DJ Dossier

DJ Dossier: Rob Wegner

In 2001, Wegner launched a class dedicated to the ins and outs of the DJ biz over at Scottsdale Community College, the first of its kind in the Valley (which got some ink in the pages of the Wall Street Journal). It's since expanded to three separate courses that cover such turntablism skill sets as scratching, mixing, and song selection. (There's even an actual associates degree in the works). 

Each an every semester, Wegner spends 16 weeks laying down the science to a fresh crop of wanna-be wax workers, passing on the knowledge he acquired from working the local club circuit since the days of the old Zazoo.

Spots are still available for the fall semester (click here for more info), but check out some of Wegner's answers to our questions to get an inking of what subjects will be covered.

Name: DJ Rob Wegner

Club night(s): I was a resident DJ at Barcelona for seven years until it closed at the end of June.I will supposedly return when it reopens as something else in November 2009.

Preferred genre(s): I like progressive house, disco-house, electro-house, disco, some rock, old school hip hop, mashups, and some Latin/tribal house.I played progressive house when I mixed for Sirius Satellite radio's "Remix" channel from May 2003 to May 2005.

How did you get started as a DJ: When I was young, I was a rather good drummer. I was in school and rock bands and really wanted to become the next Neil Peart. In 1982, when I was 18, a high-profile club in Charlotte, NC -- that was experiencing declining sales (perhaps because disco was dying?) -- called me to find out if I wanted a job drumming on top of their DJ's. They felt a live drummer would give them a "live band feel" and could potentially improve sales. My hands would bleed after drumming 5 hours a night.I asked the DJ's to teach me and they did, but they also told me that I was expected to teach DJ's when I got older. I never imagined that in the future I would be doing just that at a college.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.