Disc jockey gets people in the groove | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Disc jockey gets people in the groove

Being a disc jockey for 20 years, Derek Tarpey has heard it all.

Minus “Tie a Yellow Ribbon” and “Feelings,” Tarpey has tried to provide the music that listeners want to boogie down to in a business known for its difficulty in building a clientele.

“It will take time. I figure I’ll have a business by next year,” said the Meyers man, who currently has no gig planned for New Year’s Eve. “Until they see me work, people aren’t ready to recommend.”

To Tarpey, there’s a trick to spinning records as a mobile disc jockey service.

“I think there’s a thread to music,” he said. This means events should have no dramatic shifts in the tempo, with the exception of weddings.

“I try to have 12 records on hand that I know will work,” he said.

What are the most commonly requested songs? Tarpey said, “Brick House” and “Play that Funky Music.”

He started his business in Tahoe in October, four months after moving to Tahoe from England. A long distance relationship from the U.K. to Tahoe netted $150-a-month bills for his cell phone.

Tarpey said he’s noted a trend in England, in which music buffs prefer popular songs in the United States.

In the land of capitalistic opportunity, friends here have teased the disc jockey about getting what many would deem “a real job,” but “they all want me on their team” during music trivia games.

In some respects, Tarpey became a disc jockey after failing as a musician. He admitted to plaguing his parents during his childhood years with the torture of a novice learning the violin.

Tarpey can be reached at (530) 577-3414.

Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com

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