What Not to Say to a DJ

Like some, I’ve played records in public for others. Sometimes it’s a blast, especially when in a bar not serving food, with drunks and rock fans, the kind of people who offer to fight you if you play Justice but get blissfully confused if you unleash Aphex Twin’s “Come to Daddy” after Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules” and some MC5.

I used to DJ in a Brooklyn bar (now RIP), which will remain nameless since it pretty much was nameless, where the clientele included anyone from … well, me, Jimmy Fahrenheit, and a guy who’d been shot in the head. The later is not a joke. The scar down this guy’s forehead, as well as certain discrepancies of logic once in discussion with him, certified his life-changing wound as no lie. And let’s just say that you’ll know a formerly split skull when you see one.

Best of all, most patrons left me and Jimmy Fahreneheit alone or, if they requested, it was something good. Usually. Being drunk and surly kept the bad taste away.

Those with excellent music taste, or at least high standards on the level of geek-dom, rarely bother to request music once a shitty dj launches into a few songs — I’ve been to weddings where, when the DJ throws on the usual electric slide etc crapola, there’s just no reason to bother. They’re not going to have any Can. And if the DJ is good, wedding or not, I don’t bother either. Let them go. It’ll be good most of the time. Wow, I’m at a wedding and he’s playing the Wedding Present. This’ll do for an afternoon.

But I digress from today’s purpose of entry. I’d like to provide a guide, for DJs, to answering questions. Since most DJs probably know the answers, let’s say this guide is also a guide for those asking questions, so they won’t, now knowing the answers.

The most favored responses get the *.

Q: Do you have any Sinatra?
A1: Uhhhh … oh no, I think I forgot to bring some. Sorry.
A2: Nope.
A3: Who?
A4: I have some Dean Martin.*

Q: Can you please play some hip hop?
A1: Can you please be more specific?
A2: Ok. (and then play either Cannibal Ox or the Afros)
A3: Ok (and then don’t unless you really feel like it).*

Q Can you play some dance music?
A1: You can’t dance to this?
A2: I just played Prince and James Brown. I can’t help you.
A3: Sure (and then play “The Stroll” or a breakdancing song or any other un-danceable dance song)
A4: Play the Cramps.*

Q: Can you play something good?
A: This is good.*

Q: If I have a CD, can you play it?
A: Are you Scott Walker?
A: If someone gives me a blowjob, sure.
A: For twenty bucks, no problem (if you don’t have a condom).
A: You wanna DJ?
A: No*

I can’t think of any more.