It's 10:15pm and time for bed. Sometimes before Alexis and I head off to dreamland I sit at the end of the bed and play my guitar. Neil Young, Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead head the list. Tonight, I'm trying to learn "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" by Bob Dylan. As I listen to different versions of this classic on youtube... I realize that it always comes back to the Grateful Dead.
There's the Van Morrison version and Joan Baez's. There's the Byrds doing it and even Bonnie Rait. And pressed to pick a second-best rendition behind the Dead, it's gotta be Bonnie Rait on The David Letterman circa 2000. Bob Dylan, the song's creator, comes in third. That's on the Greatest Hits, Volume II album.
I'm trying to not turn the ongoing conversation with the three or four of you back to radio just yet. There is more to life than radio, especially music. I don't know about the three or four of you, but I can get this tingling feeling in my whole body when I hear a really well-done Jerry Garcia guitar solo. Or when the Rolling Stones do "Sympathy for the Devil." I even tap my feet to a couple of Taylor Swift songs, although when I hear them on the radio I certainly don't get that tingling feeling in my whole body.
Radio's been pretty intense the past couple of days. On Wednesday, Verlie Suggs co-hosted with me and dropped the "You don't need a Confederate flag anymore. Just put a Trump sign in your yard" bomb. Angry callers from all areas of the color wheel and that at least kept me on my toes.
Today, Hammond mayor Tom McDermott came on and ripped on a whole bunch of people, Trump-style. He ripped on the respected judge Lorenzo Arredondo, the mayor of Gary Karen Freeman-Wilson, Jewell Harris the convicted felon... but he saved his most directed assault for the chairman of the Lake County Democratic party, John Buncich.
It was Buncich, you see, who tried to get his childhood chum re-elected as Circuit Court Judge. That be George Paras. When it first came out that McDermott's wife, Marissa, would challenge Paras for the judge's seat, Verlie Suggs said on my show - "It's gonna be the Clash of the Titans." Verlie said then, and it turned out to be more than partly true, that it would not just be Marissa McDermott vs. George Paras... that the race would also pit the two most powerful people in Lake County against each other - that be the mayor of Hammond, Tom McDermott, vs, the sheriff, John Buncich.
McDermott on my show this morning went so far as to say what was going on with the precinct organization in Gary should be looked into by US attorney David Capp. Now that's some deep fighting words. And with the associations of this behavior made to the sheriff, I really wasn't surprised when the sheriff called me after the show to find out when he could come on the air to.... to do what?
Do the three or four of you think that Buncich is only coming on the show in nine hours to rebut the things that Tom McDermott said about him on the radio? Me neither. Sure, Buncich may address some of the things that McDermott said that Sheriff did... but my guess is that Buncich will add a little offense to the defense. In other words, he'll come up with equally powerful insinuations against the mayor and his cohorts, like maybe Kevin Smith, who has turned into a whiz at running McDermott campaigns.
I should probably listen to the podcast of McDermott this morning- it's on this website somewhere - and I might even review any notes I may have taken during the show. But when I do stuff like prepare or review, my show often falls flat. As much as I'd like to regulate the risk of doing bad radio... it's just not possible. There's a riddle here, an irony, and it has something to do with if you prepare, you lose spontaneity and creativity. And if you don't prepare, you run the risk of having nothing pertinent to say.
Instead of prepping for what may no doubt turn into intense radio in the morning, I'll just listen to Bob Dylan songs on youtube while my wife plays Scrabble on her iPad....
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
It's all over now, Baby Blue
I have no idea why that line keeps coming back to me - Strike another match, go start anew - other than I'm in this little crack in the cosmic egg in which I sense that things are about to change somehow. There's a whisper that you can't see but you know is there in the trees. Change. A shift in direction that you don't expect and haven't dreamed. Life is like that. Accept that at some point you don't have control over what's gonna happen next.
I'd rather climb
Than glide, glide
That's all I have to say about this sense of wind of change. Maybe it's for my life or someone close to me or maybe even something big in the world. I can't tell if it's good or evil, positive or bad, beautiful or the ugliest freaking thing you ever saw. I am uncertain about what is pending in the cue... but one thing I'm fairly certain is that whatever it is, it'll play out on radio.
And that's good enough for me.