Radio Hindenburg

Beloved Morning Show personalities.

Beloved radio personalities relaxing and eating bread.

For a short time, Marko and I had a late night call-in radio show on KUNM.  A short time because we sucked.  I think it was two shows.  Maybe one.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t there.  The whole thing seems surreal.  Dreamlike.  A dreamlike disaster.

Our friend Kelly was a radio intern at the University of New Mexico.  She offered us the gig.  From 1AM to 5AM, Monday morning.  That’s right. Primetime, baby!

We had never done radio, but after a few beers, decided to expand our undulating horizons.  This might be fun.  Produce a few of our own gag commercials to sprinkle throughout the shift.  Take some calls from any bat-chain pullers,  Pretty much wing it from there with a beer.  What could go wrong?  We were guaranteed to be smash hits.

As long as we didn’t get too crazy.  Too crazy drunk and out-of-control.  On the air.

Okay to be crazy drunk and out-of-control.  Just not too. 

On the radio.

In order to prevent that, we enacted an iron-clad NO DRINKING rule.

No drinking.  Until at least midnight.  So that we wouldn’t be too hammered by one.  Still be able to do radio shit.  Like announce the time.

And not say “fuck” a lot.

It was only the professional thing to do.  It’s a tough business.  Had to be at the top of our game, so we would refrain from drinking until an hour before our shift.  That way we would be less destroyed than normal.  Because we hardly had any time.

It was hard, but we did it.  Had to rent a cheap motel off Central and hole up in it.  Count off the tick-tocks before showtime.

Of course I hated it, but he wasn’t feeling Johnny High-On-Life either.  I felt better seeing him miserable.  Sitting there in a dirty Albuquerque motel.  On a Sunday.  Not drinking.  Nervous about being on the radio.  Nothing to take off the edge.  Except caffeine.  Sugar.  Nicotine.  A few small tablets of Ephedrine.  Snorted whole off knife-point.

Yeah, it was a lot of laughs, until I realized I was in the same predicament.

Cleaning our finger nails.  Sharpening knives.  Tossing cards into the toilet.  Anything to distract ourselves from the gut-sense of doom.  Knowing we were going to be on the radio.  Knowing it would be bad.  Knowing that whatever happened that night, there would be witnesses.  Maybe not too many.

But it only takes one.

Twaz bruttle, bro.  Knowing the seediest Albuquerque had to offer was just a cap-flick away, and having to sit there.  Sit for a while then get up and pace.  Endure a crawling clock.  Murder the minutes.  With cigarettes.  Coca-Cola.  And Elvis.

Viva Las Vegas was on one night.  We sat there and watched the whole stupid thing.  All of it.  Without drinking, we had no options.  Without our brewed propellant, we were reduced to watching some guy in a pantsuit sing.

Like the rest of America.

It was humbling.

At one point, Marko started singing along.  His dad was into The Elvis, so he knew all the words.  Strange enough, but more disconcerting to watch him belt it out.  So earnestly.  With such feeling.  Eyes burning.  Really trying to sell it.  Singing like his whole career depended on it.  Like everything depended on this Elvis impersonation.

I’d never seen him like that.  Dude was David Lynching me.  Laying down a highly-effective creep-out.

What made it scarier was the fact that he was stone cold sober.  So this is what happens.  My God, he was falling apart.  Going full nut-job.  Stark raving mad.

I joined him in the chorus.

“VIVA LAS VEGAS!”

At the top of our lungs.  Like children would go hungry if we didn’t squeeze out every decibel.  And mean every word.

“VIVA LAS VEGAS!”

Sonofabitch we were happy when midnight arrived.  Oh, Holy Hour of Magic, Thou Art Come to slake our forsaken thirst.

I remember waiting outside in the parking lot of the station,  Marko’s beeping Casio our starting gun.

Teep!

Right.  We have one hour to drink enough beer.  Before we go in.  Only one hour.  We have to drink a lot beer.  Really fast.  Before we go in.  Because once we go in, we’ll keep drinking of course.  But we only have an hour, to drink as much beer as we can…before we go in.

“So pound it, mother!  Because we couldn’t drink…”

“A beer every six minutes will still only be ten.”

“…all that time before!”

“Every five minutes will kill twelve.  But these are twenty-fours.”

“And a whole bunch of …Glug-glug-glah…other good…Glug-glug-glah…reasons.”

“We can kill fifteen.  But we’re gonna have to drink pissing. ”

“Don’t waste time doing math…Glug-glug-glooog-gah-glug ghaaach!  Pound!”

A determined individual can get pretty intoxicated, even in an hour.  But two motivated souls, supporting each other with encouragement, can achieve something really amazing.  Something rarely seen.

Gassing the big cans of Heineken straight down the throat.  One after another.  Non-stop.  Like some Indian sadhus showing-off in a beggar’s market.  Trying to get into the record books.  Trying to become eight-armed Hindu beer-drinking deities.  Popping a can with one hand while rolling out an empty to Kelly with the other.  To crunch.  Put in the trunk.  Recycle for cash.  Buy more cans.

“Every one of these is five cents we get.”

“Stop counting, fucker.  Pound!”

Gatling gunning them.  Spitting the casings out on the asphalt .  Kelly stomping on them with her big long legs like she’s dancing for rain.

“Are you guys going to be okay?”

“We’re gonna kill the world!”

Looking back, we would’ve been better off just coming in our regular amount of drunk by 1 AM.  Instead of pulling the elastic band all the way back, on a Sling-shot Sunday.  Then launching the show, after a Blue God Power Hour.

Live and learn, eh?  But at least now we were ready.   Ready to shine.  To radiate our bliss.  To bless the masses with our joy infernal.

Confidence restored?  Check.  Reckless disregard engaged?  Check  More beers in the jackets?  Checkmate.  We were ready.  For everything.  Ready for work.  We went in.

I don’t remember the D.J. we took over from, commending us on our professionalism.  For not drinking since midnight.

Fuck him.  We were plenty drunk now.  Thaaat whole caring about what people think wasss…ssomethinggggggg shhtupit 4 4 4 ofer chumfs an peepols wiff aaaahfukinon’t give-vah rattsaasss!  Mether feck head.  Hitler fecker…head-erhp I benner not say thaaat on a radio.  FC…CIA Nazi policituations an shit.  Wazz up Alqueburque?  Aneee strange stupf in a house? Here putty putty catty.  Gha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Pip.  Pop.  Fizz.  Glug.

Glug.

It didn’t go well.

Really love a rewind.

Don’t get those on live radio.  Or life.  And since this was both, we were double-fucked.

It was so bad, I hesitated writing this little piece.  That’s right, I didn’t want to revisit it.  Shit was bad enough to scar, even beneath an alcoholic blur.  One of those treats.  What I like to call my “special memories.”  The gut still tightens when I remember certain parts.

Ah, but you guys are like family to me, so what the hell.  I’ll share what happened.

Someday.

Not ready just yet.

But I will tell you, that not remembering to announce the time, wasn’t the worst part.

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17 responses to “Radio Hindenburg

    • Actually, this woman who I respect, a professional blogger, told me to shorten my shit. Even break up my stories. I listen to her, and get called out as a tease. There’s some bread crumbs around here. Where do they lead? Oh Sue Bob. Trust me. It was beyond cut-down. Some parts still chop. We were in rare form. By that, I mean not being entertaining, even once in a while. I did write some of what took place, but seriously thought it was going too long. At least for my ADD-addled reading public. Sitting in their probation officer’s office. Thumbing through it on their pay-as-you-go. So I cut-out early. And because I’m a notorious tease. Thanks for reading, dear girl. Always honored by that. Love, Marius.

  1. Another great piece Mar……I knew there was a reason why you never want the radio on while we are driving ….brings back too many “special memories”…:). Love you babe.

    • Maybe it’s not the radio, honey. I am not saying it is or isn’t. Just like how we don’t know if it could be the Christian pop station it’s tuned to. Who knows why I don’t want the radio on. I’m willing to leave it a mystery. To make this relationship work. Just no radio in the car with me. Or I’m out. Of course, I’m kidding tootsie pop. You know I love you bad. I can’t think of a better partner to have by my side now that Bat Season has arrived. Congratulations on the non-lethal broom stun last night on the little one. I’m telling you babe, your hillbilly blood is a tremendous advantage for this relationship. You’re so badass.
      And good job with everything else. You’re my hero. Drive careful tonight and tomorrow. Love, duh.

    • I’m having Lewis keep the tapes in his safe, along with The Day the Clown Cried. Actually, the one way to redeem all that would be to see your expression, Shab. Listening to it with you. That would actually be fun. Says something good about you, my old pally. I still would’ve Nixoned the tapes as soon as I got my hands on.
      Oh for what it’s worth. You do a better Elvis. ye.
      Eye

    • There could be a tape somewhere. In the basement of KUNM. I will pay One Million Vietnamese Dong to the first person to produce a copy. So valuable to history this material that it must be burned in my BBQ under the cover of night.
      Dude, check this out. They’re getting ready to have a little concert here in little Camarillo CA. In the park a rock-throw away. Tonight’s the Elvis impersonator. He’s actually pretty good. I think they get the same guy every year. I don’t go to the park but I’ll listen to a little from our deck. Elvis is alright. Major spear-point to the heart of 50’s squaredom. Mortally wounded the beast. And for that I’ll toast him tonight.
      And one to you, my friend.
      Love
      Hound Dog
      PS Remember that life when we were tankard-wielding Norman foot soldiers? Didn’t I die from Gypsy clap? Man, those were some crazy times. Almost miss’em.

      • There’s a tape of me with my band somewhere out there – playing on the national station, Radio One. It’s the most god-awful song, that thankfully was never released. I would give one 1.5 million Dong to have the one remaining copy in the BBC archives, struck out by a drone.
        BTW, how many Dong to the Pound? Or does that still depend on the size?

      • You know, Carney, I was about to put out an open offer to anyone in the UK that procures a copy of your effort, 2,000,000 Vietnamese Dong. That’s right, my entire fortune of Dong. You see, right now the Dong is down, so I’d be getting off easy. But if between now and then, the Dong goes up (and I have good info it will) I will be in deep. So I figure, fuck it. I’m going to hold on to my Dong. At least for now.
        I hope you’re not offended.
        Your millionaire friend,
        Marius

  2. My dream job growing up was to be a DJ. I thought I’d get to play whatever the hell I wanted, like the female Johnny Dr. Fever… Then I found out it was all recorded and planned and canned and it lost its luster to me. So then I decided on the FBI. Seemed logical at the time.

    What was your dream job, Marius?

    Enjoyed! -Christy

    • I don’t know, Christy, besides deciding who lives, I don’t know what my dream job would be. I guess personal training has turned out to be a dream job for me. I like helping people folk feel better about themselves. A lot of times it’s not just physically, and that’s very rewarding. My sister tried to steer me to it long ago. She was right. She’s always right. But that’s good, because she always has good news.
      And I got good news for you, G-Person. You’re never taking me alive, see?
      Who am I kidding? I’m a sucker for a woman with a pair of handcuffs. Can you help get me a job in the kitchen?
      Going quietly,
      Marius

  3. Hey, Marius, have been missing you serious-like, but have been keeping up with the writing (yours.) Bravo, bravissimo. I’m not sure I agree with the editing advice you were given, but who the fuck am I? I am someone about whom someone once wrote a song called “I Love The Way You Wear Your Wine” that actually got some airplay in the early 90’s on college–JUNIOR college–radio. (I won’t mention the band, you haven’t heard of them, trust me. Don’t bother Googling it.) Also, hearing your car/radio verboten, I guess I’m glad I’m gay and you’re not. Now I just need to accept that my fantasy of the two of us driving off into the sunset crooning along to Roy Orbison just ain’t gonna happen. Oh, wait, I knew that…hahaha, be well, brother!

    • Roy is hard to croon. He cried when he crooned. That’s why he was Roy the Boy. Crying boy Roy. Anyway, welcome back, old sod. Staying out of prison these days I see. Ats good. Love the song title. Hearty laugh over that one. Yes indeed. I’m sure you wore your wine well. Not an easy accessory to pull off. Lots of rules. No white after Labor Day and such.
      Well, I’m glad you’re okay. I’m okay, except for watching the Giants turn over the ball six times tonight. To Dallas. But I’ve been through a lot in my life. I think I can take it. I guess we’ll see.
      Make sure they get my meds right, if I don’t.
      Love,
      Marius

  4. Ok, Marius, my good man, writing about balls being thrown about six times, I get a bit, well…running for my fainting couch…I do believe I’ve got the vapors. It makes me think of pork cooked three ways, but whatever. I must admit, I do have perfect pitch with Roy. If that makes me a crying boy, well….DUHHHH!!!!! I did think crooning was something only active alkies do well, but I unabashedly say, I have perfect pitch with Roy, and can sing/croon the night away…(everyone just loves that.) All my best with the pharmacist, et al, Love, Morty

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