yoda.

In the midst of all the hoopla surrounding the releases of nurture and Flying Suit, we had neglected to notice that our intern, Terri, had sort of disappeared.

She lived and went to school in Wisconsin, and handled a lot of our radio promo calls for us.  

See, a lot of college radio station Music Directors get this idea that radio promotion is a great job.  I sure did.  I took phone calls from radio promo reps all day long when I was at WSAM, and SAM was one of the smallest stations in the country (although it did have a great reputation).  Every call was glitzy, the radio reps yammering on about this or that rock star, this or that concert, this or that piece of inside information.  It seemed cool.

So a lot of college radio station Music Directors want to become radio promo reps when they get out of college.  Terri was one of them.  

Sandy and I really liked Terri.  First of all, she was pretty close in age to us, and she liked the same sorts of music, which gave us something in common.  Second of all, she was funny, and pretty irreverent.  We both enjoyed talking to her.

But it was also pretty frustrating to have her disappear when we needed her to make radio calls.  

Occasionally she would surface with a promise to be more visible, and for a few weeks she actually would be.  I was so thrilled when The Mommyheads were touring through Milwaukee, because I felt like we could send Terri to that show for free and she’d be able to take advantage of a little bit of that VIP treatment that college radio people loved – but when they went through town it was during one of her “disappearing intern” periods.

What I did know was that we needed an intern, and the next time we hired one, we were hiring one local.

As a result of an ad we ran in Flipside, we got a letter from someone who was local, who wanted to come work for us.  He said he was in a band, was attending high school, and wanted to get involved in the record business.  He said he’d do anything, whatever kind of grunt work we could throw at him.  I can’t remember his name.

I called him.  He was a talker.

Okay.  I am a talker.  I’ve been prattling on in a blog, almost 1500 words a day, or every other day, since January.  I realize that.

If you talk more than me, you talk too much.  And I couldn’t get this kid off the phone.  He talked to me about the day he met Ian MacKaye.  He told me about how much he loved Fugazi and Superchunk.  He told me about his high school, and his friends, and his band.

I needed someone who could do grunt work, so I invited him over.  He was a scary-looking dude, skinny as hell with long hair that stuck out in all directions and wide, beady eyes.

We called him Yoda.

Because he looked like Yoda.

Not to his face, though.  

Yoda came around once in a while and helped us pack up promo copies, tracked radio station reports, rifled through various zines looking for reviews, clipping ads.  We’d let him leave with free music, or zines, in exchange for having him over, doing some work for us.

He wasn’t a bad kid.  He loved punk – he was not a big fan of pop, but we kinda liked him anyway.

If I remember, there was an incident that resulted in us “firing” him.  I don’t remember what it was.  But I always had this strange feeling that I was going to come home from work one day, and Yoda would be sitting in my kitchen, waiting to put a bullet between my eyes.  Then he’d calmly make himself dinner.

~ by Al on June 19, 2009.

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