by Rob Malcolm

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — People living in Midtown Sacramento are getting an earful from a nearby McDonald’s that’s blasting nonstop bagpipe music.

It’s supposed to keep the homeless away, but residents say it’s driving them crazy.

This story is not about music to the ears. CBS13 asked three managers about the bagpipe music blaring from loudspeakers and they replied, “What bagpipes?” The fast-food restaurant at Broadway and 24th is open 24/7, and some neighbors were moved to complain about the sound coming from its walls.

“The first couple of days they had it on 24/7. If we wouldn’t have said anything or reported it to the police, they would have had that thing going on still,” Arnold Phillips said.

Phillips lives across the street and says it’s making him crazy.

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“It actually penetrates through the walls. We can hear it [when] I’m trying to watch TV or whatever and it’s going through that,” Phillips said.

The music is intended to drive the homeless away and doesn’t appear to be working.

“I think it’s an absurd action to take instead of actually dealing with the issue,” Kiara Reede said.

The idea of weaponized sound is nothing new. A 7-Eleven in West Hollywood loops classical music and a 7-Eleven in Sacramento replaced classical with a high pitch tone. But here at Broadway, it’s “raining bagpipes” over and over and over again.

“It sticks in your head when you’re going somewhere else not even in this neighborhood because you’ve heard it for so long,” Phillips said.

Arnold wishes he could pull the plug. He’s even talked to restaurant management.

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“They said they’d talk to corporate people up higher. That’s all they said they could do really,” Phillips said.

Requests for comment from CBS13 fell on deaf ears, but Arnold’s downstairs neighbor Nate Dewitt had his covered.

“You know, I turn off the leaf blower and I could still hear the bagpipes coming and it’s just constant,” Dewitt said.

Patrons who ate at the restaurant on Friday were not pleased with the noise.

“It was offensive to me because it was just so annoying,” Susan Smart said.

Do what you will to annoy the homeless, but keeping neighbors happy isn’t that easy.

Comments (36)
  1. Peter Mokhiber says:

    What about maybe playing “It’s a Small World Afterall”

    1. Guyver says:

      Or the Barney song.

    2. Chris says:

      Oh, you’re cruel!

  2. john says:

    I used the same technique to silence rap music at the car wash next door except one of my employees actually plays bagpipes! It had the same effect as Kryptonite.

  3. Mike says:

    They should run clips of Nancy Pelosi’s speeches!!! Minds will eventually explode from the lack of logic. Political terrorism!!! Thank you CA for being the shining light in the streets of poo and used needles.

  4. Eileen Lucia G Kephart says:

    I hope you and “jon”, whose comments both advocate killing the homeless, become homeless yourselves one day, which is likely, given that most Americans are only one missed paycheck from becoming homeless in these treacherous economic times. And when you both, who are too cowardly to use your real names, become homeless, I hope karmic retribution rains down upon you in a hail of bullets fired at you by people who have read your hateful comments and are simply acting on what you have publicly advocated. Regarding the commenters who state the truism that homelessness is NOT a crime: Bless you for your compassion and empathy; I only wish that more people feel as you do.

  5. Eileen Lucia G Kephart says:

    “You” in my previous comment refers to ‘STOIC’, who posted “Kill the homeless”. The commenter “jon” stated simply “.357”. Poetic justice will have its way with ‘jon’, ‘STOIC’, and their ilk, who wish death on the homeless; it’s just a matter of time.

  6. oooorgle says:

    In Utah they blare classical music 24/7 to the outside seating area…

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