Playing music (deejaying) at functions used to be fun for me...not anymore. There are DJ services out there who have plowed through for many years very successfully, but for me, it got to be too much with everything else I have going on.

The school dances were the exception; they were fun and the kids were always appreciative - just play the current hits and you’re a crowd pleaser. Weddings were another fact, a horror story.

At a wedding, you’re expected to please the bride & groom and hopefully the crowd. Bride, no problem. Groom, whatever pleases the bride. The crowd? Forget it. It’s a mix of babies, pre-school, kids, teens, college students, so-called adults, the old, the older, and the oldest.

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Trying to please this human mulligan stew is impossible. The old ones will approach you with “Will you turn that down? It’s too damn loud!” So you turn it down. Then a younger person comes up. “Will you turn that up? We can’t hear it!” This goes on all through the four or five excruciating hours.

Then there’s the drunk relative who brings his cassette tape of himself singing some out-of-tune song, “Hey, play this’un next!” So you do, to a booing crowd.

There’s always a guy who brought his own records and wants to use your equipment to play them. Forget it, Clyde. If you wanna be the one to play records, they should’ve hired YOU.

Speaking of records, before compact discs became a thing, playing actual vinyl records could be a heart-stopper. If you are deejaying on a wood stage or floor, chances are some smartass will come up and stomp on the floor to intentionally make your needle skip. Then off they’d go with a “har, har, yuk, yuk” as they head back to the free bar.

CDs had their problems, too. They do tend to sometimes skip or stop in mid-play, caused by a scratch, a speck of dirt, gouge, or smudge. They are not as infallible as they first made us believe.

Then there are the requests. You may have a request sheet that you write the requests on and they tend to get very long. Obviously you can’t play ‘em all at once, so inevitably the requesters will constantly come up with “Did you play my song yet?” “When you gonna play my song?” over and over.

And if you didn’t get paid in advance, sometimes the bride and groom would slip out unnoticed and forget to pay you...get the money up front.

The older people always had the same looks on their face, regarding the music you play: grimaces, scowls, furled brows, and then they hold their ears, turn their head to the person next to them, point at you, and mumble something I’m sure is unflattering.

Oh, and for the removal of the garter belt? So many deejays played the same thing at EVERY wedding I attended: The Stripper by David Rose. So I refused to play it when it came time for the garter...I’d play “Legs” by ZZ Top instead.

And deejays always played the same songs: “Mony, Mony,” “Old Time Rock & Roll,” “Twist and Shout,” “Celebration,” “YMCA,” and others. It was very predictable (also predictable was the bridesmaids getting drunk and throwing up). Never failed.

Nowadays, I find it refreshing that deejays are mixing it up a little better than they did back in the 80s and 90s. Thank goodness. But nevertheless – If I can help it, I will never deejay another wedding.

Thank goodness no more CHICKEN DANCE.

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