“Dear Mr. Fantasy” by Traffic
Dear Mr. Fantasy, play us a tune
Something to make us all happy
Do anything take us out of this gloom
Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy
You are the one who can make us all laugh
But doing that, you break out in tears
Please don’t be sad, if it was the straight mind you had
We wouldn’t have known you all these years
As a pre/early teen a daydream/fantasy shared with one of my buddies was to operate some sort of radio station playing our favorite tunes to an appreciative neighborhood audience. Not that we were always in “tune” with each other about specific songs; I didn’t care for “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe as much as he did and he couldn’t understand what I found so great about “See” by the Rascals. Our biggest challenge was obtaining the source material to play. (We actually had a low-cost Radio Shack FM transmitter that covered about one city block on a good day) Unable to buy or scrounge more than a few 45RPM records we were reduced to taping songs using a mono cassette machine off the air as broadcast by local AM stations. Did anyone else listen to WAPE 690-AM Jacksonville, Florida back in the ’60s?(“The Big Ape”…Tarzan yell) That process reduced the sound quality plus we were faced with having to play the songs using the cassette deck’s speaker directly into the transmitter’s microphone which only made them sound worse. After a while the idea was abandoned.
Fast forward to the present as I sit in a room filled with amateur radio equipment with the ability to transmit a 1000 watt signal anywhere in the world between 0-30 Mhz or on several VHF/UHF bands thru various antennas sitting atop the 64 foot tower in my backyard. Acknowledging that by doing so I might incur the wrath of the FCC the temptation of pirate broadcasting, though now technically feasible, will remain just what is was before; a fantasy. (though there are many, many, folks in similar situations who do so on a regular basis…and yes I’ve purposely sought them out to listen)
Today’s PC technology would have solved the problem we had creating programming content back then. As I sit here during the holiday lull, I’ve used the downtime to transfer selected vinyl LP songs/albums to CD for my playing enjoyment and to help preserve the records themselves. Saving every album I purchased starting as a teenager and treating each one over the decades as as prized possession has provided me with a very large library of music to work with. Today’s effort was creating a CD of my favorite Buffalo Springfield songs. With only three albums issued and stretching my tastes to include a few songs I only marginally cared for I came up with less than 40 minutes of material. Since a CD-R can hold 80 minutes of music I went in search of related songs to help fill the space. Knowing the two principal players were Stephen Still and Neil Young, I chose a couple songs from the joint album “Long May You Run” by The Stills-Young Band.(I wanted to avoid using any CSN and Y) Then I recalled that several Buffalo Springfield songs had been covered by other artists: “Bluebird” by The James Gang, “Everydays” by Yes and Neil Young’s own Devo/Kraftwerk reworking of “Mr. Soul” on his “Trans” album. Finally I remembered that I had a copy of the soundtrack from the movie “Where The Buffalo Roam”(Bill Murray’s early version of the Hunter S. Thompson story) that included some Neil Young instrumental/vocal versions of “Home On The Range” which seem appropriate.
That puts me in the 65 minute range and unless anyone has another suggestion I think that’s it.