Friday, March 30, 2007
I remember hanging out with the Beatnigs....
For years I had a radio show at CiTR, a university radio station. One of my favorite perks of working there was interviewing bands that would come to town. I'd set them up in their booth with mikes and headphones, then head back to my booth, wave through the window, and off we'd go. I often didn't know more than ten minutes ahead of time if a band would be coming, so there were no rehearsed questions. We'd just start talking about music and see what happened.
I was expecting the Beatnigs to come, but I didn't know when they'd be arriving. I had been playing quite a heavy set, some Throbbing Gristle, some Coil, some Test Department, and it was time for a station break. I opened the mike and began talking, when all of a sudden I began receiving a back massage. "Ladies and Gentlemen of Vancouver, you may not believe me, but I am at this moment receiving a very impressive back rub from a tall, black man that I have never met before. No, don't stop, sir, we're on the air!" Good radio fun, I loved random radio! The Beatnigs had arrived, and Michael Franti was giving me a back rub.
I started the next song, some Einstürzende Neubauten, which really impressed Michael and Rono. I knew they liked industrial music, that's why I was playing it, duh! I ran a good show, I wasn't some dumb air-head playing pop tunes!! I'd done my research...after all, I'd known they were coming for at least an hour.
The interview went very well. Michael is a very intelligent man, and has opinions on just about everything, so I hardly had to say anything. In fact, for the rest of my shift, I didn't really have to do anything at all. I let loose Michael and Rono on the turntables and they mixed music for over half an hour while I stood there and soaked it up. That's good random radio!
Michael Franti is the driving force behind "Michael Franti & Spearhead". You should check them out. Michael is not only a great musician with a lively social conscience, he gives a great back-rub.