Friday, July 22, 2011
Marriage 301, Lecture 647: The Good Music
This is what most people want at a class reunion. I know, because I have talked to everyone.
But this is what I want:
1. To see old friends
Everything else is secondary.
Of the other elements, I would order them this way:
2. Decent food.
3. Excellent music
4. Reasonably priced drinks (not for me but for my husband who likes a beer or a glass of wine and the more we spend on booze, the less there is for shoes)
5. A venue that is not too creepy. By "not too creepy," I mean, not a divey motel that smells like mildew and the toilets have rust in them and there is an air of desperation and surrender that hovers three feet off the dirty carpet.
What we got at SH's 30th high school reunion in Pittsburgh last week (aside from nice conversation with SH's high school friend Kevin and his trophy wife - I introduced myself as SH's trophy wife because that's what I am):
1. A stunningly beautiful view (the Burgh is a gorgeous town and western PA is lovely in the summer)
2. A swanky venue (country clubs are usually pretty nice)
3. Not too shabby food
4. AWFUL MUSIC
AWFUL MUSIC. AWFUL.
Let me ask you a question. If you were going to DJ a Class of '81 reunion, what music would you play?
Here's a hint: Music that was popular at that time.
Almost everyone loves the music they listened to in high school and pretty much everyone is convinced that music has just gone to heck in a handbasket since that time.
The advantage of the Class of '81's music is that music really has gone to heck in a handbasket since then, although there were a few standouts in the early and mid-80s. Who doesn't like the Go-Gos?
Second question. If you are DJing a party where there is a dance floor, what kind of music do you play?
1. Party music
2. Dance music
Now, knowing the parameters of this discussion - time period, setting - is there any reason whatsoever to play THE DOORS? Or THE GRATEFUL DEAD?
I don't even want to hear that music when I am not at a class reunion. I definitely do not want to hear it when I want to bathe in the nostalgia of what I used to hear blaring from the back of the bus where the cool kids sat on the way to school as we crossed over the Panama Canal and watched the sun rise over the Pacific. (For indeed, that is how the sun rises in Panama.)
I do not want to hear Smoke on the Water. I do not want to hear Santana.
I want the Bee Gees. I want ABBA. I want Andy Gibb. I want the Cars. Jay Ferguson. ELO. Journey. Hot Chocolate. Earth Wind and Fire. Rod Stewart.
You get the picture.
The DJ was playing Santana. The Doors. The Grateful Dead. A lot of stoner music. I asked him to play ABBA and anything else from that era. He played "Dancing Queen," then reverted to stoner music.
Mind you, this guy was in his mid 60s and wearing a suit. Was he yearning for his soixante huiter days?
After a few minutes, SH, Kevin and I made on a napkin a list of musicians and songs that would be acceptable to us. The list included the Bee Gees, Taste of Honey, Eric Clapton and more that I can't remember.
We took the list to the DJ, who also had open on his table books showing the top 40 hits from 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981. I suggested we would like to hear what was on our list and also anything from the top 40 lists.
He took out list, nodded, and played the first song on the list. Then he played a medley from Grease.
By now, I was ready to go back outside, but felt that I had to stay for a while if the DJ was going to play what I had asked for.
After two of our songs, he played a Santana song again.
I decided I owed him nothing. Nothing. It was time to leave.
Apparently, everyone else thought the same thing. Almost everyone moved from the dining room to the patio with the now-obscured view (the $70 a person and that didn't even include a single drink view). Nobody danced. Nobody wanted to. How do you dance to stoner music?