Wednesday, 23 August 2017

My Top ∞ Radio Songs #16: Is There Anybody Out There?

I've lost touch with most of the people I knew in the early days of my radio career. This was long before the internet and facebook and all the little social media tricks that allow me to keep tabs on the people (I liked) that I worked with in my latter days at the station. Ironically, four of the best friends I made in that job are supremely anti-internet and have no social media presence at all. I do try to keep in touch with them the old-fashioned way, but you can't do that with everyone. And of course, some of the people I am still connected to online I really have no reason to stay in touch with. We were never that close in the first place, but in the first flush of social media, our affections were profligate.

Thirty years ago though, if someone left your workplace, you said goodbye to them most likely for good.

I tried googling the first DJ I ever worked with, but he has the same name as Aphex Twin so that's all the internet will give me. He left the station six months into my career. The DJ who briefly replaced him on (what I still think of as) my Saturday morning show sadly died in 2008 from a viral infection, aged just 46. I managed to find his obit online, but again I'd lost touch with him 20 years ago. I've mentioned before how another of the first DJs I ever worked with (he presented the show before ours) went on to a career in television comedy as a famous impressionist. Every time I see him on TV I remember how nervous he used to be, presenting that Saturday breakfast show, how he'd shake in his chair when the mic went live. I guess he must have conquered those nerves.

I worked with so many good people during my time in radio, most of them lost to me forever. Not that it'd be practical to stay in touch, especially not for someone as anti-social as me. But it's weird how one day someone can be a really good friend and a big part of your life... and the next they can be distant strangers.

I worked with a few absolute arseholes as well. We'll get to them. Oh yes.

16. Steve Earle - Satellite Radio
Is there anybody out there? One-two-three on the satellite radio?
Big daddy on the air, are you listenin' to me? On the satellite radio.
At the galaxy's end where the stars burn bright are you tunin' in and turnin' on?
Is there anybody listenin' to earth tonight on the satellite radio?
This radio song seemed appropriate today, plus it's a favourite. And Steve Earle made my day last week by calling out Donald Trump in a Rolling Stone interview...

"I don't see him finishing the term. I don't see how he does it. Although it's hard to predict what this guy's gonna do. We've never had an orangutan in the White House before. There's a lot of "What does this button do?" going on. It's scary. He really is a fascist. Whether he intended to be or not, he's a real live fascist. That's what's going on."

Gotta love Steve Earle.


  1. Steve Earle - he calls a fascist a fascist

  2. Steve Earle - he calls a fascist a fascist

  3. You're dead right, it's remarkable how close you can get to people when you're working with them day in and day out, but how quickly they fade from your life when that working relationship ends. I've attended several weddings of co-workers and have the photos to prove it, but can now barely recall the participants names.

  4. This makes me sad because it really hit home. I have zero friends from any of my previous jobs, and a couple of my co-workers would have been considered my closest friends at the time. Sheesh.

  5. Is there anybody out there? Yes, we are the clothes.


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