A second memorial service will be held on Friday night at the Midnight Shift to commemorate the life and music of local DJ David Hiscock, who died on Saturday, aged 58 years.
Friends and followers joined together at the Midnight Shift last Saturday night to light candles and speak of the man who made them laugh and made them dance for close to 40 years.
Hiscock started his life as a DJ in 1971 at Melbourne’s Dover Hotel in Carlton before moving to Sydney in 1981 where he took up a job at Disco City Records, one of the first stores in the country to stock the latest dance music and a place he once referred to as the most important record store open in Sydney at the time.
It was there he started to develop his notoriously extensive knowledge of music. Always well ahead of any emerging trends, he came to be a taste-maker on the Sydney scene, sharing his latest and greatest disco and pop finds with devoted fans of his regular sets at the Newtown Hotel and the Midnight Shift -” and then his annual performances at the Mardi Gras party.
Those performances earned him two awards, including a DIVA in 1995 and a Caps Award in 1989.
He’s been in the gay community forever, so he’s going to leave a big void, said Midnight Shift owner Tim Berry, who was making preparations for an official mourning service on Friday.
The bars won’t be open -” it’s a tribute night -” so it will just be music and people giving some speeches. People will be able to light candles for about an hour and a half and then we’ll shut up shop.
The event will give Sydney friends and fans unable to make the funeral in Melbourne an opportunity to come together.
New Mardi Gras chairman David Imrie recalled Hiscock as a consumate professional.
His uplifting retro and disco repertoire brought energy, camp and a true sense of fun to the thousands who boogied to his tunes, he told Sydney Star Observer.
Midnight Shift co-worker and close friend Damon Hartley reiterated that it would be hard to find someone to take Hiscock’s place above the dancefloor.
David has been a member of the community for 30-plus years and has always been very generous and giving of time and technical capabilities, he said.
He was always there for charity, was always there to help the girls with their shows -” especially the young drags.
He was generous to a fault and always very loving and kind in words, always positive and that makes a big difference to people when times aren’t necessarily great.
Hiscock’s family have encouraged friends to donate money to the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, David’s charity of choice and one he worked closely with as a DJ at the annual Bake-Off.
He was involved from the time Dawn O’Donnell was involved with fundraising for BGF and he certainly made a substantial contribution playing to the mood of our community over many years, BGF CEO Bev Lange said.
I’m sad personally, and on behalf of the organisation, to hear of his loss.
Fellow Bake-Off regular and community performer Shauna Jensen added her condolences for a friend and human disco music encyclopedia.
He could tell you when and who made what and which mixes were available, she recalled.
Anytime I saw David in his DJ booth I would always pop in for a hug and a laugh and he would always surprise me with a special track he’d play just for me. We will miss him and know he’ll have just the right track ready to be played for us when we next meet.
For drag identity Cindy Pastel (Ritchie Finger) David’s ability to recall -˜your song’ was one of the most delightful parts of his personality and indicative of his kindness.
He was a real gentleman to me and gave out this incredible amount of appreciation towards you and was really grateful to know you Â-” you don’t find that much any more, it’s rare, he said.
He had respect for you without it mattering who or what you were. He never said a bad thing about anyone and I never heard him bitch about anyone either.
Troy Murphy, a performer who worked with Hiscock while producing his Queen Miss Left Titter Show, recalled a giving and supportive man who would cheekily ignore directions to turn down Murphy’s mic while the host was speaking, mainly because he loved every word that came out of my puppet’s mouth.
We’d giggle after the show about what was said and how funny it was to see the irritation of everyone around.
It was Hiscock’s impact on the scene’s DJ community that will leave the most long-lasting impact.
As an advocate of the -˜if it makes them dance, it doesn’t matter if it’s cool’ line of thought, Hiscock inspired dozens of DJs to take to the turntables.
Rob Davis called him a real crowd pleaser who was an important part of my formative years. Dan Murphy praised the music he played, while Mark Alsop thanked him for showing [him] the way, adding that, in my heart of hearts I know that every gig is thanks to this man.
Jimmy Dee recalled a man who was always willing to help with advice.
I used to always visit David at the Newtown Hotel and listen to what he played and then I would run down the road to the Imperial and emulate what he was doing -” I figured if it worked for him it would work for me, Dee said.
To me David was like Molly Meldrum -” he always predicted what was going to be a hit song. He always wanted to be one step ahead in music and he was.
Justin Scott was another to benefit from Hiscock’s professional guidance, although it will be his friendship he will miss most.
I met David in 1985 when he was a DJ at the Newtown Hotel and I was his number one fan, I’m sure. In 1995 when I started DJing he became my mentor. He took me under his wing and basically helped kickstart my career. He was a very caring person and was the funniest person I ever met, Scott said. He recounted a story of Hiscock’s light-hearted way of dealing with over-zealous fans.
I was in the DJ box with him one day and they requested he put on something by Kylie, the operative word being -˜put on something’. So he literally turned around, pulled out a Kylie CD and put it on top of his head and asked, -˜Does this suit?’
info: Justin Scott will join other close friends at the official tribute on Friday May 1, at the Midnight Shift from 7pm. Funeral details will be published at starobserver.com.au once finalised.