Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Newsweek and Time herald it as "definitely something", this whatever it is, this, non-creedal boon of a tidy mind and quiet soul, available in convenient sizes, now without prescription, the very progenitor, an anti-hero most peculiar, the sheer, quivering membrane barring pseudo-intellectual from idiot savant, a Mickey's grenade with the pin pulled, hisses but never pops, all the while despised by some and disgusted by others, an equal opportunity offender, comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable, to Machiavelli, some ask, could it be, suggestion, or sedition, who knows, it sure is fun while it lasts! O the thinkers, rulers, esteemed heads of state, how they all plead his audience, but yea, he will have none of it. Why? Because. Because why? Because, he finds no delight WHATSOEVER in those who entertain the musings of a Midwestern rube.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Afternoons with Doctor Dave

January 26, 1970

“We can expect snow to continue throughout the evening until way past your bedtime, but fear not, someone will be here to keep you company, in fact, we’re always here at WEXL Detroit.”

The view along Straub Boulevard is nothing spectacular but it’s easy, especially with snow trickling into soft glowing funnels beneath the street lights.

“In fact, I’ll be with you for another hour. In case we haven’t met I’m Dave, Dr. Dave Inman. The science freaks in the Channel Five weather room have advised us that snow showers will be heavy at times during the overnight hours, so you third-shifters and other nocturnals be the wiser. Overnight low is 23 and expect the flakes to back off around mid-morning tomorrow with about four inches to show for it. We may reach the freezing mark in late afternoon but 30 is a safe bet depending upon cloud cover. Winds are expected to be fairly calm until the front moves through then picking up, could cause some localized drifting in outlying areas. Well it may not be windy here yet but after a slew of important messages we’ll head to the windy city, got the brand new Chicago - that’s it, they’re just Chicago now, ready to roll, after these.”

Dave keeps both eyes out the window as he fades the mic and cues the ads, only looking away to take a hit off his chicory. Such serenity in the midst of this mad gone town. Chicory is not so warm anymore, maybe he should hire a maid, fat chance, all jocks work alone in this gig. FM is self-sustaining, so the suits say, only AM gets an engineer, besides, don’t you hippy types dig freedom wink-wink?

“Now in stores everywhere, pick yours up, tell ‘em the Doctor prescribes it exclusively on FM 98, here’s your first dose, we’re doin’ side three boys and girls, only on WEXL.”

As the organ grinds he tries to justify the dilemma, having really wanted to highlight “25 or 6 to 4” in the middle of that side but the view out the window is just too damn peaceful for making things complicated. Besides people seem to dig what we do here, ratings are usually single-digits since we went progressive, as we say, so the suits are happy and so we don’t rock the boat, just the town. Man what a trip, here it’s pretty much like college radio except with a paycheck. No more stuffing plump housewives’ feet into shoes at the mall for beer money.

The needle makes its way to the inside gutter and he pulls the mic into place, “That was the very latest from Chicago, now without the Transit Authority, they got told people, read your paper, while you’re reaching for it here’s even more news:  Mick, yes, that Mick, was levied a fine by UK authorities today for possession of cannabis.  People, take it from a Doctor, for it is written, the Eleventh Commandment, hear my words, sayeth, don’t get caught. Well since we’re already across the pond for a free lecture here’s Pink Floyd on WEXL.”

Doctor Dave does afternoons, 2-6, and gets a discretionary weekend slot which amounts to a theme show on Saturday mornings. Listeners write in (our phone doesn’t work, you illiterate slobs) suggested themes and tracks and they’re drawn on Friday afternoon by a different guest, usually an on-air personality, even from the TV station, although a couple times he got to have a performer stop by for the honor.  He tries to keep it mostly music but sharing the right kinda chutzpah with a local legend can go places you’d never dream.

He finishes out the night with Janis and then some southern group the boss asked him to do something with. It was bluesy but not elegant, not at all, but maybe we’ve been spoiled by Duane and Greg. Yeah, that’s it.

The new evening dude goes by Buzz Eldridge and it’s too hard to keep straight from that moon astronaut.

"What's the buzz, Buzz, hows them streets?"

“Uhh, don’t remember. How’d I get here?”

“I would imagine that you slid out of your mother’s hoochamawatcha.”

“And it was slippery as hell too. Be careful driving in that shit.”

“Hey man, this is the Motor City, which is precisely why I take a bus.”


Tall and lurching with dark hair down to his collar and a week’s beard, Dave strolls up Straub and takes a right for a few blocks, mindlessly taking in the gentle snow amidst a surprisingly un-busy downtown grid. No use waiting for the bus, almost there, and eventually he reaches a third floor flat with an unlocked door. He watches the news and half a game show and then gets up to peek out the window for a fleeting moment, he smells supper cooking in a nearby unit, and the couple upstairs is having a heated discussion about the toothpaste. Eventually he wanders into the kitchen to fetch a Michelob and a sandwich, only to realize that this is most definitely not his apartment.