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How To Avoid DJ Horror Stories: The Standard Reference Guide For Brides, Party Planners And Anyone Else In The Market For A Mobile Disc Jockey Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: J. Harrison and J. Paul in association with MegaWatt (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966817206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966817201
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,652,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeff Harrison, a Washington, DC native, began his career there in the mid-1980s as an event promoter and disc jockey. Over the course of his career, he has worked for several of the Washington area's major DJ companies, as both a DJ and as a management figure. Jeff's musical knowledge encompasses Big Band (including the Rat Pack sound popularized by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dean Martin, etc.); Oldies; Urban (including Hip Hop, House, etc.); Disco; Classic and Modern Rock; Top 40/Pop; and some Country, Latin and Reggae.

Jeff's personal DJ experience entails countless private functions, including some high profile events such as a party thrown for Motown-era singing legend, Smokey Robinson; and the official movie wrap parties for "The Pelican Brief" (Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington) and "Guarding Tess" (Shirley MacLaine and Nicholas Cage). He has also been the DJ for numerous Washington area nightclubs, and was an intern for a local radio station prior to graduating from The American University.

Additionally, Jeff worked for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the legal arm of the domestic music industry, where among his other responsibilities, he was frequently consulted on issues concerning the mobile DJ industry. Some of his expertise was put to use in the development of a licensing system that will eventually allow DJs to legally make second-generation compilation recordings. Jeff also worked as a producer/backup announcer for a local cable TV news program. Today, he still works and lives in the Washington, DC area.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Page 1 of Chapter 1--The Basics: Some Background On DJs

There are primarily two types of DJs: private function and public function.(Radio DJs will addressed later.) Private function DJs, a.k.a. mobile DJs,commonly provide their services to events such as weddings and parties, whereas public function DJs commonly cater to events or venues such as nightclubs and skating rinks. These aren't exclusive definitions because many DJs enjoy the best of both worlds.

Since the primary focus of this book will be on comparisons involving nightclub DJs rather than skating rink DJs, before we continue, I feel that I should clarify the definition of "nightclub" as it applies to this context. This is because mentioning the word "nightclub" often evokes an image comparable to something from "Saturday Night Fever" in which the dance-floor is illuminated, and everyone is pretentious, body-pierced and attired in black. Yes, there are nightclubs like this; however, they're not the standard.

The nightclubs to which I'm referring are best defined as bars. They're often comparable to the set of "Cheers," the popular television series, in terms of atmosphere and decor, and are frequented by regular people who just want to have fun.

To the person unfamiliar with the professional DJ concept, it appears as though DJs set the music format themselves, when it's actually the people hiring them who do. Once the format is established, DJs choose songs from within those parameters. For instance, if a nightclub's format is Modern Rock, then the DJ will only play songs falling within the realm of Modern Rock. If a private function's format is Rap, then the DJ will only play Rap because that's what he or she is hired to play.


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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Len H. Woelfel on December 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Mr. Harrison is probably a good mobile dj but he makes the mistake of assuming regional preferences (such as clients not wanting lighting) and that most weddings go 4 hours is true all over. More importantly, there are numerous occasions where he states his opinion as fact. If these were truly facts, there would be documentation to back them up. There is a lot of good advice in this book but it's mixed in with a lot of opinions and outdated information which the target audience would like have difficulty sifting through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Recently married, I perused applicable info through your usual 'net surfing search. When I stumbled upon author Jeff Harrison's book, it seemed quite humourous and informative--something a frantic, weary working woman bride-to-be really needs. Intrigued, I purchased it and was delighted. It's concise, well-written, succinct (to the point), informative, and most important of all: allows the reader to laugh while soaking up timely, excellent advice. I not only followed all his suggestions, I changed the entire way I thought of music/weddings from reading his book. When the big day arrived, I had done my homework and found how much fun it was to have a smart, savvy, professional, and responsive DJ. She (yes, a female DJ) did not "rob" me, she had a professional contract, a terrific playlist, she actually visited our wedding site beforehand (a tip from Mr. Harrison's book) and she combined playlists to please us. She was very flexible during the music-playing, and receptive to requests (something I had learned to ask for from the book). Mr. Harrison also made it a lively, quick and easy read. I not only finished it in an hour or so, I loaned it out to all my prospective-bride friends, who love it too. My brother has used some of the tips for his fraternity party planning, too. In sum, I would DEFINITELY recommend this book because: * it's a quick, easy read * Mr. Harrison provides insight into the "DJ concept" by using humour and cute illustrations. This was very informative (for example, how to tell the difference between DJ's who play live music and DJ's who use pre-recorded tapes). * He debunked some myths (independent contractors vs. employees!) * His DJ Choice Chart was SO helpful, I pre-selected all of my music and avoided the pitfall of hiring a "cheesy" DJ * Lastly, I would most infatically highly recommend this book to anyone who's planning a wedding or party. Thank You, P. Montgomery, Kittery Point, ME
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By Jayah on January 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although the book is useful, it is a bit outdated. 1998 is 14 years ago. The technology has evolved for DJing. As an example the author outlines the type of media DJ's use to play music. Cassettes, mini discs, CD's and vinyl. Today DJ's are using Hard drives and/or vinyl.
Costs have change too. It would be good if the author would update the book to account for changes in technology and the business of DJing.
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By A Customer on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love this book! As a DJ with 15 years in the business, the author has said what everyone else was afraid to say. This is the all-out truth about DJ myths and marketing. Highly recommend this book.
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By A Customer on January 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
My wife and I used this book to identify our wedding reception DJ. Questions like: "who is your back-up if you become sick" were things we never thought of, but were all included in this great guide. Highly recommended.
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