Crap from the Past: A halfhearted tribute
I don’t know how I heard about him first, but for several years I have been listening to the radio show of Ron “Boogiemonster” Gerber, who presents the “Crap from the Past” show on KFAI community radio in Minneapolis/St Paul.
Of course I don’t live anywhere near KFAI’s catchment area, so it is fortuitous that each episode of CFTP is downloadable in MP3 format (or streamable) via archive.org. Go to www.crapfromthepast.com/archives/index.htm for the archive which goes back to 31 January 1992.
Ron — and I must point out that the great man and I do not know one another at all, so I’m not pitching for a pal here — describes his show as a ”graduate course in music”, by which he means that his listeners are presumed to know a fair bit about music already. He will play the occasional blast from the past many will be glad to hear again, or revive a long-forgotten gem. But Ron also plays, in keeping with the promise of the show’s moniker, a lot of arcane crap, especially by way of cover versions and novelty numbers.
The esoteric mix is great fun, at least once the crap is placed in its proper context. Every now and then I am thankful that I do not have to listen to everything in real-time, but have the relief of being able to fast-forward the really atrocious stuff — but never without having first heard Ron’s take on it.
The joy of CFTP is that you have no idea what Ron is going to play next, even when he is riffing on a theme. Best of all, it is really obvious that Ron is really enjoying himself.
So, to celebrate “Crap from the Past”, I have compiled a mix of one song per show presented by Ron between 17 January (represented by “Heroes” in French) to 19 July (Ween’s “Hey There Fancy Pants”), counting back in chronological order. I had to skip one show from which I had absolutely no song, 22 November’s “Crappersize Crap Yourself Thin” show of songs from a selection of doubtless dreadful work-out albums.
Most of the songs on the mix will be known to readers of this obscure corner of the Internet. Fans of The Originals (or Copy Borrow Steal) will enjoy Chuck Jackson’s “I Keep Forgettin’”, which Michael McDonald’s 1982 song of the same name borrowed so liberally from that songwriters Leiber & Stoller earned themselves a writing credit. Surveying the tracklisting, I’m struck by the number of tracks from 1983.
Ron Gerber has also written a book (the cover is reproduced above); check it out HERE.
EDIT: Ron has kindly given Any Major Dude With Half A Heart a mention on Friday’s show (24 January). Download or stream the show here.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-DJed covers. PW in comments.
1. David Bowie – Heroes (French version) (1977)
2. Sara Bareilles – Brave (2013)
3. Bill Cosby – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1968)
4. Freeez – I.O.U (1983)
5. Archie Bell & The Drells – I Can’t Stop Dancing (1968)
6. Culture Club – Miss Me Blind (1983)
7. Betty Davis – Ooh Yeah (1974)
8. A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It? (1990)
9. Cookie Monster – Cookie Disco (1978)
10. Chuck Jackson – I Keep Forgettin’ (1962)
11. Nik Kershaw – The Riddle (1984)
12. Clout – Portable Radio (1980)
13. Donnie Iris – Ah! Leah! (1980)
14. Edgar Winter Group – Free Ride (1972)
15. Slade – Cum On Feel The Noize (1973)
16. Exile – Kiss You All Over (1978)
17. Stereo MC’s – Get Connected (1992)
18. New York City – I’m Doing Fine Now (1973)
19. Sheena Easton – Swear (1984)
20. Lee Ritenour – Is It You? (1981)
21. Sergio Mendes – Never Gonna Let You Go (1983)
22. The Alarm – The Stand (1983)
23. Ween – Hey There Fancy Pants (2003)