Which is Better, One or Two? By: Jay Maxwell

July 9, 2013 by Jay Maxwell

It was about a year ago when I did my own unofficial eye exam by placing my left hand over my left eye to see if my right eye was indeed blurry. It had been only a few months since I had changed prescriptions for my contacts, but I feared that my eyesight had greatly diminished in my right eye. My guess was that mb150_028the prescription was not correct or perhaps the contact was not making a tight fit with my eye.

After making an appointment with my optometrist, I felt that with one visit he would determine the remedy of either a different type of lens or realize that the strength of the contact needed to be changed. He did the usual eye exam routine, first asking me which view, one or two, was better, and then he took a closer look with a bright light. It was then that I heard him say, “ummmm.” It was not your usual “um”, but one that had at least four m’s in it. Whenever a doctor puts more than one “m” in his “um” you know that the news is going to be unpleasant.

In short order he rolled his chair back (another sign of impending bad news) and explained that he believed my poor eyesight was due to a cataract in my eye and that he was going to send me to an ophthalmologist for a second opinion. So, just before Christmas I found myself sitting in the ophthalmologist’s office waiting for his opinion about my eyesight. Always the optimist, I knew that he was going to give me a different diagnosis. Perhaps he knew of a different brand of lens or could simply give me some drops to clear up my vision. But my optimism was to no avail, as he clearly stated that cataracts were the reason my eyesight was failing and that only surgery would make it better.


Since he said there was no rush, I took him at his word and waited until after my spring semester of teaching at the university to make the dreaded arrangements for surgery. Truth be known, I have such a fear of doctors that I did not actually make the appointment, but had my wife call to schedule it for me. We were both surprised when they asked which eye I wanted to have surgery on first. It turned out that even though my right eye was worse, my left eye needed to have surgery also. Before the first operation, there was the evaluation where I was able to choose whether I wanted laser surgery or the old school scalpel method, and whether I wanted the newest type of lens that would allow me to possibly never wear glasses or contacts again or simply a basic lens insert that would still require corrective eyewear. Are you kidding I thought? That’s like asking a DJ if he wants state of the art gear or if he still wants to use his old fashion equipment. The answer is always to go with what is going to improve and enhance the quality of the experience—whether it’s your eyesight or your DJ performance. So I choose laser surgery and the best available lenses.

The day of the surgery arrived and though I knew many friends were praying for me and I was assured that this was the simplest and most common type of surgery performed in the world, my heart rate was well over one hundred. From the moment I first met my ophthal-mologist, his professionalismand confidence had allowed me to put my trust in him that he would restore my eyesight to fully functional. When he arrived to greet me just prior to going into the laser/surgery room my heart rate went down to normal. (Of course that might have also had something to do with the “happy” medicine that they had given me five minutes beforehand to relax me.)

Perhaps I should have mentioned that one reason my anxiety was so high was that this was the first surgery that I had ever needed. Except for having my wisdom teeth removed over thirty years ago when I was in the Navy and a cracked rib received from falling off a trampoline when I was twelve (had to wear an embarrassing girdle-like device all summer), I have been tremen- dously blessed with good health and have been injury free. It surprised me that the anesthesia only relaxed me and did not “put me under” as I had thought it would. When I was rolled into the laser room, I had both eyes closed. For a brief moment I mustered the courage to crack open one eye… and the room looked like a scene from Star Trek. Two computer screens with lots of color and cooler machines than in any DJ gear catalog. In no time I was wheeled under the laser and though it was a little freaky to have the laser touch my eye, the next few moments were pretty wild. The doctor told me to look at the laser, and as it did its medical cutting, I was actually experiencing an awesome lightshow. The only thing missing was some music by Pink Floyd to make it complete. Two weeks later when the left eye was operated on, I was actually looking forward to this part of the procedure. The final stage was inserting the new lens which took place in an adjoining room. From start to finish, this brief miracle of modern medicine took less than fifteen minutes from the time I was rolled into the laser room until I was back out to the prep area.

The follow-up exams during the next few weeks were in many ways the same type of eye exams that I had experienced since sixth grade. The kind of exam where the doctor places this large funky device over your eyes and begins to flip and spin lenses and asked you which is better, one or two? I have always suspected that this

procedure must be taught in one of the first classes all eye doctors take, perhaps in a class titled Eye Exams 102 (pronounced “one or two”). This has always been one of my favorite types of exams, since there is no need to study the night before in order to pass. When I was young, I kept waiting for the doctor to tell me whether or not I had the right answer when I replied with either my requested “one or two” response.


If you have read my articles before, you already know that it sometimes takes me a while to finally relate my story to music. If you are a first time reader, you may have almost quit reading after the second paragraph or thought that you had picked up a medical journal by mistake. (Don’t we all make that mistake sometimes?) But this experience actually led me to this issue’s topic: deciding which version of a song is better—the first one or the second one. Many songs have been done by more than one artist and the original version may or may not be the most popular one today. In fact, the version by the second artist may be preferred by the majority of

people. Just as the choice in the doctor’s office of which view is “better” is in the eye of the beholder (i.e. the patient), the choice of which tune is “better” is in the ear of the beholder (i.e. the client).

The chart for this issue shows songs that have been recorded by different artists, where both versions are still popular. In the first column is the original version and in the second column there is a popular version released later. Clearly there may be more than just two versions, but the chart only lists the two most popular. The version in italics is the one that is currently most requested based on our clients’ requests. As you can see the original (number one) is not always the version that is the most popular according to research based on our clients’ requests at our events. Often the most popular version is the “number two” rendition. So the lesson to remember is that it is important, when taking requests, to find out not only the name of the song but also the artist who sings it, when someone shouts out to you, “Play something we can dance to!”


songs1 songs2

Jay Maxwell Jay Maxwell (33 Posts)

Filed Under: 2013, DJing School Dances, Mobile DJ Business, Sound Engineering for Mobile DJs