Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughts on Turning 40, and a "Feel Good 40" Playlist

Today I celebrate my milestone 40th birthday.  I am only mildly sentimental - yet thought that I would share a few thoughts and memories on this special day.  And of course, I have listed some tracks for my birthday mix CD!
Celebrating 40 years of Pleasure and Pain at a Surprise Birthday Party!
On a daily and weekly basis, the wheels of progress grind slowly.  Yet looking back, I accomplished a great deal in my twenties, as well as in my thirties.  Now at forty, I realize that fifty is closer than 21 and that I'm starting to get old.  Darn it! I confess that I recently spotted a few gray hairs on various parts of my body, and that some of the hair on my head is simply vanishing!

My twenties were a time of rapid professional development in the arena of high finance.  I traveled the world on Merrill Lynch's dime and had the opportunity to study in Japan and work in the Philippines as a stock jockey.  These were prosperous and adventurous times.

In my thirties, I began paying less importance to the corporate life, and built a family with my wife Charlotte.  The birth of my sons Zachary and Maxwell were two of the best days of my life.  Their innocence, energy and enthusiasm have re-awakened these same qualities in me.

In my early thirties, I was confronted with a major and life-threatening health challenge.  I was not certain that I would see 35 years old, let alone 40.  I am grateful to God and a skilled and caring medical staff at NYU for getting me over this hurdle.

In my thirties, I also began following my true passion of music, at first DJ'ing parties as a hobby, and later launching Ambient DJ Service as a professional mobile DJ service.  Little did I know at the time that my services would grow to be in high demand, stoked by a combination of passion, some talent and hard work. In 2007, I began expanding the business from a single operator (me) to include other music mixologists such as DJ Iron Mike Bacon, DJ Spinz, DJ Nadine and the flamboyant DJ Greg Nice.

In late 2009, I escaped the shackles of corporate America and have since been engaged as an entrepreneur in the fields of DJ entertainment and business brokerage.  In a landscape of 9%-10% unemployment in America and many families struggling, my business ventures are performing well.  Long-term success is not assured, and I must continue to work hard to grab my slice of the American dream while avoiding the potential pitfalls. 

On this momentous day - I'd like to give some shout-outs, to those who have inspired, encouraged and outright helped me:  my mom and dad, my wife, my brother Corey, my sister Heidi, my Grandma Dot (Rest in Peace), my extended family, Dr. Russell Berman, Dr. Anna Pavlick, Ernie Watts (my first boss at Merrill who gave this rookie a shot), Anthony Tan (who encouraged me to go international), to my long-term friends Gregg W. and Mike Z., to DJ Spinz, to DJ Iron Mike, to DJ Struggler, to DJ Greg Nice, to all of my Ambient DJ staff past and present, to the NJDJN for inspiration, to DJ Times Magazine for their inspiration and support, to Steve Rosen at Sunbelt for his encouragement and support.  In the words of R.E.M., "it's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."  Well forty isn't the end of the world, and I feel fine... very fine!

To all of the corporate back biters who tried to sabotage me (no names mentioned), I am blowing a giant raspberry your way! 

Here's a short list of victorious tracks to commemorate this special day!  I'm not much of a lyrics person, and selected them based on how the songs make me feel. Thanks to everybody who took the time to wish me happy birthday in-person or by Facebook message.  It means a lot!

DJ Jagged's Feel Good 40 List

1) Good Life - Inner City (dance)
2) Big Fun - Inner City (dance)
3) Love is The Answer - Cerrone vs Liquid Liquid (dance)
4) Last Night a DJ Saved My Life - Indeep (funky party jam)
5) Have a Cigar - Pink Floyd (rock)
6) What I Got - Sublime (reggae/ska)
7) Roadhouse Blues - The Doors (rock)
8) Don't Want to Go Home - Jason DeRulo (dance)
9) Go DJ (Disco Fries RMX) - Clinton Sparks (dance)
10) Party Rock - LMFAO (dance)
11) Thirty Something - Jay-Z (hip hop)
12) Grove Street Party - Waka Flocka Flame (hip hop)
13) No Hands - Waka Flocka Flame (hip hop)
14) Roc Boys - Jay-Z (hip hop)
15) Aston Martin Music - Rick Ross (hip hop)
16) Fantastic Voyage - Coolio (party jam)
17) White Lines - Grandmaster Flash (old skool)
18) Planet Rock - Afrika Bambataa (old skool)
19) Kiss on My List - Hall & Oates (80s)
20) Need You Tonight - INXS (80s)
21) What is Love - Haddaway (90s)
22) More Today Than Yesterday - Spiral Starecase (60s pop)
23) Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now - McFadden & Whitehead (R&B)
24) Carbonated - Mt. Kimbi (dubstep)
25) Stereo Love - Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina (house)
26) Coma Cat - Tensnake (house)
27) Hello - Martin Solveig w/Dragonette (dance)
28) Enlightenment - Francois K. (house)
29) Electric Feel - MGMT (alternative)
30) I Can't Help It - Michael Jackson (disco)
31) The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson (disco)
32) Don't Look Any Further - Dennis Edwards (RNB)
33) Jammin' - Bob Marley (reggae)
34) Happy Birthday - Stevie Wonder (Motown)
35) Knock on Wood - Eddie Floyd (funk)
36) I Get Lifted - K.C. and the Sunshine Band (disco)
37)  That's The Way I Like It - K.C. and the Sunshine Band (disco)
38) Freedom 90 - George Michael (dance)
39) The Best is Yet to Come - Frank Sinatra (crooners)
40) Forever Young - Alphaville (80s)

1 comment:

  1. Happy belated birthday, Gregg! It is lovely to hear all that you have been through and that now you are doing what you love and spending time with your family.