Hey, Whatever Became of That ‘Griz/Cat DJ Battle’ Anyway?
Nearly a year has past since I issued a challenge to Bozeman, Montana's best DJ to go head-to-head behind the decks just to see who would come out on top. And yet, it never came to pass. What exactly happened? I'll do my best to explain.
In the spirit of the annual Grizzly vs. Bobcat football match up, I wanted to see if there could be a way to harness the hype of rival football teams from the turf to the turntables. Thinking back, it really WAS a cool idea. Why not have two DJs battle it out in the same fashion, all the while representing their town on the dance floor? What started out as a cheeky, sarcastic, and somewhat fun-spirited invite turned sour almost immediately, much of it due to the way I presented it. While the people of Bozeman did actually nominate their best mix master, Gregory Delgado aka. DJ Bones, to take me on, looking back, I can easily admit, I screwed up.
Screw Up #1 - My original blog that issued the challenge was written all wrong. See, most people in Missoula can sense my humor because most have grown accustom to it over the years. The problem was, when I attempted to reach out to a city that barely knew me with the same kind of comedic approach, it came off as curt and extremely cocky. I too, if I lived in Bozeman and didn't know me, would have pressed 'go' on the extreme trash talking button like they did. That's where the spiral of bad blood began to stir.
Screw Up #2 - This is where I took it waaaaaaay over the edge. The video I made (seen below), again, trying to be funny, was not perceived as such by the boys and girls on the other side of the state. Offended they were. Oh, boy.
This amateur attempt at taking a stab at our rivals really took off. In fact, at one point, the video became the most viewed local YouTube video in the state. Looking at it now, I still chuckle, but on the inside I'm cringing.
From that moment on, it was on. The battle began even before the actual DJ battle! The people of Bozeman stood up for their town with this video response:
Again, it was all supposed to be in good fun, but some did not take it as such. In fact, some even threatened physical harm on me! "Don't even think about setting foot in this town, if you want to live...," said one Facebook mutual friend (one who was swiftly blocked)."
And then, the snow arrived early...
The very day that I was supposed to make tracks to battle DJ Bones was when winter came much earlier than expected. Nearly six inches dumped on the passes causing blinding travel conditions, and even a few nearly fatal car wrecks. Was my life and family worth the trip? For me? No. So the battle was postponed. But that did not stop Bones supporters, and even Bones himself, to cry foul on my no-show. This is where things got really bad...
That snowy night, the venue that was supposed to host the DJ battle decided to host a "F@ck Aaron Traylor/F*ck Missoula" dance party instead. One Missoulian who was over there at the time recalled, "I was sitting in the lounge and the MC that night decided to use his microphone all night to slam you, and our city. Every other word was 'F this, F that, F him' and some even were yelling from the crowd, 'Let's go kick his ass!'." Perhaps, it was a good thing I didn't go after all...
Things have mellowed since then. Bones and I spoke a few times over Facebook, and we both agree that perhaps this was a bad move on my part to even attempt such a bitter battle. But we still believe that the concept itself is a great idea. So, what now?
DJ Bones has decided to make his way over to Missoula this year. Only on one condition: that we DO NOT battle. Instead, we "showcase" our rival talent and give him a chance to play without pressure and strictly for fun. And frankly, I LOVE this idea much more than mine.
If I would have gone back in time to correct things, this would have been the way to do it from the get go. No beef. No trash talking. Just music. Just talent. Something like this could potentially be a big annual event every night before the actual Griz/Cat football match up. Imagine, each year a handful of Missoula's best DJs head to Bozeman to play. The following year, Bozeman's DJs return to Zootown to have fun here. Save the bad blood for the stadium bleachers, and bring both towns together annually for a pre-funk celebration. Count me in.
So there you have it, and here it comes:
Monk's Bar presents:
"The Griz/Cat DJ Showcase"
Featuring DJ Bones and the Tallest DJ in America
Along with special guest DJs representing Missoula and Bozeman
10 p.m. Friday, November 16
225 Ryman Street, Missoula