Monday, December 19, 2005

Happy Birthday, Monarch Music!

Monarch Music

What a blurrrrrrrr this weekend has been! I just about got to the end of my day without realizing it's my company's 19th Birthday - today! December 19, 1986 was the day I DJd my first event for professional pay. Let me take you back...

I was... 16? Yes, 16. At the time, I owned very little by way of sound equipment, lighting, music or really anything that could be considered business related. I landed this job playing the music for a Christmas party at Mewatta Armourie - one of Calgary's military posts - still used by the reserves for training and recruitment. We were in the Jr. Officer's Mess... up two flights of very steep stairs. I had rented a sound system from a fellow who had it posted in the paper for sale. Crafty me, I talked him in to allowing me to use it "cheap" because I was interested in purchasing the system. He even allowed me to use the music library - in those days recorded on 60 or so 90-minute cassettes... yes, you remember cassettes, don't you? I remember going over to view his system in his parent's basement. He openly admitted - being a geology major at the U - "I can tell you anything you want to know about rocks and dirt, but when it comes to this stuff, you probably know way more than I do... all I know is: you hook it up, it works!" What an ego boost to a 16 year old kid! The party was a blast, but what I remember most about the evening was taking the system home to my parent's place with the intention of staying up all night COPYING the music library! My friend N with whom I was "partners" in this endeavour and I were taking the sound rack down the stairs at my parent's place (about 2AM) and lost our grip on the box, putting a huge dent in the drywall. Is this going to wake anyone up? You betcha. Mom was soon to appear at the head of the stairs... OOPS! N ran off to fetch some late-night snacks while I began the task of ripping off the music! (call a spade, a spade I figure!) Soon back, N was sporting ham and pineapple pizza and egg nog. Excellent!

Staying up all night was profitable. We skimmed the music to get a GOOD 10 tapes worth of material out of the 60-tape set. If I remember correctly, we grossed $99.00 for the dance, paid out $30 for the system rental (like I said, I turned on the charm!) $25 for the case of blank tapes, $15 for pizza and nog and we split the remainder between us... thinking we were making good money!

The first day of a near-20-year career was both fun, new and exciting. Over the years it's been all of that AND a bunch of not-so-good stuff, but over all, satisfying. As for NEXT year, I plan a monster-embarrassing blow-out... and if I can swing it, at the Jr. Officer's Mess at Metwatta. As for the next 20 years? Only the Shadow knows!


Kim said...

congrats to you and happy Bday of sorts! Amazing still doing the same thing since the age of 16, you must have known this was your calling.

MMM MMM MMM my favorite ham and pineapple pizza! I would have opted for milk instead of eggnog however!

Wonder if your mom still remembers the story from 16 yrs ago :o)

Sarah Elaine said...

Good story and happy birthday to the company!

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.