In heaven, the pool halls play
only two kinds of music,
Country & Western.
Music. Music to my ears! Music!
Music is a personal choice, just like spousal choices, clothing choices, housing choices, job choices, and food choices. Music. That which can fire the soul, make you weep, make you dance, or make you crazy.
I have quite a range of musical interests. I am by no means a scholar or even a major aficionado of music. Just like you, I like some things and dislike others.
The buttons in my car have a rap station, a lite-rock, then a heavy metal, a classic rock, a CW, a smooth jazz, and the other bank has a talk show, a golden-oldies and a Hispanic station left over from the last time I had my car worked on. I left it because it is a lively, fun station that I can crank up when I pull along side a low-rider sticking his bass out of his windows and blow his Hispanic derričre off the planet. Great fun!
The rap station makes me want to me want to move and sway like I was Carlo Cool Dude Ice C or jump up and get in “Du' Man’s” face, depending upon the song. Oh, yeah, and add an earring to my daily attire.
The golden oldies make me think of high school and college days and the talk shows make me want to run for office or move to Montana and live as a mountain man and collect weapons.
Heavy metal makes me slam my head against the car’s roof post (and like it!) or puke purple ooze.
Smooth Jazz makes me want to sip wine or brandy from a Waterford crystal goblet and wear my sunglasses, the dark ones, all the time.
The Lite-rock station makes me drive my auto in a most mellow and gentlemanly manner.
The Classic Rock (ZZ Top) has me breaking the speed limit simultaneously in two states.
The Hispanic station –makes me want to do a homegrown tattoo and put blue lights in my wheel wells.
But when I get to the pool hall, I want to hear C&W. Period. I’m sorry, it is just like that. Nooooooooo, I don’t have a cowboy hat even though I live in Texas and should, and did, but it got swiped and I have not replaced it so there! Now leave me alone!
Why? Pool is a mental game, and Rap and Rock and certain “Songs that make you horny” or songs that say “That was OUR song – boo hoo” are not conducive to rational concentrated thought.
I want music to filter out the din of people or at least minimize it. I want music to listen whilst I am pool-spectating-hoping-for-a-miss-so-I-can-get-to-the-table but music I can immediately forget or shut out when I get to the table.
“Sorry, I can’t shoot until this song is over, it was OUR song and it makes me misty-eyed and sentimental and emotionally sloppy faced and unable to make this straight-in 8-ball so you have to wait.”
So a tournament comes along, pressure mounts, and I have a critical game to win. Then BLAMMO, a Rapper blasts into my head, two guy a couple of tables over start their own interpretation of two white guys who think their middle name is ICE something, and the cute waitresses start wiggling their buns.
Now the waitresses with their buns-a-flying is kinda of entertaining but NONE of it is going to help me figure out what the heck to do with all of those clusters, freeze-ups, and plugged pockets.
Well, it won’t last too long, I am sure. I don’t see a Rap type crowd so it was probably someone with poorly aimed fingers that selected Rap over whatever. Unh, unh. Nope. Three Raps in a row.
Two of my teammates fall into Rapper mimic mode (one isn’t too bad,) another is threatening violence against the speakers hung from the ceiling and the last one is definitely getting his springs twisted overly tight.
So, what to do, what to do, what to do!?
Hmmmm? The solution presents itself, as they generally do, as soon as the concept of spending money is allowed into the solution set. Can I fix this problem without spending any money? Nope, this is a business and the jukebox is part of that business.
Can I spend a few bucks and solve the problem? OF COURSE, THIS IS AMERICA! You can solve any problem by throwing money at it, just ask our government or schools!
So I reach into my pocket, grab a ten-spot, and scan the room for any of an assortment of players I know who are sympathetic to the cause at hand. THERE’S ONE! “Hey there! Do us a favor? Take this tenner, stuff it in the juke-thingy, and punch up a bunch of C&W music, OK?”
“What songs do you want?” says money stuffer. “Any” remark I, “as long as the C&W singer is no longer among the living.” “How about if they are among the living, but close to the end, like good ol’ whatshisname, Willie Nelson?” “Close enough” said I. I felt like Bart pulling a fast-one. “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me, you can’t prove it!”
So the juke got stuffed with ten buck worth of C&W, two tables of non-tournament players and one bartender couldn’t take C&W and split and the tournament proceeded without incident. Later on somebody slipped in an acid rock song(?) but somebody else at the tournament took up the gauntlet and did their own C&W juke box stuffing thereby saving me from sending in another tenner. That just goes to prove I am not alone in my quest to have C&W (by deceased or near-deceased performers) named the official music of pool!
The NFL and some teams play Rap to get their teams fired up. Hockey has theme songs that come across with high intensity and spirit in the hockey rink, so why can’t certain C&W songs be associated with pool? There has to be SOME C&W songs that have a more universal appeal.
Certain rock songs have been adopted by pro-sports, so I could not limit pool to C&W, but the general theme could be thusly organized and based on C&W.
Now I recognize that the Snooker players would gag on their little red balls rather than accept C&W, so we could have the theme C&W songs redone by some High English Society Orchestras using violins and French horns and nobody would be the wiser! I’m pretty tricky, huh?
Spirited Cajun Music is an absolute blast, so I suppose we could use a Cajun flavor of washboard scraping for pre-tournament and player auction sessions. THAT ought to keep everyone alive and kicking!
So, you are undoubtedly asking yourself, how can YOU, the normal player who hates getting your head bashed from overloaded speakers, help with the quest for BCA and OSHA and ANSI standard pool-hall music? All of this in light of the potential for cue-sports to become an Olympic event at some time in the future?
Again, as I intimated before, it is tough or even impossible to solve such problems without spending any money. We need to form a national group to lobby for legislation to force pool halls to have a certain mix of songsters on their juke-things AND to install a key slot, be it a normal metal teethed key or credit card type, that would allow a Pool Tournament Director to commandeer the juke-thing and limit music selections to C&W.
My suggestion is that you send in all the money you can afford to me, care of this magazine, and as soon as I have amassed enough in the “CWATOMOP” (Country Western As The Official Music Of Pool) fund, I will engage a lobbyist to press the matter, even if it takes us to the Supreme Court of the Land! Make it out to “CARLO The Legend.” Money orders are preferred, but will accept traveler’s checks, checks, Visa/MC/Amex, cash, coin, wire transfers, chickens, goats, old-cars and jewelry.
I was afraid, however, that maybe not too many of you out there would agree enough to send me a few bucks to press this matter. As a trial balloon I presented this pool-musical dilemma to a few pool players standing around. I asked them to pick a theme song for Pool.
Wanna know what those dogs chose as their selection for the music to be played at the start of each and every tournament? Once mentioned, they agreed that ….
“Everybody do the Bart-Man!” D’OH!
Nobody paid me any money to put these links here, I just thought they deserved it. Tell them Carlo sent you, maybe they'll buy me a beer.
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