Peter Case

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A Million Miles Away (radio promotion one-oh-one)

Barry Rose, the music director at the local rock ‘n’ roll radio station KBOP, happened to live in Joey’s building. Every so often he and his wife came out to the pool and Joey’d smoke a joint with them in the Jacuzzi. Joey got to know him a bit, so after we had the record finished and had an acetate, we decided to give Barry a preview.

Joey set it up for the next night at 7pm, in Joey’s apartment. We’d all be there, the writer’s, Joey, Chris, and me. Supplies were ready, all the Gold, Ludes, Courvosier, Heinikens, and whatever else Joey figured Barry might need to get in the mood to listen.

Barry came to the door a half hour late. He had long, straight black hair, and wore mirrored aviator shades and a leather jacket and pants. He was all in black, and slurring his words already. After offering a little of this and a sniff or two of that, we positioned him in a chair at the center of the room between the stereo speakers. He was leaning back in the chair with one booted foot up on the table. When everything was ready, we set the volume of the record player to “Hollywood Bowl” and dropped the needle on the disc. Barry started nodding his head in time to the music and rocking the chair a bit. As the record hit the chorus he smiled and shouted something no one could hear. We all just shouted and nodded back.

“Yeah!”

He was really getting into it. I was too, kind of excited to be listening through his ears. The record sounded great, and kept building and building. Barry was rocking harder now, sweating a bit and rolling his head strangely from side to side. At the start of the guitar solo he looked like an electric shock hit him, and he started sort of writhing in the rocked-back chair, pushing farther and farther back, just diggin’ the whole thing like crazy.

The solo was climbing, the whole thing was cranking, we were all rocking, Joey was playing air guitar, and so was Barry, who looked like he was levitating in his chair. As the solo hits its last and highest screaming peak, Barry seemed to have some sort of a conniption, and the chair tipped back and went completely over, dumping him on his back on the floor. We didn’t know what to do. He was just laying there. We hoped he wasn’t hurt, but didn’t want to stop the record and ruin the effect. So we left him on the floor, and he stayed down for the rest of the song, but you could sorta tell, he was still rocking.

When it was over we shouted “Barry are you okay?” and he just looked up and said “Wow.”

He liked the record, and said the station would go on it immediately. Then, a few minutes later, he got me in the corner and in a rambling way, told me that of course we’d need to hire him on as a consultant, that would really help. I told him we didn’t have any money, but, yeah, man, we’d sure look into it.

7 comments

  1. Awesome story, Peter. So great to get a glimpse from your vantage point. As a musician, we all dream of it. You lived it. Thanks for sharing…

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