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How to become a DJ

Yesterday my son asked me how I decided to become a DJ. I might have forgotten many things, but for some reason i remember that particular moment quite clearly. So let me rewind.... My first job in Berlin was for a tiny moving allowance company, run by a couple of musicians and artists who realised they wouldn't make enough money with avantgarde art to support a family with two kids and a huge apartment with a rehearsal space in the yard (what a brilliant business idea, by the way!). Once we were helping a family of two ladies with a kid to move and as I was chatting with one of them, she offered me a job selling dry fruit and nuts at a market in Charlottenburg. I figured out that was even better then moving furniture and was hired right on the spot. One Saturday as I was getting ready to leave for the market, one employes called and asked whether I could stay with their kid while they work....that's how 1998 I became a babysitter.

Every Saturday I would wake up at 6 and spend my day with a three-year-old boy. From Monday to Friday i was a lazy student of the Humboldt University in the morning and a musician in the evening. That's when I met Wladimir Kaminer, an actor, a theatre director, a young writer and a proud owner of the video camera (which was not that common in the pre-smartphone-era). Wladimir was a friend of the band I had just joined, and my bandmates invited him to film the first gig we would play together. The next day we all went to his place to watch it. It was fun, I didn't remember much of it, as i started celebrating my first public appearence on a german stage hours before it actually happened, so the video was of much help in restoring the (awkward) details... But that night I was also heavily impressed by Wladimir's collection of music, those stacks and stacks of tapes and LPs... I aksed to borrow some of those and came back in a couple of days with a rarity or two from my musical treasury. I started to visit Wladimir's and his wife Olga's place regularly. We would exchange tapes, smoke and drink beer. Wladimir was a great storyteller (the following year his first book was published, and whole Germany would aknowledge that fact, too). We would tell each other stories for many hours, and once in the middle of our dicussion of a bootleg french tape of the ukrainian band V.V. an owner of the Zapata club called Wladimir, asking him to host an event in his venue, as the band that was supposed to play that night just cancelled, and the guy was panicking.

Olga heard that and suggested we'd spin some records from our vaults...that sounded like fun. The date was November 7th, known in the former republics of the Soviet Union as the day of the great october revolution. We printed four posters, using one of the less known pictures of Lenin, taken in the last months of his life, with him sitting in a wheelchair looking absolutely insane. Surprisingly, almost 400 people turned up and made our first a huge success. At 4 in the morning me and some friends came back to my place and drank till 5. They all stayed, crashing in my bed while I found an old mat and fell asleep, only to be woken up by the alarm clock in 40 minutes. The mat was lying right under the kitchen table, and as I was getting up, I hit the table with my head. Even being hopelessly hungover I understood immediately I was almost late for my babsitting job and so I ran ..., at some point I saw blood dripping from my face and realised i slit the eyebrow while hitting the table. That was the moment of the revelation, son. I knew it was time to decide what I want to do in my life. I thought, first, I hate to wake up early, I need an excuse for sleeping longer. Second, I just made more money from spinning my favourite records and moreover, got drunk for free, which would never happen to anyone at a babysitter job. So that was it....