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Tag Archives: alternate history

Radio Time Warp

27 Jul

July 27, 2018

One of the strangest days of radio I’ve ever heard happened back in 1992.

At that time I was working as the supervisor of the stock and maintenance department of a large department store. That meant that I spent my days off the sales floor, in the warehouse area. Not only did I make my own schedule but I was able to listen to the radio all day. I’d put my radio on WXRK (K-Rock, 92.3 FM) and listen to Howard Stern all morning and classic rock all day. They’ve switched formats a couple of times since then but in those days Stern went on the air around 6 a.m. and went off the air at 10 but in reality his show ended whenever he wanted it to end. I was common for his show to run until around 11, and on one memorable occasion, to close to 1 pm.

I may still have this bumper sticker in a box in the back of a closet.

On this particular day, Stern’s show ended right about 10, which was always a disappointment since the longer he went, the faster my day went. But it wasn’t his choice: station management needed him to end on time since they had a whole day event planned.  It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Summer of Love and they planned to treat the day as if it was a day out of 1967. The DJ’s were going to pretend that it was really 1967, introduce “new” songs by artists whenever they played a classic rock song that they had played thousands of times over, and talk about upcoming events, like the new album by Country Joe and The Fish they’ve been hearing about. The ads, however, remained current.

The DJ’s generally had a fun time but in the afternoon it got surreal. Dave Herman (though I believe it may have been Pete Fornatele) had special guests in the studio. Of course, this being pretend-1967, both they and the listeners had to work overtime to suspend their disbelief. Because there in the studio were The Doors! Ray Manzarek! John Densmore! Robby Krieger!

You see where this is going? Sure, they had The Doors- the remaining members of The Doors. But without Jim Morrison there was really no point. He was The Doors, no disrespect to the artistic talents of the rest. Problem was, Morrison died back in 1971.

But this was pretend-1967, so Jim Morrison wasn’t dead, he simply missed the interview. No one in the band was quite sure where he was- he was back at the hotel, or hungover, or somewhere, someplace, any place but absolutely not dead. In fact, if he hurried, he might make it to the studio in time for the show.

Dave Herman asked them about upcoming projects, all of which came out 25 years before, and they all danced around the fact that the one member of the band people really were interested in was not there, they couldn’t address his death, had to pretend it was 1967, and just generally, awkwardly, talked about what they want to do in the future as if it not only had not happened, but how it would happen if Jim Morrison remained alive, since they had no clue he was going die in just a few short years after 1967. There was even a touch of black humor when they talked about all the things they expected Morrison to accomplish, wink wink, and speculated what it would be like in the future if anyone would even remember the Summer of Love in 25 years.

I didn’t understand it, then or now. Was there no one else to have on from 1967? No one alive? Flo and Eddie of The Turtles became K-Rock DJ’s a few years later, I’m sure they were available. Why did they have in studio a group, though iconic, which had a glaring void? No matter what they did or said, or how they talked about their music, they couldn’t gloss over the fact that Jim Morrison was long, long dead.

Rather than celebrating 1967, this interview mourned 1967.

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Chance Encounters in Time and Space, Episode Three

29 Apr

April 29, 2016

chance encounters in space

Tonight: Doctor Phil Meets Sigmund Freud

Doctor Phil: Oh gee whiz, I must have got lost walking backstage after the show. Robin? Where are you? Whoa, too many burritos, I think, this fog is pretty thick. What’s that? Footsteps? Hello? Hello! I can see you but I must be hallucinating! Doctor Sigmund Freud! Golly doctor, wow, you were such an influence on me as a young man, ho boy, this is an honor.

Sigmund Freud: I have seen your program. (Punches Doctor Phil in the nose.)

phil black eye

COMING SOON: Hillary Clinton meets a pack of hungry leopards while wearing a meat-flavored pantsuit

 

 

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