It’s been two weeks since I bumped into Jeremy Healy at Clockwork Orange’s Ibiza adventure. Before that I hadn’t seen him in over ten years, but he hadn’t changed much. Still the larger than life, ever smiling, bespoke-ly turned out gentleman he always was. “That weekend was a bit of a blur Dan, which venue were we hanging out at? Ibiza has fucked me again.” It’s nice to see some things never change.
Next month up in Merseyside, Healy is one of the headliners at Reminisce – the one day festival packed with 90s artists galore including Rozalla, K-Klass, Xpansions and dangerous Dave Pearce. It is the latest in a flurry of large scale retro events celebrating the decade of the superclub and superstar DJ with the likes of Golden, Time Flies, Swoon, Miss Moneypenny’s, Wobble, Sundissential and of course Clockwork Orange all back on the dancefloor in various guises. “The current UK scene is amazing, every weekend I am bumping into DJs such as Danny Rampling or Graeme Park at some club or another, and everywhere is packed with so many old faces on the dancefloor”. So where has this sudden surge in 90s popularity come from? “All sorts of reasons I suppose” says Healy. “Maybe their kids have now buggered off to uni or left home and the parents are still up for it, maybe they’ve made some money and want to spend it on themselves for a change. We are all still big kids at the end of the day so why should people stay in? Life is too short.”
Back in the 1970s it was a young and ambitious 14 year old Jeremy Healy who walked into the SEX clothes shop on the Kings Road in London where he met Vivienne Westwood for the first time. “It was no big deal meeting her at the time” he laughs down the phone from his Kings Cross home. “She was just a crazy lady selling crazy clothes – and I loved her in a flash.” Back then he wanted to be a pop star (of course) but his musical career began with DJing and for the iconic Philip Sallon at his Planet parties, the predecessor to his now infamous Mud Club where Healy would spin alongside Mark Moore. “Everyone I knew wanted to be a pop star back then” he chuckles. “Everything was so much more glamorous in those days and to be a pop star was a huge deal. Today a pop star is famous for two minutes and then they are forgotten, but back in the 70s and 80s it was seen as a proper career with longevity.” And whilst his time in the spotlight with his group Haysi Fantayzee was only short lived, his Musical Director positions with the likes of John Galliano/Dior, Maison Margiela and Victoria’s Secret all added to the star status of this south London born star. Indeed, at one point in the 90s Jeremy Healy was the most in demand DJ on the circuit spinning at three venues a night three or four times a week. One of my most memorable nights in that crazy decade was spending 48 hours with him for a Mixmag feature that saw us zip to Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham, Wolverhampton and London for two crazy nights with no sleep…just lots and lots of happy shiny faces whooping it up from his adoring fans. On the Sunday I bid my farewells to Jeremy outside his old house in London’s Westbourne Grove (“my party flat”) where all his furniture were inflatables. It was that kind of era.
Since I last saw Jeremy in Ibiza a few weeks ago he has headlined the Fantazia VIP backstage area at one of the world’s finest festivals, Wilderness in the Cotswolds. He was seen partying with the cast from Made In Chelsea (“never seen the show, no idea who they were”), sharing a beer or twenty with Fantazia boss and owner of the magnificent Aynhoe Park stately home James Perkins (“I stayed with him and 30 friends in a nearby farmhouse – sleeping was not an option”) and was DJing whilst surrounded by scores of entranced teenagers (“everyone had their kids there who had never seen a DJ scratch before – I felt like a dirty old wizard surrounded by all those youngsters”). And yes he played Nirvana and yes he played Michael Jackson and yes everyone danced. Just like the good old days.
Reminisce Festival (below) returns to St Helens, Liverpool on 7th September including The Vengaboys, DReam, Whigfield, Ultra Nate, Rozalla, Judge Jules, Jeremy Healy, Seb Fontaine, Shades of Rhythm, K Klass, Xpansions, Baby D, Urban Cookie Collective, Brandon Block, Dave Pearce, Tall Paul and many many more.
For more information on Reminisce and to book tickets please see: