Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" for May...
On "Idiot's Delight"® at 8, Vin Scelsa tips his fedora and says farewell to his faithful listeners after 47 years of free-form radio poetry in New York City.
It's time. After 47 years on New York radio I feel that I've accomplished everything I ever set out to do (and then some). I have been incredibly lucky to have always worked under my own terms and conditions, whether on commercial broadcast radio, non-commercial public radio or digital satellite radio. I have always been "in control" of Idiot's Delight, always done it "my way." And I've always promised myself I would control when and how to stop.
So. Here it is. Tonight. Rest assured, dear listeners, I am completely comfortable with this decision; I know in my heart that the time is right. I thank you all for your years of listening with open ears and hearts. I am incredibly moved and truly humbled by the response news of my "retirement" has engendered.
When I began doing radio in 1967, long before personal computers, iPods, smart phones, laptops, e-books, satellite radios and the whole array of technological development we've all experienced, I used to believe that what I did existed "in the moment" — I did it, you either heard it or not, but once done it was gone. The air signal went out into space where it would exist forever, floating in the audio waves of eternity. I still believe this is true.
And who knows? Maybe someday some intelligent life-form from a distant planet in another galaxy with its own version of our SETI program (searching for extraterrestrial signs of life in all the universes of existence) will "tune in" to some long-ago edition of Idiot's Delight — maybe a show from 1969 with Townes Van Zandt ... or the one I did with Yoko Ono or Leonard Cohen or Wim Wenders ... or the night Rosanne Cash harmonized "Seven Year Ache" with Gary Louris and Golden Smog ... or Keb' Mo' sang "America The Beautiful" a la Ray Charles ... or June Carter Cash talked about her days studying with James Dean at The Actors Studio ... or I introduced Joey Ramone to Lucinda Williams ... or Allen Ginsberg and Phillip Glass played songs from their Hydrogen Jukebox ... or maybe the night I first told the story about peeing next to Jimi Hendrix in the bathroom at The Scene and Jimi blessed me with his holy member ... or maybe just some hour-long set of musical surrealism on a night when the Radio Muse was whispering all the right words over my shoulder ... ... and that distant extraterrestrial listener from some unimaginable future or past planet will be overwhelmed and astounded and will say, Ah ... so this is what life is like on that beautiful blue planet ...
And I will know that what I accomplished was worthwhile.
Thank you, WFUV, for these 14 years of Saturday nights. Thank you all the radio stations of my past. Thank you all my many fellow deejays and co-workers. And thank you dear listeners.
Adios, compañeros ...
Darling you know just what I'm here for
So you're scared and you're thinking
That maybe we ain't that young anymore
Show a little faith there's magic in the night
You ain't a beauty but hey you're alright
Oh and that's alright with me ...
- Bruce Springsteen, "Thunder Road"