Saturday, 5 September 2009

JIMMY LOW - CENTRE BAR DJ

In the mid/late 70's, the DJ downstairs at the Tay Hotel's Centre Bar was, Jimmy Low. A really good guy, always cheery, always smiling.
My crowd started going to the Centre Bar Saturday lunchtime sessions in 1976. Rock music was it's speciality, although you'd get an occasional pop tune thrown in. So he would play something like Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" followed by a golden oldie "Can't Get Enough" by Bad Company, next to a chart tune by Rod Stewart such as "This Old Heart Of Mine".
Jimmy was particularly pleased with a discovery of his, a track by Horslips called "Fantasia-My Lagan Love". This became his signature tune throughout the summer that year, and he usually finished his set with it. It was a nice upbeat Celtic-rock instrumental.
One of the things about Saturday lunchtimes was, a few of the punters would bring in an album from their own collection and get Jimmy to play a track from it, which he always did, no matter what it was. Well, once in 1976 my mate brought in the debut LP by The Ramones and got him to play "Blitzkrieg Bop", much to the amusement of my mob and the bemusement of most of the others in the pub. It was the first time a punk type of record had been played. It wasn't particularly influential but later that year tracks like The Stranglers "Get A Grip On Yourself" and Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner" were being slipped into his set.
I remember catching Jimmy out once when he had a stint as a barman in Foreigners, a couple of years later.
You know when you ask for a lager & a lager tops, and you ask the barman which is which when he brings them over because they look similar. Well, I asked for 3 ciders, 1 with a dash of blackcurrant. So when Jimmy brought them over, I asked him which one had the blackcurrant in it and as soon as he pointed to the purple pint, he realised I was having him on..!!
Tragically, Jimmy died around the early '80's in a motorbike accident.
It was good fun while it lasted.

6 comments:

  1. I remember drinking here Friday lunchtimes, 5 or 6 pints and back to work(I don't know how I managed). The track that tick in my my most is The Faith Healer, with the great bass line, played at full volume, creating ripples in my lager. Happy memories indeed!!

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  2. Then came Joe with the yes t shirts, i'm sure he played a whole side from tales of a topographic ocean once , nice one ;-)

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  3. Yes Jimmy was very open to anything at the Centre Bar. If you brought an album with a track you wanted it usually got played and was always a bit of fun waiting for the song to pop up in his set before the bell went at 2.30pm.
    was always a spot my mates and I ventured after a big night at the bowlin alley on fri night. And the smell of grog when you walked down the stairs. Jimmy was an excellent DJ with good music sense and great sense of humor RIP

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  4. well he made my night , many times

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  5. I was at Jimmy's funeral. You would think it was a State Funeral, there were so many people there. I never heard a bad word said about the man. Very sadly missed.

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  6. wee jimmy was a one-off character.
    i was at his funeral and it took a while to sink in he wouldn't be around.RIP.

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