The year was really who the fuck remembers what year anything was? and I was working as a promoter for a crew that was throwing a HUGE civic center sized, 2 stage rave. In addition to slinging flyers at event exits for the past couple months months, being in charge of the designing and leading assembly of the 20 foot God-like, geometric figure that would be the sole decoration of the event (had I not failed with the design that is), I was also in charge of one very important task for a headlining dj’s contract’s hospitality requirements.
He went by the name of Mixmaster M (name barely changed just cuz it seems like the thing to do). He was the DJ for the very well known group the Bestie B’s (another obvious change) and he’d be preforming a set of live turntablism on the main stage at peak hour on the very day that this all went down. In the world of DJing he was a true rock-star and I, well, apparently I was an adorable, funny fuck-up.
Before the story though, some background information:
1) The rave was on Easter Eve and this year Easter overlapped with Passover.
2) The Bestie B’s, as we all know, are all famously Jewish
3) this was PRE-GOOGLE by at least a decade
4A) I’m naive and I’m often not smart enough to know that I don’t know enough.
4B) This went down during my Half Decade of Sober Raving, so I don’t even have inebriation to blame.
So my friend/boss, the head honcho throwing the rave, gave me a job of great responsibility but also with a lot of room for some reckless creativity. Mixmaster M’s contract rider, as I was told anyway, asked for a “present”. Now, remember I’m naive… I assumed he was just being a-fucking-dorabe and wanted an actual present (go ahead, sigh or roll your eyes if you feel you need to). And it was both Easter and Passover…. and since he was with the Bestie B’s he was Jewish, right?!! My mission was so very clear!!
…I was going to present our headlining DJ with a PASSOVER BASKET, which I had just invented the very moment I decided to make one. It would be LIKE an Easter Basket but filled with stuff I knew my fellow Jew would love during the Passover fast. So, in addition to funny things like kosher borscht and matzo nestled in the Easter grass of a brightly covered basket, I spent well over 50 bucks on some really awesome kosher Passover-approved treats (and that’s in RAVER DOLLARS, which Rave Math teaches us appears to have only half the value of Regular Person dollars because we go through our expendable income twice as fast.)
I included Kosher Swedish Fish, and all kinds of treats like that, piled high and generous… ballin’ if I said so myself; when it was all made, after the colored cellophane and ribbons went on the basket, it was gloriously adorable. A fit “present” from one “yah I actually DO think I’m funny!” candy-raving Jewess to a Turntablest Jew (because he was a Bestie B, right??) for Passover On Easter.
Annnnnd, cut to me and my two unnamed accomplishes at the door to his tailor that evening before the doors opened to the party.
Here’s the tale of my utter humiliation:
“Knock, knock”, sounded his tailor door as my fist fell firmly. I smiled as I knocked, wearing my delighted anticipation of his pleased acceptance of the so-very-well-thought-out present.
“One sec..” came a muffled voice from within and then the door popped open all the way revealing a shortish man who appeared, in the dim light to my very white-bread eyes, to maybe be Latino.
I, smiling hugely, hold the basket out like a trophy and ask brightly “Is Mixmaster M here?”
“I’m M” he answered, in a voice I couldn’t identify. Not worried, not nervous or suspicious, but perhaps cautiously curious as to why the fuck I was holding an Easter Basket full of kosher food in his face.
“Um. Ok. So here’s the thing”. You are correct friend, that was my “back peddle but try not to sound like you’re back peddling” voice I was using. “So I may have made an incorrect assumption since you’re with the Bestie Boys and I thought they were all Jewish……”
He looked back at the basket and at my humbled but still cheery (or trying) face, back and forth, back and forth, and then burst out in hysterical laughter. It was a real belly laugh from deep in his gut that had him bent over holding his stomach. It wasn’t mean, or at my expense, but it was laughter at my oo-boo all the same. I’m sure I was blushing under all the glitter.
“Mannnn,” he finally said when his breath was under control, “The Boys are gonna LOVE THIS ONE when I tell them!”
And that’s how I almost accidentally broke a contract clause, how I became an accidental racist, and only by luck didn’t completely insult an honored guest in Our House, not because he didn’t have every right to be offended that someone would assume anything about him personally, but simply because he had a good temperament for dealing with overzealous candy ravers with too much freedom to make decisions about artist hospitality. But it’s also how I knew the guys in the Bestie B’s have HEARD OF ME, personally, and for in a moment in time aware of my life on this planet… and that’s pretty rad.
The take away? Since then, I’ve never assumed I know what any vague contract wording means, so at least the next 15 years of artists got the right candy instead of Passover/Easter Borscht. SORRY, M!