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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80