Monday, February 8, 2010

"O, I am fortune's fool!"

Playing The Fool #01

When one is younger, everyone has a favourite holiday. In my late teens, being a Pagan Scientist (my personal religious cult...err...denomination...pamphlets are available in the lobby), I celebrated the four witches' sabbaths (which is true *hehe*) which were Candlemass, Lammas, Roodmas and All Hallow's Eve. Those disappeared in active memory and were replaced in the 70s by a love for April Fool's Day. We had a wonderful time with both the radio and print to enjoy the sanctity of that one day to extol the fine art of the massive put-on. At KTYD on April 1st, we became a screaming Top 40 radio station. Everything that we thought as a cool freeform, album oriented station, we were not. I became my AM alter-ego, the Real Don Robot. The super-hyper talking AM DJ fueled on elicit white substances, espresso coffee and Vicks Vapor Rub: "I was ready to rock!" I came on at 5pm for one or two hours of madness. The station at that time broadcasted on both AM and FM. Now, if you were an AM listener and you were driving in your car at that 5-6pm hour, and say you were driving on Highway 101, you would probably notice as you were zipping around the curves that your AM signal would start to fade out and you might begin to hear the sounds of some Mexican station interfering on the same frequency. The driver would at that moment perhaps rather irritably try to retune the station to keep the original signal. Knowing this, I made a recording of Captain & Tennille singing "Love Will Keep Us Together" announced the record, started playing it and about 30 seconds into the song, it would kind of distort out into pure static and then fade back in with the very same song (Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together") sung in Spanish, because we happened to have that album. I'm not sure if the effect was truly felt by the hapless car listener. But it seemed like conceptual art to me and therefore, worth the effort. Anyway, with bogus commercials, screaming tirades and "let's take a trip down Whittier Boulevard" by The Midnighters, it was all great fun.

"None of the hits! None of the time!"

Other April Fool's were celebrated with the announcement of the appearance of Barb Wirey & The Maulers and Poops & The Midols at the Santa Barbara County Beach men's room (standing room only) (photo to come). In print, the Santa Barbara News & Review became a parody of the local daily newspaper, entitled "Not The Santa Barbara News Press."

Alas, those days are gone. We just used April 1st as justification to put one or two over on the powers that be that ran the establishment. Believing myself to be a satirist with some desire for social change, during that time, just about every day was April's Fools.