Friday, February 26, 2010

"Oh, but that's all superstition."


Numerology. Used to be into that. So, here we are at the 13th entry in this auto-Guy-blogrophy. And the subject of the number 13 being unlucky reappears in the poster art for the 13th anniversary of the show. If you think I've abandoned this thing about numbers, you might note that the 8th entry in this series was the poster for the 8th anniversary of Space Pirate Radio, done once again by my artist friend Mike Merenbach. Just to clarify, my first entry had the 20th anniversary poster pictured, and images for anniversaries 9, 10, 12, 15 and 16 have yet to appear. So there's not a consistent numbering poster relation thingy here.

The 12th anniversary poster and party and celebration and stuff was really a terrific event. A real highpoint for the show. Everything went well. Turnout was extraordinary. I could go on for pages with images of the entries with all of the artistic invention and listener turnout that happened in Santa Barbara at the Zelo club. And all post-KTYD. After being with KTYD from 1973 to 1985, I thought I could never top the fun of what had gone before. I did find I could lose quite a bit of the pain that came with KTYD because there were definite highlights and low lights, and a love-hate relationship that went on for years due to the transient and ever-changing face of radio ownership and management. As an aside here, I find it ironic that doing a show that was based on discovering new and (proud to say it) progressive music, as well as trying experimental and innovative sound theatre...that over the years, Space Pirate Radio remained consistent while the radio stations I worked for were inconsistent in their formats. Disco here, heavy metal there, Top 40, AOR, Easy Listening. Now, to me, that's weird. Because where I thought Space Pirate Radio should be broadcasting, which is in a freeform radio format, was not where it always was. As this pattern emerged, I became aware of more of the Cosmic Giggle, which is...that doing what I used to think was a very conspicuous radio program could actually (like some cheesy 50s sci-fi movie) inbreed on any radio station imaginable. This would actually continue to play out in later years. But that's another story. Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment? Well, that's another story too.

So anyway, after the success of the 12th, with things going as well as they were, and the next year being the 13th, we would have to play up on the possibility that it all could go wrong. So I suggested to Mike that all the images of bad luck should appear in the poster and he did a wonderful job creating the other-worldly image of the Space Pirate Radio Captain sailing his ship into a mirror image of himself. The broken mirror, a symbol of bad luck, with shreds reflecting other images of superstition. Quite cool and a job well done by my artist friend.

Fortunately for all of us, the 13th anniversary was a success and there were still greater nights to come. Looking at the poster now, I notice how I pulled in artistic support from the community when it was still vibrant, and that ultimately and unfortuantely this model would turn into the Live Nation image: the soul-less, corporate model that I think I could see coming in my crystal ball. Could you imagine Space Pirate Radio's 36th anniversary poster contest sponsored by Budweiser/Citibank? Now that would be unlucky.