Skipping Like a Schoolgirl story by Christ T
art by J Keen
Skipping Girl
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 records.

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?


Maybe not:

"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."

- Leila

"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 ' 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 minutes.

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."

- Fabio

"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).

reee!reee!reee!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 much."

- Irene

Make My Day..."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."

- Jim Marshall
AKA The Hound

skippingflappingbabyMy favorite skip? Well, the Bobby Goldsboro one was it for years until just recently.

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.

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