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Fartin' Martin used to be one of the hottest DJ's in the Cleveland area during the eighties. It was now over a quarter of a century later, and the new generation had never even heard of him. Most of the old fans from the eighties had forgotten his name. If they ever thought of him, it was vein of "Gee, I wonder what happened to that crazy farting DJ?" How the world perceived him, didn't matter much to Martin. The parties of champagne, bubbly hot tubs with naked women eagerly awaiting him, had devolved into cheap bottles of wine, and sleeping in his own piss on a couch with two springs poking through.

He was an alcoholic, and he knew it. But the only twelve steps he wanted, were the ones that led up the door to the liquor store closest to his apartment. He counted them each time he went in, wondering if the irony of number of steps was deliberate. The liquor store was run by a vietnamese couple, who used to extend him credit, but after being burned so many times, had him on a cash only basis. They had one bottle of his favorite wine on the counter waiting, but didn't ring it up because he often got more than one bottle.

MD 20-20, more commonly known as Mad Dog twenty twenty, was the favorite of many alcoholics. Most wines were only 8% to 10% alcohol, so this wine gave you double the drunk for about the same price. Wine was also much cheaper than whiskey or vodka of any kind. Although Martin knew how far he had fallen, he was a functioning alcoholic. He still had a bit of the charm, and when the words didn't stumble over each other, he even had a bit of his patter that made him a mini-celebrity.

There always seemed to be some emotionally damaged woman, who he wouldn't have given the sweat off of his ass to when he was at his peak, that still was drawn to him or at least drawn to the glory of his past. Martin would use them for whatever he could, until he drained them dry, or they got fed up with his bullshit and took off. A pack of cigarettes, a dinner, a roll in the hay, it didn't matter. On the last item of fun, he usually couldn't perform his duties anymore. The alcohol had stolen his wood.

There had been a wife and a son, but he managed to screw that one up royally. In fact it was the beginning of the end. Cassie was her name, but he always called her Casey. This led to a few questions about his gender choice back when he was married and popular on the radio. He didn't care what people thought. He was happy. The problem was that no matter how wonderful she was, he couldn't say no to his fans. Especially the pretty young ones that wanted to share their nubile bodies. His only response was, "What did she expect, when she married a handsome young celebrity?"

At each job he still managed to get, one morning would come that he came in drunk and locked himself in the control room. From there he'd broadcast love songs and read his drunken poems to his long gone Casey. In fact he had to leave so many stations and cities, these drunken last stands were usually broadcast in a city she didn't even live in. But on this night, it wasn't his wife who heard his drunken soliloquy, it was a songwriter by the name of Harry Chapin. Something in the desperation of Martin's voice and soul touched Harry, and he penned a song about that event. The first part of the song goes:

Hello Honey, it's me
What did you think when you heard me back on the radio?
What did the kids say when they knew it was their long lost daddy-o?
Remember how we listened to the radio
And I said `That's the place for me'
And how I got the job as an FM Jock the day you married me?
We were two kids and I was was into AM rock
But I just had to run around
It's been eight years since I left you babe
Let me tell you 'bout what's gone down


CHORUS
I am the morning DJ on W*O*L*D
Playing all the hits for you wherever you may be
The bright good-morning voice who's heard but never seen
Feeling all of forty-five going on fifteen
The drinking I did on my last big gig made my voice go low
They said that they liked the younger sound when they let me go
So I drifted on down to Tulsa, Oklahoma to do me a late night talk show
Now I worked my way back home again, via Boise, Idaho
That's how this business goes

The whole song is touching, and has a melody that sticks in your head. The songwriter and performed died in a car accident back in 1981, but the song is still out there if you look hard. If you get a chance, please take a listen.

 

 

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