Tributes for Bristol’s legendary DJ, Broadcaster & Promoter DJ Superfly, who passed away aged 69.

Tributes made for Bristol legend DJ Superfly who sadly passed away on the 15th March, he was instrumental in Bristol’s soul scene, and was the first black radio presenter on Radio Bristol.

DJ Superfly - aka Mike Bernard, who passed away in March 2022 aged 69
DJ Superfly – aka Mike Bernard, who passed away in March 2022 aged 69 (Image: The Bernard family)

Tributes have been flooding in for the Godfather of the Bristol music scene, DJ Superfly, on the eve of a celebration of his life on Saturday. Superfly was the first black presenter on BBC Radio Bristol and was a key figure in the growing music scene in Bristol in the 1970s and 80s.

The father of four’s real name was Mike Bernard, and in a varied and important career as a DJ, presenter, music producer and in television, he rubbed shoulders with everyone from Mary J Blige to Muhammad Ali and Eddie Murphy.

Mike sadly passed away at the age of 69 on March 15. On Saturday night, March 26, friends and family and leading figures in Bristol’s music scene are gathering at the Rose Green Centre in Whitehall to celebrate his life.

Such was his importance to music in Bristol, and the bringing together of the white and black communities in the city in the 70s and 80s, that everyone from Massive Attack’s Daddy G to TV presenter Alex Beresford have paid tribute to Mike.

Andrew Hartley – aka DJ Style, a presenter on BBC Radio Bristol and Ujima Radio – said Superfly was a household name in Bristol in his heyday and brought the city’s communities together through the power of music. He arrived in the UK from Jamaica at the age of just eight years old, back in the early 1960s, and went to Newfoundland Road primary school and then secondary school at Bishopston School.

“From a young age he enjoyed music, listening to it on his parent’s record player in the front room,” said DJ Style. “When Superfly came of age he would begin putting on his own promotions, and his first-ever event was held at The Salutation Pub in Henbury. As his popularity grew he would go on to become a regular on the decks in venues such as the Turntable Club, The Rummer, Reeves, Golden Lounge, Top Cat and PS Stowaways in Newport.

“By now, he was already a household name at the time he started his residency at the legendary Dug Out Club, but it’s considered that this venue is probably what parachuted Superfly further into the limelight. He brought blacks and whites together at a club that prominently held punk nights, during a period where racial tension was high in the UK, but that didn’t stop the embracement of musical cultures..

Move On Up Radio Show live BBC Radio Bristol 19th June 2020.

Last night Fri 19th June 2020 a special produced programme was aired on Radio Bristol. In light of the recent Black Lives Matter Protest around the world & here in Bristol, we address some of the challenges that has been effecting the black community. Speaking with guest we looked at solutions and aspirations for the future. Listen back below to Move on Up 

The Move On Up Radio Show