Quote of the Day: “Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don’t know and I don’t care.” — Jimmy Buffett
Travellinbaen found himself at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi a few days ago, and for reasons irrelevant here decided to partake in the $22 buffet. Buffets have there place in the culinary world. They offer instant gratification and something to please everyone. But seldom, never in my experience, is a single buffet item the “best” in class. What I mean is, if you want fish, you may choose it happily at a buffet, but if that is ALL you want, and you want the best, you will go to your favorite seafood joint and order it off the menu.
So if you wanted to put out a buffet of songs, what would be on it? Remember, we must strive to please everyone. And nobody has to know if you find yourself humming along.
I am a firm believer that every cover band in the United States plays “Mustang Sally.” Yet you never hear this on the radio. I wonder why that is? But play this song at a dance and the people will follow their Pavlovian compulsion to wave their arms aloft and shimmy out to the dance floor. At any rate, any music buffet would be well served to be anchored with a double portion of this bar, wedding reception, and Mardi Gras ball staple.
My friend JBE has often pointed out that back in the late 80’s and early 90’s every frat house band would cover G-L-O-R-I-A-GLORIA. This is another excellent item for our trough. Danceable, lyrically friendly and loud. As we move along the buffet, we won’t be able to resist a taste of Buffett’s Margaritaville. Sure, its not good for you, but it has plenty of salt, and that always works on a buffet.
At a buffet, one often eats until even his eyes feel bloated, which reminds me of another tune guaranteed to get the folks out there to dance off the calories–Brown Eyed Girl. Yes, Van Morrison has a lot of songs that are better for you, but we can all get serious about our diet tomorrow.
A money making buffet always needs lots of cheesy casseroles, and on our music version, the entire catalog of John Cougar Mellencamp fills the bill. Hey, I seldom change channels when his tunes hit the airwaves, but I’d never waste one of my 2000 Ipod slots on Jack and Diane, would you?
Finally, we reach the desserts and if you saved room, its time for “Stroke It”. But if things are moving slower as you begin to get your fill, I gotta suggest topping off this potpourri with a song for all the closers out there, and those who want to be closed upon–Percy Sledge’s “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
I know I’m leaving out a ton of others and invite you to add to my list. After all, a buffet can only achieve lofty status and justify more than ten bucks, if it is obscenely indulgent. And I promise not to tell anyone you stopped by for a taste.
Every buffet has to have a salad/appetizer section – something to get you started. Light, not too filling, but sometimes tasty. A few 80s one-hit wonders will fit in nicely with the slaw, carrot sticks and macaroni salad: Whip It by Devo, Tainted Love by Soft Cell, Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Perfect Way by Scritti Politti (if for no other reason than because I like saying the name of the band). JBE’s observation about G-L-O-R-I-A is right on. I would have to add Mony Mony to that section of the buffet. I dare say that I don’t know a single 30 or 40-something that hasn’t danced while yelling at the top of his or her lungs “Hey! Hey what? Get laid, ….”?! Dessert has always been my favorite part of any meal, so I have to add my all-time favorite closer to the buffet – Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett.
Nicely done. Mony Mony….I had repressed those memories I think.
As you well know, if you were cruising in my Maxima or Intrepid, you were listening to various versions -long, live, and/or bootleg- of all kinds of one hit 70’s and 80’s tunes. I hate Katrina for taking my 7 Seconds skate/punk band cover of Nena’s 99 Luftballoons (Yes I had the German and American versions too), the extended remix of Falco’s Rock Me Amadeus, and some kind of live version of King Harvest’s Dancin in the Moonlight (just try not to belt out the refrain when driving by yourself).
Some people actually go for the pizza and yeast rolls on the buffet, so put a couple of Hair Band Air Guitar specials in the steam tray. Talk Dirty to Me by Poison and Here I go Again by Whitesnake (if only to segue to Tawny Kittaen’s debut on TBS Nightracks and ultimately to her beating up that Angels pitcher).