Bo Bartlett-Young Life (American contemporary)
Say the money just ain't what it used to be
Man how we used to tear apart this town
Put a dollar into the machine and you'll remember how
-M, Ward, 'Post-War'
There have been good jukeboxes before in this civilization. Even a few comparably great ones--the Mom's jukeboxes in Philadelphia spring to mind--3 between two locations, each finely tuned to suit the room, each impossibly good. I like Grumpy's in Minneapolis, The Grog Shop's in Cleveland. But the Gooski's jukebox is something else. It feels like a tv show that's been on the air all my life, with characters coming and going. Some of them reappear after years of absence. A few were there when I first tuned in and have remained. What distinguishes it from so many others is how so many people have put their mark on it. Originally it was, I imagine, Marcus, who filled it. He's the one who changes it. But over time Bob and John put in. I got a few numbers in it myself--no one's particularly happy with my hidden Lil Wayne tracks. I imagine there are others as well who have found their way in.
An acrid book could be written on the subject of the tunes that should never again be played. They come up every fifteen minutes. People like em. They get to stay. Sadly, they get to stay. MGMT is the latest, but the list is as old as the jukebox itself: Johnny Cash, the Pixies and Black Sabbath...But why dwell on those.
At the risk of feigning impossible authority these are--if not the ten best, then ten tracks that make it what it is:
1. George McCrae-I Get Lifted
2. Clinic-The Return of Evil Bill
3. The Sonics-Have Love Will Travel
4. Nerves/ Blondie-Hangin' on the Phone (yes, both versions!)
5. Bo Diddley-Hey Bo Diddley
7. Love and Rockets-Kundalini Express
8. The Strokes-Someday
10. Roy Orbison-Workin' for the Man