Rob Star. My First DC10 Experience
by Oliver Jackson·
A lot of my clubbing memories of the 90’s and early 2000’s are pretty hazy. People remind me of parties we went to and crack-ons we had and sometimes I just have no recollection of them, like they didn’t even happen. I do however remember, some important moments. One in particular that is forever etched in my mind, was the first time I went to DC10.
It was summer 2000 and I was working at home in Leicester Square (if you’re too young to remember, it was a 7 storey super-club with 4 club floors, a restaurant, cafe and private members bar). Danny Tenaglia was playing at the club on Saturday night and then flying to Ibiza to play at Space on the Sunday. We’d made a collective decision that the office was gonna fly out there with him (and why not, what could possibly go wrong?).
The night finished at 3am, and we all cracked on in the club, with Danny playing to a select few staff, hangers on and various industry reprobates from the time. We all left the club around 7 and got the early morning flight to Ibiza. As you can imagine, it was chaos! At one point I remember me and Tenaglia pushing out mate Joe round the airport in a stolen wheelchair, seemed pretty standard at the time.
We arrived in Ibiza, checked in to our hotels and the sensible ones amongst us got a few hours sleep (or in my case tossed and turned a bit, then got up and went to the bar). We got to space mid-afternoon, it was still all about the terrace for me, even though it had turned into the 22 hour rave-athon that was home @ space. I still remembered the days when it was just about the daytime, dancing under the netting - cheering as the planes went overhead. I still wanted to hang onto that, thinking it was the last remnants of the old 90’s Ibiza.
We raved all day in Space, lots of little fellas were shared, good times were had. Then almost as soon as it had begun, it was finished. Normally two back 2 back all-nighters was enough for me, but I was in Ibiza, I wasn’t going anywhere. A few of the flyer crew at space were hanging around (maybe a young Jamie Jones?), but I do distinctly remember Chopper being one of them. Talk was of this new after-party happening down the road. We’d started to hear the rumours in London of this amazing party that happens after space on a Monday morning, but this was pre-internet or you-tube, there were no photos or videos being shared, things were still strictly word of mouth. We gathered together a rag tag bunch of reprobates and made the long walk to DC10, sunglasses on, ready to take on the world. Now, I had no expectations walking into the club, so wasn’t let down when I walked into what looked a bit like a crack den, complete with half the cast from the bar in star wars. I don’t really remember what music was playing, but there wasn’t many people dancing, in fact there was hardly anyone in there. I bought a drink and got chatting to a bloke at the bar, it wasn’t a great conversation as he didn’t speak much English and my Spanish isn’t the best. He seemed to have attracted what few girls were in the club though, so me and him stuck together, bonded by the swapping of our unique collection of pharmaceuticals. It later transpired that the reason the girls were flocking round him, was because he was some sort of prince who’d been on Spanish big brother, but that’s another story.
Anyway, a few hours later, the garden was open and we started to realise what all the fuss was about. This was proper open air clubbing, no roof, no netting, just a few sails to stop you getting severe sunburn and the most amazing interntional crowd of party people coming through the door. It was a bit like Sundays at Space in the mid 90’s, all the freaks were coming out, the cool kids, the locals. I imagined that this was what Amnesia was like at its peak, everyone dancing in the open air, sun shining. It felt like heaven.
As we headed into the early afternoon, all the home London crew started turning up, together with what seemed to be a who’s who of the dance music industry at the time and all the faces from the island. This was a proper party. I remember being stood by the bar in the centre of the room chatting with Tim Sheridan, Chico and their friend Marcus. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but someone said, why don’t we go and wake Danny up and get him to play. Now at the time, we weren’t thinking that the club that pays all of our wages (home) had just flown Danny at great expense from New York to London, then London to Ibiza and paid him a handsome sum to play records. All we were thinking was, we’re at an amazing party and the only thing that could make it even more legendary was to get Danny on the decks!
That was it, we left the club, got a taxi to Ocean Drive and called up to Dannys room from reception. He was still in bed. Marcus ordered up the bloody Marys and we sat in the reception, while Tim hot footed it to his room to get him prepped. An hour later, we arrived back in the club, with Danny in tow along with sound supremo Andy Kayll. I don’t remember any of his set, but I know it was one of the most magical afternoons of my life. On that day, DC10 became my favourite club in the world and until the pandemic, i’d been back every year, the one constant on my trips to Ibiza, seeing the club change and evolve over the years.
Anyway, we were now in full on party mode, so when DC10 closed, we went to Manumission. When Manumission closed we went to Carry-on. Danny came with us, we showed him how we partied in London and he got fully involved. There’s only one place to go after Privilege on a Tuesday morning and that’s back to Space for Carry-on. At this point, I didn’t need any drugs, the lack of sleep had sent me into a sort of tripped out state, where I was hallucinating and imagining all sorts of things were going on, that may or may not have been happening. We left Space and went to Bora Bora where I have vivid recollections of Danny being dressed up as an old lady with a pearl necklace on, or I may have just imagined it?!
My flight back was on Tuesday late afternoon, now if this was a proper Ibiza story, I would have just sacked it off and stayed in Ibiza. However, I was due into work the next day and I was running a freshers party at one of the Universities with my trusty side-kick Joe (fuck knows why we arranged to do that, the day we got back from Ibiza??). Joe was last seen running around San Antonio somewhere, so I was surprised to see him at the airport ready to get on our flight to Luton. Both of us had barely slept since the Friday, it was now nearly Wednesday.
We somehow managed to get on the flight and then get off the other side, the plane journey having a sobering effect, as we both realised we had to get home, sleep and get to work in the morning. I didn’t have a check-in bag, i’m not sure I even had a bag? Joe did, so I left him waiting at the carousel for his luggage, that’s a regret of mine, never leave a man on his own after 4 days raving, but I needed to get home as sharpish as possible, I was broken. I got on the train and set my phone to wake me up just before we hit London. Unfortunately Joe didn’t do the same, he rode the Thameslink to Brighton and back several times before he finally woke up.
The next day I went into the office to sort out the freshers event, we’d hired a van as we had loads of flyers, posters and banners to put up. Joe never made it in. As I was loading the van up, I bumped into Darren Hughes (one of the owners of home) who was fuming. ‘Who the fuck took Danny Tenaglia to DC10?’ I stared at the floor not wanting to make eye contact with him. ‘£30,000 we spent flying him all over Europe and all anyone is going on about is his set at DC10 and they paid fuck all for him!’ I’m not sure Darren, I half mumbled, making an excuse that I was late to get to the freshers party. ‘And where the fucks Joe Maddocks today?’ ‘I think he’s meeting me there Darren’ I said not wanting to drop him in the shit.
I called Joe all morning, but his phone was off, he never made it to the event and the next day Darren called him into his office to give him his P45. I think that if Danny hadn’t played that set at DC10, he might have let him off, but someone had to hang for that misdemeanour. When I look back now and think of all the money i’ve spent on DJ’s, I would also have been properly pissed off. But if he hadn’t played, this story wouldn’t have been half as interesting and I might not have had the same space in my heart for DC10. Thanks Joe, Danny, Kevin and the rest of the home crew that were on the firm that weekend - Dominic Cools-Lartigue, Tim Sheridan, Nicky Da Smoove, Chico Lateens, Darren Hughes, Lisa Barraclough, Paul Barkworth, Andy Kayll (and thanks Shelly Preston for getting me that job) apologies if i’ve forgotten anyone, I can barely remember what I did last week these days x
Featured in the photo below from left - right are:
Dominic Cools-Lartigue, Rob Star, Danny Tenaglia, Chopper, Andy Kayll, Rocky, Darren Nunes, Clive Henry