While I am, in general, more than happy with the way things have been going at my 'local' 12 Square Metres under the stewardship of MB and LJ over the past 8 months, particularly in regard to the music selection, which is now leaning much more heavily towards the 'Classic Rock' category, and is further enriched by a slew of early rock'n'roll hits from the 1950s donated by LJ's parents... well, even so, I do often miss my old mucker, the Aussie arch-curmudgeon JK, who founded this bar and built it into the beloved institution it is. I even miss some of the quirky - often downright cheesy - oddities that somehow used to come up oh-so-frequently on the rotation when it was JK who ruled the i-Tunes.
Here, then, is a tribute to my departed friend and his notorious 'Jiushifu' playlist.
I might have begun with something by the B-52s; but we only had Roam, Love Shack, and Rock Lobster, which really are very irritating. Any affection we had for these was based purely on the tradition created by Dr Manhattan and myself that we would have a round of B-52 shots whenever one of the irksome songs came on. And in fact, these three songs - serially excised from the playlist (with Rock Lobster being the first to go!) by JK, who grew fed up of them faster than the punters - have somehow begun to make very occasional reappearances on the roster of late.
I would also have been tempted to nominate Nobody Likes A Bogan by Australian ska band Area-7, but I've already done a post on that.
So, here's what we've got....
The Top Five JK Songs We Most Miss at 12 Square Metres
I hadn't realised until now that this was written especially for the Tom Cruise film Cocktail in 1988. I kind of prefer The Muppets' version of this (and then there's this hilarious spoof by American radio comedians Bob & Tom), but it was The Beach Boys' original that we used to hear all the time down at the bar.
4) America Sucks!
OK, this scathing song from Montreal band GrimSkunk was more part of occasional barman Big Nige's (metal and punk oriented) playlist, a few of the highlights of which we managed to smuggle on to the general roster of tunes. Nige would often use it as an affectionate wind-up for our Yankee regular through much of 2010, Sister Surly.
3) One Night In Bangkok
Ah, Murray Head - what else did he ever do? Well, nothing that famous, apart from the concept album that preceded the Benny Andersson/Björn Ulvaeus/Tim Rice musical Chess, from which this unlikely worldwide hit was spawned in 1984. (I note that Australia was one of the countries where it made the No. 1 spot in the charts; they've always had a special weakness for Abba down under! In the UK this song failed to break into the Top 10.)
2) Escape (The Pina Colada Song)
Rupert Holmes' insidiously memorable tale of attempted infidelity was again a No. 1 in Australia (hence, perhaps, JK's exaggerated affection for it), and in the USA and Canada, but stalled at No. 23 in the UK charts. I think I'd only been briefly and very dimly aware of it on its first release, but as soon as I heard it again in the bar thirty years later, I felt as if I'd heard it a million times. And within another year or two, I probably had!
Ah, but the winner is....
1) Frontier Psychiatrist
I'd never heard of The Avalanches before (an Australian band, wouldn't you know it?!), and I'm not usually very open to the heavy use of samples, but damn, this song is clever, and fun. This is the only track in this selection that I really do MISS. [The original - rather less kooky! - version of the video is here.]