Once upon a time, if you couldn't spin vinyl you weren't DJ'ing anywhere, especially in NYC where I first put in work. That attitude came from hip hop's turntablist scene, and house DJ's had to fall in line. It meant respect to the past, assurance of your fader style, and knowledge of music, but without having to announce it verbally. That attitude lasted through the 10's until stems and modules finally took the DJ.
Left: Kinnelon High School Fashion Show (2000)
Right: Yelling at "fake" DJ. (Poor guy!) Kinnelon Middle school! (1998)
Left: Dance 4 Life / Los Angeles (2006)
Resident DJ / Enter GrooveRiders
Just where the 101/405 intersect (known as one of the worst freeway interchanges in the world)
a small underground store did its thing for over a decade supplying LA DJ's with their wax. There were only a handful of stores, and the internet didn't quite take off yet with BeatPort; DJ's still needed a place to go to dig crates. As the years went by a few famous acts came from here including Kristina Sky who I had the pleasure of meeting while being the resident DJ after she left.
GrooveRiders had a proper booth with SL12's and the Pioneer Mixer us Reseda kids couldn't afford so getting with the crew was like access to your Dad's favorite classic.
The resident DJ role was just a groove, play and play and play! When visitors wanted to hear something loud I threw it on but we also had a listening booth for the hands on adventurer. I found some images off Yelp and searching which I've put below but really this was a time and place that could never be again.
The thing is though, I look back fondly to GR and the former owner for always being down for the locals. He gave me a shot to do my thing, and it honed in my confidence and style which sticks with me today. Respect to #LosAngeles #DJ history and culture. Rest in peace GrooveRiders.