Monday, March 5, 2007

Dee Jay Oy Vey

Quick gig report:

DJs are often self important assholes.

Extended gig report:

I guess I should back up and say that musicians are often self important assholes too, BUT AT LEAST WE HAVE A SKILL SET.

Let me ‘splain

We were hired to play a fund raiser for the Have a Heart Foundation (which maybe should be called Have a Clue When Hiring the Band Foundation, but I’ll get to that later…) in lovely New Hope, PA. The venue was a country club just on the outskirts of town, and we were supposed to start cocktails at 6:00. Dave B. (keyboards) and I are usually among the first to arrive at any particular gig, and Saturday was business as usual. As we arrived, there was a Bat-Mitzvah just finishing, clearing out of the room we were to be in. As we loaded in our respective carts o’ gear, we looked over at the stage area and saw a GINORMOUS DJ setup. This setup would have made D.W. Griffith blush, and it involved huge speakers, lights, a balloon bridge, some kind of illuminated Ego Gazebo (Gazebo?) that looked like a 1970’s idea of what they thought a puppet theater would look like in the year 1999, and TONS of inflatable party tchotchke. (Oh yeah… gotta have inflatable guitars, hats, robots, and saxophones. That’s how you can tell it’s a PARTY. Heaven forefend that people have a good time without motherfucking PROPS. Anyway…)

As we stepped into the room, the main DJ (or at least the guy with puffiest face and farthest extended select-a-size tuxedo pants) says to me:
“Who are you?”
Now- I KNOW that he means:
“…excuse me my good man, but I can tell by the type and quantity of your cartage that you are a fellow comrade in the entertainment industry. Perchance, tell me with which organization are you affiliated, and what is the name of your ensemble?”
but fuck him. You can be nice. You can ask in a TRILLION ways more nicely than:
“who are you?”
Douche. Just pissed me off right away.

I responded-
“Fine, nice to see you too.”
He said-
“no no no, what BAND are you with…" (as if I’M the idiot.)
I responded-
“I know what you mean. We’re with the Philadelphia Funk Authority.”

With that I turned around and pretended to adjust a strap on my cymbal bag that has been in the exact same configuration for 8 years. He blurts out (to the back of my head mind you…)
“I’m Nick (some fucking last name that I really wish I remembered so I could look at his website)… never heard of me right? TWENTY SEVEN years in the business…”
I slowly turned around and tried to project photon torpedoes through my eyes directly into his forehead.

I also tried, with Chuck Jones-like face animation, to wordlessly convey: "You’ve GOT to be kidding me…Are you trying to impress me- you button-pushing, sax-inflating fuck? Huh?"

I would say there was a 12% chance he got my meaning. Nerft.

Well.. it took NICK about 45 minutes to pack up his RECORD PLAYER.

All the while poor Dave is freaking out because he has to set up his gear for the main stage AND another bunch of gear for cocktail hour. By this time the rest of the band shows up, and there’s a bottleneck of gear getting in and gear getting out. Feh.

The MOST ridiculous thing was the absolute FUCKING MESS that Nick and his Fat-Mitzvah crew left. Empty glasses, sheets of paper, napkins, confetti, shit taped to the floor of the stage… it was a complete trashing. THE BEST though was when one of the DJ’s assistant’s proceeds to POP every balloon in the 200 plus Balloon-Bridge-of-Semitic-Womanhood and leave all the limp deflated remnants right where they would drop, like some strange combination of Bozo the Clown and a Moil. The hostess of the venue (the lovely Carmella) started cleaning up all this shit, and Dave and Dale and I walked over and commiserated with her. I said that I couldn’t believe the MESS these guys left- and she told me that we didn’t even know the half of it. Dr. Music and his Interns of Groove had been a pain in the ass all afternoon apparently, what with their demands (?) and doing a generally SHITTY job in the DJ department. (Quick… they’re not dancing… inflate more yarmulkes!) We helped her clean up all the crap, and she seemed very grateful.

(It goes to show that being NICE not only makes sense, but can be rewarding… We weren’t supposed to be fed at this gig, but as the dinners were served, Carmella walked over to us and said- “I can get you guys food- there’s lots of extra.” We all had some lovely steak and salmon. Sweet! So remember- BE NICE!)

Anyway- after His Benevolence Pope DJ the X packed up all his gear and left- the highlight of the evening ended up being the ever standard POLKA requests (because that’s why you would hire the Philadelphia FUNK Authority…) and the fact that the majority of the crowd left after dessert.

Ah well…

1 comment:

Shannon said...

George, I don't know how you do it. Props to you, man, for dealing with that kind of shit.

But figure, a guy who's been in the DJ business since 1979, how the hell would he know what's cool and not in today's world?

(I really hope you haven't been DJing since 1979.)