Ask The DJ: Which Song Do You Hate?

Pete The DJ,

Which song do you hate the most?

-Derek

Thank you for the question, Derek!

This is actually one of the most common questions I am asked.

I try to avoid looking at the job in this way.

A job is a job, and when I show up to work I have a set of tools I use to get the job done.  If that includes playing and dancing La Macarena for the 12th time this month, so be it!

What does your job pay you to do?

Of course I love music, which is why I chose this profession.  However, I don’t get in my car and blast YMCA on my way to work.

Why?

These are the tools of the job.  If playing a song gets everyone involved and people dancing on the dance floor, I’m doing my job!  Regardless of the song!

Another variation of this question may be:

Don’t you get sick of playing the same songs over and over again?

I have a rule that starts in the car when I’m on my way to a gig.  I take my music tastes and snobbery, and leave them at home.  My job is to play requests and get people to dance participate.  My job is not to force my musical opinions on others.

Here’s The Rule:

Whichever Song Is Playing, That Is My Favorite Song

I treat it as such in that moment.

I have to make the party.

I can’t have a judgmental chip on my shoulder and expect the crowd to follow.

I have to have fun with it!

A carpenter swings a hammer.

I cue up “Watch Me Whip.”

However, I’m not writing this at a gig.

So to answer your question, The Grease MegaMix…

 

_____________________________

Update on November 10, 2019

For the most part, a song that works is a-okay with me.  Playing The Grease MegaMix usually works when it’s requested.

What ends up driving me even more nuts, is a guest that will request a song that will clear the dance floor and the requester of the song will… try to dance to the song… but then realize the terrible decision half-way through the song, leaving the DJ to try to recoup their previous dance participants.

There is a song that is commonly requested that achieves this feat, and I can’t stand it when it is requested. I will do what I can to avoid playing it because it never works:

“Black Betty” by Ram Jam

The song opens with a gong and a slow build with a short guitar solo.  Not a great start.  This song takes a while to get going.

The second part of “Black Betty” is okay.  It has a beat and a crowd can sort of sing along.  However, after about a minute, there are a bunch of jerky guitar parts that really all you can do as a dancer is sway your head back and forth, or maybe pretend to air guitar if you have any idea how the song goes.  Then, there is a really long guitar solo.  This leaves you with the same amount of options. I will say, at least the guitar solo has a fast beat, but again, you can’t sing along to a guitar solo.  You can only sort of bop around or air guitar.

Then there is a drum solo.

Yeah.

Most of this song is instrumental and undanceable.

Get it the hell out of my life.

Have a Question?  Now It’s Your Turn!

 

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