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DJ Dick Van Gelder is undoubtedly one of Belgium’s top Club Deejay, widely respected as a great ambassador and connoisseur on the scene.
Way before starting Djing, he used to be lead singer in his own band ‘The Black Scorpions’ – in the late sixties. Being young and without considerable income all money went back to the band’s equipment. Eventually, he sold all his musical gear to get his turntables and audio equipment and started weekly at YMCA Sunday afternoons parties. Soon he was discovered as new refreshment in the town of Antwerp, where he is born.
Only 14 years old, and not enough to spin legally at clubs because of his age, he managed to get employed at a famous day club in the centre of Antwerp. His first club The Sound played sixties and crooners, not exactly his style, but it was a start.
At the age of 16 he became the resident Dj in the King, Antwerp, specialised in R&B and funk.
The same owner opened a new venue in the same street Pop King witch was at that time a club with 6 dance floors and a rotating (disco bar). In the basement there were even bumping cars.
He left his hometown in 1972 and started Djing in a road club El Barca in Beveren (on the west of Antwerp). There he introduced a new sound for Belgium, Boppin Oldies, and witch were a mixture of ska beat and low beat rock & roll. This club became very famous and crowdie every Sunday with visitors from France and the Netherlands.
His name became well known and during the week he started to record radio programs for Radio Mi Amigo, which at that time was broadcasting from the North Sea.
The announcement on a flyer of his name for a local party or an opening of a new club was a guarantee for a full house.
He had popular radio programs from live performances broadcasting threw different pirate radio stations and hit the hitcharts of most listened radio programs while being a program director at Radio Seven broadcasting on the FM band from Brussels, Belgium.
In the seventies and early eighties, there is practically no club in Belgium who did not have a night with Dj Dick Van Gelder.
He was resident every Thursday in Brussels at The Mustang and every Sunday at Boccaccio in Destelbergen. A culture began to grow up around those clubs and its regulars, with a dress code to match.
He started his DJ agency first called ALCO and then changed his name to IDC, or International Deejay Connection. More then 270 DJs from Belgium and France were working with the agency. Hes been called the ‘Godfather of Belgian Djs.’
This agency organised the dance contests Disco Queen & King in Belgium, France and Luxembourg for several years, with an European finale each year in Ibiza.
A club with a capacity of 5000 people opened in Hasselt Dockside. He was resident for each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If an appreciative crowd regularly packs the venue on those nights is ample testimony to the respect he commands and devotion he inspires.