At last Wednesday’s DJ gig, around 11:30, the night died. Only a few people patronized the place, and those few sat outside including the bar’s female owner.
“Might as well put on a playlist and join us,” the owner said.
I moved half-way on this suggestion. I played songs lasting six to eight minutes, songs like an extended club mix of Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.” Then, I sat outside and drunk brew. When the playing song was ending, I got up and mixed in the next song.
The “My Prerogative” days.
Soon, two women entered. Not really the crème of the crop. Yet, I can see drunk dudes hitting on them.
“Women finally show up,” I told two, young, white guys.
“It’s the music,” one of them said in a negative tone.
If he was dissing my music, I guess he didn’t recall Candace, a young black woman, grooving to the Bobby Brown song. I’ll call this guy Tweedle Dee.
When I got back to the booth, the other white guy walked up to me. After placing two dollars in my tip jar, he asked for a LMFAO song I didn’t have.
“You can find it on YouTube,” he said.
I’ll call this guy Tweedle Dumb.
“I don’t do that, man,” I said. “I do have that group. I just don’t have that song.”
“Play it then,” he said. “Play something upbeat.”
Next, Keith entered with another Candace, a white one. Because we are almost the same age, Keith and I both share an appreciation for the eighties music we both grew up with.
“I thought you guys were going home,” I said.
“We were,” Keith said.
“We were in the other bar and heard the eighties music you were playing,” Candace said.
I hear this after Tweedle Dee criticizes my music and after Tweedle Dumb requests “upbeat” music.
Then, more folks showed up. Not many. Still, enough to liven the bar. Two or three folks danced to my musical choices.
“You got any dubstep?” Tweedle Dumb asked me.
“Yep,” I said.
“I wanna hear some dubstep. Play Skrillex.”
I honored his request with “Kill Everybody”.
The Village People
Then, Tweedle Dee asked for Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” I didn’t play it right after my current playing song. When I didn’t go that route, Tweedle Dee frowned. And I didn’t give a fuck. I’m a DJ. Not a goddamned jukebox.
Then, Tweedle Dumb asked for it. Then, told me to play another song right after that one. I wasn’t annoyed about this…yet. So, I did as Tweedle Dumb asked.
Moments later, I noticed him dancing with one of the two ladies, a blonde.
As the night ended, Tweedle Dumb walked up to me.
“I DJ too,” he said. “I would like to work with you.”
As some diss my gig being a dive bar in a small town, this is the fourth request I received from another DJ wanting to work with me at this very spot.
Personally, I suspected the guy a fraud. First, any DJ worth their salt knows not to play songs off YouTube. Not only do you risk your laptop freezing, going online for songs encourages people to keep asking for more online songs. Next thing you know, you’ll be too busy filling requests instead of performing a proper mix. Second, when it comes to genres, don’t go picking the most popular artists of that category…especially a guy who recently won a Grammy. Surprise me. Pick a decent group I hadn’t even heard of. Anybody can pick the most popular artist or groups…even a forty-something, dive bar DJ like yours truly. Third, if you respect the art, don’t go telling other DJs how to do their job. Later on, that telling me to play a song next started irritating me. Plus how are songs playing at 110 beats per minute not considered upbeat?
Yep, I smelled a fraud. And if he ever reads this, DJ Tweedle Dumb must understand he took the wrong approach with me if he is legit.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from Alice in Wonderland.
The next night at the same bar, I told some of this to Keith. What he said next shall forever remain with me.
“It seems as if once you get your foot in the door, the more bullshit you have to deal with.”
He’s right. I think back to my Wal-Mart years. It was all right when I was just another employee. Yet, when I received a promotion, some upper management gave me hell…even when I increased the area’s sales.
Still, this doesn’t mean I hand bullshit permission to bring me down. I love being a DJ. As a nocturnal human, it’s the perfect gig because I can’t sleep at night. I refuse allowing bullshit to ruin this for me.