Miss the business? Not so much.
I watched Ed Bradley’s 60 Minutes interview with Bob Dylan again the other day. Bradley asked Dylan about where the songs came from? Dylan responded, “I really don’t know.” Bradley pressed him and Dylan said “They just showed up.” Bradley asked if he could still have songs “just show up.” Dylan said, “Not anymore, I can’t do it.” Bradley asked “if that makes him feel bad or unhappy.” Dylan said, “No, I can’t do it anymore and that’s okay because I can do other things now, much better than I could in the past.”
To me Bob Dylan’s’ answer was perfect. I get it, completely.
A friend from the broadcast business asked me last week, if I missed radio, having spent so much of my life in it? I told him, “no, I don’t miss it.” I had fun, I made money, lost money, had ups and downs, moved too many times, was treated well and treated very badly. I’m not angry, bitter or nostalgic. I can’t do it anymore, better still; I don’t want to do it anymore.
What do I hold dear from all my years in radio? Interesting people and the time I spent with them. The top four are; Sir George Martin, producer of the Beatles, Milt Schmidt, Hockey Hall of Fame member, great player, coach and executive in the NHL, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and President William Jefferson Clinton. I’ve met many famous musicians and politicians over the years, but these four, I was privileged to spend quality time with. What did they all have in common? All of them have great warmth, empathy, humor and intelligence. And none of them took themselves too seriously.
Some other good ones, Stevie Nicks, Patti LaBelle, John Mellencamp, Senator John Kerry, song writer Hal Ketcham, Don Henley, Lauren Bacall, George Carlin, Steve Martin, Senator Richard Lugar, Senator Ted Kennedy, Morley Safer, the Beach Boys minus Brian Wilson, Andy Rooney, the sainted Ed Bradley. And many more including George Harrison, Lily Thomlin, the real Joan Rivers, the guys from Boston, the Cars and Jimmy Bowen. Any of them remember me? Probably not, but the first four would.
The dick or all dicks was Neil Sedaka, an insufferable egotist, a truly miserable human being.
Remind me sometime to tell you about the chance meeting in Memphis with ZZ Top and hitting every blues club in town with Billy. It was a time!