R.I.P Foundry

(I will try to keep this brief… but I’ll probably fail.)

Tonight will be the last night the Foundry (Boulder, CO) will be open for business.  I have spent the past 13 months of my life in very direct competition with the “New Foundry” (ownership changed in April of 2008) as I started working across the street.  For some reason though… this week, I cant help but feel like Boulder is about to suffer a loss. I’m not here to talk about the “New Foundry”.  I’m here to talk about the Foundry that I (and the rest of Boulder) very much loved.

I started out DJing house parties in Boulder, which lead to sorority and fraternity parties.   One day, I woke up and decided I wanted to step into the big league and get a weekly residency at a bar.  The Foundry was untouchable at the time.  When we went out on thursday nights, we had to make SURE we were on our way to pearl st before 10.  We would spend 10pm to 10:45pm in line at the Foundry and the rest of the night literally pushing our way through the sea of people trying to get a good spot.  So, me being the cocky DJ that I am, I decided that would be where my DJ career would begin.

I stopped by on a monday afternoon and asked to speak to a manager.  Opie (one of the owners) was there and I began to tell him why he should hire me as his thursday night DJ.  About 30 seconds into my sales pitch, he told me that they didnt need a DJ and thanks for stopping by.  So, the next monday, I went back and asked if he had changed his mind.  He again made it clear that this was NOT going to happen and again said, “thanks for stopping by.”  Every Monday for 10 weeks, I stopped by to ask if they would be needing me to DJ that thursday night and every monday I got the same answer.  After a few of those weeks, I got passed off to Matt Byrne (the GM at the time).  He would smile and say, “No… I think we’re good this week.  See you next monday.”

Then, one thursday night at around 8pm, my phone rang and it was Matt Byrne.  Apparently the regular DJ had called in sick and he decided he would give me a shot (probably just to get me to leave him alone).  I literally ran home and started packing up crates of records, borrowed a car from a friend, sped to the bar and walked in (completely out of breath) to tell them that I was ready to get set up.

I almost got fired that night.  I only knew how to play hip-hop and thats not what they wanted.  But a few weeks later I got to fill in again… and again a few weeks after that… and eventually, thursday nights at the Foundry were mine.

For the next 9 years, my career practically revolved around this bar.  This was where I learned music, where I learned crowd control, where I learned how to fix 6 genres into 6 minutes.  This was where I started my first residency on thursdays, but also where I learned to promote and turn a slow tuesday night into a packed club, where I learned how separate music into different nights, where I learned how to negotiate my fees.  This was where my first monthly mixtape series came from.  This was where I became a DJ.

But even more than that… This was where I met my friends, where I learned how to flirt with girls, where went when I was supposed to be studying… Hell, where I went when I was supposed to be in class… This was where I grew up.

It’s no secret that I have been disappointed with the “New Foundry”…  A lot of Boulder bar-goers were.   But tomorrow, when the Foundry goes dark and the doors stay locked, will be a sad day.  Not because of the memories I have, but because the CU students who are turning 21 next month, and next year and 10 years from now, wont be able to get that experience.  And because there is an 18 year old freshman right now who will decide he wants to be a DJ and Matt Byrne wont be sitting in the office to shoot him down 10 weeks in a row.  I’m sure something will open in the Foundry’s place and obviously life will go on.  That DJ will work at a different bar.  But, after tonight, this chapter will be closed.

So… THANK YOU… to everyone who I worked with at the Foundry, every customer who came in and spent their parents money on shots every tuesday and thursday night, everyone who requested music…. even to the ones who complained about the music.  Thank you to the bands (Something Underground!) who held down the weekends, and thank you to Opie… and even Pony, for creating the Foundry. And most of all, Thank you to  Matt Byrne for giving me a shot when I didnt deserve it and for being a better friend to me than he probably even knows.


Oh yeah… that being said…. The Reign of the Walrus has Officially Begun! You can quote me on that, Boulder!

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