Profile: Paul Taylor
I am one very lucky guy, Ive been involved in the entertainment, music and leisure business pretty well all my working life. Ive always loved music and started out back in the early 70s at the local youth club. I created a two deck system by taking an old radiogram and somehow wiring another turntable onto the radio channel so I could switch between turntables using a big selector knob! I was about 15 and I was on my way to becoming a DJ.
My 42 year DJ journey can be tracked by the kit that Ive used. From those humble beginnings with my radiogram I progressed to my first Fal system, then my 80s Citronic Avon console, and my home studio Technics 1210s. After a break, I returned as a DJ using CDs with a Vestax CD-33. Then, after another break, I moved to a Denon 2600F, before finally making the transition to digital DJing in 2011 with a Pioneer DDJ-S1.
I worked under a number of different names, including Paul Leighton and Johnny Rocket, and have always done mobile as well as residency work. I moved from pubs to small clubs in the Southampton area in the 70s to a season in the top club on Jersey in 1981 where I met my wonderful wife-to-be Ce. I then came back to the mainland and worked at the best clubs of their time in my area including Martines in Eastleigh and Portsmouth, The Pier and New York New York in Southampton, and The Venue in Poole. I worked with some great managers and many wonderful fellow DJs who are still my friends now, although most of them have since hung up their headphones. One of these, Stevie Q, was among the first DJs to mix in the UK having learned the skill in Spain in the 70s. I was very fortunate that he took the time to share the basics with me, so - from about 1983 - I became a mixing DJ.
Alongside my DJing I worked as a sales rep for A&M, Chrysalis and Arista and then opened my own record shop, The Disc & Tape Centre in Lymington. I left DJing when our kids, Amy and Joe, were born in the early 90s only to return again in about 96 doing bowling alley and mobile work when the shop closed. In 1997, as a publicity stunt for the bowling alley, I stood in the General Election as a candidate for the Go Bowling party and didnt come last in my ward! At about that time I also registered the domain www.thepartydj.co.uk, created a brand and got my first website.
My wife Ce and I wanted to open a childrens indoor play area and, in 2000, Serendipity Sams Play & Party Centres was born. I stopped DJing again to focus on building that business and I let a friend take over the Party DJ brand. We opened three sites and hosted an estimated 20,000 childrens parties, of which around four thousand were disco based, but it was always a struggle despite being top ten finalists in the 2001 Start Up Stars awards.
So, just after my 50th birthday in 2007, it became obvious that our love affair with the play centre business was over and it wouldnt be providing us with the secure retirement wed hoped for. Our son Joe was doing the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme and discovered DJing was considered a skill that he could develop as part of his application. Our home has always been full of music and I had taught both children the basics of mixing and I loved getting back into it to help Joe.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 71, Pages 15-18.