||story by Christ T
by J Keen
|Skips are generally regarded as an
annoyance. Most disc jockeys, specifically, consider them an embarrassment, an
aberration to be quickly obliterated. I may be strange, but I love skipping
They've long held a fascination for me, back to the time my mom's 45 of Bobby
Goldsboro's "Honey" skipped incessantly on the phrase "she planted it," locking
me in a synapse-altering thrall.
I'd even argue skipping records are the unacknowledged grand-daddy of scratching
and sampling. But am I alone in deriving secret pleasure from these spontaneous
realignments of space and time? Or in having been massively entertained by these
unforeseen encounters? Or in seeing an absurd sense of humor at work in what is
essentially a defect?
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS GONE BACK AND LISTENED TO A PARTICULARLY GOOD SKIP
AGAIN AND AGAIN?
My favorite skip? Well, the Bobby
Goldsboro one was it for years until just recently.
"Long about my second year at WFMU, when I was still doing the Friday graveyard
shift, 3 to 7 AM, John Dolan was the DJ on after me and he would show up early to
prep for his show and ultimately we became friends. The friendship progressed
into something hard to define, and we started to argue.
One night/morning I was playing an album side of the Clash's Sandinista! and long
about 'Washington Bullets,' the record started to skip. But see, I was oblivious
to this because John and I were having one mother of an argument. For like, a
half an hour!!!
So the record was skipping on I think, 'cocaine guns' or something for thirty
plus minutes and NO ONE CALLED because, as I learned later, they thought it was
part of the show."
|"The only one that comes to mind at
this time was a skip that happened on a flexi-disc that was found at a friend's
house. As I recall, it was some sort of informational/ promo type thing. And if
I'm not mistaken, Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks were the guys doing the talking. I
don't recall the subject matter of this flexi, but I remember the skip quite
well. In fact, my friend and I were so taken by this skip that we tried for hours
to recreate it on the flexi to record it. We did, but we were never able to get
it (to skip) the same way as when we first heard it by accident. Essentially, the
dialogue came to a point where one of the speakers is saying '...here in the echo
cave...' and the skip, fell right on the words 'echo cave.' This really got us,
we looked at each other as soon as we noticed this was happening and freaked. We
let that skip go for a REALLY long time until it fixed itself-probably 10 or 12
At this point we became frantic and wanted to
preserve this moment and use it in some future project, so we made our futile
attempt at recreating the magic and of course, failed."
|"As a youngster, I remember a Lush
Strings LP of seasonal tunes endlessly played on my father's hi-fi set (he
proclaimed it 'state-of-the-art,' but I think that designation applied briefly
only during 1955).
The very first tune, 'Once More, It's
Christmas,' had a skip on a particular high crescendo of violins and the effect
was like REEE-REEE-REEE, not unlike Bernard Hermann's Psycho shower-scene music.
It caused me great terror, because at that age I had a phobia about my
father's turntable (I was probably caught playing with it and severely yelled
at). After the experience of 'Once More, It's Christmas,' I couldn't be in the
same room with a malfunctioning record. I'd break into a cold sweat if a skip
wasn't stopped right away.
That particular skip is musically embedded in my brain, although the phobia
has long since passed, and may be one of the reasons I dread the holidays so
|"I was running this little after-hours joint called 'No Say No.' We had
a jukebox and one of the 45's was a song by some Country/ Western singer whose
name I forget. The chorus included that Clint Eastwood phrase, 'Make my day.'
One night the record started skipping real bad on that line, it kept repeating
over and over 'Make my day , make my day, make my day.'
Everyone in the bar was kinda transfixed for a moment and then this drunk-I don't
know if the skip got to him or what-went up and punched this local guy, Rich, in
the eye and broke his eye socket. ... Fucking strange."
AKA The Hound
I was taping the Jimi Hendrix album Axis: Bold as Love from a CD and halfway
through the song 'Let the Good Times Roll' the disc started stuttering with such
alarming Mel Tillis-meets-Plunderphonic precision that I was sure an inanimate
object had at last revealed a sense of humor. I let the tape run and eventually
played it on my show. Four or five people called to say what a great skip it was.
A week later I got a letter from a listener who said his toddler began dancing
violently, bobbing up and down, when the skip came on.
The father said it was the first time he'd seen his son ever act that way.