description

Historias: Stories of El Paso
A virtual exhibition curated by our community

Courtesy of: Mike Dee
Title: Soundwave Sensation
Historia Type: Photograph (Left: Marcial Torales, Middle: Mike Dee, Right: Eddie Vasquez
DJ setup was in form of a spaceship. Picture took place in the local Lee Trevino Mall “1980 something”....)

How does one become a disc jockey? When I was 13 years old it was about the time MTV and its popularity had a huge influence on music. I gathered my teenage friends David, Alex and Eddie and proclaimed that we would start a band. I had the perfect name for the band “Sound Wave”. I told everyone to gather their instruments and meet me in our clubhouse the following day. The following day we all met but no one showed up with their instruments. Turns out none of us had instruments, no one knew how to play instruments or sing. This would really affect our ability to become a famous band and create a music video that would propel us into rockstar status. We sat for a moment defeated and that is when Eddie told the group, “I have a bunch of records”. We will be Mobile DJ’s, yes this was our loophole to play other people’s music. I raided my parent’s record collection and joined Eddie and the guys so we could evaluate our record collection. It was a decent record collection, all we needed to do was join “Columbia House Records” several times. Columbia House Records the company with the slogan “12 records for one penny”. Then we realized we needed DJ equipment to play these records. I ran back to my parent’s house and told my parents that I was going to be a DJ and needed them to front me some money for equipment. My parents quickly agreed “A big NO WAY” this was not going to be financed by them because they did not have extra income to just hand out to a crazy 13-year-old that had just decided he was going to become the Sun City‘s newest DJ. My dad mentioned that if I wanted the money I would have to earn it “Get a job”, he said. That weekend he spoke with the president of the local Optimist Little League organization. At age 13, I was now the baseball ground’s keeper. That is fancy title for the kid that pulls weeds, waters the grass and picks up trash. Coolest part of this job I was allowed to put the white lines on the baseball field. One entire summer of sweating over a dusty baseball field at minimum wage was all deposited into our local credit union bank. Summer was over and I was ready to take over the music world with my friends. Eddie took his money and bought more records and I withdrew my money and went to the local equipment dealer named “Danny’s Music Box” to purchase the biggest baddest sound system ever. Turns out DJ equipment is very expensive and there was no way I could afford anything in that beautiful store. I took my money to the local flea market at Fox Plaza. I soon found that large sweaty guy in the dirty white T-shirt with a large blue tarp stretched out in front of a van that looked like the one described in every “Stranger Danger” video I had ever seen. On the blue tarp was a pair of speakers and amplifier that were dusty, scratched and right in my price range. 13 year-old me tried to negotiate and contain my excitement for my very first speakers and amplifier. The deal was made and so it began, 13 year-old me grew up along with my event company, received my degree in Radio-Television and Film from UT Austin and continue to proudly do “The Morning Show” with Patti Diaz on “Power 102” for the last 22 years.

Uploaded on 06.03.2020 by El Paso Museum of History

Central / Downtown, (2020 - 2029), Cultural Heritage

  • Historias
  • Virtual Exhibit

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