Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Gary Files # 7: Gary Numan

(I found this picture here.)

An explanation: Since the name Gary is going extinct, I thought it incumbent upon me to celebrate more notable Garys than myself.  This is the seventh of a series!

Gary Numan is, according to the Wikipedia, "an English singer, songwriter, musician, & record producer."  You probably know him, if you know of him at all, from his hit single "Cars."

When did you first become aware of him?  I heard & enjoyed the song "Cars" on the radio.

You like it?  Sure, it was catchy.  It was the beginning of new wave music, & it coincided with my discovery of other bands that would, briefly, appear on commercial radio, thanks to their popularity.  I would say they appeared in spite of the corporate radio structure.

Did you know anyone who hated him?  Oh yeah.  My friend Russell thought he was a Bowie rip-off.  He spoke of him with great disdain.  At the time, I hadn't heard anything else but "Cars," & wasn't really in a position (had no money, had no know-how) to explore any artist.  I didn't know about independent record stores, etc.  What I liked & knew about was confined to what I heard about on the radio, what I had been given to me by friends on cassette, & my older brothers' meager classic rock collection.  If they had a Gary Numan disc, I wasn't interested enough to listen to it then.

But did you start liking him later?  I like him fine, mainly the Tubeway Army stuff, & the album Replicas.  I confess that while I have a few of his 80s & 90s releases, I haven't listened to them much.  But boy do I know people who really love him.  Whew.

Did you know he married a member of his fan club?  Really?  When?

1997.  Ah.  He must be one of those musicians who really benefit from having an online presence.  But I suppose he's also much more popular in Britain than he has ever been here, since I know his 80s albums did well there.  Maybe I should have listened to more of his stuff before I started answering questions about him.

Is his name really Gary?  Yes, but his last name really isn't Numan.  His full name is Gary Anthony James Webb.  Sounds rather British.

I think Gary Numan is a pretty good punk rock name, even if he really isn't punk rock.  When a dude renames himself, he may feel like a new man.

Do you know why he was named Gary?  I have no idea.  He was born in 1958 so it might not be because of the actor.  Perhaps it was the name of a friend of his parents in London.  It's not something that's easy to find online.

Are 'friends' electric?  You know I hate to ask.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hallowe'en Spooktacular!!

It turns out that I've been hoarding old Halloween shows on my site, & perhaps you opt out of the old Halloween fun & games, so why not listen to old radio shows of questionable quality?  In alphabetical order below are five old & one new Self Help Radio Halloween shows plus one RFL sub show that revised & expanded on an old Halloween show.  Enjoy, if you can!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Self Help Radio 102715: Halloween 2015 - Clowns!

(I found the original image on the Clownopedia.)

There were two interesting phone calls I got yesterday (I should say especially interesting - all of the calls I get are interesting!) regarding this show I did about clowns:

The first caller told me something I didn't know, which is that clown colleges are apparently closing all across the country.  It surprised me that there was more than one clown college, as I had known about only one, which closed in the last century.  But, as I hate & fear clowns, as all sane people should, I said "Good!"  The caller did not share that sentiment, but did imply that my show was part of the general zeitgeist that's resulted in people not wanting to be clowns anymore.  I also think he hung up on me!

The second caller asked me, "Are you really afraid of clowns?"  I was taken aback!  What sort of person would do an entire radio show about clowns, revealing his anxiety & phobia on the public airwaves, talking with his psychologist, his spiritual advisor, & a former clown about his apprehensions?  It's almost like that person imagined that I would pretend to be someone else for the sake of the show's theme, that I would air fake interviews with funny people pretending to be experts!  I have no idea how anyone would get such an idea.

In any event, if it's a Halloween show you want, it's a Halloween show you'll get.  You may listen to it, if you dare, anytime at the Self Help Radio website.  It's so frightening I had to password protect it, so you'll have to find that information on the page.  It's in two parts, & what songs are in those two parts are listed below.

You've been warned!

(part one)

"Be A Clown" Judy Garland & Gene Kelly _De-Lovely Cole Porter_
"Bravo Pour Le Clown" Edith Piaf _The Essential Collection_
"The Clown" Roy Orbison _Orbison 1955-1965_

"No One Really Loves A Clown" Johnny Crawford _The Complete Del-Fi_
"Everybody Loves The Clown" Nirvana _All Of Us_
"Everybody's Clown" Johnny Dynamite _Southern Soul Showcase_
"Space Clown" Jobraith _Jobraith_
"Space Klown" Sissybar _Songs For Peeps_

"Killer Klowns" The Dickies _Killer Klowns From Outer Space_
"Clowny Clown Clown" Crispin Hellion Glover _The Big Problem ≠ The Solution. The Solution = Let It Be._
"Clown" Ric Menck _The Ballad Of Ric Menck_
"The Clown" Chuck Wilder _Eccentric Soul: The Tragar & Note Labels_

"The Clowns Are In Town" The Go-Betweens _G Stands For Go-Betweens: The Go-Betweens Anthology Volume 1_
"Clown Strike" Elvis Costello _Brutal Youth_

(part two)

"Clown Town" Steve Clayton _Clown Town_
"Jumper Clown" The Wedding Present _It's A Gas_
"Chromium Clown" Gary Wilson _Alone With Gary Wilson_

"Don't Send In The Clowns" Zorak _Space Ghost's Musical Bar-B-Que_
"Tears Of A Clown" The Beat _What Is Beat?_
"Don't Kill The Clowns" Soda Fountain Rag _Sometimes I Wonder If You Have A Heart_
"Death Of A Clown" The Kinks _Something Else By The Kinks_

"Eiderdown Clown" The Scots Of St. James _Circus Days: UK Pop-Sike Obscurities, 1966-1970_
"Pantomime Clown" Damien Youth _Strangest Hits, Vol. 1_
"Cabaret Clown" Marc Almond _Varieté_
"Clown Town" Laughing Clowns _Throne Of Blood, Reign Of Terror_

"The Clown Prince" The Triffids _The Black Swan_
"The Way Of A Clown" Teddy Randazzo _The Way Of A Clown_

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Whither Clowns?

(I found that image here.)

Halloween shows!  They're the bane of my existence!  That might be appropriate!  But I notice a lot of deejays are happy to break out "The Monster Mash" once a year, & probably a lot of audiences are happy with that.  But not me!  I want to make sure each Halloween show is different than the last, because, of course, there are many different elements of Halloween that can be explored.  So, Self Help Radio has done shows about ghosts, vampires, monsters, zombies, werewolves, haunted houses, graveyards, nightmares, hell, & mummies. Such a long list! Where does the restless programmer go from here?

As an avid fan of Halloween, you must agree that there are surely some things out there that are scarier than all of these. For years, as I did these shows, I knew - I knew - in the back of my mind I was forgetting the worst of all. The terror that, unlike many of these others, was very real, was almost common, that had, unlike mummies or zombies, convinced the rest of the world that they were harmless, objects of delight for children, beings that could easily exist in a theatre or a three-ring circus without being frightening of all. These were - it hurts to say this - the clowns.

You've heard that line, the best trick the devil pulled was convincing everyone he/it doesn't exist. I disagree. I disagree vehemently. The worst trick pulled on the human race was clowns convincing the world they were objects of fun, & not fearsome creatures making nightmares into reality.

Self Help Radio will expose these horrors on the show this afternoon! It's on from 4 to 6 pm in the airwaves on 88.1 fm (in Lexington) &; in the computer waves at wrfl dot fm.  Tune in!  It may save you from a clown!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Preface To Halloween 2015: Clowns! - Scared Of Clowns

There are a few good articles online about coulrophobia, or fear of clowns.  (That word is a recent coinage - have clowns been getting more scary in the last few years?)  I will link them below for your reading convenience (I will be sharing them on social media all day today too):

This Telegraph article shares "their terrifying history."

This Psychology Today article talks about why we get afraid in the first place.

The Vulture has an interview with a Harvard psychiatrist about why I'm so scared of clowns.

One more:

The Smithsonian Magazine has a history of people being frightened by clowns throughout history.

Self Help Radio tomorrow will shock & startle with two hours of (gulp) clown songs!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Marilyn & Her Hi-Fi

Almost certain she'd be listening to Self Help Radio if she were around these days.