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AUG 2005
Issue 063

DJ John
— the rhythm in the heart of Osaka

John Haggerty wouldn't trade work or his experience for anything. He is currently
a radio DJ, a club DJ and does TV work. He is involved in promoting Japanese artists and bands to the States and he was part of the Tower records team that ushered in Osaka's first “No Music No Life” store in 1990.
“I consider myself a music man” says Haggerty or DJ John as
he is more widely known. He has been fronting radio shows at FM COCOLO since 1997.

“I listen to music every day, all kinds, both new and old and never tire of it. Working in radio still feels like a privilege to me, even after all these years”. And you can under-stand why work of this kind has this appeal. Speaking on air and playing music, meeting musicians and receiving feedback from listeners is more than satisfying for him.

Brushes with fame are part of the job: interviews with musicians and movie stars over the years have been many, the most recent, Tom Cruise. The most memorable? “Tough question but probably The Neville Brothers or Roger Taylor from Queen”.

Of Japanese and American decent, DJ John was back in forth between Yokohama and New York growing up. He is now based in Kansai and has lived here for the last 15 years. DJ John plays the drums and has been in a few bands albeit “nothing serious”.

His involvement with music, non-competitive knocks on the drums notwithstanding, has been to promote music more than play. He worked for Tower records in New York in the late 80s and it was there he met the Asia region President of Tower records who asked him to move back to Japan and help set up the first Tower records in Osaka. He went on to work at HMV record shop as an in-store DJ and MC.

No stranger to club djaying in Osaka, DJ John has played everywhere. He recalls a time, however, when the foreign night club scene in Shinsaibashi was virtually non existent and pints at the Pig and Whistle was all that was on offer on Minami's map.

In 1990, Sam and Dave 1 on Soemon-Cho would become the first club to be heavily frequented by foreigners in Shinsaibashi. It was a gamble as Sam and Dave 1 was a small venue but DJ John convinced the owners to get DJs in, start a food menu and market the place to foreigners. “If you had 20 people in the place it was full because it wasn't a large venue … 3 or 4 months after introducing the changes 70 plus people were turning up with people lining up at the door”.

It would seem DJ John enjoys setting up new clubs and establishments, his latest involvement has been with Full Bloom and not just in the capacity of DJ but events pro-ducer as well. A few months old, Full Bloom is a Restaurant/Bar/Club in Shinsaibashi. Complete with a huge dance floor and an overall large open space Full Bloom is a perfect party spot with DJs playing all genres on Fridays and Saturdays including requests.

Week nights are interlaced with Jazz, Soul and Funk. In as much as Full Bloom wants people to indulge in the weekend club atmosphere they are also keen to let you know quality cuisine can be had in the restaurant between 6:00 and 10:00pm daily. This month they are giving away CD gift vouchers of ¥10,000 and ¥30,000 on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

DJ John can't imagine doing any kind of work that didn't involve music. If music be the food of love, then DJ John is playing on.

You can tune in to FM COCOLO 76.5's Radio City every Wednesday and Thursday from 4:00-7:00pm and COCOLO HITS 40 every Saturday from 1:00-5:00pm to hear DJ John's broadcast.

Text & photos: Renee Karena

:: Online Articles


Dance machines
Kansai street dancers


Fatal beauty
The canyons of Arizona


One piece or two?
Summer beachwear style guide


Solar flair
Cirque du Soleil — Alegria 2


DJ John
The rhythm in the heart of Osaka

:: Listings


Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: ART

Best exhibitions + listings


Best events + listings


Best gigs + listings


Parties not to miss + listings

:: Also in this month's mag


Green Earth
Vegetarian and vegan cuisine, Honmachi


Snacks Romana
IL Bar, Kitahama


A summer survival kit
Keeping ahead of the heat


New releases and top ten paperback books


Reel reviews of the silver screen +
Short Shorts Film Festival, Osaka


Net security on the cheap
Keep the worms out of your PC


Domestic and international news