One Hundred Eighty-Six.
Thursday, 2014.12.31, 11:18 AM CST.
2014... and a special tribute to my friendship with DJ TMJ.
Current Mood: A little crazy but
Current Scent: The faint remnants of Versace Man by Versace.
need to post here more. I know. Argh.
was not a brilliant year for me. It had its kind moments; for
instance, I had more DJ performances in 2014 than I'd had in any previous
year for over a decade. Also, at my "day job," I got
a major promotion... one for which I am immensely thankful.
2014 also had its major downfalls. The biggest one, unfortunately,
was the unexpected cancer diagnosis and subsequent passing of my mother-in-law.
That took its toll on our whole family.
while I made new friends and saw some of my friendships thrive, some
of them diminished... and one of them, with another DJ colleague and
friend for nineteen years, appears to have dissolved right before my
eyes, just a few days ago, due to a stupid argument on Facebook.
yeah, there's that.
glad to be all-but-finished with 2014, and I'm looking forward to what
2015 will bring.
morning, I'm drinking an outrageous homemade gingerbread latte.
A nearby candle smells almost exactly like the air freshener that my
old friend Tim (DJ TMJ) used to use in his room back in the mid-1990s.
(He had a pet iguana, and whatever it was that he used to mask the scent,
it was quite nice.)
mention Tim for a major reason: As of this month, we've been friends
for twenty years.
An undated photo casually swiped from Tim's Facebook.
in 1994, I was a different person. I'd dumped my girlfriend in
August after finding out that she'd been engaged to another guy for
the entire length of our relationship. I'd had to leave Northeastern
State University after the spring semester after suffering a few personal
breakdowns and failing a few classes... so, in the fall, I started continuing
my college path at UCAT - the University Center at Tulsa, now known
as OSU Tulsa.
loved playing computer games - especially "Doom" and its many
imitators. I had also been using the Internet for a little over
a year (this was a couple of years before it really became popular),
and I was hooked on interacting with others via UseNet News as well
as the Internet MOOs, little text-based virtual societies such as LambdaMOO,
OpalMOO, and PMC (Post-Modern Culture).
context: The latest Depeche Mode album was 1993's Songs of
Faith + Devotion, and their latest single was "In Your Room,"
released in early 1994. It was the last single released before
Alan Wilder left the group in 1995.
digress. Basically, I was in my element at the time - a musically-obsessed
geek with very few friends, awkwardly making his way through his first
semester at a new college.
I was DJing - a LOT - with my first mobile DJ company, EKG Pro Mobile
Music, which I had started five years prior.
day in the late fall, I received a call from a young lady from East
Central High School. I don't remember her name, unfortunately,
but I remember one particular detail about the call: after we
discussed their forthcoming holiday party and confirmed that they wanted
to book me for the performance, she asked, "Is this Badger
from the Edge of Insanity?"
was a flattering question. I had left the Edge of Insanity radio
crew (later known as the "EOI Network") in the spring of 1991.
I was kind of shocked that someone remembered me over two and a half
years later. (As it turns out, to this day, people still remember
me from the EOI.)
I told her that I was indeed that guy, and thanked her for
asking. I figured that was that.
I didn't know was that she then relayed that information to someone
else in their student council, a young lady named Lori, and Lori relayed
the information to her boyfriend, a guy named Tim.
wasn't just a fan of the old EOI... he was also a massive fan
of Depeche Mode, and he was just starting out as a DJ.
that night, as I was performing, I had this odd fellow come up and start
talking to me about the EOI and Depeche Mode. It became evident
that he knew his stuff. invited him to stick around after the
show, and as my team and I tore down our equipment, we discussed DM's
1993 Devotional Tour, their 1994 Summer Tour, and lots of other stuff
related to our shared favourite group.
gave me his number and I probably just shoved it into my wallet.
in December, I received a package in the mail from a dealer I'd found
on the Internet. For a mere $28, I received a low-quality VHS
copy of the leaked-and-to-this-day-never-commercially-released Broken
movie by Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Coil's Peter Christopherson.
heard that it was sick. Really sick. I slipped into my computer
room and started it playing on the tiny little TV I kept in there...
and I watched this piece of work. For the first time in a looooooong
time, I found myself cringing and fast-forwarding through parts of it.
It was twisted. It was horrific. It was extremely graphic,
and it was AWESOME.
called up Tim. I asked him if he wanted to get together and watch
the infamous Broken movie. He did so, and we started
getting together for movies and gaming.
early 1995, I started hanging out with Tim and his friend Chris at their
work - a kickass little video store called Critic's Choice at 31st +
Harvard in Tulsa, from which I hadn't rented since leaving the University
of Tulsa in 1991. (As anyone who was a customer at Critic's Choice
can agree, it was SOOOO much better than any Blockbuster ever was.)
soon adopted a routine of dropping by the video store after my UCAT
college courses, so I became a regular there. I wasn't working.
I wasn't renting much. I was just hanging out... and I kept up
that routine for YEARS until the place shut down in 1997. I would
often go out with Tim and Lori to eat after Critic's Choice closed at
didn't have a girlfriend again until 1998, but they witnessed a few
of my unsuccessful dating attempts. I basically hung out with
Tim and Lori as a weird, platonic third wheel, and I was accepted as
I was fortunate, and I knew it; I even remember looking back through
the shelves of the old video store one night after the doors were locked,
as we were getting ready to head off (probably to Village Inn or Denny's)
and thinking specifically about how lucky I was to have friends like
collected a ton of great memories during those years, but here are some
of my favourites:
night, after a trip to Mohawk Music, I shoved a piece of shrinkwrap
into my pocket before heading over to Tim's. As we were hanging
out, he stepped away to get a drink, and I picked up one of his prized
possessions - a still-sealed VHS copy of the Star Wars trilogy
- and pulled the extra shinkwrap from Mohawk out of my pocket, letting
it dangle from my hand as if it had just been pulled off of the VHS
I then waited for him to walk back in, and when he did, I held up
the tapes, asking something like, "Hey, Tim, do you mind if I..."
and then, I just stopped.
I watched the blood drain from his face for a few moments as I'm sure
he contemplated punching or shanking me.
I then quickly pulled the spare shrinkwrap away, explaining that it
was all just a goofy joke.
(That is probably my favourite story about my friendship with Tim
and I quickly found that we were both BIG fans of director Kevin Smith.
At one point early in our friendship - so early that Tim might not
have known that I was 100% hetero - I ordered two signed Mallrats
movie posters from Kevin Smith's web shop, one for myself and one
as a surprise for Tim. Back then, you could pay a little bit
more money and Smith would personalize the posters for you.
I noted in my order that Tim lived with his parents at the time, asking
that whatever Smith wrote be clean - but funny.
When the posters arrived, I opened mine up to find a wonderful tribute
from Kevin Smith to me, declaring me to be his "first Okie fan."
I then pulled mine aside to look at the poster I'd bought for Tim
to find that Smith had written the following:
"Tim, Badger Bill has a crush on you. Watch your back,
HILARIOUS. However, I then had to figure out a way to give the
poster to Tim as a surprise without him thinking that this was supposed
to be anything more than a joke.
I fumbled my way through a makeshift explanation ("This doesn't
really mean what you might think it means!" or something like
that) before handing Tim his rolled-up Mallrats poster.
He slowly rolled it down, read the top silently, then looked up at
"Is that Kevin Smith's signature?"
No further explanation was necessary!
- In early
1995, shortly after our meeting to watch Broken, I showed
up at a DJ performance of Tim's at a University of Tulsa fraternity.
I brought some rare remixes on vinyl and he let me step in and DJ
for a bit. However, when I picked up his headphones and attempted
to put them on, I accidentally snapped them, right at the top, into
two pieces. I was mortified.
That reminds me... I think I still owe him a pair of headphones.
in 1995, I had a DJ client request some music by Portishead.
I wasn't very familiar with them, so I asked Paul over at Mohawk Music
about them. He let me listen to their store copy of Portishead's
debut album, Dummy, and I was hooked before I even finished
the opening track. (Dummy is still one of my favourite
albums of all time, by any artist from any genre. It's a masterwork.)
Shortly after that, I picked up "Doom II" for my PC, and
shortly after that, Tim and I started playing it together
over our dial-up Internet connections.
For a while, it became a nightly ritual: I would sit there at
my computer, snacking down on countless pistachios (roasted and salted,
not the nasty pinkish-red kind) while listening to Portishead on repeat
and playing various modded levels of "Doom II" with Tim
until the insanely wee hours of the morning.
We ended up doing something similar in 1999/2000 after the release
of "Quake III." :)
- In the
fall of 1996 or 1997, I decided to have a special "movie party"
with some friends to watch a few cult classic films like Peter Jackson's
Bad Taste (one of my favourite films of all time).
I let a few people know about it, but when the night arrived, there
were exactly two people who showed up: Tim and I! Whoops!
Oh, well... We went ahead and watched the flicks by ourselves
and still had a great time.
go on and on. Tim and I haven't had the perfect friendship - there
was at least a time or two during which we didn't talk for a while.
However, we always somehow found the way to start chatting again.
for those of you familiar with my production work, Tim has been more
than a friend, but a trusted musical colleague, remixing and co-producing
(as "DJ TMJ") with me on numerous occasions.
Lori got married close to a decade ago. We don't see each other
nearly as often as we used to; two or three years back they moved away
to the Oklahoma City area, and most of our communication after that
point has been through Facebook. However, I consider him one of
my best friends, and I wanted to pay special tribute to him here.
hard to believe that he and I met twenty years ago this month.
Time, as they say, flies... and time, as I often say, is cruel.
for the memories, Tim. You've been the Abbott to my Costello,
the Hardy to my Laurel, and even the Art Garfunkel to my Julian Sands
a time or two. I look forward to seeing you again very soon.
soon, everyone. More soon.