On The Charts: I.R.S. Records 1979-1994 Various Artists

Five words that will strike fear into anyone who hears them on the phone…

“Hello, you’re on the air!”

Every weekday morning, the local Top 40 station would let a listener pick a song they wanted to hear on the radio. I can’t remember if there was a special name for it but I wanted to be one of those people that got to choose the songs. Freshly showered, I picked up my Swatch phone and dialed the number that I knew by heart from the countless times I tried to win concert tickets.

1 ring…2 rings…..3.

That familiar doubt that no one was going to pick up the phone reared it’s ugly head and then I heard, “Hello, you’re on the air!”

So many times I had thought about what I was going to say if I was ever going to be on the radio. I had practiced it inside my head a million times, it was eloquent and profound…and at that moment, all I could come up with was “Hey.” How embarrassing? I grew up listening to the morning show on the local radio station and this was my chance. I listened to the hosts so often that I thought I knew them like they were part of my family.

First thing I thought was, “Wait a minute, I can still hear the music on my stereo, how can I be on the air at the same time?” Then I remembered why they always tell you to turn down your radio when calling a radio station. Most calls are pre-recorded and they don’t want feedback. This was my first glimpse behind the curtain.

The morning jock started making some small talk asking me if I was in a bathroom (Swatch wasn’t known for their phone technology) and my witty response was, “No, it’s just a phone.”

Then came time for me to pick the song of the morning. What was I going to choose? Something awesome that they are currently rotating? No. Something that only a handful of people would enjoy? No, didn’t want to be too esoteric.

What did I pick and why? I chose “Dizz-Knee-Land” by Dada because (get this) it was the last day that our deposits were allowed to be handed in for our senior class trip. Yup, my moment to shine and I am inspired by an administrative deadline. Needless to say, I didn’t forget the check from my parents and got it in on time so I could go hang out with 300 classmates and a mouse before heading off to college.

1.Our Lips Are SealedThe Go-Go's2:47
2.Mexican RadioWall Of Voodoo3:56
3.Only A LadOingo Boingo3:58
4.The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear ShadesTimbuk 33:23
5.Save It For LaterThe English Beat3:36
6.She Drives Me CrazyFine Young Cannibals3:36
7.Mad About YouBelinda Carlisle3:37
8.TendernessGeneral Public3:36
9.The One I LoveREM3:17
10.JoeyConcrete Blonde4:09
11.Rain In The SummertimeThe Alarm4:02
12.Dizz Knee LandDada4:06