Saturday, July 26, 2008

July 1981

I was on my friend Ken's blog earlier today and he had a post about the Hyatt Regency Collapse in July of 1981. I remember July 1981 very well, for purely narcissistic reasons. At the time of the Hyatt Collapse, Harry Chapin had died the day before, and the love of my life was just about to end the wonderful thing we had.

The first professional interview I ever did was with Harry Chapin. He was playing at the Palmer Auditorium in Davenport in 1978 and the ticket sales were a bit slow, so I'm sure he was forced to do the dog and pony radio show. I was given a phone number to call and a time but when I called the number, no one answered. I went about my business and left the building for a bit. when I got back, there was a hand written message from the secretary that said "Harry Chapin called, please call him at the number you have". I kept that piece of paper for decades until the flood of 1992 in my basement destroyed it. I kept calling him Mr. Chapin during the interview and he kept correcting me. "My name is Harry, my dad was Mr. Chapin" He personally invited me to the show, I went and it was quite incredible, telling those stories. He died in a traffic accident on July 16, 1981. I was furious at the news and cried. It rained that day.

This video of the Hyatt Regency Collapse on Nightline features a couple of old friends Harold Knabe of the Fire Department and Scott Feldman, one of the best reporters ever to come through KC. I was at a local bar that Friday night (surprise) when it came on TV. It was July 17, 1981. I immediately rushed to the radio station to find Charles Gray and the staff of 61 Country knee deep in the story. "Blood's the word, we need people to give blood", then 30 minutes later being told by the Red Cross, "send them away, there are too many people wanting to give blood". It was one of the most chaotic nights I have ever spent in radio. I was there until two a.m. It rained all day the next day.

One of the heroes of the Hyatt Disaster was a doctor named Joe Wacherle. Doctor Joe was rich, handsome and single. Little did I know that he caught the eye of the woman I was dating at the time. Bree was one of the most scrumptious creatures ever. Intoxicatingly beautiful, she was the object of many looks and come ons. Funny, intelligent, tempestuous, unpredictable and she always went home with me. Until she met Doctor Joe. I couldn't blame her really, he pretty much had the whole package. Good looking guy, famous medical hero, a real man's man. This was the only woman who had ever hit me, popped me in the ear one time in a jealous rage. I certainly didn't deserve it but that was the nature of the relationship. It was one of the best years of my life. This was the woman I was with when we found out John Lennon was asassinated. I even took her to the Quad Cities to meet my family. They fell in love with her, too. She left on July 24th 1981 approximately a year after we experienced "love at first sight". I was emotionally devastated beyond recognition and it took me a while to get over it. It didn't work out with them and they were toast soon. Her and I had one more two day work out in October where we really couldn't get enough of each other (I remember the World Series was the Dodgers and Yankees for some reason) and then..she was gone and again I was never the same completely. I never saw her again. She moved back to San Francisco, married her high school sweetheart and had two beautiful children. By all accounts, she was living the life she had wanted until she was killed in an auto accident in 1995. I never loved anyone harder than her, but it was never easier to love someone so completely. She lived her life fully. She filled many chapters in this book and I think of her often. White Shoulders perfume never smelled so sweetly as it did on you. The picture on the left was December 1980 when I delivered a eulogy for John Lennon at the All Souls Unitarian Church and the picture on the right is Padre Island April, 1981

This was the song on the radio during all of this...the one I remember most anyway...

So, July 1981 was one of the worst times of my life for more than one reason. But unlike, Harry (dead at 38), all of those people on the skywalk or one of the loves of my life, I am here on this Earth to ramble on. Miss you, B.

A Great Menu from the Past

What no burgers?

Thanks Beth

The Pew News IQ Test

I found this on and it really struck me how dumb we are as a country. These are pretty easy questions about the news and current events. I got 12 out of 12. Think I'm lying?

Here's my score. That puts me in the 97th percentile and places me WAY ahead of others.

If half of the country can't answer the questions we should know by heart, then we WILL fall for anything wrapped in a 30 second ad or a soundbite on TV.

Shh, hey did you hear Obama is a muslim and his wife is a terrorist? And that fist bump thing they did? It's a gang sign, right?

Here's the test, try it yourself.

More Great Signs

I think I've been there..only once, though.

Walk the dog, but don't kill it

An oldie but goodie

er, uh..I don't think I want to go much further...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Good Things Come In Small Packages

My shipment from MoFi (The Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs) arrived today.
There were two discs in the package.

I've been waiting for Roy Orbison's golden instrument to be available through the folks at the sound lab. Roy may have been the purest singer ever. When Bruce Springsteen puts your name in a song as powerful as "Thunder Road" ( the radio plays Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, Hey that's me and I want you only) you belong in the category of legendary. Roy is one of the absolute greats. From "For The Lonely" to "Working For The Man" it does not get any better than this.I think this was the release that solidified their place on rock radio. I know I played the shit out of "Spirit of the Radio", "Freewill" and "Entre Nous" at KY 102. The thinking man's nerd rock band. They became stars with this release which only lead to further greatness...(Moving Pictures, Signals, Power Windows...). A very fine effort from a band I've been listening to since 1974.

Here's the website for the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and what they do.

As far as how my top 100 would rate these...Roy is disqualified because greatest hits packages don't count, but if they did...Rush would rank just out of the top 100, with better releases from them (in my opinion) pushing "Permanent Waves" out.

Award Winning Animation

Our dear friends, The Stolzers have a daughter named Jennifer. Jennifer won the animation division for the St. Louis Fimmakers Showcase Critics' Award!! This means her little cartoon will be entered in the international film festival here in November.
Here is her short that won. It's about a little over three minutes. We are incredibly proud of Jennifer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Yes, I know I've been tardy. It's been hard work firing all the Cub fans. Actually, as a manager in radio, I found it easy to fire every one of my staff. See, here's the deal, if I want it to sound the way I truly want it, I'll damn straight do it myself. So, now I'm doing the live show in the morning on the news station, then doing middays on the classic rock station and then (damn, I'm good), I do afternoon drive on the country station. Staff? Who needs staff? No overhead (I pay myself very well) and I'm so good, I can sound like a woman, so, I'm in. Sales? What? Sorry, no time..I have to fire all of them, too.
It's all good.

I think I may have found the apartment that I was looking for BEFORE I moved here. Cool spot downtown where someone's dad lived while he was working at State Farm in the fifties. It's recently rehabbed above a business and part of a very hip building

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