Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hello, hello.... hello, can you hear me?

With Bob Fass marooned in a makeshift home studio on Staten Island, Radio Unnameable is no longer unlistenable solely because it has long since run out of steam. Now the show has also become a technical nightmare, one that even Tony Ryan's sledgehammer cannot fix.

One would think that Bob, whose name is synonymous with this half-century old WBAI offering took some pride in it, but that is apparently no longer the case—he treats it as callously as he does its listeners, who now may not number more than one could comfortably fit into Groucho's dressing room. Friday morning's show had six or seven callers, all regulars (including fearsome frackin' Fred from upstream), which was bad enough, but the show was a disaster in every other way, as well. Why Bob keeps this up is still a mystery to me—I used to attribute it to an enlarged ego, but his sloppy approach belies that.

Well, listen to this compilation of excerpts from yesterday morning and you will hear what I am talking about—the hums, drastic drops in volume, dead air, skips and distortions are becoming common at 99.5, but this really takes all that to the extreme. There were moments when the talk made sense, but most of it was rambling and  muttery (new word, patent pending), and while somebody unfamiliar to me spoke glibly from the WHCR studio, Bob seemed to be doing a simulcast along a different path. Bill Propp called in to announce Friday evening's tribute to Ibrahim Gonzales, but the details got lost when the signal took on a poor shortwave reception. It actually became a bit surreal at times. Here 'tis... 


  1. Hey, Chris! Get out of my head! I was going to make a posting about this crap. How did you know to give me a forum?
    Anyway... Technically, this program was a joke. Even a college station kid knows to go to music or carts while trying to fix things, rather than putting out such inept junk and looking like an amateur. This isn't even funny, anymore.

    Program content? I now know what to call Radio Unnamable - The Bob Fass Hootenanny Humdrum Horror, since it sure sounds like the equivalent of an Ed Wood, Jr. Grade Z bargain basement horror film. I swear someone needs to tell Fass to stop trying to ride Dylan's antiquated and now meaningless coattails.

    Fass himself sounds like his wits are gone and he's near his final breath. I always joke around about how awful and near death Don Imus sounds. Well, now I am going to wait to see who croaks first.

    I'm not going to try and compare this version of Fass to the 1960s one, which I never heard. However, I WILL compare him to the once proud overnight programming WBAI had in the late 1970s to early 1980s which I listened to all the time. THOSE were talk shows! Fass is a train wreck. It reminds me of the last years of Julia Child, when she had to have other people do the cooking for her because she had all to do and stand there occasionally interjecting a comment.

    Since I stopped listening regularly in the 1980s, can someone tell me when WBAI trashed the overnight political/social based call in programming for this music crap they have now? I guess the management thinks night time listeners aren't interested in current events. What a load of garbage, sounding like a 100 watt college station.

    I'd rather listen to Gary Null, since he at least has something to say...

    I think I will go to the next LSB meeting. I want to catch one of these live comedy shows before they are past history. Anyone know the date and location?


    1. You are so right about it no longer being funny, SDL. I don't know if Bob listens to his friends, but he should have been advised to retire while still ahead. He was already spent when the film came out, but that would have been his last opportunity to go with dignity. Very sad, indeed.

  2. Wow I could only listen for a few minutes (5 to be exact). I know you have had other posts about Bob, but I've never heard his show before so thank you for posting the clip. And now I know I don't need to bother trying to find his show. The guy connecting the call has more going on than Bob. He is just talking over the caller, how can he even hear what was said?? It's one thing to talk over a bit, but they are both talking at the same time. He clearly doesn't have a lot of "energy" - seems to be phoned-in both literally and figuratively.


    1. Thank you, Connie—I'm sorry that you did not encounter Bob's show prior to this postmortem phase. It was very different years ago when it attracted guests whose creative energies influence life and art throughout the pre-internet globe.