Interview with Dance Music Pioneer: Mike Macharello
Interviewed by Jacob Arnold – for BoiMagazine, Published on November 24, 2012
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What is your occupation?
I am a DJ and always will be, but I am also the sole owner of Circuit Night Club and I am the publisher of BOI Magazine. I don’t believe that these job titles define who I am, but instead, I consider the respective businesses a creative expressions of myself.
Did you grow up in Chicago?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. When I moved into the city, I contemplated in which direction I should go with my career. Growing up in the Midwest and having parents who wanted more for their children than they had, I felt blessed and that I had a good start in life. I appreciated having a good educational foundation, shelter, food on the table, my health, transportation, music and sound equipment, and that I could take care of myself financially with my DJ jobs. However, I realized early on that acquiring more material things wasn’t a strong desire, so I asked myself if that is the case, then what direction should I go in that would ultimately make me happy doing? I knew that using my talents and abilities to bring joy to others would make me feel a sense of accomplishment, so I started there. Working a job or having a career simply to make money and buy more things really didn’t make too much sense to me. My thought was, I wasn’t going to take any materialistic things with me in the end, so I may as well put everything I have available to me right now here on earth to good use.
Isn’t it the American Dream to have everything?
I believe having everything is fine as long as it isn’t at the expense of others. I thought about it a lot, and came to the conclusion that capitalism works best when you can use the opportunities available to you to accomplish something of importance with your talents and abilities. My grandparents came over on the boat from Italy to give their children a better life, then my parents worked hard to give me a better life. Now, I had an opportunity to use all that was given to me to achieve a greater sense of purpose. I think the challenge for me was figuring out what that “something greater sense of purpose” accomplishment was.
What inspired you to become a DJ?
As a teenager, I used to listen to the radio at every opportunity. I became friends with a radio DJ named Captain Whammo on WDHF-Chicago, which later became WMET. I would call into the radio station for a nightly segment called The Whammo Line. Captain Whammo would speak with listners and basically say whatever they wanted to on the air. He would announce, “The Whammo Line is open,” and people would call in to be heard on the radio. I called the station so often that Captain Whammo eventually dubbed me as his Whammo Reporter. I first met Captain Whammo in person, who’s real name was Jim Chanell, at a remote-gig. He invited me to the radio station which was on Michigan Ave. in Chicago, and I would watch him work and sometimes answer his request line. Looking back now, I was in the presence of a true master of his art, and this is what I believe inspired me to become a DJ. At such a young age, it was pretty amazing to be hanging out at night, at a major Chicago radio station, with one of the top on-air disc jockeys.
What happened after that?
Jim was DJ Captain Whammo by night and a teacher at the Midwestern Broadcasting School (MBS) by day. I took a real interest in radio and from that came my desire to be a DJ. Jim encouraged me to attend MBS, and I graduated with the intention of becoming a radio DJ. However, after taking the course, I realized that the big-market radio DJs were just voices, that they didn’t actually play their own music. Typically, a program director would give the DJs a playlist to work from. I learned that in order to be an on-air radio DJ, I would more than likely have to move to whatever city that had a job opening, and play only whatever type of music the station was formatted to. It was very restrictive. The thought of having to leave Chicago didn’t appeal to me at all. There were only one or two stations in a handful of other markets that were even of interest to me, and there were certainly no guarantees that I would get a job at any of them. The radio business seemed kinda rough, there were a lot of DJs looking for work with only a limited number of good on-air spots across the country. Basically, unless you knew somebody, you would have to take whatever job you can get.
How did that lead to you working in the clubs?
I liked many genres of music and was starting to develop a real interest in R&B and dance music. At the time, everybody wanted to capitalize on the disco craze. Disco music was hot and everyone was jumping on the bandwagon, which in turn created a lot of jobs for DJs. Even restaurant owners were installing dance floors with sound and lights. With discos popping up all over, it was a great opportunity to get a DJ job while staying in Chicago. Being a DJ at a club where I had control over what I played and where I could instantly get a reaction to the music I was playing was very exciting. When I first started DJing, I didn’t know how to mix the music together on beat, but I knew I could entertain a crowd by playing the right music and songs that they wanted to hear. Most owners looked to the DJ to help attract people to their venues and to get the party started. It was the era when dance music was at its peak. Pop radio was playing disco and record companies were pumping out new disco dance records every day. I joined a record pool and received at least twenty new 12” disco dance records every week. Even popular rock bands like Kiss and the Rolling Stones put out disco singles and jumped in on the craze.
What was your first club experience?
The first club I ever went to was called the Galaxy Disco in the suburbs of Chicago. It was attached to a bowling alley and was a very popular adult disco with a teen night on Sundays. The club had a traditional silver and black disco decor and their dance floor was in the center of the room which featured a mirrored ceiling. The dance floor lit up like the galaxy with planets, moons, stars, and other galactic shapes and colors. Scott Adams was their resident DJ and he impressively mixed songs on original the 1100 Technique turntables. I discovered later that he had perfect pitch, so his mixes were always in key and his overlays sounded perfect. The big song at the time was “MacArthur Park” by Donna Summers, also “Macho Man” by Village People was a big hit song as well.
What was your first job?
I worked a summer job at the Medinah Country Club as a busboy and that job didn’t go so well. The next summer I applied for a job at Adventureland which was an amusement park near where I lived. I worked there a few seasons in the game court, I also worked as a ride operator. Adventureland was another business that jumped on the disco bandwagon. They converted an existing band-stand into an outdoor disco which featured a female DJ on stage and dance instructors. One day while working near the band-stand, I couldn’t help but notice the music coming from the loudspeakers. The DJ was playing the LP record version of KC & The Sunshine Band’s “I’m Your Boogie Man,” which mixes into “Keep It Comin’ Love.” I was used to the radio edit and it was the first time I ever heard an extended version of a song, let alone one that mixed into another song. I was intrigued by the concept of extended mixes of songs that I would hear on the radio. Another song that caught my attention was “I Feel Love” by Donna Summers. The song was so mesmerizing and sounded so good, that from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever sound that was coming out of those speakers!
How did you get your first DJ job?
My first DJ job was at the Hollywood Disco. When I applied at Hollywood it was a teen disco with several resident DJs. The owner said to me that he had plenty of DJs, but he was opening on Sundays for a new “Family Disco” promotion and was willing to make me the DJ, except I’d have to work for free. I took him up the offer and unfortunately nobody showed up. On the up side, it turned out to be a great opportunity for me, because the owner had nothing else to do there every Sunday but to listen to me play the music. He must have liked what he heard because whenever a DJ called in sick he would call me to fill in. Within a few short months I became their only DJ.
What happened after that?
The person who installed the sound system at Hollywood Disco was also a manager of an adult club called The Stay Out All Night Discotheque. He hired me to fill in for a few days when their DJ went out of town, after that it quickly turned into a regular DJ gig for me. A few years later I work at McGreevy’s in Glenview, another suburban adult club except they had a successful weekly Sunday teen night. I loved working there because it was like going to a club mall with three big clubs under one roof. When you entered the club, you could either go to a live rock-band room, a country and western room or into a large dance room with an incredible sound and light system.
What types of music were you playing?
I played everything! Artists ranged from Donna Summer to the B-52’s. I played disco, new wave, punk-funk, R&B, you name it. I even slipped in a few classic rock songs that could be mixed with the dance music. People loved to hear rock songs at the club because it was so unexpected. I got huge reactions because they were such big hits on the radio but never really ever heard in clubs before.
What were the crowds like back then?
At Hollywood, the crowd was underage and very diverse, mostly white, black and Hispanic. One night, legendary radio DJ Herb Kent came to visit me at Hollywood Disco and was shocked to see “black kids” as he called them dancing to “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s. They would fall to the floor in the middle of the song when it came to the part where they say, “down, down, down.” I had the crowd trained to drop because every time I played the song because I got on the microphone and told them to go down, then I prompted them to jump up when the song kicked back in again. It was a riot! Stay Out All Night was an adult mostly white crowd who loved to drink and dance to all type of music. I was underage at the time so it was all really new to me. Back then I didn’t even know what a Rum and Coke was. Regardless, I was working almost every night there until 4am. Debbie Jacob’s “Hot Hot, Give It All You Got” was a favorite along with Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.” Those songs I had to play at least twice every night.
Did you make your own edits?
No, not at the club, however I did everything live with two turntables. Of course I would have loved to have had the editing tools and features on the equipment today. Back then DJs did a lot with two turntables. Most songs had only a vocal mix and if you were lucky, an instrumental mix. Later came dub mixes that were added to the 12” record. All the music was on vinyl records so making perfect transitions from one song to another wasn’t always easy. Especially if you were trying to mix songs together that had horrible intros or no intros at all, which made them extremely difficult to blend together. Producers mostly used a real drummer on the earlier dance songs, so the timing on the records wasn’t perfect and that made songs harder to mix together.
How did radio play a part in your DJ career?
Now that I look back on it, I instinctively did a “work-around.” Not only did I get to stay in Chicago by working in the clubs, but my mixes were being played on the top Chicago radio stations: WDAI, WXFM, WBMX, WGCI, and WVON. By playing my mixes on those stations I was the one programming the music which is what I enjoyed the most. DJs in clubs are both DJs and program directors. You get instant reactions and that helps a DJ develop a skill of knowing what people want before they want it. Tell me about your musical background. Other than growing up listening to music on the radio, I was pretty much a self-taught DJ. The skills I developed as a DJ have been extremely useful and translatable to many situations in my life, even bartending. I attended Bartending School while taking a break from DJing. Bartending School taught me people skills, professionalism and of course how to make a drink. If you learn how to mix and blend music then you can mix and blend anything, including drinks. All the basic principles of mixing can apply to any situation. Interestingly enough you can even mix people. Simply mix in the good ones into your life and mix out the bad ones to create the perfect “blend” for yourself. Other examples are if a job or a friendship or a relationship isn’t working, then you do the same thing a DJ would do if a song isn’t working on the dance floor, you simply mix out the bad and mix in the good.
Anything else you’ve learned from being a DJ?
Yes, I’ve developed a sixth sense of energy. DJs can distinguish the difference between positive and negative energy and instinctively know how to guide it in a more positive direction or at other times, to just go with the flow. Again, a skill that’s useful in all types of life situations.
When did you start the Let’s Dance Music Pool?
I started Let’s Dance with a DJ friend named Charles Perkins after the record pool Dogs of War shut down. At the time I was one of the record pool directors for Dogs of War and had contacts with all the record labels and DJs. Naturally I felt the need to fill the void when they closed their doors.
What other DJ record pools were in Chicago at the time?
There was Dogs of War, Audiotalent, and Independent Record Services (IRS). IRS was a great source for many DJs to get music from, not only as a record pool but as a retail outlet as well. There was no internet back then, so DJs would have to be a member of a record pool to get the latest promo product directly from the record companies, even before it hit the stores. Besides IRS, owner Paul Weisberg developed and established Imports Etc., a noteworthy record store that catered to the DJ and fueled the fire for the Chicago house music craze.
Why did you decide to start your own label?
For many years I did hour long mixes and one song remixes on Chicago radio stations WXFM, WBMX, WGCI, and WVON. When I was a hot-mix DJ at WGCI, I had a hard time convincing the program director to play Soulsonic Force’s “Planet Rock,” one of the biggest club songs at the time. So with a friend’s help on keyboards along with some special effects, I had reworked it and I gave it to the station as one of my remixes. WGCI allowed me to make single-song remixes that would be broadcast as on air as “exclusivemixes” during certain times of the day. The remix of “Planet Rock” got so popular on WGCI, that it instantly went into regular rotation and then stayed in recurrent for almost three years. The success of that remix and several others I did like “Situation/Don’t Go” by Yazz, made me realize that I could record my own original material, I already had the means to get it exposed. I thought it would be easy but reality soon hit me that owning a record label was a huge responsibility, it was both physically and financially difficult. However, I learned a lot from that experience.
What was your first single?
“Crazy Or Not” and it was originally released on the Let’s Dance label. I started Play House Records soon after so the record company would have its own identity aside from the Let’s Dance Music Pool.
When did “Crazy Or Not” come out?
It was in 1984.
Who was Mike Tomaselli?
Mike was a friend of Duane Thamm, Jr., and Duane wrote and arranged the music. Mike wrote the lyrics and I produced it. Duane and I mixed “Crazy Or Not” together in Gerim Studios. It was somewhat influenced by Lisa’s “Jump Shout,” a hot song in the clubs at the time.
Tell me about “Single Girl.”
Well it seems kind of silly now but Knight Rider was my favorite TV show at the time and I loved the theme song. I asked Duane if he could create a similar bass line and melody to a dance beat, which he did exceptionally well. We gave the track to another friend of Duane’s and she wrote the lyrics, and her sister named Sedina was the vocalist. I gave “Single Girl” to all the DJs to play, however most of the credit for the song’s success goes to Farley “Jackmaster” Funk for playing the song in his WBMX mixes. He made the song an overnight hit.
What studio did you use?
I did mixes for Jerry Simms who owned a record company and studio called Gerim Studios. It used to be the legendary Chess Studios on south Michigan Ave. in Chicago. Being on the radio gave me opportunities to branch out to mixing and remixing music original from master tracks. Duane and I worked together on dance mixes for Gerim Records in return for studio time for our own projects. Gerim eventually closed and Duane bought the equipment to build his own studio in his parents home. I then worked out of Duane’s studio with him which was much more convenient for both of us. The first song I ever mixed was at Gerim Studios for Jerry Simms, back then studios would mix a song down to a 2-track tape, usually in one pass and stopping the tape was to do edits was unheard of. When I did my first studio mix I stopped the song at least 50 times recording different segments that I would later edit together. After mixing for a little while, I looked up I noticed that everyone in the studio was watching me and had this look of horror on their face. I pulled out my razor blade and editing block, then edited all the pieces together leaving a big pile of tape on the floor... everyone still had looks of horror on their faces until I finally played back the edited song. There was this sudden reaction of relief and disbelief... fortunately for me, they really liked the mix.
What kind of equipment did you use for your songs?
Typically we would use a sixteen track Teac recorder which was about the size of a washing machine. We used the Roland 707 drum machine and a 808 rhythm composer for most of our song tracks. Duane had many keyboards including a classic Minimoog and a few other keyboards like the Harp and the Clavinet.
How would you describe the music at the time?
Coming off the disco era, music went through a transition to simpler tracks with the advent of drum and sampling machines. It was the beginning of a new era where producers didn’t need a full orchestra to make a dance song. Even DJs could create songs with a drum machine and a few samples. Of course, in Chicago some of the DJs creating the tracks were also the ones who would play them in the clubs and DJs on the radio played them in their mixes, which made them very popular.
How many copies of each single were you pressing for Play House Records?
I pressed as little or as much as the demand. I had to press a lot of copies to get the releases in all the record stores that sold dance music. As orders came in, I would press additional copies until the demand died down. The problem was that the demand would be high initially, and I would press more records to fill the store orders. Then the demand would suddenly drop and the stores would eventually return what they didn’t sell. Needless to say, a lot of records would got returned and it was difficult to break even financially. Companies now are able to sell on sites like iTunes and Beatport. It’s good because the song is available indefinitely around the globe whether it sells or not.
How did you get distribution back then?
I used different distributors across the country. In Chicago I used several distributors and for a long time Play House Records was distributed through Sunset Records, another Chicago house label that set up its own distribution company. As outrageous at it may seem now I needed at least one distributor in every city to get the product in the record stores.
What percentage of records went overseas?
I had distributors who exported my label to many countries around the world. My biggest export and licensing deals were with record companies in England, Germany and Spain. I actually sold more records in London than in the US. The fact is, licensing music to labels overseas was the only thing that made the label profitable. I still am receiving licensing requests for my old catalog overseas.
Did you do any promotion?
Yes, I serviced many record pools, Billboard reporters, club and radio DJs and radio stations across the United States. All vinyl and they were sent through the mail or personally delivered, It was hard work!
What record are you proudest of?
“Single Girl,” since it seems to still be in demand, however, my personal favorite is Denise Motto “IMNXTC,” but there are a lot of other songs that I’m proud of such as Crystalite’s “Cut By A Lazer,” Holly Oas’ “Plastic Doll,” Serious House Mixer’s “Tell Me,” and Knight Action’s “R-U Ready.” Even better, the songs are available again on iTunes.
Why did you stop releasing records?
Everyone, including major labels started releasing house music or house mixes. The market got flooded and unfortunately this caused the demand to go down. Also producers in London started creating their own style of house music and some overseas labels no longer needed to turn to Chicago for their house music fix. However, there has been a lot of recent interest for me to release more music on the Play House Records label again!
Do you remember the first time you heard the term “house”?
Yes, it was a term that referred to the music that Frankie Knuckles played at the Warehouse where he was the resident DJ. People used to call the Warehouse “the house” for short, and the music he played became known as “house music.” Many of songs heard at the Warehouse were released on the Salsoul label and this in my opinion was the root and original form of “house music” that best be described as “soulful disco.” Frankie would remix and create longer versions of the songs on reel-to-reel tape and then play his extended dance mixes at the Warehouse. Eventually the term “house,” or later “Chicago house,” evolved to mean the music Chicago DJs and producers were creating with their drum and sample machines. One thing worth mentioning is that after the disco era many record companies were putting out a lot of music nobody really wanted to hear, so the Chicago DJs filled the void first by buying imports and then later creating their own tracks to play. After that, then the tracks were simply referred to as “house music” and the rest is history!
What clubs did you used to go to?
I used to frequent the original Bistro on Hubbard Street in Chicago. Also I went to the New York clubs such as Studio 54, Sound Factory and Twilo, Paradise Garage, The Saint and Better Days. These are the ones I really enjoyed going to but I went to almost every club in Chicago and visited most of them in New York and Miami. I must say that the moment I stepped into the original Sound Factory, I instantly felt I was at home! The sound system was amazing and the DJ was doing amazingly creative things with the songs. Back then I had no idea who Junior Vasquez was but while listening to his music I was simply mesmerized and needed to know who he was. The whole experience was truly inspirational. The sound was so crisp, clean, deep and hard it was like nothing I ever experienced before or after. The music seemed to come alive and it actually energized me. It was the first time I experienced the full sensory experience of music, sound and lights combined with talent and creativity. Of course I was in heaven and I truly felt this was special and there was nowhere else on the planet that I could experience such a deep connection to music. The experience had a profound effect and help me decide what I wanted to do in my life and that is to make it available and provide that experience to others, especially in my home town of Chicago where there was nothing even comparable.
I understand that you are the sole owner of Circuit Night Club?
Yes, currently Circuit is closed and I have streamlined my staff down to the loyalist supporters and contributors to Circuit. I no longer see the need for partnership arrangements, so I am building a new Circuit from the ground floor up hopefully still at the Halsted St. location. I’ve started first by moving all my promotions to other venues and have created “Circuit on Tour” for my show on the road. I plan on reopening Circuit if all goes well with the landlord at Circuit’s last home on Halsted Street. However, that is entirely up to the landlord since he is the owner of the property. He has the power and financial resources to either help me follow through with my vision or literally kill it in that location, which would be a shame and tragedy for Halsted Street. I don’t think he realizes how important Circuit’s existence is to our present day community and to the next generation at large. My every intention is to reopen Circuit bigger and better than ever! I recently came across new investors that are ready and willing to help me with my dream of putting Circuit into a foundation and building my dream club, however I’m not opposed to building it in a new location. I already have a late hour license in the Halsted Street location that’s in good standing until 2014 that would make the most sense. I opened Circuit in 1997 for two reasons. The first was very practical. I threw after hour parties at a loft and City officials eventually visited my office and politely suggested that if I wanted to continue throwing parties, I would have to do it as legitimate business with a proper facility and licenses. The second reason was more personal. I felt that I could fill a void by opening a nightclub that focused on the quality of music and on creating a positive connection for people in the scene, much like I experienced at Sound Factory/Twilo. The name “Circuit” came from a place you would go to make a positive connection. People connect in many ways, and music is the one connection that transcends race, sexuality, status, age, and all those other “-isms.” Circuit has reached out to a diverse crowd over the years and made everyone feel welcome within the club scene. I want to be making those connections to the new generation of club-goers entering the scene today.
It has been rumored that you bought Twilo’s sound system when it closed. Is that true?
Yes, it’s absolutely true. I hired a sound company called Phazon to install a new digital system at Circuit. Twilo was Phazon’s showcase sound system and I never imagined that it would be available or even obtainable. I initially contacted Phazon when Twilo closed to see if I could purchase their lighting system, which I did. While I was making final arrangements to pickup the lighting equipment, I was asked “why aren’t you buying the sound system, too.” The Twilo owner explained to me that he wanted the lighting and sound equipment to stay together, and he wanted the sound system to be with me. The phone nearly fell out of my hand and I was for the first time in my life speechless! Before I even caught my breath, I was off to New York to pick up both the lighting and sound equipment. Twilo’s lighting fixtures were immediately incorporated with Circuit’s and we installed Twilo’s sound system a short time later when we remodeling the club. Then Phazon came to upgrade the processing equipment and tune up the sound system. It still sounds amazing! Truth be told, Phazon actually still owns the sound system because I was unable to follow through with my loan agreement, but at least it will be in good hands! One of my fondest memories was when Junior Vasquez played at Circuit and commented to me that the room reminded him of Twilo.
What’s your vision for Circuit?
When I took over the other side of the building at the Halsted Street location for the club’s expansion and renovation project, it was just before the September 11th disaster occurred and since then, the world had changed around me. My goal is to see the project through. The architectural plans that were designed by very talented architects and several engineers are amazing, it includes everything I hoped and imagined for Circuit and then some. Besides the architects and engineers that it took to create the plans that ultimately resulted in me receiving the permit to build out the club, people involved also included long time friends, family members, city planners, alderman and even the landlord, not to mention the countless other people who stood by and supported me through the most difficult times. It’s now up to me to pay respect and homage to everyone that helped me get this far and finish what I started.
Why did you start BOI Magazine?
Actually a friend of mine started BOI Magazine which launched at the millennium. He asked me for financial support to get it up and running. I helped him because he had such a great concept and the community really needed a visually stimulating lifestyles publication. Most of the publications at the time were printed on newsprint but BOI was printed on very expensive high-gloss imported porcelain enamel paper, which made it really stand out on the racks but was incredibly costly to produce and still is! After almost two years in publishing, my friend had enough of the financial difficulties and told me to either take over the magazine myself or otherwise he would shut it down. I had experience from publishing a music publication I started called Chicago Music Magazine I didn’t want to see this great publication disappear, so I took it over to continue the vision. I mainly publish as a hobby and due to the high costs of producing a quality product, it’s extremely difficult to make a profit, especially in this day and age where monies tight and everyone wants something for nothing. The current issue of BOI Magazine and back issues can be found digitally online at www.boimagazineplus.com.
Was BOI Magazine a sponsor for the Black & Blue Ball in Montreal?
Absolutely, when I took over BOI Magazine I inherited the sponsorship agreement BOI had with Black & Blue in Montreal. I attended the festival and several of the workshops that accompanied the event.
Did you learn anything at any of these workshops?
More than I imagined I would! One of the seminars I learned the most from was at the Health & Drug conference. It was first time I heard industry professionals openly discuss ecstasy, cocaine, crystal meth, GHB, and other recreational drugs. It was both honest and informative. They discussed the effects of MDMA (ecstasy) in its pure form and the potentially harmful effects it can have when mixed with other drugs such as PCP or heroin. The takeaway for me was that drugs are not necessarily a bad thing but are when they are abused or are mixed together, then they can be quite dangerous. I wondered why this information wasn’t openly discussed in the United States. We were always told to “just say no,” but with no further explanation or discussion. When people first try drugs, it’s true they might have a very bad experience. But often people have a positive experiences and continue to use them. In the United States, there is no discussion on the benefits compared to the hazards of drugs. The truth is that any substance, depending on the amount you consume, can be good or bad for you. The same goes for other substances like alcohol, soda and even foods.
So how does this relate to today’s club scene?
I believe that when armed with the correct information people will make educated health decisions that are right for them. One of the positions taken in the Health & Drug conference was that the club scene doesn’t need to be a dead-end street of alcohol, drugs that leads to self destruction. An argument given was that just because people are killed on the highway doesn’t mean that the highways should be outlawed. Certainly highways can be a dangerous place to drive without proper training but millions of people use highways and expressways safely every day without accidents. We all know there are still casualties but we simply need to learn what we can from them and make improvements.
What do you think of Chicago’s dance scene today?
The scene in Chicago is the same as it is across the country. I believe it’s in a transition period. Technology and social networking has made meeting people in clubs almost obsolete. You can shop online, meet people online and have sex online so you never need to leave your house! The younger internet savvy generation will eventually discover the benefits of going to a club and actually talking to somebody in person, dancing to music to a live DJ and having real (as opposed to virtual) fun and enjoyment. It will be a whole new concept to the new generation now growing up online. With the latest smart phones people are now connected to the internet and are going out into the real world living life at the same time, instead of just sitting at home behind a computer. My philosophy has always been that I have been building Circuit Night Club for the next generation that’s yet to come out. Mark my words, the scene today is only the beginning of the wave that is yet to come. The truth is I’ve been getting ready for the wave for many years. I took over the other side of the Halsted Street building just before the Sept. 11th disaster. Since then I’ve been busy at work with our architects and engineers designing the plans and getting our permit from the City of Chicago to build a state-of-the-art nightclub facility. Unfortunately now that I have a building permit, as I stated before, the world has change around me since I started the project. Lord willing I’ll find a way with new investors to help build my dream club in that location. I’ve provided you with a peak at the plans that I hope will come to fruition, I hope you like them as much as I did when I first saw them. The architect and engineers really listened to everyone involved and provided plans that went beyond my expectations. I’m really excited to see what happens next and see if my dream will become a reality for everyone to enjoy.
Tell us something most people wouldn’t know about you.
Hmmmm... That I don’t drink much alcohol and I don’t use drugs, not even prescription. Alcohol and drugs would not be good for me when I’m trying to accomplish something of importance in my life. Besides, they make you look old and haggard and who needs that! lol.... I have always tried to eat healthy, I’ve taken vitamins all of my life, I’ve never smoked and for the last few years I stopped drinking caffeinated beverages! I really like fish and broccoli and could eat it almost every day. I naturally run at a higher pace and I think eating right might enhance it even more. I’ve always had a youthful outlook and as a result people think I’m a lot younger for my age.
Who is Patrick Harms?
Patrick is a long time friend of mine who came to help me early on. He has been there at my side through thick and thin. Patrick and I were working on an official partnership arrangement until we had differences on how the club should be run. I really wanted to follow through with my vision of putting the club into a foundation where we would both sit on the board of directors, and he wanted a traditional partnership. We decided amicably to go our separate ways and remain friends.
Who is Freddy of FreddyPromo?
Freddy was a person I met while vacationing in LA. He seemed like he needed a friend so I offered to help him relocated to Chicago. He took me up on the offer and lived with me for a while until he got on his feet. In return Freddy worked at Circuit helping me with whatever I needed him to do. Later I promoted him to a manager position and then more recently he wanted to help promote the club. Many people over the years that have come and went. Some staff members have actually left to pursuit other interests and then rejoined me at a later date. It’s like home, I always keep the door open for whenever they return!
Do you have any advice for people?
Yes, I have lots of advice, if you been reading the interview this long you deserve some advice (said with a grin.) Follow your dreams no matter the obstacles in your way or how long it seems like it might take you. Most dreams don’t happen overnight, they are usually a series of life long challenges or mountains to climbs that never seem to end. Don’t go too fast following your dream you may crash and burn, however, don’t procrastinate because going too slow could be just as bad as going to fast. Do at least one thing towards your dream a day no matter how small it is, even if it’s one phone call to someone. In a months time you’ll have at lease 30 things towards your dream or goal, 365 steps forward in a years time... it’s very easy and it all adds up! Lastly, life is much like putting together a complicated puzzle. Make sure you always put the right puzzle piece into your life puzzle. That means if you feel sadness, hurt feelings, boredom or if you experience difficulty in a relationship, friendship or job, then you are trying to force a round block in a square hole. You will continue to experience discomfort or pain since it’s natures only way of telling you to stop it! Most people continue forcing the round block in the square hole and it starts hurting more until they can’t take it anymore. Therefore, as soon as you feel hurt or pain, quickly move on until you are happy, then the hurt or pain will stop and go away.