I was doing my graveyard shift
at the radio station
, the 2-6 AM deal. A
wonderfully peaceful time slot, in which I'd have the entire Student Union
Annex all to myself, not that I could ever do much exploring of the place unless I
played something "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
" long. I got a call from Brian, as I
was beginning my shift; he wanted to come in and do a few songs
. No problem, I said; I propped the outside door open for him, and he arrived an hour later, with his acoustic guitar
and the last two bottles of beer on the wall, one left for each of us. I overlooked the "no alcohol
" rule, just this once.
I changed my choice of music, in honor of my guest, setting aside the Laurie
Anderson and Peter Murphy, for the moment, to play some Howlin' Wolf,
Roy Orbison, and NRBQ. When Brian was ready, I turned his mic on, and gave a brief introduction, adding, "Should I, like, interview you or something?"
"I'll give you head if you would."
"There goes the FCC license!"
He did a few Burnette Brothers songs, some Elvis Sun Sessions stuff, and some originals, which didn't lose much in the translation from the band context in which I had previously heard them. We did a duet on "I Am a Pilgrim", after
convincing him to do it in the key of E; I think my "I control the microphone, you son of a bitch!" may have won him over. His harmony vocals made up for my lead-vocal deficiencies and not-quite-twang. Brian brought the set to an abrupt end: "Piss break!" But before heading for the bathroom, he released a nice long belch into the Orange County airwaves.
After his return, we did, in fact, do an interview:
"Nice weather we're havin', eh? But it's a dry heat."
"Oh yeah, hot. Saw lotsa sunbathers. Was that you I saw runnin' naked across
"You didn't know yo momma had a dick and one badass suntan, did you?"
"Our new cassette will be in the local stores next Monday."
"How 'bout them Red Sox?"
"I don't know shit about football, ya damn four-eyed psycho! Eat me!"
"I love you too, Hoss."
"Hey! I'd like to wish Hank Williams a happy fuckin'
"Suit yourself, holmes. It won't make him any less dead."
We sang "Jackson" (I was Johnny, he was June), then I let him
loose in the record library, letting him select the next hour or so of music.
Roots Music, Amurrican Music, instead of my usual
tortured-aesthete tuneage; I pitched in by adding "Brand New
Cadillac", some X, the Stooges' "I Need Somebody", and even Toots and
the Maytals' "Funky Kingston" to the mix.
"Hey, it's all good, ya four-eyed bastard!"
Mercifully, the language police weren't listening in that night.