James Murphy using retirement trying to make musical subway turnstiles

james murphy

This is what you do when you retire before you’re 50. via Facebook

Think about the most irritating trials and tribulations of your subway commute. Is it being crammed in to a car with some dude rubbing his D on you, and you don’t even know if it’s on purpose or not? Or is it the tone the turnstile makes when you swipe your MetroCard? James Murphy has been banking on the latter for 15 years, and now that he’s a crazy old retiree, is devoting his time to getting the MTA to replace the traditional beep of the subway turnstile with music notes.

The idea, Murphy told the Wall Street Journal “in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood,” is to have each subway turnstile play a different set of musical notes, notes that would be unique to each station. So, instead of the beeps that we’ve all gotten used to and don’t even hear anymore, we would get rich harmonies as tons of people swiped through. Rich harmonies that would soon fade into the background of hoping you end up on a train with air conditioning or is free of puke just casually left there by a helpful fellow rider. Murphy said he’s been working on the idea for 15 years, but now that he’s no longer fronting a band, he has the time to bother public officials, just like every crazy old man at community board meetings.

While musical notes would be nicer than beeps, Murphy is bumping up against the same problem that Bill de Blasio is in his pre-K fight: even if he could get city officials on board with the plan, the MTA is a state agency, so it would require taking his case to cold and gray Albany. And since every idea that’s even slightly interesting goes to Albany to die in a gangland-style execution, we’ll put the the odds of this happening at even lower than an LCD Soundsystem reunion. Unless Murphy can somehow convince Andrew Cuomo that doing this will somehow help him become president.