My brewing buddy used to throw Halloween parties for my club. He’d time them so that they happened the longest night of the year so everyone could stay an extra hour (and hopefully until morning because he’d brew up about 15 gallons).
It was quite a shindig, the peak was about 150 one year when we were politicking. He was an audiophile and invested thousands of dollars in a CD based dj sytem, mixer, amps, speakers- so good I can still hear the difference between the first and second plays on vinyl.
But you can play CDs a hundred million times exactly the same so- I’ve DJed many Lincoln/Reagan dinners and eaten well (well eaten at least) for free at them, but I’ve never been able to get Republicans to dance after the event.
They can’t wait to get the fuck out of there.
Before dinner you’d play something that was low and sounded vaguely hip. We had hours of Steely Dan. During dinner instrumental new age and after? For the first few years I’d try, but after that I knew there wasn’t an instant hit that could keep them from their cars.
At the Halloween party we had people in costumes dancing and hooking up, what can I say. We had to have a woman who was psychotically fixated on me carted off by the police one year. This led to my brief torrid affair with the nurse who raised Siamese cats and dachshunds and daughters. She (the nurse, pay attention) thought I was too serious about her and dumped me before Christmas but it all worked out in the end. She married a biker and is very happy she tells me when she and I and her husband (who I knew before I knew her) meet on ceremonial occasions.
But that was simply one year among many. We were relentlessly dance oriented at the party, to the point of limiting seating so people were forced to get up and circulate. Tons of food. No party games.
At the very first, or one of the very first ones we made the mistake of setting up video game stations and playing videos. People grabbed the nearest couch. I’m not sure I was at the last one, but I can understand why my brewing buddy stopped hosting them. Attendance was down and we’d long since ceased having an agenda.
Logistically big parties are a bitch- 3 or 4 days of work. I’ve been part of a lot of them come to think of it, one interesting one not a lot of people who know me know about is Gerald’s Party in Binghampton.
Gerald was my next door neighbor in Syracuse and he was kind of a weird dude who kept exotic pets (python, tarantula, monitor lizard). He didn’t have a car and I did and he wanted to go to this party in Binghamton. Big. Live band was arriving Friday, he knew them and we could all crash the night before.
Well, I had a Friday night party, but I told Gerald I’d drop him off and pick him up and he was like- dude.
The Saturday part was quite splashy enough for my tastes. The band was good and everbody loved them. I recognized some friends of Gerald’s I’d met the day before so I didn’t feel left out.
I dunno, my inner Emily tells me there is just something classy about a party with a live band.