Sound Check Tucson: DJ Percocet. Train. Velcro. Dreads.
posted by September 10 at 11:46 AMon
A man in Tucson swallowed many percocets. He opened his mouth like a gigantic blue whale and let the percocets float in like plankton. Then he tried to DJ. He was the opening act at a club called Plush. He drank bourbon. And had a drum machine. There were technical difficulties.
He lost sound to the main house speakers but he had headphones on, so he couldn’t tell. His music and beats had been new age and hip hoppy. There was silence for a good four minutes. Silence except for his heavy breath, and every once in a while he would sort of grunt, “Mmmh.” He was working hard, pushing buttons, and doing a hip sway DJ shuffle pill dance. He had no idea the people in the room could hear nothing. Whatever was in his headphone mix must have sounded phenomenal. A group of girls could be heard arguing, “I’m not going up there to tell him!”
Finally someone walked up and tapped him on the shoulder and told him no one could hear what he was doing. I guess the sound engineer thought it was part of the act. The DJ was horrified and tried unsuccessfully to fix the problem. That was the end to his set. People clapped and he apologized. He was almost in tears and said nothing like that had ever happened to him before.
Later he confessed to me about the percocets. We were in his car, crossing train tracks way too slow, and there was an approaching train. I’m not kidding. He was giving me a ride after the show. We were going over the tracks, and he said, “Yeah, I’ve been eating percocets all night. That’s probably why I fucked up earlier.” You think? Then I noticed the distant light of the train. Great timing to tell me about the pills, chief. For an unkind instant, I thought, “This is how I’m going to go. This pill popping plankton sifting whale of a DJ is going to end me.”
The instant prolonged and I imagined what it would feel like to have the momentum and tonnage and steel of an oncoming locomotive engine barrel through my body. My right arm and leg would be immediately decimated. No, my entire being would be immediately decimated. That’s when I noticed he was wearing velcro shoes. *Ding* VELCRO SHOES. It all made sense. He would get so messed up on pills he couldn’t tie his shoes.
The percocet filled DJ stepped on the gas. We cleared the tracks. No train barreled into the car. When we reached the destination, he tried to parallel park, which was like watching him compete in a decathlon. He dented the car in front of his and said, “It’s cool. I know her. She’s got dreads.”