For those of you who may have forgotten (or never knew), for the last few weeks we have been running a contest for best—and best avoided—songs for “Pyongyang’s “first ever DJ Party.” (If anyone actually attended let us know via the reply button. We’d love to see the documentary evidence.) According to DJ BO (what a name) he was planning to play Eric Clapton (heard the Kim family were fans), as well as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and the Stones.
Aidan Foster-Carter and I had pretty much exhausted the Clapton canon, and the entries we received focused on the Stones. Siamtwin came up with some very creative ideas for tunes to spin: “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (for food aid); “Factory Girl” (tribute to women proletarians); “Gimme Shelter” (theme song for the construction of new housing units in Pyongyang); “Play With Fire” (warning to south Korean militarists), and a couple of suggestions for songs to be avoided (lest they be interpreted as criticism of the DPRK criminal justice system): “Rough Justice,” and “When the Whip Comes Down.” (Siamtwin and I were on the same wavelength with respect to those last two.)
And STB had some excellent suggestions: “Time is on My Side” and “You Can’t Always Get What you Want” but saw them as songs to be avoided. Conversely, gerphil interpreted “Time is on My Side” as a triumphal anthem and the judge agreed. Gerphil, you are a winner!
And for song to be avoided? Gus Astros’s suggestion of an obscure mid-1980s B-side, “Had it with you.”
In retrospect it occurred to me that DJ BO could have gone for a two-fer: that Stones classic which was later covered by Clapton in Blind Faith: “Under My Thumb.”
So congratulations to gerphil and Gus Astros! Thanks to all those who entered the contest. Keep your cards and letters coming!