Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rolling Stones "Honky Tonk Woman"

In retrospect, she was almost like a premonition of my own life.

I was young. Not long out of college. And I’d met and started dating this woman, who was a DJ. Which made her instantly cool. She was older than me by about 10 years. Which, to the young man I was, was pretty cool too.

And funny enough, during the time we were dating, she was promoted to the position of Program Director. She was pretty ambivalent about the promotion.

“I’m worried that being the boss means I’m going to get to spend less of my time doing the part of the job I love,” she confided. She spent a lot of time talking to me, puzzling over it.

As that young man, I had no idea what would become of me . . . that a few years later, I’d become a DJ. And a decade later, I’d be faced with the same decision---should I accept a PD job, at the risk of having the administrative work overtake the time I could spend being creative?

Ultimately, in our own time, we each decided to accept the job. And though I have no idea what happened to her and if she came to embrace her choice, I know I’m glad I did. Being the Program Director is an amazing challenge and a rich, rewarding experience.

But, no matter how gratifying it is to steer the mvyradio Programming ship, I think my heart, and I’m sure her heart, will always be in the studio.

When I think about those conversations we had, we’re in the On-Air studio at her station. They had these very State Of The Art (for 1992) CD players, that could cue a song up, to the fraction of a second.

And I remember her discussing, with one of the other music-focused DJs, where to start “Honky Tonk Woman.” Should it start where the kickdrum and cowbell really kick in? Or before that, with the couple of clicks of cowbell, which, they were arguing about, were barely audible. The crux of the conversation was, Which starting point was going to sound better, as it mixed with the song on the air just about to end?

All these years later, I have realized that professionally and personally, that’s really what it’s all about isn’t it.


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