David Padilla 


Love in the Time of Sickness, by Kirby Sommers

In her new memoir Kirby Sommers dives into the dark and dangerous shadows of life after a stroke. When her nephew, six years her junior, suffers a paralyzing stroke she is forced back into the world of their dysfunctional family as she struggles to keep him safe and alive.

"If David has suffered a physical stroke I have suffered an emotional one which will hold me in its grasp for years into the future."

It is a bittersweet memoir of life and loss; of love in the time of sickness. And an unflinching look at the backstory of how the Department of Family and Children failed to protect David. This book will speak to anyone who has ever loved or has become the caregiver for someone who has suffered a catastrophic illness.
tags: siblings, stroke survivor, caregiver
Over 1,000 pre-orders in two weeks!

To receive an advanced copy of the book (applicable only to eBook) email me here

David Padilla (born February 16, 1961), is an American disc jockey of electronic dance music, house music, progressive house, and trance music. Padilla was the resident DJ at the Warsaw[1][2] and The Mix After Hours.

Padilla is also an accomplished audio engineer, having designed and installed sound systems in clubs such as The Mix and Cameo Club, which he co-designed and built with Luis Puig.[3][4]
His CDs The Mix Afterhours a 2-disc set was released on June 1, 1999 on the Max Music & Entertainment Label.[5] Padilla's The South Beach Experience on the Ultra Records label was released on October 3, 2000.[6]
David is credited with pioneering Miami's after-hour scene.[7][8]


David Padilla

David Padilla in New York City, 2011
Background information
Birth nameDavid Padilla
BornFebruary 16, 1961 (age 52)
New York, New York City
GenresElectronic dance music, house music, progressive music, trance music
OccupationsDisc Jockey
Years active1978-2012
LabelsUltra Records
Max Music
WebsiteOfficial website

David Padilla, Audio Engineer
Marital Status
Audio Engineer
Private studios and self taught
Official website


David Padilla (born February 16, 1961), is an American disc jockey of electronic dance music, house music, progressive house, and trance music. Padilla was the resident DJ at the Warsaw[1][2] and The Mix After Hours.

Padilla is also an accomplished audio engineer, having designed and installed sound systems in clubs such as The Mix and Cameo Club, which he co-designed and built with Luis Puig.[3][4]
His CDs The Mix Afterhours a 2-disc set was released on June 1, 1999 on the Max Music & Entertainment Label.[5] Padilla's The South Beach Experience on the Ultra Records label was released on October 3, 2000.[6]
David is credited with pioneering Miami's after-hour scene.[7][8]

Early Life And Career

Raised in New York City, Padilla began experimenting with music in his early teens. He frequented house parties and clubs throughout New York City as a teenager. It was at a house party where he met John "Jellybean" Benitez who was only a few slight years older, and was already a seemingly well paid DJ. The meeting ignited Padilla's passion for DJing.

David, a teenager and working part-time as one of thousands of bike messengers in Manhattan put every penny he earned into records. He escaped the lure of the neighborhood gangs and random violence by holing himself up in his room practicing and perfecting his craft. He naturally had a good ear and a knack for putting just the right record before and after the next one. Word of mouth soon spread in the city and David became a hot commodity.
First he played for free a couple of blocks away from where he was born and raised on West 105th Street at friends parties in the city owned project known as the Frederick Douglas Houses just to get some exposure, but very quickly, David was being offered money to play at house parties and established clubs in New York City.
Padilla was an early regular at David Mancuso's The Loft where he met future contemporaries like Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, among other notable DJs. In the inner circle of DJs, word got out about David's "golden ear" and his extraordinary ability to spin and mix. Brad LeBeau, a resident DJ, at the world famous Xenon Club called Padilla and offered him his first big-time DJ spot at a well known club. Padilla never guessed this was the first of many waves he'd latch onto which would later in his career hit tidal proportions.
Xenon was regarded as much more of a "Fashion Crowd", while Studio 54 was more Hollywood. Still, many celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Halston, Michael Jackson, Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall, Tom Cruise, Richard Avedon, Cher, O.J. Simpson, Christopher Reeve, Elton John, Roger Moore, John McEnroe, Tony Curtis, Brooke Shields, David Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Jr., and Robin Williams frequented the club.[3] The walls were silver and rays of light came out from a giant "X" above the dance floor. People at Xenon often liked to dance with fewer clothes than people at Studio 54, sometimes wearing swimsuits while dancing. Xenon was the first night club to provide go-go boxesfor amateur go-go dancers to dance on.[4] This got many people interested in go-go dancing. Xenon was featured in a Life magazine article about disco. The full-time Disc-Jockey (DJ) was Tony Smith and the part-time DJ was John "Jellybean" Benitez, who later had an affair with Madonna.

The Warsaw Years

In 1989 David moved to what would become known as South Beach or SoBo in Miami, Florida where his ascent to stardom was meteoric. David was on his way to becoming one of the top Club DJs in the world.
He was immediately offered the resident DJ spot at the reincarnated Ovo Club which transformed itself into what would go down in history as simply Warsaw. The crowd was more mixed and more glamorous than any of the other clubs anywhere. Warsaw and it's DJ Padilla became world famous in just a few short months. The club became Gianni Versace's favorite spot, with celebrities like Madonna flocking to the spectacle.
Padilla ruled the infamous gay nightclub's DJ booth while Madonna, Gianni Versace, his sister Donatella Versace, and thousands of party boys, disco princesses, and other SoBe types mobbed the dance floor. His taste for trance was slowly bubbling under.[5] Padilla was a pioneer, being the first DJ in South Beach to gain national recognition for his unforgettably diverse marathon sets at this acclaimed establishment.
Warsaw is where Padilla would gain an international following as one of the best DJs in the world. Warsaw was to the dance culture in Miami what Studio 54 was to the dance culture in New York. Anyone who was anyone and every wannabee flocked to the place where David reigned supreme and where he spun the crowd wild.[6] Years later, gay or straight, people would remember their decadent nights at Warsaw.
Large enough to encompass a stage, Warsaw was the site of some truly over-the-top spectacles. Among the most notorious were evenings of performance art, wherein simulations of various left-of-center sexual acts had somehow evolved into the real thing. It is no surprise that it quickly became the gayest/hippest club of the galaxy. [7]
David Padilla invited other DJs to the club to spin with him at Warsaw. Among these notable DJs were Larry Levan (from New York City), David Morales, and Danny Tenaglia. On September 2004 Larry Levan was posthumously inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievement as a DJ.[8] David Morales won a Grammy Award in 1998 for Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical.[9] And, in 2002 Danny Tenaglia got nominated for a Grammy (for his remix of Depeche Mode's "I Feel Loved."[10]
The lights in the club flashed around in brilliant, multicolored beams, and the music poured so hard through the speakers that it vibrated everything. Muscular go-go boys, muscular young men in neon green thongs and mod-ish white go-go boots danced on the bar for tips and more. [11]
Drag queens performed on top of the Warsaw speakers, and the place was truly a multi-ring circus. Adora performed as Edith Piaf, along with the Adorettes-Carvella, Taffy Lyn, Mother Kibble, Brigit Buttercup, Gidget, and Damiam Dee-vine. Warsaw was also the first place Elaine Lancaster performed at upon her arrival in South Beach (after showing up at Gianni Versace's house where she was to begin working and finding out he had been viciously murdered).
When the legendarily decadent nightclub pulled the velvet ropes on Friday, May 25th for one final fling Gerry Kelly, Maxwell Blandford (manager of Warsaw), and the boys from Level's Federation 1235 gave the club a proper send-off with a torrid one-night stand of dance, drink and debauchery. [12]
Many years after it closed party revelers are still talking about Warsaw and David Padilla (the Machine). Personal recollections shared in private groups like the one started by Elaine Lancaster[13].

The Mix After Hours Years

mix1.jpg DavidPadillaSouthBeachExperience.jpg mix2.jpg

The Mix After Hours was open from 1998-2001 and once again David was the resident DJ. This is where Padilla changed South Beach forever because after hour clubbing hadn't really been a part of the scene until David put it on the map with his hypnotic and energetic sounds. The club needed help with the sound and David designed and built the sound system which played a huge role in making The Mix the success that it was.

Thousands of people flocked to hear David belt out the best trance music ever heard anywhere in the United States. Padilla was already a star and was touring throughout Europe, Canada and within the United States. Some of his more notable gigs were at Israel, Columbia, Germany, Panama, Brazil, and Holland. When Padilla had to travel on gigs he would ask the club's manager, Iovanny Gio Lobo, to take over the DJ booth 

It was while he was in Europe that he first heard what would become "trance" and influenced his sound. When he slipped in trance tracks combined with what was already his much beloved style at "The Mix" creating a sound no one had ever heard the crowd went wild. It became the club where nobody wanted to go home. Even after it closed in the wee hours of the morning, everyone, including David flocked to the beach where the party went on.

A key factor that separated The Mix from other clubs in the scene was Padilla's unique focus and introduction of cutting edge and underground tracks from European artists and producers, mainly from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. 

Padilla and The Mix Afterhours acquired a cult following and to this day people still worship at the trance house David built. Other notable DJs that took control of David's DJ booth were German powerhouse Talla 2XLC, DJ Taucher and emerging artists who would later go onto global stardom including George Acosta. When Tiesto arrived in the United States, his first stop was Miami;s South Beach, where he played his first American gig at "The Mix."

It was during this time that Max Music approached David which resulted in a 2-disc set "The Mix Afterhours" which has become a collector's item. If you try to buy one now, you will see a few on websites such as Amazon and Ebay with a price tag of $60 or more. David, the monster, Padilla spun pure gold once again.

Padilla's drive and aspiration with over two decades of commitment reached a transition at this time more than he had ever done in the past. He ignited his blaring horn and apex of sound at every performance by masterminding lavish harmonies, effervescent breakdowns and combusting buildups. His rise to the top of the DJ ladder is testimonial to the perfection of his art. The tally of bodies that danced in a frenzy to his powerfully assembled musical arrangement is pure proof that David fired up the best storm South Beach ever saw during this period in music history.

Awards And Recognition

Throughout his career dance communities have recognized Padilla with a number of DJ awards. Padilla has been awarded the Best DJ for the Winter Music Conference (WMC) for the Miami Metro Area. South Florida Magazine also recognized David as Best DJ. And, for three consecutive years The Miami New Times voted him Best DJ.

Personal Life

During the first week of December in 2012 David suffered three successive strokes leaving him partially paralyzed.[14] David was installing a new sound system for a club in SoBowhen he became dizzy and fell off a ladder. He was unaware he was having a stroke and since he was in Orlando where his mother lives he spent several days in bed before trying to recover from what was initially believed to be a side effect of not taking his diabetes medication. When his health failed to improve David was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center who immediately recognized that he had suffered either one stroke or more. They quickly transported Padilla to Shands Hospital in an effort to perform brain surgery to clear the clogged arteries. The procedure was unsuccessful. It was determined his condition was could be not operated on. As David was waking up from the anesthesia administered to him to determine whether or not an operation could reverse the damage, he lost his speech, and became paralyzed on the entire right side of his body.
On January 17 he was transferred to Colonial Lakes Nursing Home in Orlando where he complained of abuse and neglect. On April 9 he was taken out of the nursing home and has been cared for by multiple family members, including two aunts, along with his mother who is currently his primary care-giver.
In May 2013, Kirby Sommers (founder Katrina Home Drive), his aunt, with the help of John "Jellybean" Benitez, and Taissia Wyatt created a Facebook Page: Friends of David Padilla where some of Padilla's colleagues and friends (such as David Solero, Rey Battaglia, Darlyne LaBrada, Tucker Mendoza, Edgar V, Joey Madonia,Gregg Fiske, Miculito Bay, Brad Boshek, Angelo Giardana, Cindy Martinez, Tony Torres, Ray Pinky Velasquez) and over 300 of the most well known DJs have joined to help David on his road to recovery.
Updates on David's recovery are posted on a regular basis by his aunt Kirby Sommers. Other DJs, friends, and Padilla's hardcore fans from across the world have joined the group (which can be found here).
On December 4, 2013 Kirby Sommers announced via the Friends of David Padilla Facebook group that she had been working on a book about David's life titled King David. The book will be available through Amazon and the publishing date will be announced on the group page shortly.



mixedbydavidpadilla.jpg fbicon.jpg