Today, if the server were to quietly press the compact disc back in my hand, I wouldn’t be quite so offended or insulted. I probably would even decline the offer.
A couple of decades back, I was a regular at one of Decatur’s adult beverage dispensaries. The music played over their in-house system was a regular subject of discussion, and often (from me) derision. With all the great music available, why would they pick the lightweight stuff they were playing.
So I was asked to bring in a disc one night. (This was long before that brief sensation of people handing in their iPods at bars for four- or five-song sets, which was a fantastic idea that never caught on as it should have.) I was delighted with the idea of my effort filling the ears in the bar with brilliance.
Twenty minutes later, the disc was back in my hands, and the regular nonsense was playing again.
There’s a difference in the way I hear music than most people. (And the people who feel the same way I do will wince and nod in recognition at much of what I write throughout this blog’s existence.) To me, music can never be “in the background.” It’s always front and center. I have no problem with this.
But others have a problem with some of what I consider “brilliance.” They don’t want to hear someone whining about their relationship issues, or damning an ex (unless they’re comically cursing out the ex), or anything particularly serious. They are at the watering station to forget their problems, not ponder someone else’s.
I understand better now how much different my taste is than others’. So I’d turn down the offer if it ever came up again.
Or, at the very least, I wouldn’t bring in Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks.”