Behind the Mic: Meet DJ Dick Diesel

This interview is part of our weekly series, “Get to Know Your DJs.”

Tell us about your show! Hello listeners and supporters! I host Aged Classics From the Diesel Cellar on alternating Saturdays from 8 – 10 p.m. My show centers around finely aged classic rock, garage rock, punk, metal, psych, doom, etc. I like to focus mainly on the B-sides and the obscure stuff from known to unknown bands. I also feature local Portland acts, because we are a mecca for great art and music…always have been.

DJ Dick Diesel, host of Classics From the Diesel Cellar

What inspired you to become a DJ? I discovered Freeform Portland by accident by tuning through the dials on my car radio. I was hearing music that I knew very well but would never hear on commercial radio. Later on, I met two DJs from the station. One was working the door at a local club and the other was a good friend who told me that the station was accepting new DJ applications and encouraged me to apply. I did, and here I am, going on more than two years now!

What inspired me to become a DJ was the fact that I’ve always loved sharing music with others. I was the guy giving out mixtapes to friends back in my schooldays saying, “Check this out! It’s a new band…they’re called Slayer.” (Yes, I’m that old.) Music sharing and making people happy by sharing it is my main inspiration for being a DJ. The Freefrom Community is great. I fit right into it because regardless of music we all like, we’re all about the music–no hype, no egos, no BS. Just the tunes! As it should be.

What do you love most about being a DJ? Paul Stanley from KISS said something back in their early days about why they do what they do, what their crazy rock show with makeup and explosions was all about. And this quote has always stuck with me: “Well, we always wanted to be the band that we never saw. No musicians with their backs to the crowd. No one sitting on a stool with a guitar. Just a crazy, loud rock ‘n’ roll show.” And that’s pretty much how I view what I do with my radio show. I get to create a show that I always wanted to hear: Nothing but the tunes, no commercials, and I get to play what I want. Win, win!

What was your most memorable show? My most memorable live show that I did was my very first one. I was so nervous, but I pulled it off with minimal mistakes. And so can you, new DJ!

What records can you listen to over and over again? Black Sabbath – Vol. 4; The Damned – Damned; Hellripper – Coagulating Darkness; Mercyful Fate – Melissa; Judas Priest – Stained Class; John Denver – Greatest Hits.

What else do you like doing when you’re not DJing? I enjoy record collecting, guitars, gardening, hockey (Go Hawks! Go Oilers! Go Golden Knights!) my cats Buddy and Zephyr, and daydreaming….

Listen to Aged Classics From the Diesel Cellar every other Saturday from 8 – 10 p.m.