This is just awful.
I've just heard that Freda Sorce, the wife of Don Geronimo, has been killed in a car accident.
Don is half of Don and Mike, a local D.C. institution, wacky bad-boy afternoon-drive shock jocks who've been enlivening my evening commute since I discovered them in the late Eighties.
Ordinarily I'd have nothing at all to do with Morning-Zoo-style radio; it's silly and insincere and calculated and cynical. But Don and Mike have always evinced a healthy detestation of the radio business -- this becomes plain if you follow the show for a bit; they do a masterful job at subverting the whole stupid genre and making their show as honest and real as talkity-talk radio gets.
I loathe Howard Stern. I can't even be in the same room as a Don Imus broadcast. That should tell you how different and lively and, yes, dammit, humane the Don and Mike Show is, while never being mawkish or sloppy. Coarse, yes. Vulgar, absolutely. But in the right hands, these things can be funny.
Don and Mike are gay-friendly. Not a misgynist bone in their bodies. Although they don't make a big deal of it, politically their hearts are in the right place. Do you remember a few years ago, when that horrible hump Michael Savage lost his cable TV show because he raved out at a prank caller? The prankster was a Don and Mike listener. We were all proud of that moment.
One of the ways they make their show so uncharacteristically humane is by involving their families in the act, and this is why Freda's sudden death is such a gut-punch. She phoned in to the show nearly daily, along with their son Bart, whom I first "met" as a four-year-old wiener, and who is now a rising sophomore at Clemson. She browbeat Don for his gaucheness, his rudeness, his impecuniousness, but never in a way to make you dislike her.
Although I never met her, I considered Freda a friend.
About ten years ago, they had a Homemade Jingle Contest, in which they encouraged listeners to send in their songs. I whipped up a little something and sent it in.
Boy, did they like it.
(And now you know my real name.)
Some of the inside jokes: the "Queeg" referred to is shorthand for G. Gordon Liddy, who shared their studio and who famously bragged about the size of his tallywacker. Don and Mike had a running war with him. That's Wonder Woman doing the vocal there. Ain't she great?
Man -- that's 4-track cassette. Allowing for the compression from the radio, which breathes like a mutha, I didn't do a half-bad job. You really could load those things up with signal, couldn't you. God, I did the orchestral build of "A Day in the Life" on a 4-track. Beat that, George Martin.