Radio Daze: an interview with Lou Reed

At the Cincinnati airport recently, I saw this sign:

I first spied the sign from afar, and my 53-year-old eyesight isn’t what it used to be, so I originally thought it read “Toni Basil.” Probably just wishful thinking on my part… after all, who wouldn’t want to see an airport food court restaurant named after the famed one-hit wonder singer of the global 1982 sensation “Mickey”?

Actually, before she found fame as a faux cheerleader, Toni was a founding member of the groundbreaking “pop and lock” dance crew known as The Lockers (along with Fred ‘Rerun’ Berry).

She also choreographed David Bowie’s tours in 1974 and 1987, and a couple of Talking Heads videos, including Once In A Lifetime:

So she’s NOT a one-hit wonder. But I digress. Seeing the Toni Basil sign…er, the Torn Basil sign, reminded me of an afternoon long ago when I was working at 97X, and my friend and fellow DJ Dave and I did an on-air bit where I impersonated Lou Reed.

Dave was kind enough to send a recording of that bit my way:

(In hindsight, my impersonation sounds vaguely like Lou Reed… mixed with Steven Wright…  but good enough for radio’s “theater of the mind.”) True story: one 97X listener, a rabid Lou Reed fan, heard the beginning of that bogus interview while he was driving in Cincinnati and immediately changed course and started speeding up to Oxford, Ohio (where 97X was) in hopes of meeting his idol. As soon as he heard “Lou” mention Toni Basil, he knew that he’d been had. It’s the closest I’ll ever come to an Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” moment.

Speaking of Orson Welles, you simply must watch (and rewatch) this video of a drunken Orson trying to record a wine commercial.

If you’re keeping score at home, we went from an airport food court sign to Citizen Kane. Sorry, that’s just how my feeble brain works. And finally, the real Lou:

 

 

 

 

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