Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Blows Against The Empire, Reunited

I was very pleased with how the Blows Against The Empire reunion came off. You know going in to this kind of thing that everything in the world has changed: We're more than twice as old, no longer rebellious kids, but family guys living in the suburbs. Etc. So, driving in to the studio, I actually had butterflies! I haven't had that experience in many, many years. The last I could recall was when I tried a sports radio gig at WHK in Cleveland, back in the mid-90's.

Once I saw Matt in the parking lot, the nerves were gone. We really picked up right where we left off.

There's a lot of prep for a hardcore punk show, so we ran around the WCSB music library with Keith Newman, directing him to pull this record, and that CD. Then, I even ran into Church of the SubGenius chief Rev. Ivan Stang!
The Princess, Rev. Ivan Stang, and me... with fine new programming.

Stang, Princess Wei R. Doe, and I caught up. I brought the Church's "Hour Of Slack" radio show to WCSB back in 1989. It never left, and in fact, Stang moved from Dallas to Cleveland Heights many years ago and WCSB has been the flagship for the Hour of Slack ever since.

About 5 minutes before air time, Keith let us know that it was time. We hadn't even gone over the intros or had him cue any music. Now that was just like old times! And it was perfect. It worked well enough, but not perfectly. Blows Against The Empire always had rough edges, and I told Matt ahead of the show that I would be disappointed if there wasn't any dead air, records started at the wrong speed, record stopped mid-play while live on the air, etc. I wasn't disappointed. It was rough in places, but just the right amount. Major props to Keith for that!
Keith Newman at the helm. Matt Dudas, in character.

My personal highlight was "Mike's Sexual Soapbox". This was a feature that evolved from having to read public service announcements (PSA's) on the air. It seemed there were always safe sex PSA's in the book for us to read, and I read them so often that Matt dubbed it 'Mike's Sexual Soapbox'. He would play the Buzzcocks' great "Orgasm Addict" under my reading. For the reunion? No condoms. We talked about our vasectomies.

Matt & Mike, rocking the house!

 I loved watching Matt react to the music. The old WCSB studios were very small, and Matt loved cranking up the sound and rocking, straight in my face to DRI or Misfits tunes.

To wrap up the festivities, on Thursday, Matt & I will deliver the archive of show tapes and associated papers and effects to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I took my effects for my 'Propaganda' show there almost two years ago, but felt then that it wouldn't have been right to take the Blows Against The Empire tapes in without Matt. It was the right call. It will be a proud moment when we hand them off!