So I’m sitting on the back porch and reading last weekend when I hear “Check, check, 1, 2” on a PA system. Some neighbors were throwing a party, and Mr. DJ had apparently arrived. I grabbed a pencil and paper from by the phone and took to sitting and reading my magazines and writing down their setlist.
1. Build Me Up Buttercup (cut), The Foundations
2. Son of a Preacher Man, Dusty Springfield
3. Build Me up Buttercup (full), The Foundations
4. My Mistake (Was to Love You), Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross
5. Band of Gold, Freda Payne
Strange pair of choices there. Good songs both, especially My Mistake, but thematically troubling.
6. Sugar Sugar, The Archies
7. You Better Shape Up, Grease
Then I heard only backbeat and “ooo!” until a chorus kicked in…
8. Respect, Aretha Franklin
9. Dancing Queen, ABBA
10. Sk8ter Boi, Avril Lavigne
11. Mustang Sally, not by Wilson Pickett
12. Follow Me, Uncle Kracker
I’m guessing there was a fight over the turntable. What else could explain that sequencing? My brother then walked in from the pool and told me about the band that had played there that evening. It was five high school guys, he said, playing “big band music, if big band was, like, five people.”
13. Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffett
My brother explained to me who the neighbors were that were throwing the party. “I imagine they’re quite well off, or they just blow all their money on parties,” Rob said. On a different note, a rotini note, he then proclaimed himself “Mr. Leftover.”
14. Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
15. Knock Three Times, Tony Orlando and Dawn
Reminded me of Paul Revere. Sort of.
16. I’m a Believer, The Monkeys
There are lot of things that can be praised about the Shrek movies, but music selection isn’t one of them. Take the first one. Smash Mouth playing All Star? Smash Mouth playing I’m a Believer? The new one’s got Livin’ la Vida Loca and Footloose’s Holding Out for a Hero in prime spots. Come on. Who let William Hung into DreamWorks? I figure the music director’s assistant got to choose the music earlier in the film, and she or he did a much better job. Until its inevitable overplaying, the Counting Crows’ Accidentally in Love can ride pop all over my radio right now.
17. More Today Than Yesterday, Spiral Staircase
18. Take Me Home, Country Roads, Hermes House Band
Horrible. Don’t mess with my John Denver.
19. Long Train Runnin’, Doobie Brothers
20. Car Wash, Rose Royce
The best radio contest I ever heard was when the DJ made listeners guess the number of claps that open the song.
21. I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Gladys Knight and the Pips
22. Sweet Home Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd
23. Unknown. But fireflies began lighting in the backyard.
24. Pour Some Sugar on Me, Def Leppard
The DJ took a moment to announce the celebrant’s 21st birthday. A good laugh was had by all.
25. Livin’ on a Prayer (live), Bon Jovi
But not live live.
26. Centerfold, J. Geils Band
27. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers
28. Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress), The Hollies
29. Stuck in the Middle With You, Stealers Wheel
The only time I’ve ever walked out of a movie was during the ear scene in Reservoir Dogs. I came back after the scene was over, but I’ve held it against Tarantino ever since. Sadism pisses me off.
30. You’re the One, The Vogues
31. Unknown. A helicopter flew overhead.
32. Lean On Me, Club Nouveau
And that was more than enough. I heard a guy yell “Yea-uh!” (the vocalized moron gaze) and I knew between him and the setlist that I’d had enough of these people, whoever they were. Last Dance pumped through the neighborhood at 1:30 in the morning and accompanied my teeth-brushing.