Welcome to the first edition of my question and answer/advice column that I have unfortunately christened “Kev & A.” If you have a question or need some advice, reach out at ElectricDraculaInquiries@gmail.com
Let’s get started! Our question today comes from Allan, who writes:
Marcus at the bar plays SRV on the jukebox every time I come in. He knows I hate Texas blues and he does it specifically to annoy me. I WOULD play something he hates, but he likes too much music. The only song I know he hates is that “always wear sunblock” thing from the 90’s, and I don’t want to force myself and everyone else to listen to it just because he’s an asshole. Why should we all have to suffer…?
Are we far enough removed from the time where I can’t just throw a drink in his face? Steven Vaughan is the worst and I can’t figure out which car is Marcus’, so snapping his cell phone antenna is off the table. What happened to the good old days when you could just throw your drink in someone face and be done with it…? I would probably get thrown out of the tavern or pressed charges against but what other recourse exists? How can I retaliate, show him I won’t be pushed around, but also not get banned from the bar, arrested etc?
There are several things in this email that make me concerned this was sent from either the past or from a future where at least part of the population has regressed to a state of seemed obsolescence, like the theory that the Flintstones and the Jetsons actually take place at the same time, where the Haves live in fancy sky houses and the Have Nots live beneath the cloudline with a bunch of Jurassic Park experiment castoffs that never made it to the rich people zoos they were building before some shit went down. Which, now that I type that out, seems pretty feasible theory. That being said, if this is a) from the past…invest in toilet paper and PPE gear, if this is 2) from the future…glad to know bars still suck!
Truth be told, I got this email right around the time that the lockdown went into effect and I had grand plans of posting multiple times a week, but I am not one of the people who was just waiting for their schedule to clear up to get some shit done. No. That would have been great. Instead, I am one of the many who just didn’t feel creative. I am feeling it creeping back in, but I was more interested in the small things, like finding out that my local liquor store does curbside pickup, so I don’t have to worry about wearing a mask inside and getting shot while I compare prices of tonic water. (Thing I learned this week: just get the tonic water from your grocery store!)
Another delay in my response was that I felt like this was a really good question to start off with, but I wanted to do a little research before I could give you an informed answer. I knew basically fuck-all about Stevie Ray Vaughan other than he was from Texas (shit…I forgot to fact check that), he played guitar on “Let’s Dance,” and he died in a helicopter crash. So in order to get in the right headspace to figure out a way to help you, I am going to right now listen to SRV’s Texas Flood.
*listens to about 30 seconds of track 1*
Okay! Well, I hated that!
I’ve never really been a fan of the blues. Especially if the people playing it look like they are having fun while doing so. That’s bullshit and you all know it. I guess I was hoping that Texas blues would be BIGGER and like it carried a knife in its boot. This just felt like a different kind of white person playing the blues. All of the mystique around SRV made me think this would be really bad ass. It isn’t. There is a track on here called “Mary Had a Little Lamb” which it turns out starts with a recitation of “MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB!”
Jesus. I bought a copy of the deluxe edition CD for my mom’s husband for Christmas last year and I am starting to feel fucking guilty about it. If he makes my mom listen to this in the car, should I call the police? Listening to this while driving is almost as bad as what my mom does, which is drive with no music on, and from what I can tell, no air conditioning, even with the windows all the way up. I think she thinks its a sensory deprivation tank with a cruise control setting.
If Stevie Ray Vaughan is your cup of tea, I will certainly grant that the musicality of it all is impressive. But, I just want to make sure that you don’t consider Rigs of Dad a legitimate news source, right?
Okay, Allan, I get why you are upset. But, also…calm the fuck down. If you are rolling into a place with the frequency that this email indicates, you better have better things to do there than to stand by the bar and “throw out the vibe.” Just pretend you are an extra in Road House and wait to see how long it takes for someone to get their throat ripped out by a man with a glorious hairdo who does naked Tai Chi to give the locals a thrill. If it doesn’t happen right away, don’t worry…it eventually will. This is the perfect soundtrack for that type of behavior.
Throwing a drink in someone’s face sounds fun as hell. Can’t say I’ve ever done it. I have terrible aim and was always too broke to waste a drink. Sadly, I don’t think you can do that these days. Even if we were allowed to be in a bar with other people, throwing your drink in their face is probably going to be upgraded to a Class A felony for a while. That’s possible transmission of fluids that could be the carrier of a potentially deadly illness. And it’s not tough enough to give you status in jail.
I imagine if you are getting this torqued up over SRV on the jukebox, you probably can’t hang in gen pop, so don’t waste your drink.
All that being said, it’s hard to figure out a way to retaliate against a person who seems to only have one piece of musical Kryptonite. But since we know what that is, let’s explore.
The “sunblock” song Marcus hates is “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” by Baz Luhrmann. Yes…the director of Moulin Rouge!
It’s a spoken word track from the ’90s (because of fucking course it is) based around a pseudo commencement speech written by a columnist, not to be confused with the mostly spoken word track from the ’90s based around parts of a teen advice book by the band Nada Surf.
The text of “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” came to Luhrmann’s attention while he was working on the remix for a track that he used in his Romeo PLUS Juliet movie. So, yes, the movie that brought him to mainstream attention came out before this song. That’s a Shymalanian twist. It feels like the type of performance art someone does while trying to get financing for their senior thesis film that is really a poorly veiled attempt to tell one’s significant other they need to seek profession mental health services, but don’t have the balls to actually say it aloud.
Even more indicative of its time is that people (Luhrmann included) thought the speech was written by Kurt Vonnegut initially. You see, kids, there was a time where the internet existed, but it was mostly there to contribute songs to the wrong artist (see: Napster) and for information to get around without any fact checking. I think I just described Facebook, though. It also feels like a subplot from a Vonnegut novel.
So maybe the best way to get back at Marcus isn’t to key his Saturn sedan, but to start a conversation about your favorite Baz Luhrmann film. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who has an informed opinion on The Great Gatsby. “He was…great.” is probably the best you are going to get. Which is both wrong and I think puts you directly in a scene from Back to School, sans the incredible diving stunts that Rodney Dangerfield did himself. Don’t look it up. It’s true.
More or less, get to know Marcus. Find out what makes him HIM. And maybe you can find out what it is about YOU that makes him feel the need to turn on Texas blues every time you walk in the door. It is important that we find out what it is that people see in us to understand why they react the way they do. It’s how we learn to better ourselves. The two of you could grow not only as human beings, but as friends. Then you find out his secrets, which you can exploit and force him to never touch the jukebox again unless he wants people to know about the drifter he murdered during his teen years.
Self growth is great and all, but revenge is top notch boner fuel.
I think that should just about cover it!
Send me your advice questions and I promise that I will do my due diligence in giving you an informed answer that I am in no way qualified to answer!