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5:36 a.m. - 2005-10-24

IS THAT A BROKEN BEER BOTTLE IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST WANTING TO KILL ME?


So early last week I received a call from a woman who owned a nightclub here in town.

The gist of the conversation revolved around the fact that she had heard about my mad DJ skillz and wanted to hire me to work a few nights a week in her establishment.

I was flattered that someone had actually gotten drunk enough at one of my parties to think that I had done such a good job rocking the hizzouse that I should be dutifully employed by this nightclub.

However ... I already work enough with the three jobs I hold now. I didn't want to take on a fourth job.

Which is where my boy Mattie Gee comes in.

You all might remember Mattie Gee from past entries here as well as his five-year run as guitarist/singer/Jagerhound of the Spicolis, the legendary #1 party band in the land.

The Spicolis split up last year when the drummer moved away to harvest a beet farm in Iowa and Mattie Gee had been sitting at home every weekend, twiddling his thumbs, yelling at the kids and waiting for a chance to play music again.

So here's my thought ... if the guy can play guitar and sing in front of a crowd of sweaty college kids ... couldn't he get up and push a "Play" button on a CD player in front of a crowd of sweaty college kids?

Mattie Gee assured me that his index finger was up to the challenge by flexing it several times and then digging deep into his right nostril while rolling his eyes back into his head.

A DJ superstar was born at that moment.

So Mattie Gee and I went and met with the owner of the place last Wednesday.

It was a brief meeting filled with several noddings of the head, failed sexual innuendos and the agreement that Mattie would return on Saturday night to take over the DJ booth.

And he would be playing 70s and 80s music.

This is crucial to the story. We were told 70s and 80s music is what was played at the club.

Sooo ... Thursday and Friday were spent making copies of every single freakin' 70s and 80s discs that I owned for this new master of the stacks of wax.

That is ... if CDs were made of wax.

Which they aren't.

Vinyl LPs were.

But nobody's come up with a new phrase for DJs to use that spin CDs.

I guess we could say "spinning the ruhraniums of titanium".

But seriously ... what the fuck?!?

So anyway ... I could have let Mattie Gee cobble together a smattering of discs from the 70s and 80s out of his own collection, but the Geester is more of a Beatles/Blues fan and his CD collection reflects that in large and mysterious chunks.

Plus, I'm a nice guy who just wants his brotherman to succeed.

So we make about 30 CDs for Mattie Gee to have as a start.

And because El Geegolego hasn't officially DJ'ed since the early 80s, we both thought it best that since I had a rare Saturday night off, I should accompany him to the club in case he got up in the booth and froze like Cindy Brady on that Kiddie Quiz Show, staring cockeyed at the audience until someone physically removed him from the booth with a flying beer bottle and I could swoop in with the grace of a one-winged swan and take over for him.

We get up to the club and meet the resident DJ of the club who is overworked and overjoyed that she can give up a night of working to someone else. So at least there's no bitterness that we're coming in to her booth.

We listen to her play for a little bit and honestly?? I know that I can personally blow her away on the geraniums of titanium. While she's a super nice person and has a great way of communicating with the audience ... her mixes are clunky, abrupt and need some serious work.

On the other hand ... I'm an asshole who refuses to even look at the audience while I work ... but my mixes are smooth, continuous and flawless.

She motions for us to come up to the booth, we get in there, we unpack my stuff and are told the following:

"We play nothing but country and southern rock. Late in the evening, we play booty music."

*cough*

"What about 70s and 80s music?" I ask.

"Sure," she says. "As long as it's country or southern rock."

Oh.

Well then. Doesn't that just cram a shovel full of burning hot charcoals up my rectum?

Because ... and forgive me for being assuming here ... when I think "70s and 80s music" I think rock and roll, one hit wonders, disco and new wave music.

I mean ... that's what the boss said and that's what we were prepared to play.

When I play nothing but country music, the imagined stench of horse shit permeates my nostrils and I tend to gag compulsively throughout the evening.

But this is for Mattie Gee and is a chance to shove wads of hundred dollar bills into his pockets each week.

So we trudge ahead.

The first song we play is Dwight Yoakum's rendition of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds".

It's not exactly country but it's done by a country artist.

It was never a true hit, even though Elvis' version was.

And the crowd is just ... totally ... underwhelmed by it.

In our defense, there's a very important college football game on every TV screen in the building that has managed to capture the attention of every patron in the building.

Sooo ... we keep playing.

I think the next song was Little Feat's "Dixie Chicken". Once again ... not exactly country ... but close.

The crowd stares at the TV screens, cheering on the football team in closest proximity to our geographic location as drunk people in bars tend to do on Saturday nights in Alabama.

We play a few more songs and then hit a roadblock, trying to decide what to play next.

We have about 45 seconds until the current song stops playing.

In a fit of desperation, I start flipping through the CDs.

I find a Rolling Stones Greatest Hits disc.

How can you go wrong with the Stones? Sure ... they're about as far removed as Southern Rock as a band can be ... but it's the Stones, man.

I put it on and cue up "Brown Sugar" just as the former song fades out.

The opening chords of "Brown Sugar" slap the audience awake.

Except for one guy.

Who proceeds to yell at us from his table.

"We're not THAT OLD!!" he yells from his table 30 feet away and then proceeds to use this moment to explain to us how we should DJ. "You need to play something more up-to-date. Something more rock. Something more ..."

Seriously ... I stopped listening to his screaming over the music, the din of the crowd and the volume from the TV screens.

But I did hear one of the people at his table shush him and tell him to stop yelling at us. Which was nice. Courteous. Sweet.

Of course it was a day late and a dollar short.

So we quickly agreed what this guy needed was the new Nickleback song.

We threw this on and he was pacified, letting us know his satisfaction by yelling "YEAH!!" and bobbing his head like a turkey with a broken neck.

We played country and southern rock and songs that were neither but teetered really close to both genres for about 45 minutes.

Then the resident DJ came up to the booth.

"Here's a hint," she said. "Play something slow. If you play something slow, they'll get up and dance."

Duh.

My train of thought was ... you weren't going to get a single man out on the dance floor until this football game was over and done.

And then ... they'd only get out there if the local college football team won the game.

If they lost ... you'd have a bunch of pissed-off guys in a bar and at that point, you kinda slink out the back door quietly while "Freebird" blares over the speakers, never to return again.

No babe ... you can KEEP that disc.

So we play two slow songs ... Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" and Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying".

Right??

Neither worked.

The DJ came back up to the booth grinning.

"I guess I was wrong," she said.

"I'm never listening to YOU again!" I said with a smile to let her know that while it wouldn't behoove me to slug her here in front of everyone, I sure felt like it.

She left and we decided that it might be best to just go ahead and shoot our wad on some more up-to-date tunes that everyone would know.

Big & Rich's "Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy".

Cowboy Troy's "I Play Chicken With the Train".

Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman".

The DJ came running back up to the booth.

"Have you got Shuhdizzy?" she asked.

I responded accordingly.

"Huh?" I said, scrunching up my face.

"Shuhdizzy??" she repeated.

"I don't think so," I said all warily and shit.

She bolted past us, shuffled through her collection of discs and tossed a disc on.

She then cued up her song while screaming a bunch of cowboy things like "Herd 'em up!" and "Beeyong yong wooochee hooo yeah!!" over the microphone and then she cranked the volume up to eardrum-bursting levels.

Oh.

She was saying "She Daisy".

I had some "SheDaisy" tunes ... but I pronounce the band "She-Daisy". I'm from the old school of pronounciation where you pronounce words the way they're written and don't just invent some new way of saying them.

She pronounced it "Shuh Dizzy". Which would have been fine if the band's name was "Shuh Dizzy".

I didn't mind her coming up there to try and help us out and get the crowd more into the music by playing something she knew would get a decent response from the audience because this was HER audience and she knew what they liked whereas neither Mattie or I had ever stepped foot into that bar while it was open for business and didn't have a clue as to what to play even though we were doing a bang-up job in keeping them entertained while the football game continued.

(Wow. That was a 91-word sentence. Go me)

But Mattie Gee had had enough of the playing and said "Let's go."

Just as we were building momentum and on the verge of having those people in the palms of our grubby chubby hands ... "Let's go".

I packed up the stuff and took it out to the car.

Mattie went and thanked the manager while I thanked the DJ.

The DJ hugged me twice.

Not just arm around the waist hugs ... full body hugs. While I don't hold a doctorate in body language, I have to believe that meant we did a decent job.

Either that or this hottie wanted a serious banging from yours truly. Which could have been arranged if it wasn't for the whole "wife and kid and mortgage" thing back at the house.

Nobody said that Mattie Gee was hired. It was more "I've got your number and will call you".

Mattie didn't feel comfortable with the end result while I can't see how he couldn't have gotten the gig.

We'll find out this week, I guess.

One thing's for sure.

We're leaving the Rolling Stones at home if he gets hired.

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