Bad Boy Bill - Bad Boy For (One)Love
Monday, 25 February 2008
Most of the US house and techno DJs have found fame – and acquired their not insubstantial fortunes – outside of the States. Ironically, they’re barely recognised at home. Instead Europeans – Paul Van Dyk, Tiesto and Sasha – are feted. Bad Boy Bill is, as with DJ Dan, an exception.
Renkosik admits that, thanks to his huge American profile, he hasn’t travelled as widely as his peers. “I have built up a pretty good following here in the US and Canada, so it definitely keeps me busy, but I do like to get out a little bit,” he says. “I just came back from Brazil, and I’m going to different places in Germany. Obviously, Australia is a place that I’ve always wanted to come to DJ, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Bill was already DJing when he discovered Chicago house in the ’80s. He applied the dramatic skills of the hip hop turntablist to the music.
Aside from hitting Chicago’s airwaves, Bill courted a local fanbase by disseminating mixtapes en masse, his viral marketing influencing other DJs.
Renkosik was a battle DJ of sorts. He entered the DMC Championships before it was strictly a hip hop event. Bill lived up to his ‘bad boy’ rep in the 1989 US Finals. The eager turntablist demonstrated risque ‘body tricks’ with the help of two female assistants (the offending video is on YouTube, proving it’s no urban myth).
“It is true – it’s just funny ’cause it was a long time ago,” Bill laughs. “But the crazier you were in the DMCs, the more attention you would get. People would come up with crazy things – scratching with basketballs, scratching with their feet, scratching with their elbow... I did some crazy stuff, too.”
Renkosik was chastised for pulling out his, er, member to scratch, yet placed third. “People flipped out. There were different reactions, but I definitely always got a reaction. My goal was to get a reaction – and I always achieved that.”
These days Renkosik, at one point identified with hard house, spins whatever is hot – electro, house and disco. “I constantly stay on trend musically, so I’m constantly looking for the latest tracks, the latest producers, the latest music to play in my mixes... What really keeps the longevity of my career going is not getting stuck on one style – it’s always been evolving. My sound is constantly changing. That’s what’s kept me current musically.”
WHO: Bad Boy Bill
WHAT: Plays OneLove at Tank
WHEN: Saturday 1 March