by Dennis Daniel
I know I’ve said this before but, this will be my last Tales Of The Tape column. For the last 9 years, I have had the honor of spewing out my bile on the biz to the worthy eyes of all of you, my blood brothers and sisters of the mike. I’ve written about all kinds of subjects that touch us on a daily basis, everything from “how to stay creative” to “how to deal with salespeople.” I’ve ranted, raved, yelled, screamed, whispered, and pontificated. I’ve gone very deep down into my soul and harked up spiritual luggies. I’ve bitched about conditions, clients, and people in general. I’ve given it all to you as straight and as honest as I could. I’ve made many many friends and a few enemies.
This year, I had the honor of seeing the publication by the NAB of 8 years worth of columns into a book entitled Tales of the Tape: A Production Director’s Odyssey, or, How to Survive and Stay Creative in an Industry That Eats Its Young. Miracle of miracles, every word remained intact! Not one edit! To top it all off, Gary Owens himself wrote the foreword, and RAP’s Jerry Vigil wrote the introduction. Truth be told, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep the column fresh without trudging over the same ground. At the same time, I didn’t want to give up a monthly rap in RAP.
What do I do?
Well, it took a while for me to come up with something. I wanted it to be challenging, entertaining, and, most important of all, different. Then I made my choice. It was decided. I’d try to write fiction.
This is a very big bite to swallow, but wash it down I will. I’d like to present to you monthly installments of a “novel in progress.” The piece will tell the tale of a character named Jack Moriarty. Jack is, of course, a Production Director. The title of the piece will be “On The Radio.” It will tell the tale of Jack, his life, his friends, his enemies, his loves, his lies. It will delve into his history, how he became a Production Director and what he goes through. It will be part autobiographical and part fantasy. It will be like reading a monthly soap opera of a guy just like you and me, a guy who sells shit on the radio for a living, and what it does to him. It’s my hope that you, the readers of RAP, will go along with Jack on his journey through the radio world. I’m sure that many of you will find a lot in common with Jack.
I’m going to try and have some fun with this. Perhaps some of Jack’s spots will show up on The Cassette to help enhance the story. Perhaps you, the reader, may have a funny story or situation that you’d like to share with me that I could incorporate into his on-going story. Perhaps the whole thing will bore you all to tears, and you’ll be screaming for a return of Tales Of The Tape or my head on a plate. I hope each month you’ll at least find an enjoyable read you can turn to for a laugh, a tear, or as will mostly be the case, a horror story!
I just can’t stay stagnant! This has been my modus operandi my entire creative career. As soon as I feel the worms start to munch on my creative innards, I know it’s time to boogie. The challenge of creating a fictional radio universe on a monthly basis that readers can cop to is just the right stimulation for a new beginning. So, here’s to nine years of calling RAP my happy column home. It’s been one of the great pleasures of my life to be able to speak from this pulpit. As the ideas and experiences come, I’ll be sure to bring them to you, either in a fictional way or article form. The bottom line is, I never want to stop sharing with you the wonderful radio life we all lead and the joy of being a part of it!
Wish me luck! (I’m gonna need it.)