One of the most interesting dynamics at WTIT Tape Radio was when it was time to add a DJ. All but one of our DJs came to us because they were friends of a current DJ. Flashing back to 1974, Many Miles, Gregarious Greg, Bouncing Billy and I were the regular crew. Since I always felt that five DJs was the perfect number, I asked that Billy and Greg bring their new roommate to a recording session.
His DJ name became Jack Daniels and neither Bill nor Greg thought it was a good idea. But I can be a bit headstrong, so Jack arrived. Sorta. He was so stoned I am not sure if he knew where he was. We tried to do a comedy bit and Jack was worse than useless. My friends were right, and Jack never returned. So we thought, anyway.
I really try not to repeat mistakes. Other than marriages, and I am cured of that idea. But one day, some twelve years later Jack and his wife moved into our extended neighborhood. He arrived at the door of the WTIT World Headquarters (also known as my house…), I guess because I was one of the few guys from the old days that was still around. I always liked the guy, I found him extremely funny. But Jack lacked a lot of social graces and was an acquired taste. The problem was getting him to go home to his wife. At 2AM he asked for a deli sandwich. I replied, “Oh, so your going home for that, okay.” Had I fixed a sandwich, he might still be here. On this night Jack and I spoke of the old days and old friends.
As Jack looked around our studio, I played him some of our current WTIT comedy. This was not well thought out. He then expressed a desire to try the DJ thing again. He told me that he knew he blew it last time, but now he “got it”. His connection to us was through Billy and Greg and neither were regular DJs anymore. Billy had left for good the year before, replaced by The Cosmic Commando, and in Greg’s chair sat B.B. Bacardi. And we had our five guys. But as I said, I always found him funny. So I said sure and gave him the next recording date.
It happened to be the night of our staff pictures for 1986. I never had a problem including whoever was there that night in the shot. So Jack was in our official 1986 photo. That particular night we decided to do a parody of The Wizard of Oz that we were to call The Wizard of Osmond. It was the 80’s and Donnie and Marie were still big. Jack was to play the Scarecrow. Now one of the jokes was that Dorothy had a different pet. Instead of a dog name Todo, she had a pet pig named (of course from Green Acres) Arnold. B.B. played the pig and until the very end of the spoof where he also played the guard at the door to Oz, all he did was snort. This by itself was not by design but got very funny as we went onward.
We always gave a new DJ a small role and usually wrote his lines. The Scarecrows scene was suppose to be highlighted by Jack saying, as the Scarecrow, “Dorothy that is one ugly dog you have.” This was when we realized that once again he was stoned. “Dorothy,” said Jack, “That is one ugly pig you have.” Now as you can see, the line we wrote was very funny in the context of the spoof. What Jack said was not. We stopped the tape. We explained the line. But no matter what we did, when the tape rolled he said “pig”. Well once it was “pig-dog” to be fair. What should have been a three-take situation became twenty-takes. Cos drew a fucking picture of a dog with a big D O G underneath it. When he held it up I nearly pissed in my pants.
Needless to say, that was Jack Daniels last night with us. The other DJs had been wanting to end it after a couple of brief appearances that summer. I stood up for him. Until then. He was way too big a distraction. We actually framed Cos’ drawing of the dog and it was in that studio until we moved in 1990. Oh. About that staff picture from that night, we decided if we could edit him out of the bit, we could edit him out of the picture.
Here is how you see it now on this page and on the WTIT.net site:
Here is the original picture. While I am sure Jack doesn’t read this blog, I blacked out his face. Just in case…