This is one of the original DJ spotlights I did and for some reason, it has disappeared from the site. Since this writing, Jeb has been nominated for DJ of the Year, elected to the Board of Directors for PANDA, and has moved to Colorado Springs where he works for Deja Vu Showgirls.
“The next song is a forward skating song. No backward skating at this time.” That’s how Jeb Jarrell, this month’s D.J. spotlight, started his career in 1985. His parents had just bought the New Jubilee Skating Rink in Amarillo, Texas, and they were happy to put their son in the booth flipping 45’s and cueing cassette tapes. “If they had any idea how that would influence my career path, they would’ve burned the place to the ground!” says Jarrell. You see, he was a third generation missionary who’d traveled the world with his parents til 1992! Skating rinks gave way to a karaoke business after high school. After he had sold the business (for a profit, mind you), he spent the money on a whirlwind trip across the USA until he ended up in Los Angeles. It was only his second night there when, while drinking heavily, he heard the music stop and two guys yelling at one another in the booth. Watching as the D.J. stormed out, he shouted across the bar to the manager that he was a D.J. The manager answered simply, “Prove it.” 4 and a half very intense hours later, Jeb was hooked. Oh..and hired, too. He was officially a gentleman’s club D.J.
Jeb’s story is the usual one for most jocks. After his first gig, which he admits didn’t last very long, he started bouncing from club to club. He ended up in a club called the Boom Boom Room in the town of Lubbock, Texas. After two years, it was obvious to management that Jeb needed a change, so his manager, the late Leonard Nathan, sent him to the company’s new club off of I-20. The club? Jaguars, part of a growing club chain that was so well regarded that Rick’s Cabaret brought them into their family just a few years ago. 9 years later, Jeb’s still there killing it to this day.
We all know that keeping a steady gig for 9 years is difficult unless you have the right influences in your life. Major influences in his career included Dan Hoover, Jim Webb, Jimmy Edwards and many of the best people from all over Texas. It helped give him the confidence to be the best he could be by being involved in all aspects of the club. Outside of the club, he’s learned a great deal from the PANDA group. He credits Dane Hansen and Tim Rhodes for helping him with his leadership skills and ideas, while D.J. Platypus and Pierre Amador have helped him fine-tune the music side of things. Famous Texas D.J.s Glenn Procell (D.J. Rock) and Glenn Miller were helpful motivation for Jeb to up his game, especially his floor show. And every D.J. loves a great sound tech. Tim Hannum was an ear for Jeb to share some of his radical ideas. Tim also had the know how to set up his club with some of the best gear in the business.
At the end of the day, Jeb feels he works at the best club he’s ever been to, surrounded by friends. Jeb reminisces about his departed friend Leo and laughs about the craziest time in his career. “Jaguar’s Abilene has just opened and Leo had decided we needed a pool to draw people in from the sweltering summer heat. It wasn’t even fully constructed before the county told us “NO!” But Leo wasn’t the type to take “no” for an answer. He moved the pool inside, at which point we had customers strip down to their underwear with topless dancers on their shoulders, playing chicken for a free VIP dance. It packed the place for months. With the gimmick growing stale, Leo knew it was time to switch it up. But he wanted to go out in style. So we placed a bet that only 55 people could fit in the pool at one time. I and that’s how the notorious $500 wager was born. So after the final pool party at the club, I announced the wager. This crowd had been obsessed with this for months, so before I even finished the announcement, every was clamoring to get in the pool. Some fully clothed, while others were grabbing their friends and tossing them in the water. It took less than 5 minutes for the pool to break. It made the worst mess and the club stunk for months afterward, but the town of Abilene still talks about it to this day. Leo was one of a kind and I miss him dearly!”
Getting to learn about Jeb was a great pleasure for me. Right now, the members of PANDA are in the process of voting new members to the board, Jeb being one of only a few in contention. He feels he’d have plenty to share with the younger D.J.s “Don’t be distracted by the fake fame we allow ourselves to believe. We are just D.J.S! Our ego can be one of the worst enemies in advancing our career, besides trying to love all the dancers, of course!” Indeed, sir. Check Jeb Jarrell out at Jaguar’s in Abilene, Texas. Til next time, thanks for reading.