Last 1973 a D.J. Saved My Life. [Part #1: Introduction; Dad]

Recently I made what I trust is a correct decision and opted against that suicide I was planning. [Don’t worry; everything’s great now, even if everything still sucks.] I cannot possibly overstate to you one factor in my decision: I have serious reservations about the availability of popular music in the afterlife, be it as cherub or as wormfood. I would miss music too much.

This close call has led me to think a lot of grateful thoughts about how music got to be such an integral part of my life.

It always knocks me slightly off kilter to walk into someone’s place and not hear music. Why don’t they have music on? They’re just walking around their apartment in silence? Is their version of silence actually silent? They have to have voices like everyone else, right? I would kill to swap the voices in my head with the voices in their head for five minutes. How can these people walk around not wanting to have the voices in their heads silenced? Do their voices tell them things like “You’re lookin’ swell today, Greg! Keep up the good work!”? When they close their eyes do they see one of those old Successories™ posters from the 90s? Do they recite to themselves that “Footprints in the Sand” tale?

My voices say things like, “You know you’ll be first on the conveyor belt when they start up the Soylent Green factories. Let better people snack on you.” I could try to drown that out with “Footprints in the Sand,” but that story just reminds me that the middle toe on my left foot has been hurting for weeks now. I assume it will need to be amputated. That’s why I always have music on whenever I can help it. Right now it’s the “Mellow New Years” playlist and The Posies’ version of “O-o-h Child.”

As a lot of bipolar folks will tell you, our minds tend to wander. Music is a low fence that keeps me from sauntering out of the yard and into dark traffic. Eventually I get back to the task at hand.

As soon as I got a radio in my room around the age of 8 or so, it went on, and it stayed on. The only reason I ever turned it off was I was leaving the room, and I only did that grudgingly because President Ford told us to. I would lay awake at night tuning in far away AM stations, feeling an electricity whenever I tuned in a station that began not with a boring W, but with the exotic K or even the weird-tingly-feeling causing C. Even in far away Canada they listen to the same music we do. Somewhere, some other kid was listening to “Kung Fu Fighting” at the exact same time. I’ll take connection where I can get it. Continue reading


Scooby Doo and a Mummy, Too… They’ve stolen Casey Kasem’s corpse. I am upset.


Three excerpts from this morning:

  • Candace Corkum at the Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma, Washington, confirmed that the facility had been in possession of Casey Kasem’s body, but said that it was no longer in their care.
  • “We are not surprised,” Kerri Kasem[daughter] told to CNN. “We expected something like this to happen.”
  • Meanwhile, Jean Kasem [stepmother, the former Loretta Tortelli] denies that her late husband’s body is missing. “It’s not,” she told CNN.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my living room with a couple of friends drinking cheap pink champagne –like one does –and listening to a Dutch 12” of Wang Chung’s “Dance Hall Days.” Greg and Jill were appropriately horrified by all the rap breakdowns that had been added. “This is from that time when everybody can rap,” remarked Greg, saying the last three words like one says “everybody gets a trophy!” There were also snack chips. As we were going to see the Municipal Fireworks For No Apparent Reason down at Coney later on, Jill brought up the rooftop party on the Fourth where we watched the NYC fireworks. There was NO MUSIC at this party. We all agreed that that was horrifying beyond anything Wang Chung could do to pad a song.

But there are people that don’t need music. Across the BQE from the party was this completely, no discussion, kick-ass, albeit misspelled, piece of graffiti:


“We think it has something to do with WMD’s,” said another guest, approximately my age, as she dug into her couscous salad. “There it is!” I hip-hopped with horribly-appropriated arm movements. Nothing. No recognition whatsoever. I wanted to scream, “It was the #2 song of 1993!”

“I’m not a music person.”

I just don’t understand how people cannot enjoy music on the same level as I do. This is not like how I don’t get how some people don’t enjoy Diet Coke or my cat; this is like someone saying they’re not a “weather person.” I would hazard I spend much more time with music than I do with weather. If there’s not music on, I gotta listen to my thoughts, and no one wants those rap breakdowns. Greg took a sip of his champagne and said, “We’re just music geeks.” I thought for a second. “Y’know, I wouldn’t say I’m a music ‘geek;’ I would say I’m more of a ‘chart nerd.’” Continue reading