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The Secret DJ on how Glastonbury changed his life

"Everyone hated us because we were skint, energetic and pretty"

  • Words: The Secret DJ | Illustration: George Morton
  • 15 May 2018
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A naked man with a long stick kept coming in our bar and demanding tea because he was ‘a dragon slayer’. We told him he was a pool player. Then we told him there was dragon needed slaying in the next field. He went off to check. Came back and every naked inch of him was drained of blood. He’d seen the new giant dragon sculpture for the first time while out of his mind. “I’m a pool player”, he told us. Then he fell asleep on one of our benches so me and the world’s strongest transvestite carried it like it was a stretcher from our peaceful periphery to the busiest drag and stood back to watch him wake up, teleported into Dante’s inferno. Next time we saw him he had climbed to the top of one of the scaffolding towers at one of the first car-park raves and was wanking on the crowd. Thankfully, we never saw him again.

We were the first to dress like idiots. One year there were some people from Torture Garden who came as latex wasps… and something started. The next year I put on a pristine referee’s uniform on Day 6 and minced about giving out yellow and red cards. There’s something about a ref that transcends even police as a force to be reckoned with. I had hippies on their knees crying because I wouldn’t tell them why they got a red card.

We were wearing ballgowns and tuxedos dancing to gypsies in Lost Vagueness with gay lads and lesbians to house music 20 years before NYC Downlow. Every generation thinks they are the first.

One year I played on the Radio 1 stage for 52 hours without pause. For two and half days and nights I mixed records together. I arrived in an estate car full of records and CDs, because unlike the newbie DJs I knew how long things could go on for. Sets weren’t two hours but eight, 16, 24.

I have no sense of smell so I once rescued a girl’s wedding ring from the shit pit. I’ve been helicoptered off site after my hernia split, and am proud to have puked in the only clean toilets in the whole place at the medical centre. We never used to check what the weather would be. It was futile. It never stopped us having a good time.

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