For reasons unknown, some of my fave bloggers are writing about music these days, and so, not one to drop my oar, I offer the following which has been simmering within me since the colder months.
All last winter, at the Club Fort Lauderdale, they played the same four songs endlessly and repeatedly and loudly. At first, I was glad for the fact that these songs had replaced J Lo reminding us that she's just Jenny from the Block which was the previous mantra that filled those halls. It was annoying because, in fact, none of those present were just Jenny from the block, although on occasion, with the right piece in one's hand, the lyric "I used to have a little now I got a lot" did seem to make some sense.
The Four Inevitables, as I referred to them in my unheeded complaints to the manager, were
"Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney, which contains the words "I don't want another pretty face". Those of us who sang along while sauntering or posing were outright liars.
"True" by Ryan Cabrera, which contains the words "I've waited all my life to be with you". Another terrific lie. Most of us in that place would wait longer for an ATM to spit out twenty bucks than we would for the attentions of the next man to come around the corner.
"Boulevard of Broken Dreams" by Green Day, featuring the constant phrase "I walk alone". This choice was only partially absurd. I did occasionally walk alone, usually while exiting someone's room and wiping my hands along the walls on my way to the showers. That moment, however, did not capture the existential yearning intended by the Green Day.
"I'm With You" by Avril LaVigne. Finally a tolerable anthem for many of those evenings. Ms. LaVigne commences with the words "It's a damn cold night" which was certainly true of Fort Lauderdale during its last unusually frigid high season, and when she wails "Take me by the hand...I don't know who you are but I'm with you", well there just wasn't a dry dick in the place.
I once read that "Chocolate Cake" by Crowded House was first a hit in the bath houses of Australia, and that the Finn brothers took this as a fine compliment. I wonder if Captain and Tennille would have felt the same if they had heard me whistling "Do that to me one more time" while walking the halls of the Sloane House YMCA many years ago. I liked the fact that there was no music piped into the halls of that wonderful place. Some guys, using a shoe to prop open the door, indicating an interest in the reception of guests, had radios that might catch your ear as you passed, but not in the agressive way that the speakers mounted overhead in most bath houses deliver divas where you just don't want them.
Next career: traveling bath house music consultant. So easy to pack. Won't even need the overhead bin.