Weekend of 11/17/07


The corporate party season has officially begun.  I guess I should not call it a “season”…I do weddings more or less this time of year with corporate events here and there.  But, it seems weird to provide service for anything besides wedding’s after being so busy for so long.

Corporate events are a weird beast.  Offices seem like they have clicks with friends and similar people gravitate towards one another and become friends.  All this transfers to the average party and in turn to the dance floor at their Christmas parties.

You play Motown and R&B and one group comes out, Salsa another comes out, Country another comes out, etc.  This is true at all parties, but the lines are a little more defined with an office environment. 

I try to play sets for all demographics and music “clicks” at my corporate events.  Some of them are successful dance floors, and some rooms clear out right after the awards/door prizes, etc.  It’s really a crap shot.  Hit or miss…

Last night was at the Hilton is downtown Milwaukee.  I lift to get my equipment on the loading dock, another lift to get my equipment to the freight elevator, and the elevator up to the ballroom.  And needless to say the elevator was on the opposite side of the room I had to set up on.  All in all, the event was much less stressful that the average wedding, so I should not complain.  No mishaps, no crazy stories.  Low stress.

Happy Thanksgiving.

My wife told me about a new cool song.  “Apologies” by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals  Really good.  Check it out.


Weekend of 11/10/07


This weekend was not too bad at all.  We had 3 weddings on Saturday night and that was it.  I am making it to my blog on Monday, so I goes that is a sign that the wedding season is fizzling out for 2007.  We should have a few corporate events before the end of the year, and then 3 or 4 events a month in the dead of winter.

My wedding on Saturday had a few weird things.  First, I noticed two guy’s dancing together on the dance floor.  You see guest’s joke around a lot, you see gay couples dance together a lot, but this gay couple was a little different.  I’m not personally offended by public displays of affection by straight or gay couples, but these guy’s were really going at it!  Plus, one of them was crying (sobing!) while doing so.  I imagine PDA can offend some conservative people, so it made it funny to watch and unfold.

Besides that, just typical wedding situations…  Playing hip-hop and up-tempo at the end of the night and the random lady coming up and asking for “Sugar, Sugar”  At this particular wedding, it would have been like playing “It’s Goin Down” or “Emineim” in the first few songs.  Sometimes music progression at a wedding does not matter, but the majority if the time it does. 

As a wedding DJ…we try and pay attention to exhausted dancefloors and place slow sets accordingly, but you need seg-way songs to transition into slow set’s (decide how many to play in that slow set, by result) and seg-way out of it.  It’s a great opportunity to start a different genre or tempo.  But, the problem comes in when people make unrealistic and non-relevant requests when you are trying to accomplish mass appeal.

The father of the bride came up and demanded I play Polkas.  I showed him his daughters notation on my Songbook “NO POLKA WHAT SO EVER!!”  Again, he told me to play it because he was paying for my service.  It’s hard when parents of the bride and groom try and satisfy their VIP list and personal taste instead of the bride and grooms VIP list: which is everyone at the party.

Does any of this make sense? hahahaha  Memoirs of a wedding DJ!  Have a good day.  Bill

Check out Tyler Burkum:  http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=10816715

He was the touring guitar player for Mat Kearney on his last tour.  I checked out his myspace and I was very impressed.  Kind of like Bob Dylan meets Tom Petty, I guess.


Weekend of 11/3/07


November 3, 2007!!!  I have been dreading this date for months!  I over booked the date and I have had trouble covering my corporate event for some time.  My wife typically does corporate stuff, but she has been busy at work and did not want to DJ that night, so I had her in the wings.  I tried all my guy’s that were not working on the 3rd, tried friends, family, DJ friends, etc.  Nothing.  Allison had to do the corporate event.  It was only 4 hours, but I do not like sending her alone to events.  She has a light weight set up, but the late nights, drunks at the event and on the roads are too much. (as we know from this blog!) hahahaha 

Anyway, we had 3 wedding besides the corporate event going on.  One at the MAC, one in Mequon and mine was at the Coast in Milwaukee. The MAC was kind of cool…there wer X-MLB baseball players there.  I found out later from my DJ that I was talking to an umpire for the San Francisco Giants.  He actually umpired the World Seried this year too.  Pretty cool.

 I had to set up and provide ceremony service with Allison’s set up at the MAC in the morning. After that, I had to go home grab my 2nd set up, load up again and  set up my system at the Coast right after.  Next, I went home got ready, picked up my wife and we did the ceremony.  Immediately after we packed up the ceremony set up and she was off to Oconomowoc, WI and I was dropped off at my reception.

The Miller room is nice.  I had been there one other time to present a montage at a rehearsal dinner, but never for a wedding.  Great place with a nice view and great food.  It was a night of 80’s dance music.  Cure, Duran Duran, etc.  Typically, 1 or maybe 2 of those are ok, but forcing them all night is a little crazy.  But, that’s what the customer wanted.  I would have suggested a few slow dances in there for the older guests’…and I tried, but the groom came up and reminded me to “stick to the list”.  Again, I am more than happy to stick to a list, but the majority of the crowd at a wedding thinks it is my DJ style and song choice and they get frustrated with me.  I’m glad not too many bride and groom’s decide to program out ALL the music selections.

All in all, the evening was good.  I met a cool guitar player than performed for the cocktail hour.  He did a great job. Sting songs, etc.  Awesome to listen to through my system. (I patched him in) 

Allison had to go home and unload after her event… then come and pick me up….load up…AND UNLOAD AGAIN. Fun.  Thank goodness the clocks went back.

This weeks pick:  http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=14563923

Matthew Perryman Jones…. An unsigned artist out of Nashville, TN  The  1st track on his myspace page is the best song I have heard in 2007.  Not really a wedding song, but a really awesome song non-the -less  Check him out.  DJ Bill


Weekend of 10/27/07


This weekend was pretty funny.  I was a little nervous about my speakers, but they seemed to work fine.  I had a Halloween party on Friday out in Oconomowoc, WI.  It was in a small barn, and it was only for a couple hours, so my speakers would get a small workout.  They were perfect.

The party itself was hilarious.  I have been providing service for 3 weddings a week more or less for the last few months, so every time I looked up and saw a bunch of goblins and 3 foot monsters…it caught me of guard.  It really is refreshing to do kids events.   Yes, don;t get me wrong, they can put you through the ringer at school dances, etc.  But, little groups like this are fun, especially, if they are in costumes.  They were like 3 years old to 12 year olds.  12 years old id right before they start to get attitudes.   (My 8th grade dances are hell!)  The yell “You suck DJ” hahahaha  Because you do not play their rap with profanity, etc. 

All in all, the Halloween party was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed it.

Saturday night I was in Tinley Park, IL.  Tinley is right by where I grew up in Chicagoland, so my wife and I stayed with her parents after the wedding.  The wedding was smooth and my speakers ran great.  1/2 the wedding was from England, so there were a lot of interesting people there.  It was fun to talk to them.

I will start suggesting a song or band a week to check out…Sometimes I will do old…sometimes new.

This week:  Timbaland “Apologize”  Great song.  I’m not a huge fan of Pop music, but this is a rare good song from an almost buy band artist!  ahahahha  Later, Bill


Weekend of 10/20/07


This weekend was supposed to be a walk in the park.  We had 2 weddings on Saturday night and that was it.   My wedding was at the Grain Exchange in downtown Milwaukee.  This is one of the larger rooms we consistently provide service in.

We arrived for an early set up around 1pm.  They had a string quartet performing for the ceremony and they were being mic’d by the house system, so the bride wanted me to provide sound for the minister.  No problem.  The set up went smooth, and it worked out nice arriving early because the cocktail hour was right after the ceremony in the same room.

The ceremony went smooth, introductions were smooth, dinner was great, the dance floor opened and people immediately began to dance. 

Again, the Grain Exchange is a huge room.  It is probably 250ft. x 200ft. with a 50 to 60 ft. ceiling.  My sound in the room in the past has sounded great, but I was extra curious to see how my new amp was going to power my EV speakers.  I purchased a 1500 watt Samson amp a few day’s prior.  Sound check sounded awesome.  The extra power in the amp was immediately notiable…even in the large space.  The bass was deeper and the highs were clearer.

The system ran fine until about 11:45pm.  I started to smell smoke and it seemed to be coming from my left speaker!  I immediately turned off 1 speaker and ran the last few minutes on 1 speaker.  But, then the other speaker started to do the same thing!  So, I played slow dances for the last 10 minutes and really powered down the sound.  I THOUGHT I blew both speakers with too much power, but I only had the amp at about 60%.

I brought both speakers to the shop I purchased them from.  The technician hooked up my amp, my speakers and ran them pretty hard for awhile.  He said everything looked fine.  He also took them apart and took a look inside…fine.   Crazy?  Next weekend should be interesting.  I do bring back up speakers and amps to all my events, so at least I have piece of mind, but I do not want to ruin my amp and/or speakers.  We’ll see. 

Memoirs of a wedding DJ…  I’ll keep the blog updated on what happens….  Bill


Weekend of 10/13/07


Last weekend was pretty quiet.  There was a couple of funny things this weekend.  The weather here in Wisconsin is starting to get quite chilly, especially in the evening when the sun goes down.  My Friday wedding was in Waukesha, WI.  They wanted a nice outdoor ceremony at 5:15 in the evening.  Keep in mind, it gets dark about 10 to 6pm this time of the year, and again, cold. 

I set up for the ceremony, checked the mic, and popped in the ceremony music CD.  To my surprise it did not burn!  I always check them before I leave,  but I was kind of in a hurry on Friday, so I threw it in my bag and left.  Typical. The one time I do not check it on my home CD player…it is a failed burn.  Luckily! I gave myself plenty of extra time, and the event location had an internet connection.  So, I ran back into the reception room, burned the CD and made it back to the ceremony with a couple minutes to spare.  Thank goodness I was not at a ceremony in the middle of nowhere.  No stores, no Internet!  Note to self: Check Cd’s sfter burning them!!

Anyway, it was in the high 40’s for the ceremony.  I was freezing just sitting in my winter, leather coat waiting for it to start.  Some of the women in the crowd were not wearing anything but a dress, and the bridesmaids did not have anything on except their dresses.  They had to be freezing!  The wind was blowing and the sun was nowhere in sight.

Evidently, a friend of the groom took an online class to be ordained as their minister.  He was noticeably nervous, rushed through their ceremony, and forgot to do the ring ceremony completely!  He said he was proud to introduce them as husband and wife, and someone from the crowd yelled out “what about the rings!”  The bride handed hers to him, the groom handed his to the bride and they walked down the aisle. Crazy.

The dance crowd on Friday started off REALLY slow.  I tried every genre in the book, tried to motivate requests, etc., but they just would not dance.  There was like 200 people there…that was the crazy part.  People would not even dance to slow dances at first.  Although, at like 11:00pm, after little spurts of people dancing, like 100 people came to the dance floor on a random upbeat song and they danced the rest of the night like crazy people. I don’t know if the alcohol finally kicked in or what??  I kept playing 15 minutes after midnight, and the hall manager came in a turned every light in the place on.  He walked out of the room and the bride ran over and turned them back off!!  Playing after the halls specified time can be risky for DJ services, because it gives you a bad reputation with the hall managers.  But, at the same time you want to make your customer happy, so it is a touchy situation, and you have to be somewhat strict about the music stop time.  It’s inevitable that the crowd will want “1 more song’ 5 times and more, but you have to stop within reason.  I get heckled all the time.  I’ll literally have half my set up packed up and drunk people will come up to me and beg for “1 more song”.  hahahaha  It’s crazy, especially when these individuals sat and stared at you without dancing for 4 hours.  Finally, the manager came back in, gave me a dirty look, like I turned them off, and flicked the lights back on.  At least the night ended on a high energy dance floor!

Saturday I was in Lake Geneva and I had 3 of my DJ’s out as well.  1 in Chicago, 1 in Milwaukee, and 1 in northern Wisconsin.  I purchased some really high end EV speakers in the beginning of the summer.  I ended up blowing a speaker right in the beginning of the evening at my wedding.  Evidently, I was under powering it.  My amp was not strong enough, so it was putting strain on it all summer.  Luckily, they are so powerful, I was able to get through my wedding on 1 speaker!  It sounded good and not one person commented on it.  Pheewww… 

It was kind of sad to see the scene of a deadly accident out in front of the hall I was at.  I guess a bus hit a car the day before the wedding.  You know it’s a long year when I think a midnight drive back to Milwaukee from Lake Geneva seems short. (less than an hour)

Have a good week.  Bill


Weekend of 10/6/07


Helllllo….Well, if every weekend was as uneventful as this one there would be no reason to blog.  It was a very quiet Friday and Saturday wedding weekend.  Friday night I was in a suburb of Milwaukee and Saturday I was in Naperville, IL.  Yeah, kinda far, but I am used to it by now. Typical Illinois traffic and tolls on the way there and back.

I did get pulled over by an Illinois Sheriff on I-294 going 85 in a 65 zone.  It was actually kind of funny.  I blew by him and noticed him in the median, so I pulled over before he even got fully onto the road.  I saw his headlights go on, so I figured why make him chase me.  I thought “Maybe it will make him less pissed off.” 

I did not give him any excuses when he came up to the window.  He simply asked where I was coming from and where I was going.  He told me to “hang tight” and it would be a $95 fine with no court appearance.  5 minutes later he came back to my window all jolly and laughing, and told me he was giving me a warning.  He said, “I was thiiinking back deeer in my car…and I thought…why am I gonna take this man’s money??”  “You seem like a hard working guy…”  hahahaha  So he let me go.  What a treat.

Besides that, the weekend was non stressful and smooth.  My Saturday wedding was a friends of a friend, so it was really laid back and non-stressful. 

Let’s see about next weekend!



Weekend of 9/29/07


Wow, where do I start?  This was the last Fri., Sat., Sun. weekend for me for 2007.  Unless a random Sunday event books before the end of the year, of course.  I still have a few Fri., Sat. weekends coming up.  I am reluctant to book anymore Sunday events this year.  I start to really get burnt out this time of year; it’s been a really long wedding season.

Friday night I was in Milwaukee.  It was a full day, ceremony in one place, cocktail hour in another and reception in a third location on the same property.  My set up plans and pre-sorting/coordination of my equipment was very important. But! As we know, no matter how much planning you do, things never go exactly as planned.  I arrived with an extra hour of time to juggle the different set ups.  The venue had a “ceremony sound system” set up already and the manager told me I could patch into it with my CD player and mics, so needless to say, I was delighted. (One less thing to worry about)  I took a look at the system and it was average quality,s o i figured it would work well.  Their system had to work, because setting up my system next to theirs would have been a TON of sound equipment in the backdrop of the ceremony, so I went with it.  The sound check sounded pretty good.

I rushed upstairs, wrestled with the elevator for a little bit, hauled all my stuff down a long hallway and finally found an open door to the reception room.  Most of the employees at venue locations are really nice and helpful, but every now and then you run into some really ignorant, rude people.  The staff at this place saw me come in, but they left their boxes, carts, and tons of garbage right in front of the only accessible door.  I moved a few things out of the way (as they all watched) and slid my equipment through.  By the time I gathered a few more things and went to enter the room again, they had a ton more garbage right in the pathway I made!  Not to mention all the dish ware on the table designated for the DJ.  hahahaha  It sucks when you have to deal with stuff, but it’s part of the business.

I got everything set up in the reception room just in time to go sound check a performer for the ceremony.  She sounded great; she liked the levels and the sound as well.  The ceremony started and the house system was sounding okay.  Until!  The building next door to the ceremony started playing really loud music on their outdoor system.  It was ridiculously loud and the sound system was already turned up to its max.  I tried to turn it louder, but it began to distort.  It was embarrassing because I was in plain sight of all the guests and you know they thought that crap house equipment was mine!  It’s just one of those lose/lose situations you cannot avoid.  The bride and groom did not mention anything…I think the outburst from next door masked the subtle things that seemed huge in my mind.

Saturday was a long haul to the other side of Madison, WI.  Luckily, there was no ceremony service required;
I did not have to arrive until 4:30pm.  There was a mother of one of the newlyweds that was a real piece of work.  She would grab me by the arm and drag me across the room trying to make me do things that were already taken care of or were on my agenda.  She was not very friendly, but you have to keep smiling in situations like this.  I always force myself and really strive to remain professional. 

Things went smooth until the dance floor opened.  It was one of those crowds where the young crowd wanted to dance right away to up tempo music.  I always advise my customers against this, but the groom came up and told me to “start playing hip-hop right away”, so I reluctantly did.  Older guests immediately began to express their concerns, so I started “sets” of music to try and satisfy everyone.  You have to really be careful how you balance the music genres in a situation like this and consult with the bride and groom…which I did…several times.  Remember the mother?  Well, needless to say, she gave her opinion on music several times.  I almost thought it was her wedding there for a second.  My balance of music was not working great.  Whenever I would play oldies the young group would get upset and whenever I would play up tempo music the older guests would get frustrated.  Hmmmm….what do you do?  Slow dances!  But, you can only play so many slow dances, even though they are a crowd favorite.  They seemed to satisfy everyone, so I did a prior requested Dollar Dance and Generation Dance during this time as well.  The rest of the evening I bounced back and forth with tempo and I tried to choose songs that would satisfy young and old.  Also, I would plug in appropriate requests during song sets.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.  The ride back to Milwaukee was dark and long.

Ewww, Sunday’s wedding was in central Illinois with an early ceremony.  So, I was on the road really early Sunday morning with no sleep. (with Sunday drivers)  Note: Always budget time for Sunday drivers.  The crazy thing about the Sunday wedding was I arrived and the hall already had a full, professional sound system set up and ready to go.  I could not understand why the bride did not tell me this in any of our recent conversations.  Oh, well, I was 2 hours early.  The night went really well or should I say evening.  The reception ended at 8:30pm.  Evidently, there was a contract disagreement between the bride and the hall.  They had to be out by 8:30pm, and they had me scheduled until midnight.  It was kind of a treat after a long tiring weekend.  Again, needless to say, it was a long ride back to Brew City, the bext day of course.  I grew up in the South suburbs of Chicago, so I stayed with family.

See you next weekend.  Bill


Weekend of 9/22/07


This weekend was pretty quiet.  I guess that is good, but bad for the “memoirs”. hahaha

There was a really, really smelly young boy at one of my weddings this weekend. He was about 6 or 7.   I’m not sure if his parents did not keep up on his personal hygiene or if he had an accident in his pants, but he smelled horrible.  Plus, he was one of those kids that was mesmerized by what was going on over by the DJ, so needless to say, he kept coming over by me constantly!  It literally smelled by my table for a couple of minutes every time he left.  I have smelled bad breath from drunks (and non-drunks…), sweaty body odor from all ages, farts released on the dance floor by anonymous people always seem to make their way to the DJ table, but this kid took the cake.  It was actually making me really angry.  nauseating…  hahahaha

Anyway, hmmm, there was also a little funny detail I noticed at my other wedding…  I noticed a random grooms man casually sitting right next to the groom.  He must of been the typical jealous groomsmen that thought he should have been the best man.  The actual Best Man seemed to be pretty pissed off by the move, but took it in stride and gave his speech from a few seats down.  I think a lot of the bridal parties feelings get hurt by this stupid tradition…., but it makes for funny situations from the perspective of the DJ.

My Saturday wedding was at a place that is supposedly haunted.  It was pretty scary during the day.  I’m glad I did not have to walk those halls at night!

Hopefully, this upcoming weekend has some more action, so to speak.  The busy season is coming to a close, so things will start to slow down by Thanksgiving.

See ya soon.

Bill Spindler – Double Platinum DJ Service


Summer of 2007.


A few really crazy things happen to me this summer while providing service for weddings in and around the Milwaukee & Chicago areas.  From crazy wedding mis-haps and drunken guests to late night traffic accidents and weather.  I seem to have the pleasure and mis-pleasure of seeing it all.  This busy season is what inspired me to start this weekly blog.  It’s one of those situations that make you wish you had been keeping track all along!

Your wedding day can prove to be the happiest day of your life.  (It was for me, and is for many)  Obviously, you only get one shot at from a Bride & Grooms standpoint, a guests standpoint, and a vendors.  So, when things go wrong, on occasion, it makes it interesting and most of the time…humorous.

I think the worst thing I saw this summer was a Harley guy pretty much bit the dust, literally right in front of me.  I did not actually see him hit the ground, but I saw cars swerve and drove threw the dust cloud.  He ended up face down on the right off-ramp and the bike sat on the left shoulder about 500 yards, or more with the tire still spinning.  I’m glad I was not 2 seconds earlier.  I tried to call 911, but my cell, as usual would not allow me to make an emergency call.  Not sure why…   I’m not sure if that guy made it.  I still regret not going back to help.

A few weeks prior I saw a car in flames at the bottom of the hill by Miller Park.  That individual had to be really intoxicated to make it through the steel guard rail on a straight part of the expressway.  Firemen were already on the scene.

Sometime in early summer I saw someone getting CPR and chest compressions on the side of VanBuren in the city of Milwaukee.  I don’t know what the hell happen there.  Maybe a pedestrian?  Who knows.

I guess I come rolling into town at that time of night on weekend evenings.  1am, 2am….bar time.  It’s crazy out there!  Although, on my way to an event this summer, a refrigerator fell off of a pick up about a 1/4 mile in front of me in the middle of the day.  A van a few cars in front of me nearly hit it and swerved into the ditch. (It was kind of funny, in hindsight, to see a mini van bouncing around in the ditch.) The really funny part was there was a bunch of produce and jars that flew all over the highway.  (It reminded me of a guy in college that used to sell food out of the back of his car.  He flipped his conventable a few times one night and showed up to the ER full of lettuce, tomatoes, eggs, etc., but we won’t get into that…)  So, it was pretty funny to see not only the food all over, but the dumbfounded look of the bozo that did not tie down something that could kill someone or a family on the road.  Clown…

Oh, yeah, I was driving to a wedding down in Kenosha, WI and I saw what looked like a wallet on the side of the road.  I pondered it for a second or two and decided to turn around and take a look.  I jumped out of my car and ran toward the object.  To my suprise, it was a wallet, and it had a couple hundred dollars in it!  Also, on my way back to my car, I found a money clip with a couple hundred more!  I chalked it up as a biker that lost his stuff and celebrated.  By the time I arrived at my wedding, I decided to track the guy down…  The wedding location had an internet connection, so with a little work, I was able to get the man’s number and track him down.  He came to the reception and picked up the wallet and $$$$.  He gave me $100.00 and was very thankful.  It was one of the first times in my life I decided to do the right thing with found money.  Felt good.

As for actual @ wedding stories this summer…hmmmmm.  Tons of drunks, a lot of ridiculous speeches and dance moves, etc.  I did a wedding ceremony in a forest area in Stevens Point, WI and brought a tic back to Milwaukee in my leg.  The pamphlet at the ER said I had “been attacked by a tic”.  I thought that was pretty funny.  No lyme disease in this one…thank God.  Booked weddings need their DJ…

As in the past, I met a lot of really nice people, a lot of really rude/cruel people, and a ton of women in big white dresses.  Also, I heard the YMCA 300 more times. 

I did do a wedding for a coach of the Chicago Bears.  It was really cool meeting him and seeing the other coachs of the team.  It is kind of funny to see them on TV and remember them gyrating to music and alcohol a few months prior.  I also did a wedding that had an actor from the show Boy Meets World in the bridal party.  Kind of a small world.

Also, I booked a wedding for a girl I lived next door to back in the mid 80’s.  It seems weird to talk to someone for the first time in 20 something years!  I’m 31 now…phew.

So, lets start the blog.  I will add one every week with details on the weekends excitement.  Thanks for taking the time to read this. 

Bill Spindler