McBeatles

May 1st, 2008

Tonight is bargain clearance night for random observations (they’ve kinda stockpiled, so they’re all coming out here in tiny snippets).

There’s a McDonald’s near my workplace, whose owner must be the biggest fan of Reich, Glass, and Adams that has ever existed. Not that he plays any of their works. No, he’s more of the avant garde recontextualizing performance art type. To wit: the McDonald’s has a Beatles CD that they use as the store background music. Note that I do not say that they use it as part of the background music. No, that’s the entirety of their library. One CD, probably about an hour long, played 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, uninterrupted. For the last two years. That’s 8,736 hours of playback. If any of the music licensing groups found out, Paul McCartney could probably build another space yacht secret fortress robot with the back royalties.

Personally, though, I preferred the CD that the McDonald’s used to play, before they switched to the Beatles CD: a classical music CD, non-descript (I have no memory of what composers or pieces were on it) with what I can only assume were some deep deep scratches, because it had a tendency to skip and repeatskip and repeatskip and repeatskip and repeat for long, long stretches of time. (The kitchen crew couldn’t hear the music (or they share the owner’s taste for minimalism), so nobody would reset or fast-forward the CD if it started skipping.) The soundtrack for a lunch back then could easily consist of:

La da di dah dum, da dah didididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididididdididi… (continuing on uninterrupted for the next 15 minutes)

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