Radio daze 4. – the not so “Golden days of Radio”

Right time wrong studio

Five hour solo radio shifts were a killer – If nature called all you had was the duration of a record to go to the toilet and do your business. Hey Jude was a great song…if not for its musical qualities then certainly for its length. That meant major business could be undertaken with minimum panic.

MacArthur Park was another beauty all seven minutes plus of it, and it was Richard Harris’ classic I pressed into service during a long night shift on 7LA Launceston. The song underway and the next track cued up  I was off down the corridor to the toilet with a copy of The Examiner under my arm.

A monitor in the toilet reassured me all was well

“Someone left the cake out in the rain and I don’t think that I can take it
’cause it took so long to bake it
and I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

The lyrics might rate as some of the worst of all time but it was solid gold to me. Five and a half minutes later, job completed I headed back to the studio. Up the stairs, along the corridor and back into studio B. I sat down, turned up the monitor and casually checked the clock. Ah no worries another 45 seconds before the song was over.

I glanced down to my left expecting to see MacArthur Park twirling around towards its logical conclusion, when all I saw on the turntable was the makers name. I furtively looked across to the right hand turntable  – it had to be there, but no it too was empty.

and I don’t think that I can take it
’cause it took so long to bake it
and I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, no,oh no, oh no, oh no!

As the final strain filtered through, the penny dropped – I’d come into the wrong studio….MacArthur Park was revolving on a turntable in the studio the floor below me.  Aw shit! Mad panic and  50 metre dash in Usain Bolt like time…but there was still several seconds of “dead air” and of course the boss heard it and silence in radio was anything but golden. It took a lot of explaining to keep my job.

But it only goes to show, no matter how long they make the songs some dumb “jock” will still get caught short.


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