Taking It Back - I Found God at The Endup
In the late 1970s at the age of 20, I was introduced to an amazing after-hours gay dance club called Stages, in Toronto Canada.
For the next couple of years we went every Saturday night, and the drug of choice was LSD "microdots" - they came in different pretty colours and people swore each one had different effects. The music was incredible! Songs like Katmandu, Blondie's Rapture, Funkytown, War of the Worlds... mixed on 3 turntables! While history tells us that house music originated in Chicago in the early 80's, I can remember the music at Stages being called house music.
Time in San Francisco
I went to record stores asking for mixed tapes of house music and they looked at me like I was nuts. Anyway, thus began my life as a devoted house music fan. If there was one thing I knew in life, it was that my purpose was to dance and party. In 1994 I moved with a group of friends to San Francisco. We had been there for Halloween weekend in 1993 and knew we needed to live there so we could dance 24/7, instead of being kicked out of warehouse parties by the police all the time. I spent three years in San Francisco, and that's a whole 'nuther story (my book about it is called I Found God at The Endup).
Return to Vancouver
Eventually, at age 45, I returned to Vancouver to clean up my act and settle down near my mother to make things right. I got a full-time job. I stopped listening to music, because every time I heard dance music (e.g. in clothing stores in shopping malls) my heart would race and my hands would sweat, and I would grieve the loss of my old life. In 2010, my mother died and I retired. One day I sent up a prayer to "give me back my love of music." I started re-educating myself to music. Using YouTube, I started with the Beatles, Stones, Janis, etc., and every day listened to something a bit more recent until I finally made it back to house music, the house I knew from the 90's.
I was inspired to create a Facebook group online, where I published my book and photos and began collecting all the tunes I could recognize from 1994 - 97, by listening to thousands of them on YouTube. As a dancer, not a DJ, I didn't know what any of the tunes were called or who the artists were. Every time I located another one that I recognized it was so exciting! Now my heart was racing in a good way! In this process, I learned to identify the tracks.
Introduction to online house music radio stations
In 2015 by way of my Facebook group I met a couple of DJs and was introduced to online radio. I was confused by the music at first because just when I recognized a tune, it would turn into something else. It only took a few weeks for me to learn what was going on. I met DJ Kelee in an online radio chat room and we went to the same weekly radio shows for about a year. He lives in Toronto, and he knew Stages too.
One day I searched online for house radio stations with chat and came across Househeads Radio. I went in the chat room and there were about 20 people there, who all seemed to know each other. Paz and Maria were very kind to me and made me feel welcome. The music was spectacular - and the DJs were spinning live on camera! I started coming in every day, and being unable to leave. Paz explained to me that's called getting "locked." For weeks I asked each person who they were and took notes of where they lived, whether they were a DJ or a listener, about their jobs and families, etc. I found out that a lot of these people actually knew each other in person. I tried to catch a set by every DJ and figured out my favourites. I discovered that my knowledge of 90's music gave me a great foundation for appreciating the new remixed style.
A trip overseas
In 2017 a Househeads house party was announced for late May at DJ JD's place in a village near Birmingham. DJ Kelee (Toronto) and I (Vancouver) decided we would go! We booked our flights and lo and behold, we went to this three-day event, met all the people and had a wonderful time! This was quite a party for a 64-year-old househead, and I partied like it was 1994. Well not quite, but close. Everybody was just as they seemed online, a real fun crowd of down-to-earth people. It was great to meet DJ Kelee in person for the first time too. The DJs took turns keeping the tunes going and broadcasting online. Meeting the gang in person makes the ongoing experience with Househeads Radio even more fun.
The most important thing to me about HHR is that they present the best and latest underground house music available. House music radio and the househeads keep me feeling young and happy. I hope I get to visit again sometime.
Each week I post my favourite sets in my FB group. Funny how things work out.
Read about my journey
Here is a link to my Facebook group, take a look if you like – the book, "I Found God at The Endup", is filed there as a PDF.