:28 PM  
Blogger DJ Aaron E said...

WASSUP!! It's about time you started this.. I enjoy beat mixxing your vinyl at various places throughout the Bay Area. Matter of fact. I'm looking to start a Freestyle Fridays in SJ.
Never met ya but I look forward to it one day.

DJaaronE

11:03 PM  
Blogger DJ Aaron E said...

WASSUP!! It's about time you started this.. I enjoy beat mixxing your vinyl at various places throughout the Bay Area. Matter of fact, I'm looking to start a Freestyle Fridays in SJ.
Never met ya but I look forward to it one day.

DJaaronE
"BUMPIN' THE OLD SCHOOL"

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey where is Part III?
We've all been waiting... to understand the rising of your career.. honestly was surprised when you 'disappeared' (MIA). We're all anxious what to know what happened.

that way we can form a coalition to get you to reclaim your turf. i'm sure there are people who are nervous about the renewed competition...

time to dust off the turntables and clean up the multitrack.. err.. computer depending on what tools and tricks are spinnin in your mind.

3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul,

Checking back for Part 3. But nothing posted. I will check back in a week.

Later,

Fan from San Jose

6:43 PM  
Blogger djjayr said...

Hey Cameron!
Can't wait to read part III of your adventure in DJing.
You're a musical genius!
I hope you're well!

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back Cameron... Looking forward to part 3 and your new inventions. :-)

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome story! Good luck with your new Mixx it project.

7:57 AM  
Blogger AnJaka said...

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A bit time to relax:
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3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bay area misses you.

3:20 PM  
Blogger AnJaka said...

You should visit a site much music

12:03 PM  
Blogger Ronan Jimson said...

I like your blogs, I will add your link you to my blog.
This is a resource you can visit :
Google Music Links

And Listen to musics

6:15 AM  
Blogger Jonh Neo said...

I like your blogs, I will add your link you to my blog.
This is a resource you can visit :
Google Music Links

And Listen to musics

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cameron,
You were my ultimate idol, when it came to dj, as an aspiring dj, i truly looked up to you, I saw you at 412, bank exxchange, studio west... I was part of TOP 25 dj pool and once chatted with you. 21 years later, I still think you're number one.

DJ Rig, Frisco CA

7:12 PM  
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1:35 PM  
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9:19 AM  
Anonymous carrion kid said...

The first time I saw Cameron Paul was back in early 1980 when I just turned 16, yes 16 years old, a sophmore at Jefferson High in Daly City. We used other peoples ID's to get into Studio West and we got there before 9pm so the waitress would be the one to card us. Hard to see an ID in a dark club. We all went there for the girls but I ended up on the 2nd floor directly across from the DJ booth watching Cameron almost all night in amazement the way he would stretch songs out and blend the hard pounding beats from one song to the next.

Cameron Paul taught me how to beat mix and he didn't even know it. I was hooked for life!. I would go to Studio West every chance I got.

I bought a $50 radio shack mixer and 1 technics SL-B2. I barrowed my parents turntable (no pitch control) and had my first DJ set up and started practicing to mix in my living room. My first record was "I'm Ready" by Kano. I bought 2 copies just to help me learn to mix. Eventually saved up to buy another SL-B2.

Started up a DJ Crew called Unlimited Sounds with my brother and friends, and the rest is history!

Once a DJ always a DJ - 28 years later and I still love rockin the crowd. Just DJ'd an 18th Birthday Party this past weekend. I even played at a club in S.F. last year. It's not a weekly thing for me anymore but i'll still dj when I got time.

One of the other guys in my old DJ crew (DJ Apollo) also still DJ's and I don't think he'll ever stop.

Someone should be able to make a cool movie about this.

Thanks for the lessons Cameron!!!

Carrion Kid

8:38 PM  

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