The New Yorker's 12-04-06 issue has the most interesting story on Bob Fass. I'd never heard of him before tonight. He is the host of "Radio Unnameable" on New York's WBAI.
His show was most famous in the '60s and early '70s and it tried to bring the vibe and voice of the counterculture to the radio. On any given night, Fass would be joined in the studio or on the phone by people like Abbie Hoffman or Bob Dylan. "Radio Unnameable" was one of those great "anything goes" radio programs.
Today's local radio has nothing like what I read about in the article. I imagine that today's version of Bob Fass (not including the actual Bob Fass) hosts a podcast instead of dealing with radio programmers and the FCC.
Before he became such an easy caricature, I spent many a late night lying in my bed listening to Larry King on his after midnight radio show. He would take calls from across the country and he would answer every call with two questions: "What do you do?" and "Why are you up?" Alone in my bed, I would listen to Mr. King interview these random callers and I would feel the pulse of my country. These listeners were all "nighthawks at the diner" and people who belonged in the Bukowski books I was reading at the time. Either lonely insomniacs or workers punching to the beat of a different time clock. They were my people and they kept my hours.
Wanna hear a bit of Bob Fass and Bob Dylan on "Radio Unnameable?" Click here for a couple of links. It's beautiful and raw.
More Blogs On Radio Unnameable:
James Wolcott's Blog: Must-Read
The Night of Not Buying The 60's