“We’ll have ID cards,” Diana Death says. She giggles. “Your street cred will be based on the card’s color.” How does a person get one? “Just show up.”
Death is cofounder of the Rock ’N’ Roll Preservation Society along with DJ Heather (Adams) Hardcore and DJ Miss K (Kylee Mayer). She says it meets the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at Til-Two on El Cajon Boulevard. But the word “meet” is possibly misused here.
“It’s for the people,” Death says of the Society, which in truth is a loosely themed club night with rock and roll music as its basis. “I love white-trash rock, like Nazareth and AC/DC,” she says. “Heavy metal.”
“Mullet rock,” says Heather Hardcore.
“Camaro rock,” says Diana Death, laughing. She prefers not to use her real name.
“There’s a serious lack of rock and roll in clubs,” says Hardcore when she and Death and I meet up at a Golden Hill coffee shop. Mayer lives in Normal Heights and has to miss our meeting due to a scheduling conflict.
The Preservation Society runs more or less as a democracy: each of the three takes a turn. “Who feels like drinking?” says Heather Hardcore. “Who feels like spinning?”
Death: “We spin for an hour and a half each, but, musically, there’s no real structure.”
Hardcore: “We could have an all ’50s night or a heavy-metal night.”
It is clear that two deejays envy the contents of each other’s crates. “I sold off about 65 percent of my collection to pay off my student loans,” says Death, who lives in Golden Hill. Still, she thinks she still has somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 discs. Does either of them make any money at deejaying?
“Barely,” says Hardcore.
“Clubs pay us a percentage,” says Death. “They give us drinks.”
“Weeknights?” says Hardcore. “Maybe $20 or $30. But on the weekends, we can make a couple hundred dollars.”
Death: “We’re not crazy producers,” she says. “We just play records.”
“But very few places have turntables anymore, and that’s weird, says Hardcore, who admits she travels with spare equipment in her car.
“We’re taste-makers,” says Diana Death.
“We have good taste,” says Heather Hardcore.