Play Something Dancy Says the Life of an S.F. Strip-Club DJ Is Worse Than You Think
Old-school metal fans in San Francisco might know Dee Simon, author of Play Something Dancy: The Tragic Tales of a Strip Club DJ, by his old KUSF radio moniker of Dirty Sanchez. There he had the kind of show most unlikely for a Jesuit campus and the one every DJ did not want to follow.
Simon's new e-book begins with an earnest attempt at trying to make it in radio and ends after several hardening years of working the sleazier flesh palaces of the city. Simon feels compelled to change the names of the people and places, but a reader can guess that he spent quite a lot of time on Broadway. Before he delves into the depths of his life as a nude lady mixmaster, he is careful to add a prominent disclaimer: "The dialogue and events have been recreated solely from memory, and I've smoked a lot of drugs since these events occurred."
If you can get through the book's first, er, big bang, it's likely that not much here will shock you -- until the very end, which will probably leave you slack-jawed and thoroughly disgusted, yet appreciative of Simon's candor. It's not hard to predict what the life of a local flesh jock must be like, and he seems determined and more than happy to live up to and embody the stereotypes of bagging lots of random ladies and blagging lots of random confusicants. He even exceeds those expectations by snorting up lines at the table at posh restaurant Gary Danko, riding around with gangsters intent on owning Mariah Carey's latest full-length release, and torturing young virgins at bachelor parties gone way, way wrong.
Throughout, Simon paints a bleak picture of the people who inhabit this world, from club managers and bouncers known to have domestic violence records to strung out women who gave the last of their dignity away long, long ago. It's both fascinating and depressing, and it becomes immediately apparent that he has no goals of looking rosy to the public or his parents. It's an unflinching look at himself and the industry that drove him to his present life of "velvet painting, mahjong, and reading Proust," as he claims in the author biography.
But it's also great fun to read his recollections of how he'd structure a dancer's set, saving the fun tunes for the ladies who tipped him well and torturing those who didn't with painfully twee slow songs. He may have been one of San Francisco's only strip club DJs who actually enjoys music.