Monday, November 14, 2011

"He walked with a pronounced limp. L-I-M-P. Pronounced LIMP."

The 1970's.  Still in pursuit of the Cosmic Giggle.  Working, if you can call it that, at freeform wireless station KTYD in Santa Barbara.  No one has grown up yet.  That perversion won't begin till late 1980 and the murder of John Lennon.  For the time being, the children have STILL taken over the daycare center.

The steam madness of KTYD radio was a place where business as Unusual was the modus operandi.  How cool is that?  You turned your jokes into art, and art became commerce.  Simply because people bought what you were selling if...you GAVE it away first!  And most of all...if they actually could tell that you loved and believed what you were doing.  You can feel this LOVE VIBE at Verizon, Chevron, B of A and News Corporation today, can't you Children of the Revolution?  Especially at Fox.  Those brown shirts smell Downey fresh!

So for a brief time, the work ethic was Labours of Love.  If you thought it was good, do something with it. That would creep in with the creeps later, but I am really trying to hold back my kitchen cynic mode and accentuate the positive.

And that Cosmic Giggle.

The station was always involved in local artistic endeavours: concerts, film shows, plays and art events.  We still thought of Santa Barbara as a community.  Not just the playground of the wealthy, or a place where bodies from the San Fernando Valley or Orange County could be conveniently dumped over the Mesa Cliffs.  No sir.  A real community of multi-talented artists.  That's what made freeform KTYD the place EVERYONE tuned into.  Rock? Every variety.  Jazz.  Man, the station was a hipster's paradise!  Blues?  The BLUEST!  Folk?  You bet.  American or British?  Joan Baez or Fairport Convention?  Space Pirate Radio was there, bringing Gentle Giant to the Arlington Theatre, Renaissance to UCSB, Alan Stivell to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.  The station's list of musical guests is amazing.  Almost endless, really.

And cinema?

Santa Barbara in the Seventies was a movie lover's paradise.  One local promoter would do triple bills of eclectic offerings at the Arlington Theatre.  In an age when seeing a film was not yet a convenient home viewing experience, the film lover was desperate for a sympathetic venue.  If there was a film I hadn't seen or wished to view a lost favourite, we simply booked it into a local theatre.  Pink Floyd films, like in Pompeii or More or La Vallee or Stamping Ground or Zabriskie Point...these would show up at a Midnight Double bill with Yes in Concert at the Airport Drive-In (pictured in a previous entry).  But more likely in Isla Vista at the Magic Lantern Theatre.  This WAS the cool theatre.  Two theatres actually, with the mini left wing smaller cavern on the opposite side of the snack bar.  Called Midnight Flicks, flyers were printed for each weekend's offering.  We snickered when the artist would put the L and the I rather close and the Kinkos copies would blend.  Suddenly a different event was being advertised.

It's movie night at the Chateau.