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

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