When I hear I have to share my night with another party, I often cringe. From my hosting poetry nights in the 90s and on up to my current DJ gigs, rarely have I ever witnessed a positive outcome from double booking two different events.
Often times, miscommunication happens. Already prepared for my evening, I find out at the last minute something else has been included. Most times, it’s a band or bands. Other times, it’s a birthday party.
As this goes on, you never know who told what to whom. Sometimes, you may think a member of the other party disrespected you when it wasn’t even intended. One night at a local bar, after being told the stage would be free after eleven, another band was setting up at exactly that time. All this time, I’m thinking the bands are being disrespectful. I’m thinking the organizer for the previous bands promised the bar owner a clear stage at eleven. Now they were going over that promised time. Then, after their performance, a member of the last band mentioned he thought they had the stage until TWELVE! Like I mentioned before, you never know who told what to whom.
Something similar happened between Steve Roberts (a local tattoo artist) and I. One night, I did a DJ gig at Little Fish-Huge Pond in Sanford, Florida. This was during the nights I played music behind the bar counter. I would connect my laptop to the stereo system located behind the counter.
Anthony Girardi and Steve Roberts
The bar became packed. As this happened, Steve handed the bar owner his cell phone and requested the owner to play a metal group’s whole album.
What the fuck? I’m thinking. Did this motherfucker just go over my head?
After two or three songs, the bar owner and I decided to hand Steve the phone back. One or two songs were okay. But playing the whole album was pushing it.
It was at this time, I found out Steve was having a birthday party in the place. That I didn’t mind. Still, I never forgot the phone incident.
As time passed, I eventually started Djing on the stage versus behind the bar counter. Then, as everyone called me “Stone Crazy”, Steve began calling me “Crazy Stone.”
Damn, man! I thought. First that phone shit. Now this crap!
I figured this wasn’t a battle worth fighting. There were more things to worry about versus some dude who can’t get my name right. Despite my views towards him, I decided to be cool with Steve anyway.
I never had anything against his taste for metal music. I just thought some of it was inappropriate for the evening. Still, because he requested it, I had to play it anyway.
Yet, Steve tipped more than some people. Also, he didn’t always pick metal music. Some song requests were appropriate for the evening. Another thing, after someone corrected him, he did start calling me “Stone Crazy” and wondered why I never said anything.
Still, my mind kept focusing on that phone incident.
As more time passed, Steve disappeared for awhile. During his absence, my DJing evolved. Sick of being played like a jukebox, I quit going online for songs and stopped taking every request. Because I wanted a more woman friendly atmosphere, I upgraded my play list to current dance songs and past dance songs. I still play rock. Yet, just like with other music, I watch out for songs that may ruin the evening.
I didn’t think much of Steve until two of his friends (drunk white womenz) aggravated my ass one night. Seeing how funny it was, I blogged about the incident in the now infamous “I Need To Hear Britney Spears ASAP”.
On that same blog, Steve commented my description of him, something he didn’t like. He apologized for the name confusion and began riffing my past DJ skills. He wasn’t aware I stopped going online. When his comment labeled me a jukebox with a face, it proved why I definitely needed to stop going online for song requests. Instead of a DJ, folks began seeing me as a jukebox. Then, when his comment said, “Know your role”, I steamed.
Seeing Steve and I arguing on Facebook, Chris V stepped in and explained Steve was referring to my role as DJ. Still, “Know your role” appeared, if not racist, but definitely elitist. To me that sounded like “Know Your Place”.
After talking through e-mails with Steve on Facebook, I began seeing things differently. His handing the owner the phone wasn’t intended as a slight. After hearing he could have a party at Little Fish, I assume Steve had no idea a DJ was scheduled that night. Even if he did, Steve’s deal was with the bar owner not me. Naturally, because he made the agreement with THAT person, he’s going to hand his phone to THEM. Plus, I didn’t know anything about a party until that night.
I understand bars attempting to make money. Also, I still got love for Little Fish. Yet, see what happens when you double book two different events? Some folks walk away with unnecessary beef. Because of that, I make a personal public apology to Steve Roberts.