Ask any English DJ what the best and cheapest hotel in Amsterdam is and ten to one that he or she will say: 'Quite simple. The Hotel Boskamp.' This is how the story that Mick Boskamp wrote at the end of the last century begins. And that we now share here because many miss going out.
Of course Danny (straight from John Digweed's casting couch, as he ironically summarizes his career) also has his quirks.
It's not easy to run a hotel for DJs with just two people. And it does not yield much. Yes, occasionally a rare remix, which, when they are deeply asleep, I manage to pull blindly out of an unguarded record box. You should actually see it more as a kind of calling. A vocation inspired by an almost obsessive desire to be liked.
Once Michel de Hey (Rotterdammer, DJ and secret lover of Jeroen Verheij) let it slip that I was a slimy. He actually had quite a point. If I have someone high up (read all the DJs who drink their beer lukewarm and without a foam head) then I sometimes want to squeeze in strange curves to make that person happy. That I completely ignore the wishes and requirements of my partner in Hotel Affairs is a burden that she and I must bear for the rest of our lives, I fear. A literal burden.
Do you know how heavy John Digweed's three record cases weigh? I can tell you that from the combined weight a large number of specialists in treating hernia can live well. I'm even thinking of hiring an extra worker from my savings for the hotel, a bellboy in this case. That guy doesn't have to be polite, if he's only worked as a licensed mover for a while.
The Hotel Boskamp. You can laugh about it, but I’m not laughing with you, if you don’t mind. Just take the mess my guests make. I tried for a while to walk behind their asses with a dustpan and brush, but it is fighting against the quay.
fear of contamination
Deep in her heart, my girlfriend is more suited to the hotel business than I am. This is because she is not as stressed when it comes to order and tidiness. Within five minutes after a DJ has arrived at Schiphol for the return flight, she has already put the hotel aside and there is nothing left of the irreparable destruction in my panic eyes.
In the past I suffered from a dangerous form of fear of contamination. I opened doorknobs with a tea towel in my hand, afraid of fingerprints on the iron. Fortunately, that is a bit over, but I still get pretty nervous when a DJ with a miner's lamp on his head goes through my porn collection. They always learn to put records back in the right covers, but do you really think that after the visit of a DJ 'Buttman's Ultimate Adventure' is in the right box (excuses le mot)?
Recently I got on the phone with my mother who was shocked that the film I lent her took a turn in the first scene.
"Imagine," she said, "a postman comes to the door of the protagonist of the movie and after two minutes they’re fully naked after which they make movements as if married. I didn't think it was wrong, but you know I like a good story more.’
Sodom & Gomorrah
They aren't really clean either, those DJs. And then I express myself slightly. In the corner of the living room, still standing upright, as a warning to the rest of the scum, is my pajama pants that were once worn for a weekend by DJ and producer Robin Green (aka Shango, aka Boom Unit). Guess three times why those pants are right off the "starch".
You should not think that The Boskamp Hotel is a kind of Sodom & Gomorrah, comparable to the Manumission Motel in Ibiza. There, DJs, naked dancers, dwarfs dressed in leather trousers and drugged dogs with cowboy hats criss-cross on stained waterbeds and you can find Elle McPherson and Jade Jagger in the same state of dissection and decomposition as party animals Derek Dahlarge and Jon Carter.
I run a neat hotel. I can not prevent that there is a lot of fantasies between the sheets every now and then about what passed by on the tube at seven in the morning. This occurs even in the most luxurious hotel rooms in the world.
Only I do not believe that at eight o'clock in the morning the hotel director of the Waldorf Astoria speaks the words “I love the smell of brandy in the morning”, which has already been adopted by the entire English scene, and subsequently puts a bottle of Martell to his mouth.
It would almost make you an alcoholic, of those guys. They also have a separate manual (a word that is very appropriate if we take their favorite activity under the sheets into account). Take the aforementioned Rob Green. Mister Green may make extremely progressive music (listen to one of the tastiest records of 1998, "Intravenus" by Boom Unit), but in terms of mental attitude he has clearly stuck in his toddler years. Green behind the ears.
One morning, at a time when I assume that our special guests should still be in deep rest, we were awakened annoyingly by loud neighing. For a moment we thought that Rob, who, like all other guests, gets his own key, had brought the horse that had ridden against him the night before on the dance floor of Club de Ville. However, when I stumbled into the living room, I was shocked to see Rob and the cat watching Cartoon Network.
Turned out he was addicted to Johnny Bravo. I didn't quite understand what he was talking about sometimes, but now I knew that he was literally quoting texts from this cartoon series. And I really don't think I'm stupid. Would you know what someone is talking about when he says to you, "Sprechen Sie Love?"
Chicken Chow Mein
I sometimes behave as a child, but I am 41. That is a respectable age, at which I think you can decide when to put on the naughty children's shoes. And yet, if you want to do well in the hotel industry, you have to accept that every bird is different. As Basil Fawlty, you cannot offend the guests, however much you might want to, so act in a courteous manner. The next time when Omid Nourizadeh (or 16 B) visits Amsterdam, I know that I have to go to Hoi Tin on the Zeedijk for 4 pounds (in weight) of Chicken Chow Mein (Omid always invites a bunch of Dutch friends to the Hotel Boskamp, DJs of course).
And if John Digweed will visit the Netherlands again (at least: if the promoters give up their Dutch thrift and want to withdraw some money from the drawer) then I am afraid that we feel compelled to book a special package for him. John has never slept in Hotel Boskamp. It did not get any further than taking a shower. He thought it was very special that the hotel cat Simba tried to hypnotize him from the edge of the bathtub. So next time we book the shower for him plus a reservation in a star restaurant. Where waiters whisper and where they only mix with a Magimix (John is a foodie and likes to find silence in his scarce, free time).
Roughly speaking, the English DJs who are guests at the Boskamp hotel - not mentioned in any guide as such - can be divided into loyal and unfaithful visitors.
Nick Warren from Bristol, however good as a producer and DJ, belongs to the latter category. The next time he comes, I'll treat him with all the égards, but I'll be on my guard. When he was with me recently and I proudly gave him my first CD with a remix of Way Out West, he left my "baby" mother alone on the couch when he left. The message was clear. From now on I will do my best for him, but no more than my best.
The extra mile
I only walk the extra mile for people who really deserve it. People like Danny Howells, probably one of the sweetest DJs on the planet. The reason why he’s not sleeping between us, is I’m afraid I get a heart attack when I wake up and notice the sleepy head of England's best kept secret and stand in of Ron Wood.
Of course Danny (straight from John Digweed's casting couch, as he ironically summarizes his career) also has his quirks. After all, he is a DJ. What my girlfriend and I will never get used to is that he smells his socks every morning and every night, then mine and then comes to the same conclusion over and over.
In the comparative commodity research, he always pulls the short straw, then shakes his head and concludes that the type of odor-eater that gets him off his stink feet is yet to be invented. To reassure him, I recently wore the same pair of socks for a week, but even to no avail.
Danny Howells has more strange features. For example, he insists on visiting one and the same sex shop, the sex shop in Reguliersbreestraat (right next to the pizza tent). Not to buy something, but to test the patience of the man who is behind the counter with a sprawling face and who says in a punitive tone to every foreign visitor:
“This is a shop, not a museum!”
Steve Burton, his crazy manager (yes, I get 2 for the price of 1) then plays the museum guide, while Danny and I take on the roles of museum visitors. Then we are kicked out of the shop. They call this fun. Once home from a walk around town or from a club booking, Steve loves to watch porn movies. I think if he plays it smart, he can get a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest viewing marathon ever. This happened on a Sunday morning, six hours before departure to Schiphol. In desperation, I told him he could take some of those movies home.
"What do you think my girlfriend will say?" said Steve. "When I come home with movies in which women spit into each other's asses?"
He had a point.
A life destination
At nine o'clock in the morning, after sitting on the couch with those two crazy people for three hours, I decided to throw in the towel and crawl next to the hotel manager. I got up from the couch and said, "You walk up the street here, you turn right, and at the end of the road there is a large square and there you see the taxis. One will probably take you to the airport via sexclub Yab Yum. I go to sleep, buenos noches! ”
And there I was in bed staring at the ceiling. Because I felt extremely guilty about leaving them to their own devices. Two hours later, still not asleep, I heard the wheels of the trolley carrying Danny's record cases gently pass over the parquet. I wanted to run after them, but my tired legs no longer were capable to do so.
Everyone else wouldn't want to bring that misery into their home and lives. But we run a hotel for DJ's. And that is not a profession, but a life destination.