Living proof that good times are all you need to sustain a great life, DJ Harvey is cresting the wave of his legendary career into an endlessly golden sunset.
“I think I’m supposed to be having a midlife crisis, you know? I’ve got the fast motorcycle and the young girlfriend, I’m considering buying a speedboat, my hair’s getting bigger and bigger. But I don’t feel old mentally in any way, shape or form,” Harvey Bassett explains surveying the Venice Beach boardwalk, sunglasses parked on the bridge of his nose. His right pinky fingernail is painted baby blue, but it’s chipping. “I feel innocent and positive and excited.”
It’s another sunny day in Venice, California, one of approximately 300 per year, and why shouldn’t this man feel golden? He’s arrived to our 3PM breakfast appointment via skateboard—not itself unusual for a 49-year-old gentleman of this zip code—and, over eggs and Coronas and Marlboro Reds overlooking the beach, graciously fulfills his obligation for the day, which is to lend colorful commentary to a highlight reel of his professional triumphs. Not a bad gig for a Wednesday. From time to time, fellow Venetians passing by on the boardwalk greet him with a salute and a shout. “This is as far west as you get, this is the edge of Babylon,” he says, nodding toward the ocean, or perhaps the pansexual New Age moppets gliding by on rollerblades. “It’s all gonna snap off and slide into the Pacific at some point and take us all with it. Cheers to that.” We clink bottles. In this town, where he’s been surfing off hangovers since flying over from London on the post–9/11 cheap seats and overstaying his visa, Harvey Bassett—better known to the masses as DJ Harvey, pioneer of the re-edit, master of the eight-hour set—seems to have it made.