Acid Heroes

September 2, 2015

Free Radio Berkeley

I know I’m getting repetitious with this theme.  But this town of Berkeley is full of ghosts for me.  Every time I walk by this coffee shop on Shattuck I see the ghosts of 1994.

In 1994 Duncan and I had a weekly radio show at this little pirate radio station.  And the radio studio was right across the street from the coffee shop.  So we always stopped in to get wired on coffee before the show.  Free Radio Berkeley was the name of the station.   104.7 on your FM dial.

The radio show was great fun.  It was usually the highlight of my week.  And we’d invite all our friends to join us.  We had a very witty and talented circle of friends back then.  Artists, writers, musicians, cartoonists.  So we put on a lively show.  And we all had been raised on Johnny Carson and TV talk shows.  So the format was completely natural for all of us.

The four regulars were me, Duncan, Moby and Blue.  Moby was a natural comedian, he could do voices and impersonations.  Blue was this sharp-tongued cynical guy who could make all these cutting observations (the Disgruntled Guy was his moniker).  Duncan was the Whacky Neighbor — this odd and outrageous character.  And I operated the board and kind of held the whole thing together.

We got in the habit of bringing in a couple of tall cans of beer to drink during the course of the show.  And we found the show kept getting better and better during the course of the show.  At least for us, if not for the listeners.  Ha ha.  And when we ran out of stuff to talk about there was a library full of classic vinyl records to play.  It was as much our personal clubhouse as a radio show.

Well.  It’s 21 years later now.  Duncan and Blue are dead.  And Moby went on to better things.  And it’s like I’ve been left behind.  A ghost who wanders alone through a twilight zone.

I recorded all the shows.  I have a big box full of cassette tapes (remember those thing?).  But it would probably break my heart to take them out and listen to them.



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