“Soggy Company Picnic, 11 Aug. ’18 @ Tam O’Shanter Park, Kelso, WA, USA” by Richard F. Yates

Saturday the 11th of August, Mariah and I braved the weather, which was inhospitable, to attend the opening ceremony of the Relay for Life of Cowlitz County at the Coweeman Middle School track in Kelso, WA. As we trudged from the car to the field, the drizzle turned to showers, although it was still pretty warm. (Low 70s F, I believe.) One of our friends, a “survivor,” gave a touching and humorous address, which was pretty good to hear (even though I’m phobic about medical stuff and felt distinctly uncomfortable the entire time I was there. I try to be supportive, despite my neuroses…) After our friend’s speech, we hit a coffee shop, then Mariah dropped me off at Tam O’Shanter Park in Kelso, WA, USA, so that I could DJ my seventh J.H. Kelly company picnic.

It was…soggy…when I arrived (a few minutes before 11:00 A.M.)

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Luckily (or “thanks to strategic planning” by the folks who set my booth up), I was under a little tent, which was also under a large tree—so most of the day, the DJ booth stayed dry. MOST of the time. During the periods of HEAVY rain (and there were several) I caught some splatter from the winds pushing rain in under the tent, and I had to cover things up. At one point, I noticed that a steady stream of water was sliding off the roof of the tent onto a stack of amplifiers! Thankfully, I found the cover for a plastic storage tub, which was just the right size to cover the top of the amps, and I set it on top of the stack, angling it so that the water flowed away from the electronics. Electrocution averted!

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During the heaviest rain episodes, folks clambered for cover under any available structure (including my booth, where one guys says, “Wow! You’re still using CDs!” I still think of CDs as the NEW technology, compared to records—but WHATEVER!), and despite the less than cooperative weather, the picnic was well attended. The company spends a lot of money on this event every year, so I’m glad folks didn’t decide to skip it just because of a little deluge! (We’re from the Northwest—a bit of rain doesn’t really bother us much.)

Anyway, I played music from 11:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M., drawing my tunes from an “old” crate of CDs. In seven hours, I didn’t have ONE request or a single complaint (which is kind of weird.) The folks seemed to have a good time, although that might have had more to do with the free food and drinks (including beer) than it did with my music choices, although I did see some people head-bobbing along to the tunes from time to time. Personally, I sit at home and play music all day long for myself, so I always enjoy the opportunity to play some cuts for other folks (especially if I getting’ paid to do it!) It was fun though, and I’m sure I’ll be up for doing it again next year!

(For those wondering what I played for seven hours, I’m including the entire playlist below. Just click the “continue” button (or whatever it is) to see what I spunnn!)

J.H. Kelly Company Picnic Playlist, Saturday, 11 Aug. 2018

–Romantics – “Talking in Your Sleep”
–The Guess Who – “American Woman”
–The Blues Brothers – “Soul Man”
–Blondie – “One Way or Another”
–Eddie Money – “Take Me Home Tonight / (Be My Baby)”
–Sweet – “Fox on the Run”
–Talking Heads – “And She Was”
–Fine Young Cannibals – “She Drives Me Crazy”
–Bob Marley – “Could You Be Loved”
–Bryan Adams – “Cuts Like a Knife”
–Led Zeppelin – “D’Yer Mak’Er”
–The Clash – “Train in Vain (Stand by Me)”
–Fleetwood Mac – “Tusk”
–Thompson Twins – “Hold Me Now”
–Glenn Frey – “The Heat is On”
–Kiss – “Rock and Roll All Nite”
–Chicago – “Hard Habit to Break”
–Sammy Hagar – “Three Lock Box”
–Derek and The Dominos – “Layla”
–Nazareth – “Love Hurts”
–Bananarama – “Venus”
–Eagles – “The Long Run”
–Grateful Dead – “Uncle John’s Band”
–The Escape Club – “Wild, Wild West”
–Def Leppard – “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”
–4 Non Blondes – “What’s Up”
–Madonna – “Material Girl”
–Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train”
–Poison – “Talk Dirty to Me”
–Aerosmith – “Walk This Way”
–Bob Marley – “I Shot the Sheriff”
–John Fogerty – “Centerfield”
–Pink Floyd – “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”
–The Cars – “Just What I Needed”
–Thin Lizzy – “The Boys are Back in Town”
–The Pretenders – “Brass in Pocket”
–Foghat – “Slow Ride”
–Cyndi Lauper – “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
–Timbuk 3 – “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”
–Kenny Loggins – “Footloose” (I never liked this song, and I hated the movie, but PEOPLE like it, so I have no problem playing it… It’s not always about ME…)
–Foreigner – “Juke Box Hero”
–Marc Cohn – “Walking in Memphis”
–INXS – “I Need You Tonight”
–Golden Earring – “Twilight Zone”
–Eurythmics – “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” (I probably should have played “Here Comes the Rain Again,” but I like “Sweet Dreams” better…)
–Beck – “Loser”
–David Bowie – “Changes”
–Elton John – “Tiny Dancer”
–Katrina and The Waves – “Walking on Sunshine” (Ironic?)
–Talking Heads – “Wild Wild Life”
–Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell”
–Guns ‘n’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
–Journey – “Don’t Stop Believin’”
–Corey Hart – “Sunglasses at Night”
–Bon Jovi – “Wanted Dead or Alive”
–Cheap Trick – “Don’t be Cruel”
–The J. Geils Band – “Centerfold”
–The Power Station – “Some Like It Hot”
–Rod Stewart – “Young Turks”
–Toni Basil – “Mickey”
–Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “Takin’ Care of Business”
–Heart – “Barracuda”
–Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Refugee”
–Falco – “Rock Me Amadeus”
–Michael Jackson – “Billie Jean”
–Mr. Mister – “Kyrie”
–Scandal – “The Warrior”
–Paul Revere and The Raiders – “Louie, Louie”
–AC/DC – “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”
–Bruce Springsteen – “Dancing in the Dark” (At this point, I had to go help the Bingo callers (one of them was my younger daughter) because their speaker for their microphone stopped working. We got it sorted, but by the time I got back, the next song had already started! Double Bruce! Unprofessional!!!)
–Bruce Springsteen – “My Hometown”
–The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Purple Haze” (Great song…)
–Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
–Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
–David Bowie – “Diamond Dogs”
–Pink Floyd – “Wish You were Here”
–Nu Shooz – “I Can’t Wait”
–Bangles – “Walk Like an Egyptian”
–The Beatles – “Day Tripper”
–Europe – “The Final Countdown”
–Peter Gabriel – “Sledgehammer” (This song came out in 1986—and this was my FIRST time playing it as a DJ. I started DJing in 1988—and “Sledgehammer” had been SO overplayed by then that it took 32 years for me to feel comfortable playing it for a crowd of people… It is a good song, but they played it into the ground on MTV—back when MTV played music…)
–Steppenwolf – “Magic Carpet Ride”
–Romantics – “What I Like About You”
–The B-52’s – “Love Shack”
–The Pretenders – “Don’t Get Me Wrong”
–George Thorogood and The Destroyers – “Bad to the Bone”
–Huey Lewis and The News – “The Heart of Rock & Roll” (Ehh… Not my favorite…)
–U2 – “I Will Follow”
–Queen – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
–Culture Club – “Karma Chameleon”
–Lita Ford – “Kiss Me Deadly”
–Blondie – “The Tide is High”
–Frankie Goes to Hollywood – “Relax”
–Daryl Hall and John Oates – “Out of Touch”
–Janet Jackson – “Nasty”
–Def Leppard – “Foolin’”
–Pink Floyd – “Brain Damage / Eclipse”
–Billy Squier – “The Stroke”
–Nine Inch Nails – “Down in It” (That one was for me—but most everyone was gone by that point, so nobody cared…)

So there you go: seven hours worth of music. I had fun, and I even had a few folks singing along and dancing (especially the LITTLE FOLK, who love to dance.) If I have any advice to give people about DJing (after 30 years, I feel like I’m qualified to give advice,) it’s this: HAVE FUN. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter if anyone else is having fun! (Ha!) Also:

FEAR NO POP!!!

Get over it. A fun song is a fun song. Let it spin…

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Supreme Bunny Lord of The P.E.W.)

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About richardfyates

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