DJ’s are an essential element in Second Life. Not only are they responsible for providing an hour, or several hours of popular music or a specific genre, they also set the mood for the night and present the history of the songs. They welcome you to the venue so you feel as if you belong to the group. They invite you to themed parties, and help to lessen the stress of real life.
Through my friend, Kitty Dorchester, I met DJ Ironman Zeplin at a party last summer. He appeared to make everyone’s time there enjoyable and encouraged everyone to attend his other gigs. Shortly after I had been introduced to him, and learned that he was nominated to be in SL Music Museum’s DJ Hall of Fame, I invited him to my Second Life home. Chris62 Greybeard sponsored the award. Ironman is pretty proud of that achievement.
We sat on the patio and talked about Second Life. He stated that he learned about it from Pal Talk members in 2008. He created an avatar, but without any form of guidance didn’t know what to do from there. He logged off and didn’t return until a friend coaxed him back on. He learned about the music scene by wandering around and going to concerts and by meeting a few DJ’s.
When he came back to Second Life, he began hanging out at The Bull & Bush, a club owned by Sandie Loxingly and her partner, Tate. She offered Ironman an opportunity to be a DJ. With a lot of practice and a library of music, he chose the music he knew people would enjoy and learned how to interact with a virtual crowd.
Asked if he had regulars that follow him from one gig to the next, he replied that he has a small group of followers, but it is his friends that pop in from time to time to enjoy the music he loves. He has worked at ClubSpace, the Roof, HollyPops, Pure Attitudes, and Rebelutions. He was just added to the DJ schedule at Drama Libre.
Best and worst part of the job? “The best part of being a DJ in a virtual world is when everyone listens and enjoys the music. The worst part is playing to an empty club. But that’s a temporary thing. You play the music and you give it your all regardless.”
For nearly four years, Ironman has been a DJ here on Second Life. His genres of choice are Rock/Metal, but he also plays the requests of his fans. Should you attend one of his DJ gigs, chances are you’ll be hearing Jethro Tull, W.A.S.P., Nine Inch Nails, Shinedown, Metallica, Judas Priest, Goo Goo Dolls, Nirvana and even the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
“I have always enjoyed radio. I’m 56, and growing up in the rural area, radio is mostly all I had,” he explained. In Kentucky, he would pick up WLW in Cincy, WHAS in Louisville, WWL in New Orleans and WOW out of Ft. Wayne.
In real life, Ironman works for a Civil Engineering company in Georgia.