Saturday, April 14, 2007

R I P Bill Guffey

I opened my email today to this:

Hi Randy. I hope this is still a good e-mail address for you.
I met you at the KY 25th anniversary concert a few years back and introduced myself as a friend of Bill Guffey from Shooting Star.
In case you haven't heard, Bill has been in poor health for a year or so and he passed away this past Thursday afternoon. He had a liver transplant back in September and had been experiencing ongoing complications from it. I'm really sorry to be bearing such bad news, but I figured you would want to know.I don't know anything yet as to funeral arrangements or any other details.

I hope all is well with you. I miss hearing you on KC's airwaves.

How sad, Bill was a great guy. One of my favorite people. he pounded that hammond B3 in "You've Got What I Need", "Bring It On" and "Last Chance". One night in KC many years ago at Memorial Hall, I doused him with a glass of cold water during the encore of a Shooting Star show, hey I was drunk. He immediately stopped playing and pounded me live on stage then went back to playing. It was awesome. You were a good guy, Bill, Godspeed to you and your family.


My accountant and I were discussing music while I was over filing my taxes and the discussion got to the Ipod. He was fascinated by the idea but had yet to purchase one. I told him that I had an early 15GB model and I didn't have enough room to put ALL of the songs I wanted on it but I got most of them. He then asked me if we could barter the cost of the taxes. If he went and bought an 80GB Ipod, would I put MY collection on his Ipod? He'd then do my taxes for free. Well, what an interesting concept, loading whatever I want with no restrictions on time, MY own personal radio station for someone else to hear, everything from The Beatles, everything from Bruce, everything from Frank Sinatra, everything from John Fogerty (solo and CCR), Steve Goodman, John Prine and Bonnie Raitt would be the obvious place to start. This is very interesting.

While loading stuff that didn't make the first cut, I stumbled upon what I consider THE best band of the "new wave" music era. The Fixx was a band that came out of the chute with "Stand or Fall" and "Red Skies", two songs that I thought were exceptional from the first album "Shuttered Room". The Fixx also had a great song in one of my favorite movies ever "Streets of Fire". "Deeper and Deeper" was featured over the ending credits. With that in mind, here are my five favorite Fixx songs:

1. "Secret Separation"- I was going through a bad time when this song came out. With the lyrics.."you touched my heart so deeply, you rescued me, now free me." nailed exactly where I was at that time.
2. "Red Skies", what a great song, a great rock tune and it sounded great on the radio.
3. "One Thing Leads To Another"- I have an 8 minute version that just rocks the dance floor
4. "Deeper and Deeper"-this was the perfect song to end that movie. Six minutes of killer 80s rock
5. "Stand or Fall"-I remember the first time I played this new song from this new band. It stood head and shoulders over the Flock of Seagulls crap that had dominated radio at that time.

According to their website, the original five guys are still playing. Very good, I hope they come around here.

My Itunes just segued Joe Walsh To Dave Brubeck to Al Stweart to Roy Orbison.
This oughtta be a cool list.

Friday, April 13, 2007

R I P Johnny Hart

Loved this guy's work, with BC and The Wizard of Id. Can't remember a time in my life when BC wasn't in the funnies. We have a couple of his things on the refrigerator door.

Here's his story.

R I P Kurt Vonnegut

The closest we have ever been to Mark Twain. Thanks, Kurt for Slaughterhouse Five. I have never felt more like Billy Pilgrim than I do now. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to get out the old hardback and spend the weekend being 16 again.

You were wiser than your years and I hope to be as young as you someday

So it goes.....

Stage Pass Number 1

David and Graham were on, Stephen was not. Forgot the words to "Dark Star". Shame.
August 2003 Sedalia MO.
Neil Young was playing 50 miles away at Starlight Theatre the very same night.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Very First Time ever, even

Right around the time I was fifteen, I was a pretty miserable kid. My mom was a kind, wonderful mother but she just wasn't all there. Alcohol had pretty much consumed her life and to this day, I understand why. There wasn't a whole lot of love shown by my dad because that was just the way he was, I think it was passed down the Raley ancestry. Early 1971 was a tough time, lots of butter beans and bread, remember that, Vick? but hey many have had worse. Stuck on a farm in the fucking middle of nowhere when the world was spinning around me. My brother had just returned from Vietnam an absolute mess. There wasn't much to take comfort in around that time in Ava, Mo. Just about the only thing that saved me was the radio.
Whether it was WLS fading in and out of the distance, or KAAY from Little Rock and once in a while WLAC from Nashville with "John R.".

We had a small radio station in Ava. The call letters were KSOA. By some strange designation, it was supposed to mean "Keeping South Ozarks Alerted." I guess it was some weather slogan, but whenever they said that, I wondered if they knew something I didn't. Alerted from what? I had a very good friend in high school named Steve Faszholz. Steve was the all american guy who is now a anesthesiologist somewhere here in St. Louis. Steve's brother Chuck happened to do afternoons at the little 5,000 watt daytime AM station. I became curious and before you knew it, I was in the studio a lot. One spring day, Chuck let me make a segue. Although I transposed the order in which he told me to do things(before you turn off the turntable, pot it down or it will sound like shit), he let me hang around. Later that week, for whatever reason, they needed someone to read the news. Chuck looked at me and said..."you've got five minutes, read this" and handed me some copy. Five minutes later, on an April day in 1971, I read the news and absolutely, unequivicably, without a doubt nailed it. I remember the overpowering rush of adreneline that hit me after that. It was a high a never felt before but five years later, I felt again. We moved away a month later and I never did appear on the station again. The station is now KKOZ AM/FM and is no longer on the town square.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Woe is Mr. Imus

I remember when Don Imus was a top 40 jock. Funny, profane, rude and about as creative with a 13.5 second intro to a song as anyone. Funny dude, used to refer to MTV as MVD.

Well, he's done gone and did it. he called the Rutgers basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed 'ho's". Now he's facing the wrath of Al Sharpton and everyone else. So, does that mean when rappers and hip hoppers call women 'ho's and bitches that they will feel the wrath of Reverend Al?

Didn't think so. Double standard. I am so tired of playing that game. Hip hop and rap artists can deface and defile women all they want and that's OK. When Imus does it, he almost loses his job. Don't get it.

UPdate: Thank you Bonnie for your comments and your unique perspective. Imus is done. Noone is gonna go near this guy. He's toast. It saddens me. He was wrong, he knows it. Maybe on a bright side it will start a dialogue on this being a double standard. Let's get riled up about disrespecting women. I hope that happens.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Randy's College of Musical Knowledge

Hey, kids, we're back and this time here's a few little known facts about
"Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder.

The lyrics deal with getting a second chance ("So darn glad he let me try it again") and making the most of it. Strangely, Wonder recorded it 3 months before he was almost killed on his way to a concert in a car accident. The accident put Wonder in a coma, and his road manager Ira Tucker Jr sang this to him in the hospital. When Wonder began moving his fingers in time with the song, it was clear he was going to recover. After leaving Motown Records, Wonder took control of his recordings and did most of the work on his songs. He did all the vocals on this and played all the instruments and had it tracked in three hours at Electricladyland studio. Engineers Malcom and Robert Margouleff did the synthesizer programming and helped put the song together. Wonder was a huge influence on The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who remade this with a more uptempo beat on their Mother's Milk album. They even thank him in the lyrics by adding the phrase "You know what Stevie says." Their version helped introduce many listeners to Wonder.

"Higher Ground" got as high as number 4 on the Billborad charts for the week of October 13, 1973. The number one song that week was "Half Breed" by Cher.

Post 665-Quote

..."ignorance doesn't make stuff not exist".-Bucky Katt

Easter Vigil

This maybe my favorite service of the year. It's held in spring and it welcomes a new birth in the seasons and in the church. The service starts outside with the lighting of the candles and the procession into a dark church. When everyone gets inside, it is quite the spectacle. This is the service that we welcome new members to the congregation that have gone through the "training" required. Since joining the Catholic church four years ago, they have asked me to speak at stewardship and have asked me to read at Midnight Mass at Christmas and Easter vigil.
I had the big, important part this year, I read the epistle to the flock.
It was so awesome to see Father Osbourne at the service. A while ago, some charges were leveled at the Father claiming abuse in the past. This was incredibly shocking to us and we were happy and relieved that those charges were later dropped. He is an incredibly funny man and one we enjoy listening to. It was a great service that clocked in at just under three hours. Happy Easter!

Everything Must Go!!!

I am clearing out all of the stuff that I used to rely on when I was on the air. I have found 19 notebooks of morning show bits, countless CDs of comedy, parody songs and the like. One entire box of "Flashback" shows. "Flashback' was agreat show that was very well produced. Research, playlists and all sorts of stuff from the consultancy and some old tapes, vidoes, books and whatever. IT ALL MUST GO!!!

My friend Ken Dillon has agreed to take this stuff off my hands, but I found this in all the mess....

This was my first programming job ever. I was in charge of programming an AM station after 7pm. Given free reign to put together a show that featured music "that no one else was playing at the time". It's hard to read but from A/M 77 (April May 1977 to April May 78), I increased the audience by over 200%. The station was always pretty strong during the day, but after 7pm, it sucked. KSTT was the big top 40 giant. It featured all the stuff that AM stations did at that time with the hyped delivery and all that. It was one of the stations I grew up listening to. So, we unveiled this...

The station played Abba and Barry Manilow during the day, then after 7,we would be broadcasting "under the Quad Cities"... it would be The Who, Ted Nugent, Rush, Alan Parsons, Beatles, Stones, etc. I modeled it after visiting St.Louis and spending some qulity time with KSHE 95. We were so successful that an FM station in town fired up and copied our format right about the time these numbers came out. I was then fired for the second time in my career. 97X in the Quad Cities is still on the air.

So, Kenny, it's a car load of stuff, but you are welcome to it.

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