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158: Give It Away

Episode 158 Cover--Give It Away

When the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Blood Sugar Sex Magik first came out, I’d just left a job working in a record store and was doing some part-time work as a mobile DJ. I had a few regular gigs here and there on Long Island, which is where it’s at when you do that sort of thing, because you get to know your crowd and who likes what, etc. Weddings and birthday parties, etc. were just Death on a Triscuit, because you have guests of all different ages, and the old people want to hear one thing, and the young people want to hear something else, and there are always arguments about the volume…feh. I hated doing that stuff.

At any rate, I was working in a bar in Franklin Square, NY at this point and this crowd absolutely loved this track. That was a cool bunch, with a lot of that adult alternative stuff. I enjoyed working there except for two things:

  1. The equipment was stored in the bar’s basement, which meant going outside into the alley out back, going downstairs to get it, dragging it upstairs and setting it up, and having to und0 it all at the end of the night;
  2. The setup was on floor level, which meant that any drunk moron could—and sometimes did—crash directly into my stuff. And since I was still playing records sometimes, that made for some audio disasters.

I would have stayed longer if I hadn’t broken my ankle and moved 30 miles away in the interim (long, long story there). I also liked my boss and he’d throw me other work from time to time. Ah, well.

Incidentally, I didn’t mention this during the episode but the song has been covered about a dozen times and sampled more than twice that many. In fact, Busta Rhymes’ “Break Ya Neck” owes so much to “Give it Away” that all of the musicians who played on “Give it Away” appear on the record’s credits as co-writers. (It’s not so much a sampling as it is Rhymes inserting the chorus into the song.)

Click here for a transcript of the episode.

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