Released May 23rd 2024
Before she became Smokin Jo - the most famous and visible of the first generation of 'superstar DJs' - Joanne Joseph was a young girl growing up in a children's home with her sister. Until her mother returned and whisked the siblings away just before secondary school to a flat on the Portobello Road, her life was devoid of music: the home didn't allow it, apart from hymns and carols at Christmas. As she entered the turbulent years of adolescence, Jo found herself pulled towards Soho and the burgeoning underground acid house scene, instantly finding herself at home amongst other artists, musicians and misfits who breathed and survived on dance music and ecstasy. Within a couple of years, in a lightning-fast ascent, Jo claimed her permanent place as one of England's most exciting and revered DJs of the British rave scene. In 1992, Jo was awarded DJ of the Year in DJ Magazine's list of Top 100 DJ's. To this day she is still the only woman to achieve this accolade. This alternately celebratory and brutal memoir tells a story full of change, growth and determination. It documents Jo's life and loves; her struggles with drink and drugs and journey towards peace and sobriety. It documents the highs and lows of rave culture in an unprecedented way through Jo herself: the elation and euphoria that comes with entertaining an audience as well as the misogyny, the racism, the prejudice and homophobia of the scene, as told by someone who has been at the hard end of these experiences. You Don't Need a Dick to DJ is an extraordinary, moving and unforgettable story from a pioneer and survivor; perhaps the most honest and startling memoir yet to emerge from the club scene.