DJ Paul Goodyear: Aussie Expat in San Francisco Plays to the Gays
Paul Goodyear started his career in the early 1980’s when he purchased his first set of turntables. Born in the small British town of Wroughton, he migrated with his family to Sydney in 1973 as part of the "10 Pound Poms," a program geared at getting U.K. citizens to move to Australia for the small sum of just £10 pounds.
Sydney is where his journey as a DJ began. After the purchase of his first turntables in 1982, the self-managed Paul fell in love with the art of mixing. Soon enough, he was spinning at friends’ homes and weddings.
Paul has a serious pedigree, having been called the "Dignitary of Disco" and a DJ sensation. He is a self-avowed Leo who craves the spotlight, but also a bit shy and reserved. Always quick with a smile and a flash in his blue eyes, there is a dazzling sense of fun and joy in this man when you meet him. At first you may think you just a cute Circuit boy. Sorry! Paul is happily married -- to a woman. (Not all fit, hot guys are gay, you know!)
Paul had his first gay gig in 1985 at Flinders Hotel in Sydney. This bar, on the historic Laneway in Sydney quickly led to his first club appearance at the Midnight Shift.
"The Shift" was a special venue with a "great sound system and amazing lighting -- a one of a kind place in Australia" says Paul. The original owners were inspired by trips to The Saint in New York. The Shift created a new experience for the dancing scene in Australia and brought New York’s hard-clubbing ethos down under.
By 1986, with a growing career and new opportunities lining up, Paul secured a gig at The Dome in Sydney, playing to a crowd of 1,500 people. Within a few short years, Goodyear would find himself on the decks for the legendary Sydney Mardi Gras main event (nearly 8,000 people attending) and Sleaze Ball (nearly 5,000 people attending).
Eventually Goodyear would also become part of Sydney’s Hordon Pavilion Era, from 1988 to 1990, when on a weekly basis over 5,000 people would come out dancing.
While most of Goodyear’s gigs have been for a gay crowd, he has played to a straight and mixed scene on and off during his career. A lover of both the gay and straight scenes, and very aware how different both of these scenes are, he loves his gay fans and has always had a huge gay following.
Making San Francisco (& Its Sounds) Home
"The time was special," says Paul. It was the U.K.’s "Summer of Love", Acid House was taking over the dance floors, and Australia was getting its first taste of Ecstasy. "This is when everything changed in Sydney," says Goodyear. "This era spawned a great party scene," including sensational events like the hugely popular ToyBox.
It was during this time Paul first met the woman would become the future Mrs. Goodyear. Meeting through mutual friends in 1987, Wilma had been following Paul’s career and was at many of his gigs.
"She’s a gay man trapped in a women’s body," jokes Paul (who’s a straight man trapped in a gay man’s body??). They tied the knot in 1995 and have been happily married and enjoying the dance and party scene together for 17 years.
Traveling the world and moving from Sydney, to many other hot spots including London, Barcelona, and Puerto Vallarta; Paul always wanted to end up in San Francisco. "This is my home" says Goodyear. The crowds here are fun and "I love the alternative scene." This dream came true in 2010 when he secured a visa and was able to relocate to Haight Ashbury.
’Evolve, While Keeping My Sound’
His musical inspirations range from local disco legend and performer Sylvester to Patrick Cowley (famous for a 1981 hit "Menergy" and collaborating with Sylvester on the hit track "Do Ya Wanna Funk" to Sydney DJ Stephen Cribb. He remembers first hearing Cribb at the Midnight Shift and immediately falling in love with his style and the journeys he created for the crowd.
Cribb was an early casualty of the HIV epidemic in Sydney, and with a gap in the music scene, Paul believed the creation of those musical journeys was his calling and the style he wanted to play. Goodyear includes many of the major DJs of today as contemporary inspirations, including Peter Rauhofer, Tony Moran, Wayne G, Jerry Bonham, Stephen Allkins, and Jimmy Gomez. Paul looks to these top talents because of the "hard work ethic" they embrace, helping to "push music forward".
Paul believes strongly that as a DJ your sound needs to "evolve, while keeping it your sound" and you have to be careful not to get "caught in a rut". Never one to hop on latest musical novelty, he nevertheless is always looking for opportunities to "break new music and keep it moving forward, while holding on to the sound that defines my style".
As we all know, the gay clubs seem to require tracks by Rhianna, Ke$sha, Gaga and our other beloved dance divas. "There is nothing wrong with that," says Goodyear. However, if they’re just anthems with no journey, that’s not a good set, according to Goodyear.
Paul Goodyear loves to work up the crowd and take them on an evening-length journey. He can do it, too, with a breadth and diversity in his catalog often unrivaled by many other DJs. Rolling from classic disco to House, and deep House to trance to progressive House, Goodyear is a master leader of the journey, taking his crowds to all kinds of great peaks and emotional bursts on the dance floor.
In the Studio
Looking at nearly 30 years of music experience, Paul sometimes regrets that he did not jump into the producing game earlier. "Today’s technology makes it easy to share music." However there is no longer much money in production with "everyone downloading tracks".
Paul has worked with some of the biggest names in the dance scene. Production mixes fill his resume with names like Kristine W, Toni Braxton, Taylor Dayne, Ultra Naté, Peyton and Paul Parker.
His label, Goodyear Muzik (http://www.goodyearmuzik.com/) was created to produce big-room music with a more progressive and sometimes trance sound -- the stuff Paul says he "really loves to play". The first big release, "Outlaw," featuring the vocals of Caroline Lund, has been a big hit in the club scene following the release party at San Francisco’s BeatBox. "This was a good collaboration," he says. "I am glad to have made it happen," says Goodyear as he looks back. "Heavenly Angles," with vocals courtesy of wife Wilma, was the next big track to be released.
Eventually Goodyear would like to start an additional music label focused on disco, House and deep House, while he keeps Goodyear Muzik focused on the big room sounds it is already known for.
He believes 2012 will prove to be a banner year him. He’s certainly starting it out right by spinning the New Year’s Eve celebration at RUB (http://www.friscodisco.net/rub.php) produced by the guys at Frisco Disco events (known for other great parties like The Disco and Aftershock) and held at one of San Francisco’s newer, smaller, club spaces; BeatBox (http://beatboxsf.com/).