In the Eye of the Storm: Part 2

By Stu Chisholm, “The Complete Disc Jockey”

In Part 1 of this series, I spoke of how life’s turmoil can intrude on our professional careers, focusing on a crisis I had trying to rent a car that revealed a hole in my back up plan should my DJ vehicle ever fail.

I’m finding that in running a DJ business it’s important to have a backup plan A and a Plan B in case the first one fails.

Planning for the Unexpected

For instance, we all dread the failure of our computer or main playback device at a gig. The obvious thing to do here is to have a second one handy. It must also be on-hand, not sitting uselessly at home or in the office.

Next, knowing that more DJ gear is damaged in transit than by any other method, we have to look at how we’re transporting those computers. Are they in a well-padded case? Do we pack them in a way that they cannot fall? Do we separate the computers, packing them in different parts of the vehicle so that, in case of an accident that impacts one area of the vehicle, both computers aren’t lost?

As usual, I base this on an incident that happened to me. While traveling home on the freeway from a long distance gig, I heard a strange noise that made my van shudder. I pulled over on the shoulder, grabbed my flashlight and looked up under my vehicle.

After a 30-minute search, seeing nothing out of place, my roadie and I decided that it must have been a bad piece of road and decided to resume the trip home. Everything seemed fine at first, but as the speedometer hit 75 mph, the sound returned briefly, followed by a “BOOM!” We both knew this was serious.

My Backup Plan B

It ended up that my rear tire had exploded, producing a hole in the floor just above the wheel well. Lying on the floor just above the hole was a set of speaker stands that were bent beyond usefulness. Fortunately, I had another set of stands in a different part of the van.

The blowout was an unpredictable event. Accidents are not. Because I packed my van in anticipation of one, it lessened the impact of the “bolt from the blue.”

Yes, there is even more to this topic, which I’ll cover in the final part of this series.


  • Stu Chisholm of Stu & His Crew Professional Disc Jockey Service in Michigan has worked in several areas of the DJ Universe.

    He’s been a radio, mobile, club and roller skating rink DJ in the Detroit area since 1979, and done commercial voice-over work, as well.

    Stu has been a keynote and featured speaker at DJ trade shows in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. He is the author of the book, “The Complete Disc Jockey” and is a regular columnist with Mobile Beat Magazine.

    To contact him, email You can grab Stu’s book at

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