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Red Wings DJ T's it up for the Joe Louis faithful

Saturday, 05.30.2009 / 11:40 PM ET / Features
Associated Press
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Red Wings DJ T\'s it up for the Joe Louis faithful

DETROIT -- Not sure who scored that last Red Wings goal?

Just wait for the music.

If it's Sammy Hagar's lust-for-speed anthem "I Can't Drive 55," then bruising defenseman (and wearer of the red-and-white No. 55 sweater) Niklas Kronwall put it in the net.

Crafty center and Yekaterinburg native Pavel Datsyuk is responsible for the goal should a techno-infused version of the traditional Russian folk ditty "Kalinka" come blaring through the Joe Louis Arena speakers.

And, of course, the old cowboy song "Mule Train" could only mean burly forward Johan "Mule" Franzen is your guy.

Player-specific goal songs have been a staple at the Joe since T. Campbell took over as the team DJ 15 years ago.

"I think it gives a lot of flavor to the Wings and gives them character and personality," Campbell said. "It's something I haven't heard around the league. When their players score, they always seem to throw on the exact same goal song."

Not Campbell.

He's got a song for every situation and then some. In all, he comes armed to each game with 1,500 songs at his fingertips.

And quite a few will fill the arena for the Stanley Cup finals between the Red Wings and Penguins, with the opening games in Detroit on Saturday and Sunday.

"The louder the better," Wings defenseman Chris Chelios said. "It creates an atmosphere."

"I don't know how other buildings do it, but I like how they do it here," he said.

It wasn't always that way. In the pre-Campbell years, the team tried to pump up the crowd with old-fashioned organ-driven chants.

That all changed in the early 1990s when the Wings did away with the organ and brought in a DJ. The original DJ didn't work out, so in came Campbell. He had been the music-spinner for Michigan State games at Munn Ice Arena.

"They know I have a feel for the game because I've been playing hockey since I was 5 years old," said Campbell, who is 49 and whose three older brothers all played for the Spartans. He himself won two state championships as a prep player.

He continues to DJ at Spartan games and makes the 80-mile drive from his home in Okemos for every Wings home game - his license plate reads "HCKYTWN."

Campbell arrives 2 to 2 1/2 hours before each game. He wears a suit and stands for the entirety in his perch high above the ice. His booth is behind press row, and he shares it with the replay official.

Campbell wears a headset to communicate with the onsite event producers and is surrounded by black and silver machines that help pump his music to the masses. The tracks are listed alphabetically, so all he has to do is turn a dial, click and button and whoosh - the song heads into 20,000 sets of ears.

At Wednesday night's Western Conference championship clincher over Chicago, Campbell kicked off the pregame festivities by spinning Kid Rock's "Intro" chant, which goes: "It ain't no party like a Detroit party/'cause a Detroit party don't stop."

When the Wings made their way through the tunnel and stepped on to the ice, Campbell quickly queued up the thrash-metal rocker "Adrenaline" by 12 Stones.

But his musical selections aren't all rock tracks. He'll play anything from techno, dance or trance tunes to rap and classic rock. On Wednesday, he even played the soft Kiss ballad "Beth" in honor of a young lady who earned a Zamboni ride between the first and second periods.

When the Blackhawks were whistled for a penalty, Campbell went with the "Dragnet" theme. And before the Wings power play began, he broke out the classic Darth Vader theme "Imperial March" from "Star Wars," which sent the fans into a frenzy.

It was Bachman-Turner Overdrive's classic rocker "Takin' Care of Business" when Detroit goalie Chris Osgood made a key save.

"I have to keep a close eye on the game. It gets kind of tricky. I hate it if I ever miss a call," said Campbell, who has grown a beard for the first time in honor of the team's "The Beard is Back" postseason slogan.

Campbell said he sometimes will play "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd after a good Osgood save, but he put it on the shelf for the Chicago series because Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin is nicknamed "The Bulin Wall."

As for Campbell's name, "T" is what he goes by personally and professionally. A cousin couldn't pronounce his given name of Tim when they were kids - she simply said "T" - so the moniker was born and stuck.

"Everybody calls me 'T,"' he said.

 

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89