KOWS Radio

Yesterday I drove up to see Arnold and Karen in Sebastopol. Arnold has been doing a show on a local public radio station in Occidental, broadcasting as KOWS. The radio station was upstairs from where the first farmers' market of the season was underway, and a woman was being interviewed who confessed to having murdered 500 gophers. There was precious little sympathy for the gophers if Karen is representative of the women of Occidental.

The woman at the controls was doing her first show, and a more experienced hand was watching over her and making sure she got the engineering right. She was a slender woman who looked like she spends a lot of time outdoors, and she had a good voice. She was interviewing the Gopher killer, who appeared to be an expert on gardening. I was trying not to think about the reality that I was going to sing in front of an audience for the first time, on live radio.

Actually, I'd thought about it already, and concluded that it is a mistake to be overly concerned with other people, and what I really want to do is learn to let other people see me, or hear me, as I am when I'm alone. That means I am not performing for other people, I'm just ignoring them, really.

That seems like something in my skill set.

Actually I once heard about a man somewhere south of Mexico and North of Argentina, I forget now the place. In fact the details of the story are so inexact as to exempt it from history and make it a generic tale. The man begins to play his flute, and it becomes his prayer. Every day he sits in prayer, and people begin to listen to him, and give him money. Well, you can imagine how excited I was when I heard this story. That's the job for me. I'll just pray for money.

When the clock struck seven it was time for the turnover, and Arnold began his show. He recorded it and gave me a copy, proving that he has a dark side. When I did the first song, "Elaine," I was half way into it when the restaurant downstairs from the studio decided to dump all their recyclable glass, and we had the door open. Inside the studio it sounded like a car wreck, and I couldn't help laughing. But I did get through the song, and the interview, and a panini and a couple of glasses of zinfandel afterward.

When we came out I realized I'd left the lights on in the old Prelude and the battery had gone dead. Arnold thought we should take care of it right away but I wanted to go to the bar for food and drink. I figured we had a pretty good chance of finding somebody in the bar who would let me jump off their battery. And sure enough, the guy at the bar next to Arnold has a program on KOWS about fishing, and he recognized Arnold. When we were done with eating and drinking he pulled his girlfriend's car around and I hooked up jumper cables. She cranked right up.

I can't say that I enjoyed singing on live radio, but I surely enjoyed doing the interview. And I enjoyed being in Occidental, where, I was told by a woman who has a show on KOWS, "Everybody in town is on the radio." So what the hell ... when in Rome ...

Posted: Sun - June 8, 2008 at 12:36 AM