• James Hewlett

Just When Things Were Looking Up


Things have been good between me and Jon recently, it’ll never be back to how it used to be, but it was back to a place at least where we could talk, joke around and see each other occasionally. It has been really nice. It has felt like a decent, normal sibling relationship. Hell, we were considering going to Amsterdam with them for a couple of days next week but decided not to.

I should have known it was only a matter of time. Jon is relentless when he wants you to do something for him. Whether he really thinks it's the best thing for you or he just convinces himself that that is the case is besides the point because when he wants you to do something for him he’ll use a lot of what I’ll call ‘agent talk’ to convince you it is a brilliant unmissable opportunity that really is great for you. It works a lot of the time, he is a good agent when he wants to be. It works on a lot of the young DJs he has working for him, not so much on the old boys who have been around the block a bunch and certainly not on me anymore, his brother, who can see past the bullshit screen he puts up even if he doesn’t realise he’s doing it.

The thing that pissed me off today, and really bummed me out because it felt like a big step backward, started so simply. Jon asked me if, hypothetically, if he were ever to get a gig that was “the most perfect gig financially and musically ever for you” would I consider it or should he just consider that part of my life finished?

Right off the bat its a pretty insulting way of asking but it doesn’t annoy me, I know what he means and that he doesn’t mean anything bad by it. I also know he wouldn’t mention anything like this unless he A, had a gig. B, didn’t want to/couldn’t do it himself. C, wanted me to do it.

So I explain to him that I’m not looking for any gigs, certainly not a residency but that if the right one came along I’d be curious to hear about it and that I mostly want to just get my own gigs these days as what I want to do is different from what I used to do for him. Pretty sure most of that fell on deaf ears except the part where I asked what the gig was.

He goes on to give me the details, the where, the when, the what and the how much. Don’t get me wrong, it sounds like a great one. One I would have been all over a couple of years ago and probably really been good at for a while until it got stale for me.

He then starts baiting the hook too much. He noticed that I hadn’t shut him down straight away so in his mind all he has to do is push more and I’ll do it. He starts with the ‘If I was offered that on any night I didn’t already work I would do it as I couldn’t afford to turn that money down.’ Implying that if he can’t afford to turn it down theres no way that I can.

Again I ignore the BS of it and ask a couple more questions and then let him know that I am curious but would like to think about it. He answers my questions just fine and it still sounds interesting and he suggests something I had already thought about. I go with him on a Friday night, seeing what he does that night, check out the venue, meet the manager and see if I like it and then do the Saturday before I fully commit. I say that it sounds like a good plan but as Sara and I are both off this weekend and aren’t going to be around how does next week sound?

Thats when it starts to get shit and he starts with the agent shit that I can see through like a freshly cleaned window.

He starts pushing that time is tight and he doesn’t want to risk putting someone in at a lower fee.

I tell him okay, no worries, I can’t do it then. Good luck, catch you later.

My mind is thinking; ‘well why would be paying someone else less?’ ‘So if you’re willing to pay me X and someone else Y what is the gig actually paying? Especially as you’ll still charge us commission.’

I also know at this point the whole thing was a work and he needs someone in there this Saturday and he doesn’t give a fuck about who or what anyone else has going on in their lives. The word ‘opportunity’ is thrown around a lot. The pay for the gig stops being referred to as the weekly amount but what that equates to annually, despite the fact that the gig might be shit canned after two weeks.

He starts asking me if whatever it is I’m doing can’t be moved. Not once has he asked what I’m actually doing, despite the fact that we told him last week when we went to see him. No, he’s too in his own self important world. I simply say no. I’m pissed off with him by this point and just want to end it.

Then comes the sob story final push ‘Such a shame, great opportunity, lot of money’ crap. I pop and tell him that this is why I don’t want to work for him anymore, I tell him one thing and he keeps pushing. All I get in response is a passive aggressive ‘haha.’

Half hour or so passes, I vent, I chill out, Sara and I have an awesome shrimp with chillis Thai stir fry.

Then I get a message saying that he has ‘sorted it’ so I could do next week if I wanted. It must be fucking magic!

I ignore it, I’m having lunch. Another half hour passes and I get a follow-up explaining that it wasn’t in fact Gandalf The Grey who made it so that if I wanted to do the gig next week I could, no, he ‘moved some people around.’ You can probably smell the horse shit from there.

By this point I have thought about it and come to the realisation that even if the circumstances around getting the gig had been perfect, I don’t want it. I am happy doing the ones I do at the moment and I don’t want to go back to working for him in any way. So I leave it for ten minutes or so, so that I can reply without offending or getting pissed off and I let him know that I’m not interested and not to worry about letting me know about any other gigs in the future. It takes him a couple of hours to reply but he didn’t push the matter any further.

I thought about including a couple of screen shots of the conversation, it really wasn’t very long for a change, but without the context of really knowing Jon I don’t think you can get anything out of it and I would have to go in and black out a few things for privacy sake anyway. This blog is my personal shit, not anyone else’s.

I feel bad for airing my shit out like this but I also feel a lot better for getting it off my chest. My hope is that it goes away and we can move on, back to how things have been. In fact, just as I’m writing this paragraph I’ve got a totally unrelated message from him and has led to a couple of Nazi jokes, so I would say things are starting to look up again.

#rant #family #work #nightlife #djing #me #selfreflection

©2017 by James Hewlett.