Archive for the Party Machine Celebrities! Category

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee!

Posted in Party Machine Celebrities!, Party Machine Sports on April 9, 2009 by djscottshirley

You never know when you may encounter a celebrity.

It was Fight Night at the Dallas Petroleum Club, and I was the DJ for the event.

Definitely a different kind of event! There was a real regulation boxing ring, and real boxing, including title fights in several weight categories. There were scantily-clad models who carried signs into the ring to announce the next round, for which I played crowd motivation music. And of course, the ubiquitous bell.

But the boxing fans were all dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns, while enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres and sipping champagne! Formal boxing, only in Texas!

Perhaps an odd juxtaposition, but it was a great event with an enthusiastic crowd. But they really got loud when I announced our celebrity guest of honor: Angelo Dundee. It was a sight to see men in tuxedos and lovely ladies in evening gowns clamoring for his autograph…a group that I ultimately joined!

Angelo Dundee will always be able to show how to throw a punch!

Angelo Dundee will always be able to show how to throw a punch!

Mr Dundee’s biggest claim to fame came as cornerman for Muhammed Ali, but his distinguished career has included working with 14 other World Boxing Champions, including George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard.

It was Angelo Dundee who developed the so-called “Rope-A-Dope” technique (named by Mr. Ali), a technique that I have occasionally used on drunks at parties.

Mr. Dundee was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.

LearJets, Hula Skirts, and Congressmen

Posted in DJ Stuff, Party Machine Celebrities!, Weird Things at Parties on April 9, 2009 by djscottshirley

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was asked to play music in an airplane hangar.

It wouldn’t be the first time, but this party was different. Hosted by Staci’s Jet Center at Meacham Field in Fort Worth, this one turned out to be a political fund-raiser.

The hangar was immense, and even with an area the size of a football field blocked off for the festivities, there was still plenty of space for several good-sized aircraft, including Ben Fortson’s LearJet.

The party had a Pacific Island theme, with Tiki bars serving tropical libations, and an impressive buffet. The “social lubricant” flowed freely in hopes that well-heeled guests would open their hearts and minds (a.k.a. “wallets”) to some area candidates for public office. It flowed so freely, that it was not long before the drinking was “fierce and hand-to-hand.” We had us a party!

An airplane hangar filled with the Movers and Shakers of North Texas politics, all of them three (or more) sheets to the wind, was a heaven-sent gift for a Party DJ. They were putty in my hands, and I could get them to do anything. Conga lines, limbo contests, and all manner of line dances and silliness ensued.

I even got several men to put on grass skirts and coconut shell bikini tops, and hula dance!

Alright, plenty of mobile entertainers have done this, I know. But, I got the Speaker of the House to do it!

People who hear this story always ask me, “State or U.S.?”

To which I answer, “Yes! And with each other.”

The Honorable Speaker Jim Wright

The Honorable Speaker Jim Wright

That’s right, I got the honorable Jim Wright, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to dance with Gibson D. “Gib” Lewis, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Both in Hula skirts.

It’s hard to describe this on your resumé, but you gotta admit, no one else has done that!

Everyone’s Favorite Sports Fan

Posted in Party Machine Celebrities!, Party Machine Sports on April 9, 2009 by djscottshirley

Back in the day when Dallas Cowboys stars Harvey Martin and Ed “Too Tall” Jones used to show up at our Party Machine events, they often had a friend in tow, who was not an NFL player, but still a celebrity (and a playa) in his own right.

“Crazy Ray” (whose real name was Wilford Jones, no relation to Too Tall) was the unofficial, but sort-of official mascot of the Dallas Cowboys, and certainly their biggest fan ever. From the inception of the Cowboys franchise, until his death in 2007, it was said that Crazy Ray missed only 3 Cowboys home games.

Wilford "Crazy Ray" Jones, appearing in a wheelchair for one of his final Cowboys games.

Although not officially on the payroll, the Cowboys did provide Ray with an all-access pass and parking permit for home games. He was part of Cowboy fan culture.

Perhaps Ray’s best performance as an unofficial mascot was when he would clown around and wrestle with the Washington Redskins unofficial mascot, Zema Williams.

He was known for his western-style outfits, often wearing chaps and a vest with a ten-gallon hat, and for entertaining the fans with magic tricks. He had a whistle that became a trademark, letting the fans know that “Crazy Ray is here!” and was often seen galloping on a little toy stick-horse, always a comical sight.

Ray stopped galloping after losing a leg to complications from diabetes, and ultimately lost his battle with heart disease at age 76.

Our hats are off to you, Crazy Ray! Party on!

The Doomsday Defense

Posted in Party Machine Celebrities!, Party Machine Sports on April 9, 2009 by djscottshirley

One of my long-running repeat customers in the early years of the Party Machine was a fashion college in Arlington, that was well known for its awesome dance parties.

Although most of the students studied fashion design and merchandising, just the thought of a party filled with young, single fashion models…well, lets suffice it to say that their parties always attracted lots of single men. Also single women, who knew there would be lots of men there.

Among them were two of my all-time favorite Dallas Cowboys players, Harvey Martin and Ed “Too Tall” Jones. Martin was a defensive lineman, a huge man who used a ‘bear hug” style to take down the opposing team’s quarterback…and did so frequently. The “Harvey Hug” was not exactly a friendly gesture, earning him the nickname “Too Mean,” as he was Too Tall’s bookend.

Jones was drafted as a quarterback, but the sports talk all seemed to agree that he was “too tall” at 6′ 9″ to be a quarterback, and the name stuck. He ended up on the other side of the defensive line with Harvey Martin, and the two became friends, rivals for the record books, party pals…and a serious threat to the other team’s quarterback.

A rare occurence when someone else beat Harvey and Too-Tall to the quarterback.

A rare occurence when someone else beat Harvey and Too-Tall to the quarterback.

Both were among the NFL’s leading pass rushers, and loved to sack the quarterback. The two men had a famous bet: whenever one of them sacked a quarterback, the other owed him a case of beer.

Jones and Martin were part of the “Doomsday Defense” that took the Cowboys to back-to-back Super Bowls in 1978 and 1979. Martin was the co-MVP of Super Bowl XII when the Cowboys defeated the Denver Broncos 27-10. The Cowboys were robbed of a victory in Super Bowl XIII by Terry frickin’ Bradshaw, but we won’t go into that. But Terry got knocked on his arse by Martin and Too Tall enough to have nightmares about it.

Every quarterback in the NFL had the same nightmare, of being rushed by #72 on one side, and #79 on the other. But when you saw them in their civvies at a Party Machine event, you knew it was time to PARTY ON, DUDES!