Think it's easy to spin those discs? Guess again. Sure, any chimp can handle the basics, but mastery of the art involves more than just playing records.
A good disc jockey can make anywhere from $40 to $600 a night. But "you really have to know how to read a crowd," said Robert M. Fisher, a record spinner for Onion International, which owns more than a dozen Red Onions throughout Southern California. Fisher cites the disco craze of the late '70s and early '80s as the beginning of the era of artistry among disco deejays. Until then, he said, it was pretty much a matter of fading down one song and fading up another.
Today, a skilled disc jockey can employ an amazing repertoire of mixes--the segues from song to song. "There are really about 100 different, tiny little ways you can slam or pop one record into another," he said.
Do most dancers appreciate the subtleties of these segues? "Some of them are very conscious of it," Fisher said. "But all of them are subconsciously affected."