Don’t be afraid to clutch the hand of your creator. / Stare into the lion’s eyes / and if you taste the candy / you’ll get to the surprise.
– Ween, “Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy)”
* * *
One of the many crossed wires wigglin’ ‘round in my noggin has made me susceptible to this: Whenever I have the good fortune of receiving an invitation to be on the radio, I instantly forget that every other time I’ve been on the radio I’ve subjected myself—and worse, any poor soul listening—to my awfully awkward radio presence.
This on-air amnesia is, assuredly, a disorder.
My guesting on the radio has happened a few dozen times over the last two years—one binge even lasted 20 consecutive weeks (on WiLD 105.5 FM’s “The Show”)—and over the course of that time I’ve had a crash course in How To Talk Into A Microphone 101; always with failing grades.
Somehow or another this landed me the chance to be a regular “co-host” (Johnny A’s words, not mine—promise!) on K-Rock’s The A-Train on 97.3 FM.
And here I was under the impression that The A-Train’s a pretty good show.
So I’m on the radio. Making a fool of myself, as usual.
I’ve never done anywhere near six hours non-stop(ish) but I am now. We’re about three hours in and [insert ironic shoulder shake] I’m feeling loose, folks!
Johnny says, “Hey, I need a song.” And like a dweeb, I’m all like “Oh, I’ve got a song for you, Johnny!”
On the edge of my forehead there’s a dull flash of cognizance that this is the very first song I’ve ever picked to play on the radio; but the anti-gravity-of-the-moment machine’s on and this realization fades faster than it appears.
“I need it quick,” says Johnny. “What number?
“Eighteen,” I beam as I hand him Ween’s Pure Guava.
Johnny asks me to lead-in, so I preface the song by saying, (now, I’m paraphrasing in efforts to mitigate my idiotic deluge), “I basically worship the gum stuck to Ween’s shoes. Seeing as this is my first night officially on The A-Train, I thought this might be a nice chance for you to get to know me by listening to one of my favorite songs by my favorite band. So here it is, [insert dramatic breath], ‘Don’t Get 2 Close 2 My Fantasy.’”
The song starts and instantly I realize my mistake. Ween is weird—that’s why I love them. But weird isn’t often radio-friendly, and while “Fantasy” is a nonpareil rock anthem in my book, besides being a bit aberrant it’s got one glaring Achilles’ heel:
Every line of the chorus cresendos—the cacophonic chorale’s cant intoned like a guttural hurdy gurdy—then dramatically cuts as if it’s the moment your stomach’s still left in the air as a roller coaster takes its plunge. You know, artful pauses or whatever.
While good for the song, this equates to broadcasters’ worst nightmare: dead air.
Embarrassed, I stare dumbly as the mixing board’s meters rise then fall to zero. Everyone in the studio makes eyes with each other. I fear their blinks are Morse Code for, “Don’t let Anu back into the building.”
Maybe The A-Train crew is as afflicted with on-air amnesia as I am, because they let me back the following week and I’m hoping they’ll do so again this Friday (find out 3-9pm).
Considering my foibles, I don’t exactly have my hopes up. (Frankly, I just wanna stick around long enough to get a theme song by Abe’s Logic.)
Then again, there are worse things to worry over.
* * *
With heavy hearts and emptied ducts, the MauiTime ‘ohana mourns the loss of 28-year-old Kenneth J. Talbot III; one of our extended own. He died early Sunday morning (July 31) after reportedly losing control of his Kawasaki on Wailea Alanui Drive.
We’re privileged to have known Kenny as the buoyantly gregarious hanai brother of our former art director Chris Skiles, and hardworking R.N. at Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Heart, Brain & Vascular Center. In June of this year, he graced the cover of our annual Summer Guide; and it’s this proud, silhouetted-by-sunset image of Kenny that we’ll cherish as the placard to our many merry memories of him.
His passing marked Maui’s 11th traffic fatality of 2011. But when tragedy strikes so close to home and heart, it’s a sobering reminder that statistics have souls behind them.
Personally, I’ll remember Kenny as a hilarious conversationalist, an eager teammate in wholesome mischief-making, and a great buddy with whom to adventure. He was generous, candid to a fault (if there is such a thing) and was a better listener than I’m accustomed to enjoying.
We miss him.