Back in 1978 I was hanging out with my pals Mike Oran and Ian Hill at KCSB, the UC Santa Barbara radio station. Jose Rizo–twenty years now with KKJZ–was program manager then, already doing the Jazz on the Latin Side thing. He took a little convincing (Beat on the brat with a baseball bat…what’s that about?) but let the guys have their show. Mike and Ian’s was maybe the first all punk/new wave college radio show on the West Coast, maybe in the whole country. It went beyond hip, this stuff was all so new, so edgy, so crazy and so unbelievably fun. Anyone lucky enough to be around then remembers that feeling. A revolution. Everyday something new, something different, something you had never imagined before. What a perfect age to be 21, the old world crumbling all around you and this new crazy music everywhere. It’s all we talked about, listened to, thought about, cared about. So being there in that little radio booth at KCSB was like being at the epicenter. I’d bring in records and they spun them. Stuff I liked, I bought, and now it was being played and you could hear it all up and down the south coast and out to sea, provided you were up past 2 am on a Sunday morning. Most people in Santa Barbara weren’t. But the right ones were. People who listened to punk and no wave stayed up all night anyway. Sunshine was for hippies, and we hated hippies.
Can’t remember where I’d bought the Tuxedomoon 12″. But the song No Tears was a knock out, a mind blower. My friends played the tune–I think I even back announced it later–and as it was jamming the phone lit up. A lady wanted to know what was playing. They handed the phone to me. I told her it was No Tears by Tuxedomoon, that they were from San Francisco. She said she loved it. We talked a minute. No idea about what. She sounded cute and wild. Then we said goodbye and hung up. I wondered who she was. It must have been four in the morning. No tears for the creatures of the night Tuxedomoon sang. No tears.
That was the first time I ever spoke to my wife. We met a year later. I’d kicked her boyfriend out–I didn’t know it was his place, actually, not that it mattered–and was pretty much living there. I brought along some records. We listened to the records and partied and talked a million miles a minute. I put on No Tears. I love song that song she said. I heard it on the radio. I called and asked who it was and some guy told me it was Tuxedomoon….
Someone said it was fate.