Saturday 11.22.08: STINKERS

COOPER CALLED ME THE OTHER DAY and asked me if I wanted to deejay Stinkers (link) Saturday, so last night I slicked the coif and headed to Silverlake for some of that hipster cake. For the unaware, Stinkers is Saints & Sinners' newly-opened sister establishment. Imagine a hidden bar on the seedy end of Disneyland where Mickey Mouse has been replaced with Burt Reynolds circa Smokey And The Bandit. This won me over, since I've always loved Burt Reynolds, because he looks like my father. See?

Burt looks like my father probably would if he had a little Middle Eastern in him (nerd alert: Burt is part Cherokee). So I imagine I will end up looking somewhat like Burt myself when I get old. I hooooooope.

Stinkers aims to recreate the vibe of a '70s-era Heartland truck stop bar. As such, Cooper requested that my musical selection for the evening dovetail with such sensibilities. Piece of cake. My father practically is a trucker, except his truck is a plane and he's in the back working on the free gin & tonics instead of in front driving. Many's the night I laid on the floor as a lad in our house in Portugal or Libya or wherever else we lived in the '80s, poring through an atlas while he stood unsteadily in the middle of the room playing air guitar to AC/DC, wearing nothing but briefs and a belly, a row of empty beer cans on the table behind him. His favorite possession ever remains the burgundy Monte Carlo coupe with the swiveling seats that he owned when we lived in Orange County for a spell in 1985. Legend has it he was on the freeway to Mexico with my mother one day, missed his exit, and promptly veered hard left, flew off the freeway Dukes Of Hazzard-style and landed on the right highway, heading across the border without missing a beat.

Deejaying Stinkers was a breeze compared to Saints & Sinners, where I try to cater to the tastes of everyone from rockers to hip-hoppers to mainstream tools, all of whom seem to think they're the only people in the room. All you have to do at Stinkers is think of the song you're considering, and imagine it coming on in a bar full of drunk truckers. By this rationale, I have come up with five handy guidelines.


  1. ALL SONGS MUST BE OF THE 1950s-TO-1980s ERA. Truckers like their guitars electric and their synthesizers unplugged.
  2. NO HIPPIE/PSYCHEDELIC MUSIC. There are exceptions, but to be safe, err on the side of caution.
  3. NO GLAM-ROCK. I know a lot of you regulars around here luuuurve your hair metal, but the grizzled truck driver in the beard and flannel rolling through Tennessee in an eighteen-wheeler would have ran over Nikki Sixx, and then backed up over him once or twice for good measure before playing one of his records. And you know I'm right.
  4. NO EXTRA FUNKY BLACK MUSIC. Wilson Pickett, Ike and Tina, Otis... the bluesy stuff they can handle. Throw James Brown or Sly & The Family on the jukebox and you might wanna get that Sloppy Joe to go.
  5. NO EXTRA SAPPY LOVE SONGS unless they're about inanimate objects (alcohol, trucks, guns, etc.).

And you can expect me to follow the above guidelines to the letter if I ever deejay Stinkers again. I'm sure a lot of the customers as well as employees would like to see these rules relaxed, but if we're not going to be historically accurate with regards to the era we're aping, then I'm just going to throw some Wu-Tang Clan on as well while we're at it. And you can quote me on that. Besides, no sense in fixing what ain't broke; I got a boatload of compliments and a wondrous time was had. And it's all thanks to my father's air guitar lessons. So this one goes out to you, pa... wherever you are. Malaysia?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails