October 20, 2007

The First Time

Here's a fun little story about the first time I can remember hearing about Shanghai (in a real-world context, not in a history-lecture context).

Those of you know me know that I am a big fan of electronic music: techno, house, drum 'n bass, et al. Well the nexus for electronic music is in England, where Pete Tong hosts a weekly radio show on BBC Radio 1 called "The Essential Mix." Every week he plays a mix from a different famous DJ - some are recorded specifically for the show and some are culled from that DJ's live sets.

Back in those halcyon days (the year 2000) when broadband + Napster = unlimited music, I was introduced to this Essential Mix phenomenon by a friend at school. He played me an Essential Mix from Paul Oakenfold (who I was into at the time, but not so much anymore). During the opening 30 seconds or so, Tong briefly introduces the DJ. His introduction for this particular Essential Mix included the following phrase:
Oakey plays the Rojam, a Chinese club in the province of Shanghai. I'll bet you've never been there. Well, he has!
My friends and I thought it was hilarious that Pete Tong was demeaning his audience by reminding them that they'd probably never traveled to an exotic location such as the Rojam, while the great and wonderful Paul Oakenfold obviously had been there at least once.
O you unwashed masses! You have never experienced The Rojam! You are not worthy to listen to Sir Paul's melodic trance music. But I'll play it for you anyway, because I'm just that nice.
From that point on, whenever we heard Pete Tong speak, we'd all facetiously shake our fists in the air and curse under our breaths: "Damn you Pete Tong! You're so arrogant!"

And just think - after all these years, I'll finally get to prove you wrong. Ha!

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