Tag: Warren Zevon

As Is: Maybe The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow…

As Is: Maybe The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow…

And the judge looked down at me and said, For getting smart, boy, gonna give you more than a lifetime. Murder in my heart for the judge. I’ve got murder in my heart for the judge — From “Murder in My Heart For The Judge,” as written by Donald J. Stevenson and Jerry A. Miller Jr. and presently performed by America’s best known felon.

I just had to make a difficult choice. Should I write about the final episode of Star Trek: Discovery under the “Brainiac On Banjo” banner, or should I write about how America’s treacherous ex-president finally got his comeuppance after 77 years of blustering, conning, extortion, lying, cheating and stealing under my even more political “As Is” rant? Bet you figured that out already.

I can always comment on boldly going where artificial intelligence has gone before. I should celebrate the light at the end of the tunnel, the forthcoming possibility that soon I will never feel the need to comment on the greatest criminal (and skankiest biped) in American history.

Coincidentally, I learned about the verdict coming in from one of the biggest Star Trek fans I know, and I happen to know one hell of a lot of them. I was resting and playing with Adriane’s cat Artemis while listening to music — Artie prefers Warren Zevon — when I received a phone call from comics writer/editor/legend Mindy Newell. She informed me the jury was coming in with the verdicts. “WTF,” I replied, albeit non-initialisticly. “They’ve been deliberating for only about a dozen hours!” “Nonetheless…” Mindy wisely replied.

So I fired up my monitor, hooked myself up to several real news services, and sat back to enjoy the show. As everybody who’s watched juries on television knows, such brief deliberations rarely inure to the benefit of the accused. So my happy-adrenaline started pumping madly like one of Harold Hamm’s oil wells.

And I was not disappointed. Everybody had their scorecard up on the screen. Even Fanduel is unaccustomed to displaying a loss of 34 – 0. The jury of Donald Trump’s peers — but, clearly, these folks were deliberative, focused, and honest so they hardly were Emperor Trump’s “peers” — were goddamned clear in their message. Continue reading “As Is: Maybe The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow…”

Brainiac On Banjo #109: What Jessica Walter Means To Me

Brainiac On Banjo #109: What Jessica Walter Means To Me

Don’t you ever miss your house in the country, and your hot little mamma too? Don’t you better get a shot from the doctor, for what the Road Ladies do to you? – Frank Zappa, Road Ladies, 1970

I was just 21¼ years old. Old enough to know better. And, well, I did know better.

I had started on the radio about two years earlier, doing freeform “underground” shows overnights on Chicago FM stations. Back in those days, FM wasn’t on most car radios and station owners bought them just so that their competitors could not. At that time, nobody made money on overnight FM except for those slots that were purchased — brokered — by churches, far-right-wing political howlers, and foreign-language shows. That is, nobody made money until we came along.

In short order, my peers warned the 19-year-old me that, from time to time, women would call the studio in the middle of the night and make it clear that a personal appearance need not involve guitars and amplifiers. Remember, this was during that hallowed time between the invention of the birth control pill and the onset of HIV, and it was a wonderful period to be a 19 year old with Y chromosomes that screamed louder than a pack of shock-jocks.

My peers pointed out that these ladies had never seen me, and that I had never seen them. All they knew was I was on radio which, admittedly, can be an intimate experience at 3 in the morning. According to my instructors, other than an hour’s pleasure nothing good could come out of such parlances… and quite often there’s a world of hurt around the corner.

Yeah. Right. I was pushing 20 and I was full of three things… one of which being myself.

I had just started at a station in Evanston, Chicago’s northern neighbor and their studio was along the Chicago River about two miles from the fabled “L” trains. As is wont to happen, one night my car broke down in their parking lot and I had to choose between a long walk or an even longer wait for repair. I was three hours into my five-hour shift and I knew that walk would be annoying. I mentioned my situation on the air. At three in the morning. Sadly, my “Uh-Oh Sense” declined to stop me. Continue reading “Brainiac On Banjo #109: What Jessica Walter Means To Me”