And then there was the time when Tom not-exactly-barricaded himself in the booth – the door swings closed from the outside – but you get the idea. He grabbed an armful of discs from the record library and pulled that heavy, reinforced concrete, former bank vault door shut behind him, creating that weird vacuum-lock thing where it would eventually require honest-to-god workmen to pry the thing open – and did the 68Comeback Special all by himself.
He had been threatening to do it for weeks, but he always made it sound like a joke: “I’ll just lock myself in there and play The Stroke by Billy Squier until you bring in Billy Squier himself to stop me.” I always laughed, but I guess I never thought he would actually do it – until he did.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was the March 21, 2013 edition of the 68Comeback Special. It had snowed all day, leaving everyone in the city feeling muffled and weird. For once, we were both there on time, but as soon as Nora had vacated, he was in there, door closed, very coyly pretending that I wasn’t there but I would arrive at any minute and that he was holding down the fort in the meantime and then “Oh! Craig just called and said he wouldn’t be able to make it!” We didn’t debut the new feature like we had planned; there would be no Grade 6 Report, no witty banter. All these things would just have to wait until the next week. And this is what he played.
Jerry Jerry & the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra – Baby’s On Fire
Marvin Gaye – When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You?
Pissed Jeans – Cafeteria Food
Townes Van Zandt – The Hole
Charles Bradley – Victim of Love
David Bowie – You Will Set the World on Fire
Fuzz Kings – Comfortably
Radius and Helena – Wizard of Linn
Citadel – Handfasting
Homeshake – Brothers
The Flaps – Smells Like Awesome
Kaleidoscope Jukebox – Vibration Science
Robyn Hitchcock – Be Still
Boats – Animated Gifs
Yo La Tengo – Before We Run
This Hisses – Blacksmith
Son Volt – Down the Highway
Sarah Cripps – Ghost of a Man
Saturns – Diamonde
Ty Segall – Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk
Replacements – Busted Up
Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – Invitation to the Blues
Renny Wilson – Like a Ghost is White
Jr. Gone Wild – What’s Going On
Elation – Leap
Krang – Shake Joint
John Coltrane – Living Space