With house music and plenty of fists pumping through the air, Johnston's own Paul "DJ Pauly D" DelVecchio stopped by Haxton's Toll Gate Liquors at 1123 Bald Hill Road in Warwick Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. for a bottle signing, as the professional disc jockey and reality television star just launched a new "pre-game" cocktail, coyly named REMIX.
More than 500 fans gathered and waited in a line that wrapped out the door, not only to buy bottles of REMIX, but also to meet and pose for photos with DelVecchio, who stars in MTV’s “The Jersey Shore,” as well as one of its spin-off shows, “The Pauly D Project.”
Monday’s event marked the first time DelVecchio did a REMIX signing in Rhode Island. He said he was overjoyed to return home to Rhode Island to visit family, friends and fans, and to promote REMIX.
“I came up with the name REMIX because I’m a DJ and I mix beats – now, I mix drinks,” said DelVecchio, who DJs at venues across the globe and joined pop-star Britney Spears on her latest tour. “I only put my name on something I want to put 100 percent into, and for me, I’m always pre-gaming before we go out. It’s always a pain to grab a mixer and the vodka, so I wanted to come out with something that was already mixed.”
REMIX is available in four flavors, including Oye Mojito, Yeah Yum Berry, Strawberry Holla Pena and Star Fruit. While fans purchased the bottled cocktail for him to sign, they didn’t need to drink it, as it seemed just being in the same room as DelVecchio intoxicated many of them, especially female fans of all ages, from pre-teens to their mothers.
“I have to admit that I kind of had to convince them to come with me,” Darlene Shlesinger of Scituate said of her daughter, niece and their friend.
Shlesinger wasn’t the only one dazzled by DelVecchio, as several ladies commented about his “gorgeous” smile. Women flocked around DelVecchio as he hugged eager fans, signed their bottles and flashed his pearly whites for photos.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Fans said they love watching him on “The Jersey Shore” because it’s “hilarious” and “entertaining.”
“You get to see people have fun and make money doing it,” said Shannon Sanita of North Kingstown, while her friend, Angela Eaton, said she enjoys the show because DelVecchio has a knack for making her laugh.
“He’s got personality and he’s from Rhode Island so it’s cool that he’s here,” said Eaton.
In addition to fans, a few of DelVecchio’s family members and friends turned up at the event to show their support. Among them was his aunt, Shirley Gordon.
“I’m extremely proud of my nephew,” said Gordon. “He was taught to be respectful and was brought up properly. He’s come a long way. He’s a regular city kid and he’s a good boy.”
Family friends Nubia Brawn and Alexi Arriarran agreed.
“He’s a very nice guy,” Brawn said. “He’s always joking with me and I love him so much.
Arriarran added, “He’s so down to earth – he isn’t fake on the show. We knew him when he was first starting out as a DJ and we’re happy he made a name for himself.”
DelVecchio was accompanied by two of his longtime friends, who also appear on “The Pauly D Project,” Jerry “Big Jerry” Gialanella and Jose Bracero. DelVecchio met them at a nightclub in Providence more than 10 years ago when he was DJing there and Gialanella and Bracero served as bouncers.
“We’ve seen him evolve since day one and I’m so proud of him,” said Gialanella. “It’s been a great thing to experience with him.”
Aside from REMIX, DelVecchio also has his own line of tanning lotion; anti-aging cream; a clothing line, Dirty Couture; SK Energy Drink, which he promotes along with rapper 50 Cent; and DJ headphones.
Before the end of the event, DelVecchio offered advice for aspiring DJs.
“To become a great DJ, you need to practice, practice, practice,” he said. “Just be yourself. I put my personality into DJing because it’s my passion and you should do the same. Give it 100 percent, keep practicing and be yourself.”
The event was significant to DelVecchio because he holds his foundation and Rhode Island roots close to his heart. Of course, the local Italian food also holds a special place in his heart.
“I love Federal Hill,” he said. “I’m in a different state every single day and I still like the food here better.”