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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Issue People : Halcyon



Civilization VI is a game about time.

Speaking of, a long time ago I worked for a jazz radio station. It was located on the campus of the school I was attending. I didn't want to be there, at the school. I had dropped out of enough schools by that time to know formal education wasn't for me.

The problem was I was dead broke and the only way I could manage to survive was through the GI Bill I received for not dying in the military. My journalism teacher knew about my money issues and suggested his friend at the jazz station take me on staff because as he put it, "This kid speaks dinosaur."

I did speak dinosaur, my family exclusively played blues and jazz in the house and wouldn't shut the fuck up about it. I could care less about blues and jazz, but I guess I soaked in B.B. King through osmosis.

So the Jazz station head of operations had a conversation with me and took me on. I became the "office liaison" which means I categorized the records, cleaned the studio, set up events, troubleshot the equipment, and did anything else in the office that no one else wanted to do.

The hardest part was the categorization. The studio had thousands upon thousands of records wedged into these hallways and the disk jockeys would put them in there all willy nilly using some process only known to old potheads. So the first task I took upon myself was to alphabetize all of the records.

There were no set hours to this job, so with the exception of the disk jockeys who had to do their show at the same time people came and went as they pleased. I would shuffle in around nine in the afternoon and set to the task. Ella went there, Art went there, that sort of thing.

After their shift the disk jockeys would come in with the crates of records they used for the show. They would set them down and more times than not just begin talking to me about this or that. Those guys loved to talk. A bunch of entertainers that loved to talk, go figure.

My favorite DJ was a guy by the name of Bob Gibb. He was the most popular jockey at the station, loud, opinionated, and whip smart. He listened well, and we would chat about everything.  He would come in after his shift and bellow "HELLOOOO PETER!!" And I would respond, "Well hello captain!" He called me that because of my love for video games, said I would be a perennial "Lost boy." Like himself. guess he had me on that.

He would tell these stories about the artist featured on every single record he handed to me. This was before Google, so everything he said had to have been in his head somewhere. He knew facts, he knew B-sides, he knew anecdotes about the artists themselves. I had never met a person so knowledgeable about one thing in my life.

I knew what he was telling me was true because even then I made it a point to look up what people told me, not to correct them, just to confirm I was dealing with a bullshitter.

He was impressed by the little I had learned about his world and the things I had acquired of my own and asked when I was going to host a show at the station. I didn't have the heart to tell him I had tried to DJ in my teens but it didn't work out.

I loved doing it, I had dreams of it being my life, but a friend sat me down intervention style and let me know that I sucked. No one liked the songs I played, people were laughing at me, and I should stop. So I did, and I hadn't spun a record since.

Bob was a good guy, and I didn't want to disappoint him by not being the person he imagined me to be, as was my pattern. Figured I could save us both some time by not grabbing a mic or touching a record. He never pushed, and I figured he would have tried to change my mind had I told him why I stopped. I didn't want to put him through that so I told him it just wasn't my path, that I wanted to change video games, not music.

Bob died sometime in October of 03. I had already left the station to work at some coffee shop that paid more. One day out of the blue Bobs widow called me up, I had never met the woman in my life. She said that he left some things for me and to swing by to pick them up, so that's what I did.

I walk in and she shows me a wall of records. She says they are all mine, says he said I would know what to do with them. I told her I would not be walking out with all the records, but I would be taking what I believe I could use.

Every record I pulled from that shelf came with a story, told by Bob, through her. They were stories of where they where they were in life when he received them. Forty plus years of music. I collected two crates of rares, I have never seen anywhere else. She made me promise to play them someday for other people. She believed that's why he gave them to me.

I've carried them with me to this day, they are not four feet from me now. I know every piece of vinyl by heart, haven't played a single record as of yet. I often think of what it would be like to play music for people again, then I remember that it's not my path. If I ever did, though, I know the first song I from that crate I would play, Bobs favorite song. He wouldn't shut the fuck up about it.

Anyway, I'm remembering this because I was in the backroom of my companies booth at Blizzcon checking account access and someone comes in bellowing "HELLOOO PETER!" I stood in shock, zipped back decades in a moment. I was in the same position, doing pretty much the same thing. Such is life.

I hope information voted (If you live in the belly). I did and it's not a thing I'm like to do. I'm just glad this part is over. One way or the other. Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape : Issue : Games : Tranquil

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