Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Interview with Dee Simon, author of 'Play Something Dancy'


Los Angeles-based comedian, radio DJ, and host of the Sick and Wrong Podcast, Dee Simon has written a collection of comical and gut-wrenching personal essays about his experience as a strip club DJ in San Francisco in the early 2000s. Most of the stories in the book concern sex, drugs, venereal disease, and diarrhea or a combination thereof. Therefore, if you lack a sense of humor or are easily offended, you should probably put this one down. Having the “wet dream” job of most adolescents, Simon offers a biting, realistic, and hilarious depiction of what goes on “behind the black velvet curtains” at a gentlemen’s club from the perspective of the guy upstairs with the cheesy voice spinning Def Leppard songs.

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How did you come up with the title of your book? 

The title (Play Something Dancy) refers to a quote I’d hear at least five or six times a night from the strippers who worked at the clubs. It irritated me to no end as it does all strip club DJs and I wrote a funny story explaining the significance of the title involving an implacable dancer, the music of Prince and regurgitated pasta.

What is your writing environment like?

I have a laptop that doesn’t crash too often, several Screamin Jay Hawkins records, and a decent bottle of rye whiskey.

What is your favorite quote? Why? 

I like the quote that a writer from Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket used to describe the book: "Raunchy, lewd, and explicit — this book could kill your average housewife’s Fifty Shades of Grey a couple of times, at least."

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

My father was a Rabbi and he really wanted me to be a professional cantor. I chose to become a radio DJ and strip club DJ instead. Though he was mildly disappointed, he was always very tolerant and supportive of all of my endeavors and strongly encouraged me to create my own path in life.

What inspires you to write?

My best friend passed away last year from a drug overdose and I dedicated this book to him. He cajoled me into going to a strip club for the first time using a horrible fake ID. I write about this coming-of-age experience in the book. My friend has always been and will continue to be an inspiration to me.

What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Not drinking too much rye whiskey. It’s good stuff but if you overdo it, you’re not going to accomplish much that night.

Did you learn anything while writing this book? If so, what was it?

I learned that writing a book and then self-publishing it is a grueling process. If you’re not a masochist, your time would be better spent watching “Breaking Bad” or “Mad Men,” adopting a puppy from a local rescue, or baking cupcakes for your sister.

What have you done to promote this book? 

I’ve promoted the book on my podcast and signed up for a book blog tour. Hopefully, one of those will help spread the word.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers?

A laptop, rye whiskey, and a thesaurus.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

In addition to writing, I’m also a comedian and host of two podcasts. I’m the host and producer of one of the longer running comedy podcasts on iTunes: Sick and Wrong Podcast. I also host an internet television show in Los Angeles called The Obscenesters.


Dee Simon is a graduate of the University of Michigan. He lived in San Francisco where he hosted Rampage Radio, a metal and punk rock radio show on KUSF 90.3 FM. During that time, he also worked as a strip club DJ in gentlemen’s clubs located across the city. In 2006, he started up his own comedy podcast called Sick and Wrong Podcast which is recorded on a weekly basis. Currently, Dee lives in Los Angeles where he is pursuing a career as an author, comedian, and cruise ship magician. Play Something Dancy is Dee Simon’s first book. socialize  

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