Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teenage Wasteland II: A Moment Of Grace (Slick)‏

Have there ever been 16-year-olds who weren't alienated? I can't remember meeting any. Fortunately, when I was 16, I had a pair of wonderful escape hatches: my radio and my car. Actually, my mother's car. A silver-gray 1965 Ford Galaxie 500, but it--and the world--sure felt like mine when I was at the wheel. And if the engine was running, so was the radio. As loud as I could get it, locked in to that Mighty 1090. KAAY, Little Rock.

The second time the earth moved for me was in August of 1967. (One Fab guess as to the first time). I had just pulled up in my grandma's driveway and was about to cut the engine when this voice--this thing like a banshee from Mars--came howling out of that six-by-nine oval in the dashboard:

"When the truth is found to be lies

And all the joy within you dies,

Don't you want somebody to love?"

Dang (which ain't exactly the word). Some woman was driving a freight train right through my skull--and the band behind her was trying to blow up the boiler! Jefferson Airplane had me in the crosshairs.

"Tears are running all around and down your breast

And your friends, baby, they treat you like a guest.

Don't you want somebody to love?"

You bet your hindquarters I did! I was wasting away for somebody to love and had not the first clue of what to do about it. Though I somehow knew that girls held the keys to the Universe, they scared me to death. And so did Grace Slick that day. (She still does, but I'm used to it now.)

Somehow, this crazy hippie chick from San Francisco had wiretapped my brain. She had just barged in and started chewing on all my fears and anxieties. She was reading my mind and singing about it! The greatest part of that moment was that Grace was singing to me alone. That song wasn't for anybody else on the planet, it was mine! And how exquisitely fitting that it should be delivered by my own personal radio station. (Teenagers sure think some weird stuff.)

A few months later, in cold, gray 1968, The Doors would do the same thing:

"People are strange when you're a stranger,

Faces look ugly when you're alone.

Women seem wicked when you're unwanted,

Streets are uneven when you're down."

Well, hindsight is 20/20 and 3D. KAAY was sending me a message, a lesson, with those two songs. Scarcely three years later, Mike McCormick II (the great Barry Wood) would teach me to pick out one person in the audience and talk to them alone--exactly the way those songs had found me!

David B. Treadway

Doc Holiday VII

The Last PD


  1. I'm right there with ya, David! I've mentioned before that I'd drive 'way out of route going home from work at night, just to listen to KAAY and Beaker Street...made no difference I had to be back up at 5AM to feed the fowl and cattle before going to school, I HAD to get my dose! I dreamed of working in radio, but never took the plunge...sure glad YOU did, I'm STILL listening to you today! Bud S.

  2. David B...

    I never lied; always told the truth. You were never strange. But, you WERE one of the B-E-S-T I've ever known...a true friend. If you learned from me, I learned from you: True Friends are rare...and so are you, my friend, so are you. God bless you, my friend...ya done good ! JK