From The Ground Up: More Waiting And A Side Project

October 11, 2014 by Stu Chisholm

When we last joined our heroes, Stu had set the appointment for sending his van to the body shop and had contacted Ben Stowe for some ideas/options for his new consoles.  Little did anyone know, but trouble was coming, and coming soon…

I ended up getting Vanzilla into the body shop a bit late.  A local elementary school needed a DJ for a “fun run” event, on a Friday morning, and on the other side of the weekend was my final car cruise of the season, so I called Brian at Premier Finishes to let him know about the shift in schedule.  Turns out he was slammed, so the extra few days were welcome news at his end.

Ben finally gave me a single recommendation for a controller/I/O option for my tablet-based playback systems.  I guess I was expecting a bit more.  While the doohickey he recommended looked interesting, I wasn’t thrilled by some of the descriptors used on its web page: “perfect for the bedroom DJ,” and “small club,” etc.  I’m not sure what I expected, but I guess the term “more,” both in number of options and maybe followed by “radical” is where my thinking lies.  I’m really not sure here.  Maybe I’ll pick up the phone and try actual voice communication.

The weekend before turning over the van culminated in a Friday/Saturday pair of wedding receptions.  My one-man road crew, Johnny and I had set up the gear, and I shuffled off to the men’s room to change into my tux.  While twisting around in the cramped quarters of the supposed-to-be-handicapped stall, I managed to wrench my back.  And rather badly, to boot.  It wasn’t incompacitating, but close to it.  I managed to don my wedding “play clothes” and hobble on out to get to work.  It was a true challenge, keeping my energy up and my focus true while my back screamed bloody murder.  But I managed the task, and bought myself a back brace prior to leaving for my Saturday gig.

I bring this all up because the following Wednesday was drop-off day.  I drove the van over to my storage unit, emptied out all of the back-up and oversized gear that won’t fit into my apartment and, with an empty truck, wheeled it on over to the body shop.  I again went over all of the details with Brian and, once I handed over my deposit, drove a short way down the industrial park to see the graphics guy, Josh Yiatras at Designs-N-Signs.  I also snapped some photos for a “before and after” comparison.  (Look for that here soon!)  Then my pal, Sherry came to pick me up for the drive home.  The back held up pretty well, considering.

For the next couple of weeks while the guys are working on Vanzilla, I’ve taken on a side mission which is demanding attention.  But perhaps some set-up is in order…

As my Mobile Beat readers know, I got trained and licensed to carry a concealed firearm back in the ’90s after a rather high-profile incident of a DJ being killed for his gear hit the news.  Since then, I’ve done nothing but learn about the topic.  It’s a very hefty responsibility!  All of the training, practice and learning finally culminated into my being certified as an NRA Firearms Instructor.  I’ve designated Sunday, October 19th as the date for my premier class.  Because I want to assure that I fully equip my students, this will necessitate my devoting my full attention to this task.  That means that work on the new consoles will be put on hold until after class weekend.  For me and my business efforts, however, these classes will become one more revenue stream.

So there you have it!  Next time I’ll tell you how close I get to my goals of finishing the truck’s graphics and final mechanical repairs, assembling the consoles, launching my updated website and reformulating my overall marketing.  And that will mean photos!  Stay tuned…

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Stu Chisholm Stu Chisholm (45 Posts)

Stu Chisholm had been collecting music since he was about eight years old and began his DJ career in 1979. After much hard work, trial-and-error, and a stint at the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts, he studied the DJ arts with famous Michigan broadcaster, Bill Henning, at a local college. Stu interned at Detroit’s rock powerhouse, WRIF. To his radio and mobile work Stu later added club gigs at Detroit’s best venues, and voiceover work. He has shared his extensive DJ experience through his Mobile Beat columns, as a seminar speaker and through his book, “The Complete Disc Jockey: A Comprehensive Manual for the Professional DJ,” released in 2008.


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