Sunday, November 4, 2012

No. 578 – When the Music’s Over

Performer: The Doors
Songwriters: Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore
Original Release: Strange Days
Year: 1967
Definitive Version: None

I’ve noted that I like my music arranged just so. Obviously, this list is one such manifestation. But it also has been the case for mix tapes, CDs and playlists. And it’s true when I load up a jukebox at the bar. Although I’m less anal about the exact order of the songs I play on a juke, I still need to have a definitive opener and closer.

I stopped going to the Thurman Café for a while with the folks at The Dispatch, a good while in fact. When I first started going in 2001, it was OK for a while, but it was mostly news copy desk people whom I didn’t know very well, and I felt excluded to some degree. Maybe I still was feeling some withdrawal post-Debbie and just wanted to be alone, but it got to the point where I preferred going home after work.

But sometime in 2002, Business added a new copy editor from the news copy desk. Her name was Erika, and after a while, she started saying I should come out to the Thurman again. She wasn’t part of the original group that went. For some reason, she just started going.

She said she liked going for the pizzas, which I’ve mentioned and were a new food item. After a while, her persuading led me to start going to the Thurman again. I figured between her and Chuck, I’d have enough people to talk with no matter where I sat.

This time all the pieces clicked together, and I not only became a regular, but I also was a cornerstone—one of the folks who always went and usually who was one of the first on the scene due to my workload and responsibilities the night we went out.

Part of the reason it clicked was it was a better crew of people. There had been some turnover on the copy desk, so it was a smaller group that went. As a result, I got to know Holly and Andy.

Holly was one of the young guns on the design desk who had been part of the Thurman crew all along but had kept mostly with the other “kids” who did a lot of drinking. She definitely had curtailed that by this time (fewer bad influences, perhaps?) and I found I could make her laugh real easy.

Andy, who had just joined The Dispatch and who was dating Holly, and we got along right away, whether it was discussing baseball or music or whatever the topic of the moment was. As long as they and Chuck were there, it was guaranteed to be a good time.

During the time that I had stopped going to the Thurman, management changed the joint’s jukebox, going to an Internet-connected one that had tons of CDs available but only so many songs available from each CD—unless you were willing to pony up a little extra cash. I wasn’t. I figured I could find enough songs to play out a fiver.

Fortunately, this was one of the included songs, and after a while, I always made this song my last song of the night. It’s perfect that way, right? The music’s over, so turn out the lights on another Thurman run.

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