Overlooked, even by their own admission.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – The Call – live at The BBC – 1983 – BBC In Concert series – BBC Radio 1
Finishing up 80s week – for now.
If you go to The Call’s website, you’ll be struck by an phrase – one you hear over and over throughout the years: The Most Underrated Band In The World. In the Call’s case, they’re almost right.
The four piece band from Santa Cruz, California probably had a bigger reputation overseas than they did at home. They became something of a band’s band. Admired by everyone from Bono and Peter Gabriel to Simple Minds. They toured considerably, and did achieve Arena status, but as a support band – not as a headliner. It was the one aspect of success that eluded them, even though they were widely respected, they had numerous successes, and a number of successful albums and singles, they never quite got that final push into household name category they should have received. Fronted by Michael Been, formerly a member of the 60s Psych band Aorta (another wildly underrated band) and a resurrected H.P. Lovecraft (called simply Lovecraft), Been was the driving force behind The Call and responsible for the unique musical directions they followed.
Tragically, Been collapsed and died of a massive heart attack backstage at the Pukkelpop Music Festival in Belgium while working as a sound engineer in support of his son’s band The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. That was in 2010.
Tonight it’s the band early on. A set recorded by the BBC for their In Concert Series in 1983 that is both inspired and high-voltage. It perfectly captures the uniqueness of the band and recalls a great band that almost made it to the top, but fell short.
Enjoy – as always, play loud. It’s Friday anyway . . .
Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain – trying out that new thing called Shuttle Diplomacy.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: News of the Crisis in Czechoslovakia NBC Blue Network – September 13, 1938
September it seems, is a crisis month in history. On this September 13th in 1938, crisis was looming in Europe over a piece of disputed land belonging to Czechoslovakia, yet claiming to be part of Nazi Germany.
With a tenuous peace in Europe for a little under 20 years, this new flareup brought memories of 1914 to many. Disputes, squabbles and demands – and the end result being war.
And so this day in September of 1938 was about saber-rattling and the fears of a war looming, and the scramble to negotiate a peaceful settlement in the brewing conflict.
An interesting point in history. First – the new use of the airplane as a means of bringing about Shuttle Diplomacy; something that was not around in 1914 (other than small bi-planes). And second – the first real use of radio as a means of transmitting information. It was The Munich Crisis (as this was to be called) that really brought about the birth of Radio News on a grand scale. The idea that a person in Los Angeles could be as informed as the person in Belgrade, at roughly the same time, was a fascinating technological leap. And it signaled a whole new way of communicating and, most likely, probably aided in ending the conflict quicker than it would have in 1914.
But on this day in 1938 the crisis was new and the crisis was deadly and there was no clear end in sight.
History unfolding, as it was presented by the Blue Network of NBC and by shortwave relays by the BBC on September 13, 1938. Starting off with a program at the time, a bulletin breaking into the program and the rest is history.