Thursday, June 19, 2014
The Jukebox Is America
One of the reasons I loved going to this bar in the first place was the jukebox. I put in dollar after dollar after dollar after dollar into that machine. I am insane about music and I would drive people crazy with my domination of the jukebox. People would complain again and again about my selections, but I did not care. Sometimes, I'd play new music that I really liked, while other times I would just play guilty pleasures. A major complaint against me was that I too often played sad and depressing music. Yet, I never thought of things that way. I look at a song and say, I like it. I don't think of whether it is fast or slow. I think of whether the song is good or not. Yet, guilty pleasures were the fun nights. Do you know how fun it is to hear Hall and Oates in a pool hall at midnight? Boy, did it piss people off, but sometimes you would see people dancing to it. After a while, people would just ask me how many songs I played because they wanted to know whether it was even worth popping any money in the damn thing. I usually played a few Strokes songs a week and it would drive people crazy. Quit playing the fucking Strokes, no Strokes! They would yell at me. I even got into a fight with a waitress once over the jukebox and I had to run to the bartender for officiating. Sometimes, my love of music on the jukebox got me in trouble and I felt bad. I simply could not see through my thick glasses that the way I hate their selections is the way people felt about my selections. I don't even want to think about how much money I put into that jukebox over the time I spent there. The amount was probably biblical. Yet, the one thing I could not play was rap. This jukebox filtered out all hip-hop, which was fine by me because I only liked probably 3 rap artists anyway, Kanye, Jay-Z, and the Beasties. The Beastie Boys were originally a punk rock band, anyway. If I was in the house, you would hear almost every popular movement in music over the past 50 years, except country. I played it all. The owner did not want any fights started over rap, which always seemed to happen at other places. I didn't care that much. Too bad they could not put a filter on Country music. That would have made my year. Take that ya Tim McGraw loving bastard. I think in the end many people respected my love for the jukebox and the fact that I was willing to pay and play dj on nights when eerie silence would have filled the place. Why would they always give me money when the place was quiet to pop in some tunes? Man, I used to love and play that jukebox. The other place I went to down the street only played the radio. The owner did not want the wrong type of music playing because he wanted to control the atmosphere. Only God can control atmosphere. To me, this may sound crazy, but the jukebox symbolized a kind of freedom. Play whatever the hell you want whenever the hell you want to and if somebody complains, fuck 'em. Tell them if they don't like the music, go play their own fucking music. The jukebox is America!