Anyone who’s spent more than ten minutes in a serious nightclub knows that there are two types of DJ in the world.

Those who play records, and those who play crowds. Frankie Wilde was the king of the latter group, uniquely able to transport all who witnessed him to the highest heights.

Frankie Wilde grew up rough in Brixton, London, doing whatever he could to survive.

“I remember seeing Frankie selling weed on Camden High Street,” remembers fellow DJ Angus Walker.

When the rave scene exploded, Frankie was ready. He was a master at crafting acid house and hard techno sets that drove crowds insane, and such a consummate showman that once you saw and heard Frankie, you needed more.

Frankie became DJ club partying what Michael Jordan once was in basketball, overpaid and endorsed beyond all reason. Frankie lived and spent accordingly to his newfound level of fame.

He purchased a villa outside of the city center that would have made Caligula proud. He married a vacant supermodel to go to the house and the drugs.

The Fall

Right about there is where it all went south for Frankie Wilde.

“He was a monster with the coke,” recalls one-time girlfriend Michelle Nelfi.

Mountains of cocaine and scotch by the gallon started to take their inevitable toll, as did the pounding sound systems that Frankie stood virtually inside of every time the DJ’d.

With little warning, Frankie Wilde went utterly and completely deaf. Frankie became unbearable — some say he went mad.

The Redemption

After scraping the bottom of his psyche (rumors of a very real suicide attempt abound), Frankie dug himself out of the depths.

He ended up at a clinic for the deaf on the coast of Spain, where he learned sign language.

“Me and some mates ran into him on the beach a few months after he came out of his house, and he was just a changed man,” says Ibiza party promoter Gemma Englund. “He could read lips perfectly and he was all smiles.

He seemed quite drunk, I’ll admit. But I didn’t spot his previously ever-present circle of coke around the nostrils. Frankie’s manager Max Haggar, always one to see an angle, began building Frankie up as the world’s only deaf DJ.

And it was true — Frankie has a method to make music despite his lack of functioning ears. The press started to come around and the crowds were ready to pull for The Deaf DJ.

Dj Frankie Wilde

The Disappearance

Immediately after the set at Pacha, Frankie disappeared. Haggar and Frankie’s label people at Motor City had no idea where he’d gone.

The press exploded, prayer vigils were held at the clubs, Frankie’s ex-returned from Asia to search for him. And then, eventually, the buzz died down and Frankie was just…gone. As always, the rumors fly rampant.

Frankie’s ex-drug dealer Sharks Gibbs says, “I know exactly where that motherfucker is. At the bottom of the sea. He came out to the docks after that night at Pacha and took a header right off the edge — sank like a stone.”

For those interested, there is a film illustrating the life of Frankie Wilde…


*This article was originally published at By Nikoleta Kontolaimaki