Freeport, Texas, 1985. The Brazosport High School senior prom committee puts out a request for seniors to submit their favorite music for the DJs at the prom.
Music to my earholes! For the next two months, I invest hours and hours building a list of danceable rock tunes that are slightly off center, getting advice and feedback from my friends. For years I had been organizing dances and parties that had nothing to do with Top 40, so I felt uniquely qualified to produce a world class dance setlist.
The final list was around 200 songs, with slow, intimate dance music interspersed with more energetic tunes. We're talking about slightly deeper cuts from The Cars and Pat Benatar here along with some slow April Wine, not Iron Maiden or King Crimson, but the point isn't what the song list was...
When I arrived at prom, I ran inside and hit up the DJ to see what they wound up bringing. He responded "They told us to ONLY bring Top 40."
Are you fucking kidding me?
"Well, it's a good thing I brought some backups just in case. I was afraid that might happen." I raced out to my car to grab the 20 or so rock albums I figured I would need in case of "emergency."
My friends and I stayed until we got to dance to a handful of our music, including some Joe "King" Carrasco that is still amazingly danceable, and get our pictures made. When I took the albums, the DJ thanked me and said he wished we'd stay so he could keep some variety going. You could see his soul being crushed if you looked hard enough.
Fuck that place. Why did everything there have to be so ridiculous?
If YOU are in a small-minded town that you cannot change, just get out. Leave it to them. You will thank yourself every day afterwards. I have NEVER regretted it; only that I didn't leave sooner. Follow your heart.