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“DJing a Company Picnic!” by Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

For those who don’t know, that little piece of media in the photo above is known as a MINIDISC! It’s a mostly obsolete technology, but the dang things still work! I started working with Music & More DJs somewhere around 1998, and these little disks were the primary sources for the tunes I played at COUNTLESS weddings, school dances, birthday parties, company gatherings, and holiday events over the next couple of DECADES…

And yesterday (Saturday, August 7th, 2021), I sat down with a box of CDs, a tub of MiniDiscs, a Mackie board, and two dual CD/Mini players and doled out the tunes at Tam O’ Shanter Park (in Kelso, Washington) for SEVEN STRAIGHT HOURS! I love playing music for people, especially kids, who will dance to just about anything, but even I have a tough time filling seven hours with music, on the fly, picking tunes live in the moment, and trying to entertain over a thousand people with no complaints. I had ONE request yesterday (“Slow Ride” by Foghat, but there’s a good chance I was going to play that cut anyway), played one song accidentally (“Footloose” by Kenny Loggins—people generally like that one, but I don’t), and I TRIED to play a track by Samantha Fox, but the CD was ginked out and sounded horrible, so I faded out after a few seconds and moved on to the next tune. Luckily, most folks were there having a good time, eating food, playing something called “Corn Hole” (I don’t like that name), and wandering around the various booths and shit, so I don’t know if anyone noticed that the song sounded bad. Nobody said anything, anyway…. In fact, the few people who came up to the DJ booth at all during the event said positive things. That was pretty cool!

I should probably mention, the songs that I’m listing below are the tunes that I played, in order, at the picnic. These are NOT the exact tunes that I would have played if it was just ME listening, but I stand by these music selections. (FEAR NO POP MUSIC!) Without further rambling, here’s the playlist for the 7th of August at the JH Kelly company picnic @ Tam O’ Shanter Park:

—Simple Minds – “Alive and Kicking”

—Joe Walsh – “Rocky Mountain Way”

—Led Zeppelin – “Misty Mountain Hop”

—Weezer – “Buddy Holly”

—Aerosmith – “Sweet Emotion”

—Eddie Money – “Baby Hold On”

—Seal – “Crazy”

—INXS – “Need You Tonight”

—Devo – “Whip It”

—Bon Jovi – “Wanted Dead or Alive”

[It’s sprinkling on me a bit, but that’s okay. Feels good!]

—Oasis – “Wonderwall”

—Joan Jett – “Dirty Deeds”

—David Bowie – “Diamond Dogs”

—Fine Young Cannibals – “She Drives Me Crazy”

—Talking Heads – “And She Was”

—Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

—The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “The Wind Cries Mary”

—Eurythmics – “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”

—The Breeders – “Cannonball”

—J. Geils Band – “Freeze Frame”

—Joe Jackson – “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”

—Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean”

—Dr. John – “Right Place, Wrong Time”

—Kiss – “Rock and Roll All Nite”

—Rednex – “Cotton Eye Joe”

—Scorpions – “Rock You Like a Hurricane”

—The Doors – “Peace Frog”

—The B-52’s – “Love Shack”

—Prince & The Revolution – “When Doves Cry”

—Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”

—Stevie Wonder – “Sir Duke”

—Peter Gabriel – “In Your Eyes”

—Frankie Valli – “Grease”

—The Beatles – “Day Tripper”

—Vampire Weekend – “Harmony Hall”

—Thin Lizzy – “The Boys are Back in Town”

—The Beach Boys – “Kokomo”

—The Sweet – “Fox on the Run”

—Eddy Grant – “Electric Avenue”

—Elton John – “Tiny Dancer”

—Foghat – “Slow Ride”

—Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

—Van Halen – “Jump”

—Corey Hart – “Sunglasses at Night”

—Snap – “The Power”

—Grateful Dead – “Casey Jones”

—Journey – “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”

—Blondie – “Rapture”

—Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Down on the Corner”

—Loverboy – “Lovin’ Every Minute of It”

—Yes – “Roundabout”

—Elvis Presley – “Blue Suede Shoes”

—Steppenwolf – “Born to Be Wild”

—AC/DC – “You Shook Me All Night Long”

—Rod Stewart – “Maggie May”

—Ace of Base – “All That She Wants”

—Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell”

—Slade – “Cum on Feel the Noize”

—Kenny Loggins – “Footloose” (Oooops… Accident.)

—Lipps, Inc. – “Funky Town (Remix)”

—Nirvana – “Lithium”

—The Cars – “Moving in Stereo”

—Styx – “Come Sail Away”

—John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – “You’re the One That I Want”

—Lita Ford – “Kiss Me Deadly”

—Edwyn Collins – “A Girl Like You”

—Golden Earring – “Twilight Zone”

—(various) – “I Love Rock & Roll (Ultimix Megamix)”

—John Fogerty – “Centerfield”

—King Harvest – “Dancing in the Moonlight”

—Bob Marley & The Wailers – “Could You Be Loved”

—The Rolling Stones – “Start Me Up”

—Def Leppard – “Photograph”

—Jesus Jones – “Right Here, Right Now”

—Pink Floyd – “Money”

—ZZ Top – “Gimme All Your Lovin’”

—Poison – “Talk Dirty to Me”

—Oak Ridge Boys – “Elvira”

—The Fixx – “One Thing Leads to Another”

—Madonna – “Vogue”

—George Michael – “Faith”

—David Bowie – “Changes”

—Little Richard – “Tutti Frutti”

—Don McLean – “American Pie” [All EIGHT MINUTES!]

—Right Said Fred – “I’m Too Sexy”

—Eagles – “Take It to the Limit”

—The Go-Go’s – “We Got the Beat”

—Alphaville – “Forever Young (Special Extended Mix)”

—The Hollies – “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)”

—The Cars – “Good Times Roll”

—The Clash – “Rock the Casbah”

—Enigma – “Return to Innocence”

—Wild Cherry – “Play That Funky Music”

—Cheap Trick – “Surrender”

—Nine Inch Nails – “Down in It”

—Autograph – “Turn Up the Radio”

—Morris Day & The Time – “The Bird”

—Parliament – “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)”

—The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Purple Haze”

—Toni Basil – “Mickey”

—Donna Summer – “Last Dance”

That’s it! When I used to DJ every week for M&M, I would try to end with “Last Dance,” and even country-western fans could get into that cut (if they were drunk enough.) It was kinda my signature “sign off!”

Last year, the event was cancelled (something to do with somebody being sick or something), and the year before that (2019), I was out of town so I missed the picnic, but counting this Saturday, I think I’ve played this particular event seven times. It’s always fun (for me), and I’ll happily do it again next year, if they’ll have me back! This picnic is the only real (paid) DJ gig that I do anymore—not counting all of the relatives of mine who keep getting married and having me play music for them. (I thought about selling my gear so peeps would leave me alone, but I still get the urge to set up in the backyard every once in a while and have an impromptu dance party… Oh, and I sometimes DJ kids’ dances at the Longview Public Library, which is usually a lot of fun. (I do those gigs for free of course. I try to support the local library any way that I can.)

Okay! Enough chatting for this post! Mariah (the wife) tells me that I have to do a post with all of our vacation photos next (from San Francisco and Vegas and various stops in-between), so that will probably be what I upload tomorrow or Tuesday. (I’m planning to do it as another free PDF zine, so keep an eye out for that!) LATER!!!

—Richard F. Yates

(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)


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Published by richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)

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