During The Nooner
Originally published on 4/28/2006 11:01 AM:
DJ Josie Dye asked I write some words to describe the 228 Yonge Street shenanigans. Which makes sense since this isn’t my day job, always a bridesmaid never...yeah I’ll stop there. I’m Lunch Boy—obviously not the name my parents selected but rather the moniker I received simply by showing up and having…lunch. And being a boy.
(Yes boy not man, commercials have eroded my self-esteem, men know how to fix things, they know cars, can attract shapely eager women and occasionally when called to quickly clean up split juice with a strong paper towel. I do none of those things which is cool with me, it’s not like we ever amended the Beastie BOYS as they got older). So yeah not exactly rocket science, I show up, have lunch and I’m male: ta-da Lunch Boy.
The name doesn’t come with groupies or fans, no fame, can’t get me the finest table in exclusive restaurants, the mayor has yet to give me the key to the city (doesn’t help he won’t return my calls) and I still have to pay my parking tickets. Sigh. The last one hurts on so many levels. What it does get me though is one hour everyday with Josie Dye and not just any hour but the Nooner!
Do you have an idea how many phone calls and emails and carrier pigeons this woman gets? You and I will never be this popular. Number one shocked observation from every caller is, “Wow, I’m so surprised I got through.” It’s tough; she’s tough.
Birthdays, school graduations, Lovers, break ups, missing yous, shout outs, haters, moving out, going back home, it’s all there in the dedications and meditative song requests. This is what music does for us and to us.
All the millions of people who live, Love, work and die in this city, the stories we never hear because we don’t talk on the subways and in public spaces, Josie gets to hear and read so many of them. And out of all of this volume and heart and hopes she can only pick 12 songs each day. 12!
Thankfully she’s not alone. Josie has her Boys; JD often works in the studio at the prize desk and myself. We make sure Retro Recall is old enough, (at least 10 years! I can’t even remember what was released this year let alone 10 years ago, you should hear some of the rowdy arguments we have off air!) we listen to the phone calls, read some of the emails. We tell her what we like, what caller made us laugh, what email pushed us to ponder.
Josie is fair, she listens, doesn’t always go with what we say but she does listen. And I mean at the end of the day, the name on the marquee is hers. And that’s just part of her day job.
When Big Bands are coming to the Edge (or even performing that night in the city) there is such a palatable energy. Last minute fans show up begging for tickets, even one ticket, please let me into the building! But by that time the Edge has given them all away—no such luck son.
Sometimes a band has decided to perform in the studio and when you see the mikes and other audio equipment being set up, my spider-sense tingles. Anything can happen it’s live radio! If you’re heard the Oasis version of Wonderwall or when the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Stone Temple Pilots came in and performed like they owned the station you know exactly what I mean. Magic!
We write so much about the performer and how amazing it is to be a musician and have people singing your songs and girls wanting you but what about the fans? As a fan it’s phenomenal to watch my favorite bands rework their songs, to dance in a large crowd of people who Love them as much (or more!) as I do and to sing: full open throat singing, belting out all the words to songs so deeply imprinted on my mind even Alzheimer's will never claim them.
Thanks to the street level studio concept I’ve gotten many opportunities to meet some of my most cherished artists. I never ask for autographs, preferring to shake their hand as a symbol of being connected and general thanks...for that album, those songs, that crazy concert—for providing a soundtrack to my bizarre and wonderful life.
Which is why we request songs on the Nooner anyways. To celebrate all of those moments that add up to our lives.
Somebody is having a good day and wants to hear...somebody is having a terrible day and so needs to hear...the requests never cease nor do the tales. And that’s what makes hanging out during the Nooner so extraordinary.
Keep trying to get through, never give up and if today eludes your grasp, decide now to claim tomorrow.