DJ Derek

Remembering DJ Derek

Remembering DJ Derek…

Recently during an office clear-out, I stumbled across a bunch of old mini disc tapes. Amongst them were a few interviews that we carried out for the old show we used to host on Radio Reverb. The feature was called ‘Generation Decks’ (a title we were particularly pleased with) whereby we would devise three questions that we would ask our guests. As part of their answers, they picked three apt songs. We tried to find guests that were well-known or had interesting stories to tell. Nick the Greek (Stephen Marcus) from Lock, Stock, The Cuban Brothers and Chas ’n’ Dave all appeared. As did DJ Derek, who was a regular booking at our August Bank Holiday King & Queen all-dayers.


DJ Derek

DJ Derek was a regular special guest at our August Bank Holiday all-dayers.

I called Derek (on his landline as he didn’t have a mobile) and left a message. He was often away doing gigs. A few days later I got a call and was met with Derek’s distinctive gravely tones. I chatted to him about the interview and,  as he was based in Bristol, Derek agreed that we would record the questions onto a mini disc and then send it to him via post. He would then record his reply and song back onto mini disc and then send it back to us for editing.

DJ Derek’s Interview…

We got to work recording the questions and then sent the mini-disc off. A couple of weeks later a padded envelope arrived at SIO HQ. It contained the much-anticipated interview. Derek, being ever meticulous, presented us with a fully edited interview. He had included our own intro and questions inserted in order as well as his responses and songs. Basically, all ready for our radio show.

DJ Derek

Some of the SIO St John’s crew having some fun with Derek

Derek did his whole DJ sets from two portable mini disc recorders and cassette cases packed with mini discs. The track number, song title, artist and length of track were all written in Derek’s small handwriting. Perfectly demonstrated from this pic of the mini-disc inlay of his interview.

Derek’s hand written MD inlay for our radio interview feature ‘Generation Decks’.

So, if you’ve got a spare 16 minutes and 2 seconds please have a listen to our interview with DJ Derek.

We will be dedicating our first August Bank Holiday King & Queen all-dayer since Derek’s death to him. A selection of local artists will be playing the best reggae, ska & soul music. In addition, a percentage of the proceeds of the day (we are aiming for at least £500) will be donated to a memorial fund set up after his death. The fund is to help local kids in Bristol (where he lived).

For full details of our forthcoming event on Sunday 27th August 2017 Bank Holiday All-Dayer check out our blog post here

DJ Derek

DJ Derek appearing as a special guest at a festival we curated for one of its stages.

Comments 2

  1. I used to see DJ Derek a lot when I lived in bristol, mid nineties, in a pub at the end of chelsea rd, can’t remember the name but I do remember him only playing vinyl, not a mini-disc in sight, lovely man and sadly missed.

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