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Jeremy Wieland: DJ Grandpa On Wheels.

May 29, 2013

jeremyEXITsmall02Text by Caroline Newton. Images by Timothy Becker.

Diplo, Cosmo Baker, Low Budget and many other notable DJs have been regulars in the DJ booth at The 700 Club in Northern Liberties. Now, those bouncin’ house party-esque dance soirees on Friday nights are the product of another DJ, Grandpa.

Grandpa, aka Jeremy Wieland, is a 30-something father of two who also owns Exit Skateshop, located about one block away.

In the ’80s, skateboarding was everywhere. As an impressionable sponge of a kid, Wieland soaked it all up. He would sneak away from his house in the Philly suburbs and take the train down to Center City to skate the infamous LOVE Park. After Philly cracked down on skateboarding in the ’90s, Wieland started skating in New York with a bunch of friends, including DJ Roctakon.

As a former breakdancer and club-frequenter (even when he was too young to be at the clubs), Wieland was familiar with DJing. When he got a little older, he realized he wanted to be the guy who makes people dance, so he began DJing house parties himself.

His passions for skating and making music would vie for his attention from there on out.

jeremyEXITsmall01Wieland always planned to one day open a skateshop because he worked in one for so long. Before entering into the business himself, Wieland worked in New York at a skateshop called Autumn. When Autumn closed and Wieland’s fiancée was about to have their first baby, he came home to Philly, got his hair cut and, by some odd alignment of the stars, fell into a business deal with Exit’s previous owner.

“I had mentioned to him once, ‘Hey, why don’t I partner with you? I’m moving back to Philly. I think it would be a cool thing,’” explains Wieland. “He thought about it, came back and let me know, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ I became a partner just around  February last year.”

Although Weiland still DJs in New York City to make ends meet, Friday nights at The 700 club are his favorite gigs.

“No one gives a shit,” he says. “You can play whatever you want. In New York, you’re basically there to cater to people who are buying bottles. If people want to hear ‘Call Me Maybe,’ you’re gonna play it.”

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