Hey, Vancouver, meet Marcus Purnell. Again.
Back in the Dynasty and Dallas days of the 1980's, before the fight for Gay Marriage or the AIDS crisis a young man used to frequently visit Vancouver with his Canadian mom and American dad. Even as a teen he knew the pull of Lotus Land's cherry tree lined streets and smiling faces was something more than good holiday vibes. Some how deep inside, he knew that one day he'd find a way to live here. For good.
That time has come. On a recent trip to the Nexus office at the US/Canada border, he was informed that because of his mother's citizenship, he could apply to the government for his papers if he chose to. Marcus never looked back.
He now lives with his new partner Chris and is starting his life again as a proud Canadian- and we're darn lucky to have him.
Marcus has a repuation as a creative and energetic entrepreneur. He first hit the scene as a vinyl spinning disc jockey in 1985 at the newly opened Neighbors in Seattle, WA. He quickly moved onto radio where we worked for powerhouses like KUBE FM, KHIT and KLSY. In the summer of 1990 he headed south to San Francisco and spent his day time working in marketing.
It was in San Fran, under the disco ball at the legendary Club Universe, that he met his first manager and before long he was back in the DJ booth. From that point he never really looked back. Within a few months he started playing some of the top clubs and events around the world.
His style is described as a thrilling ride of "rolling house rhythms and riveting vocal progressions." Having been around from the early days of house through to the thumping hard beats of Miami and New York- you can easily say that Marcus has played it all.
What makes him unique is that DJ'ing was never really his sole 'raison d'etre.' A community activist, graphic designer and artist, Marcus always had a vison of bringing our community together. Perhaps that came from traveling and playing for crowds of us in several different cities, over many years. What ever the reason, it's made him the kind of man we should all strive to be.
In 2005 he had his first work-related Canadian adventure aside from playing music. He and a team he handpicked from each city, produced a colour, glossy publication called 'Magazine 99' that many of you on the west coast will remember if you were around here then. It was a beautiful, free periodical and the first attempt to bridge the Gay-friendly cities of San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver together. '99' was only in the market for a year but it proved to Marcus and to many of us, that we were indeed 'one family' and that we had more power by standing together and raising our voices.
Marcus has been working as a Web Systems Architect in the years since, and Whistler will be his first appearance in two years. "I've never stopped loving my music" says Purnell. "My favorite gig in all the years I was on the road was at Altitude (now Gay Whistler). I had been putting together sets for a pool party in Milan this past summer- and was excited when Gay Whistler called because I had really gotten the bug to go back and hit the decks! I'm really excited!"
He's playing the super popular Friday Apres Ski-T Dance at the Whistler Conference Center (February 4th).
As a special treat to all you Big Gay Blog readers, he is providing a free 60 minute dance track that's sure to spice up your Winter work-out regimes or get you off the sofa and onto the dance floor. You can download it on the event sponsor's website, Guy Spy.
What's Guy Spy you ask? Well, it's only the newest and best Gay dating site and cross platform, mobile app ever developed...and it's another great local success story! More on that soon...
I'll actually be up in Whistler all next week to bring you the best of Winter Pride 2011. If you're making the trip, come find me and say hello. The Big Gay Blog is going mobile and we've got some exciting video plans in the very near future!
Now to wax up my board....