Yesterday we set off at 5:45 AM to drive down to Manchester to appear on, of all things, a breakfast TV show. We followed directions to Channel M, a local Manchester station, and since it was still dark when we arrived we could see them broadcasting from the second floor of this glass building, but we could not find the station entrance. You know those morning shows where passersby are visible through the glass, sometimes saying “hi mom” and waving at the cameras? That was us, me on Eric’s shoulders, shouting and gesturing at the cameraman to get someone to come down and let us in.
Then there was a frightening moment when Eric threatened to drive the car right through the plate glass window, but we finally found the door and got inside. It would’ve been nice to get the full hair and makeup before going on TV, but this was a barebones operation so I went off to the ladies room to fix myself up while Eric drank tea and looked at the newspapers.
If ever we could have partial lobotomies and come back twenty years younger I think breakfast TV presenters would be the perfect job. You get to read all the papers, wear cute colorful clothes, sit around drinking beverages and talking nonsense with assorted guests. Yesterday morning alone our hosts Brian and Nicki talked to a footballer, an X Factor contestant, a young artist and the head of the Manchester Arts Council.
And us. We sat on the couch chatting about…come to think of it I can’t really remember what we talked about. I know Eric kept saying what a nice sofa they had. And I remember Nicki delighted in asking if Eric was “really Wreckless?” Perfect for an audience who are guzzling coffee and trying to get out of the house. At the end of the program we played “Please Be Nice To Her” as the credits rolled.
So by 10 AM we were ready to go back to sleep. Maybe we’re not exactly cut out for the morning talk show game?
Later that afternoon it was on to Liverpool for an interview with Spencer Leigh. This was taped, the songs and talking parts done separately, so there was no pressure to have any of it make sense. Spencer was very nice, and there is something about Liverpool that really captures the imagination of anyone who grew up in the sixties. Even the name of this particular BBC station, Radio Merseyside, made me want to put on some boots and false eyelashes and start doing the Freddie.
After Liverpool it was time to drive back to Manchester for the Mark Riley show on Digital 6. Eric gave me a brief biography of Mark along with a short history of the BBC has we sat in traffic and it appears I may or may not have met him back when he was in The Fall years ago. There’s a story somewhere of that band coming to a party in my brother’s apartment on 13th Street but neither he or I could remember exactly if he was there. Mark played amazing stuff – TV On The Radio, Jessica Hoop, live Pulp and some French band I have to look up. Plus he airdrummed to all the records and was a great interviewer, relaxed and funny. Mercury Rev were out in the hallway waiting to do a session as we left. Then we found a superb Chinese restaurant. It would have been the perfect ending to our media trifecta.
But the heat didn’t work when we got back to our cozy cottage. It’s probably a good thing. After a day like that we were starting to get a little too showbiz.