Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cool Songs You Never Hear

I had the jukebox to the right going today and I heard two great songs that no one ever hears

"These Are The Days Of Our Lives"-by Queen What a piece of songwriting. I got the first Queen album right when it came out (after hearing "Liar" on a late night AM radio show) in 1974 and saw them not much later than that for $1.50. Just a real sweet song and one of my top five Queen tunes (it's from "Innuendo" released in 1991). A lovely understated solo by Brian May who to this day never gets his due.



"No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen My favorite line in the song being "..we learned more from a three minute record baby, than we ever learned in school". Hallelujah! I would place it as song number three in my all time favorite Bruce Springsteen songs. This video is testament to just how good these guys are live.

Perks Of The Job/What I'm Reading

In my latest career venture, I am producing for two great guys on KMOX. John Carney does the nightshift from 8p-11p Monday through Friday. He's not a guy who like to take phone calls much, but as an interviewer, he has few peers. Jon Grayson, who does 11p-2a, is the exact opposite, he likes the phone action and will occaisionally request a guest or two. He is one of the best at getting people to call the station. In my job, I get "pitched" by just about anyone who wants something publicized. Whether it's an event, a concert, a book or whatever. It is very challenging and the hours are long but in many ways fun. I am blessed to be still hanging on in the business and being someone that KMOX can count on.
Thinking that John likes two guests an hour, over a week, that's 30 people to line up. Each week. Each one should be interesting and/or compelling. Last night, we talked to:

Carl Haissen, (who happens to be one of my favorite authors), Kenneth Davis, who wrote the book "Don't Know Much About History","Don't Know Much About Geography", etc. (he was plugging his new book), a preview of a two hour interview with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy,



comedian Tammy Pescatelli and since it was Friday night, he finished the show with games.

Next week, we'll talk to Cokie Roberts, Karen Allen, Lincoln Hall (the guy who was left for dead at the top of Mt. Everest) etc.
My job is to contact all of those people's people, line their schedules up with ours, set up the show making sure the guys have all of the audio and information (bios and press releases) they need and then calling back all of those people to confirm on the day of the show. How cool is that? The other cool thing about the job is some of the things that cross my desk.



Like the new biography of Warren Zevon. Warren was an acquired taste, I really liked a lot of his stuff but, in that vein, some of it was over my head. Jon Grayson will be interviewing Crystal Zevon on Monday, she has written a new book about of course, Warren. Most PR people send the book along with the pitch, usually a couple at a time. With their permission, I requested my own copy of this one and I can't put it down. I will say that one of Warren Zevon's favorite quotes was "I got to be Jim Morrison for a longer time than he did". I guess.
Here's the review I found on Amazon:
For those who know them, the brilliant, dark songs of Warren Zevon (1947-2003) inspire nothing short of adoration; for those who don't, this stunning biography of the irrepressible rock 'n' roll singer/songwriter should send them sprinting to the nearest record store. By taking an unexpurgated, oral-history approach to Warren's life, his former wife and lifelong friend Crystal has crafted a sharp, funny, jaw-dropping rock biography that's among the best of the sub-genre. Provocative and unflinching, her account distills Warren's journal entries and the author's exhaustive interviews with 87 family members, business associates, band mates, fellow musicians and former lovers into a chronology ranging from Warren's ancestry to his death, at age 56, from lung cancer. The impetus for the book was Warren himself-he implored Crystal to tell his story and to "promise you'll tell 'em the whole truth, even the awful, ugly parts." The awful, ugly parts turn up often: Warren's addictions (to alcohol, drugs and sex), personal demons (intense obsessive-compulsion and commitment-phobia) and paternal shortcomings (to him, kids were nuisances) all get plenty of play here. But so does Warren's music, for which peers like Jackson Browne, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Schaffer offer plenty of insight. This top-notch biography is a must-read for fans, and a highly rewarding read for anyone interested in a close look at the life of a modern rock icon. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Van McClain

Van is one of the best guys I know and a cat that I don't speak with enough. For those who don't know, I have had a very strong relationship with the band "Shooting Star"since New Year's eve 1979, when I saw them for the first time at Memorial Hall in Kansas City. Van is the guitarist. Also on the bill that night was "Missouri", another decent band that came from KC at that time. While I thought Missouri was OK, the buzz in my circle of friends was of Shooting Star who played before Missouri that night, which was billed as "The Last Concert of The Decade". Damn, the guys were good, really great songs about everyday people and the ultimate triumph to rise above.

Great stuff and I was a certified fan. I then became great friends with Van and Steve Thomas(the drummer), who's father I adored. Mr. Thomas was a cameraman at WDAF TV, which was in the same building as KY. He was there late at night and so was I. .

Van called me today and says he reads the blog. You're a knucklehead. The band is playing Sturgis this summer. Sturgis? They are coming through St. Louis and we will definately get them on the air at KMOX and have fine merriment with Van, Ron, Steve and the rest. It got me thinking though, about some of my favorite Shooting Star songs. Here they are now (I especially love You've Got What I Need, that's just about the time I jumped on the bandwagon).
We were so young....

"You've Got What I Need" (original line up featuring the late, great, dearly missed Bill Guffey on keyboards)


"Summer Sun" (one of my faves)


"Tonight" (another great song that I played the shit out of in my career)


"Last Chance" (their Stairway To Heaven)


And lastly for some fun...

Did they ever play you guys on MTV? Thanks for making my life better,man. And I will play Del Shannon for you Saturday night.

Cool Job Opening of the Week.

Wow!


Your career includes a steady sales background, but you also have some programming experience. You have an entrepreneurial spirit and are looking for a chance to put all of your skills and experience together in a place that provides an exceptional lifestyle.

How does the south gate to Yellowstone National Park sound? One of the nation's premiere resort towns with a daily postcard view of the sun setting over the Grand Tetons?




How 'bout a privately held and GROWING broadcast company? Two FM's? New facility and equipment?

What about the challenge of hiring your own staff and breaking new ground in a new territory?

We don't need a closer- we need a leader that can become a part of the community. The type of person that doesn't need "the book", but can actually create results oriented radio AND turn a profit based on those results.

If you have impeccable integrity- leadership skills- can do/will do attitude- the ability to consult with advertisers- create ideas- and the desire to live in a place that is often called "God's Country"- Then timing is of the essence.

Please email your resume, contact info, & references to jxx@jxx.com
I'm just the consultant, but if you can impress me I'll put you touch with the decision makers who want to make a decision very soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

WKRP End Theme Translated

Thanks to my friend Tom OKeefe for sending this along...to my radio friends.



I never knew..

Guilty Pleasure

...Gordon Ramsay.


One of the only bright spots in daytime TV is the BBC America Network. Every afternoon, Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares comes on and I love it. Don't ask me why, but like I said, it's a guilty pleasure. He literally takes no shit from anybody and he sure knows what the hell he's doing, eh?

That got me turned on to the American version and thanks to http://www.hulu.com/, I can watch all the shows (and I have).

The premise is this...restaurant is having trouble, something's not quite right. He comes in, tells them they are all bloody bastards and he will fix it. Says the word "fuck" a lot and basically tears the restaurant apart and starts all over again. He gets them in shape and then he comes back later to see how they are doing, eh?

My favorite BBC show was when to went to France to fix a place and met with the owner and her father, a French bird who basically didn't give a damn. He fixed the place up and left only to come back 3 months later to find it had been closed down. He called a meeting with the owner and the daughter, she showed up and told him to "fuck off". The father apologized. Hilarious.


I do not, however like the "Hell's Kitchen" show where all he does is berate people. I can't stand that show.

Ramble On...

Everytime I see something about England, it makes me want to live there. I have no idea why this farm boy would ever have the notion to go live in England, but I picture myself has having a bed and breakfast in the rolling countryside of Kent, or living in loft somewhere in Soho. I have always been afflicted with the wanderlust thing and it's getting very prominent now. I know how expensive it is to live there, but I never have had money and somehow not having any doesn't bother me. "I Like Dreamin"

These new commercials about having your future self coming to visit you give me the willies. I have always wondered what I would have told myself at an early age if I could go and do it right now. If I could write the 17 year old Randy a letter and tell him what to expect and what to do differently, what would it sound like? Note to self...that's my next project. I'll get on it in my spare time. Ha!

Next time

Been Awhile

Hey Mr. Blog,
It has been awhile. I have had some setbacks and some surprises. I went to do the radio show thing on Saturday night and I must say, I went back too early. I literally could not pull my headphones apart and put my ears in them without help. Using my arm to push the buttons on the board was painful and it caused me to push back my back to work date. I go back tomorrow after physical therapy. I am not sure what to expect, it seems so long since I have done anything. The doc says I must ween myself from my sling and start using my hand/arm. I would love to do that. I can't stand this thing on my arm and it has contributed greatly to my lack of sleep. So has having no physical activity. I am a guy who needs to sweat and I haven't since April 23rd. I have put on a few pounds and that's not good. Hopefully, I'll be able to take them off quick. I haven't driven since the surgery and I miss it. It's the Metro system in St. Louis for me for awhile. Arghh!

It continues to be rainy and cloudy and chilly here in the gateway city. I saw (or heard) on the news last night that we have eclipsed the record for the most rain ever between January first and May 12. That seems right.
My mind was been wondering about who, what and where and I am.... as Bruce Springsteen would say..."I'm counting on a miracle to come through"
Alas, same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

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