Later Lunch Boy

Today is a sad day: one of those every end is a beginning days.

Often I feel like a band working so hard to put out a new album that I end up failing to put out a greatest hits disc. A greatest hits package isn’t just for fans, it’s more for a band, to stop and celebrate all that’s been accomplished.  Sometimes the best way to look ahead is to look back.

Lunch Boy was born on a rainy May 17 in 2001. R.E.M. closed down Yonge street setting up shop to promote the, then new album Reveal. Free R.E.M. concert during lunch, oh yes, it’s all coming up Milhouse.

R.E.M. and I have an off and on again relationship. We’re one of those couples people ask if we’re still together or broken up, which is it this week? It was touch and go when Bill Berry left. My belief was (and is) if the 4 of you started something the 4 of you should finish it. Maybe that makes me naive, maybe that makes me ignorant. All I know is there’s no value in starting anything, finishing is where glory lives.

As an album Reveal was the heart to heart we both needed. To clear the air, put our cards on the table and all the other clichés we employ to reduce the sublime stature of love. It starts with an elevated infectious fist pumper The Lifiting where Stipe sings/prophecies:

“You’ve said the air was singing
It’s calling you you don’t believe
These things you’ve never seen, never heard, never dreamed.”

By the time the concert finished, the love was full on…heady full of music, a spirit desperate to soar but trapped by mortal flesh I wandered into Edge 102.1. The street level studio has always been a unique feature.  Fans could drop by, see bands play, talk to the djs…request songs and grab stickers. It was community…for me it was home.

I showed up following that R.E.M. concert to go home…I’d been having lunch a few times there, saying little to the staff. Just simply enjoying my time, the music…even the atmosphere. I got the nickname Lunch Boy not because I brought lunch but because I showed up at lunch. I’ve never had a nickname before, they rarely stick yet…this one worked.

And so to recap that joyous R.E.M. concert I was asked to sit down at the mic and share…Lunch Boy was born. And today Lunch Boy is…done. Well this current incarnation. I’ll still continue to help with prep, with jokes (good and bad) and just generally the voodoo I do.

After I dunno how many years Edge 102.1 is closing up its street level studio on Yonge Street.

No more home…still the community lives on. Like seeing friends after you graduate, sure it’s not everyday anymore but the love is still there.

It went beyond the work. Weddings, funerals, breakups, regrets, opportunities, promotions, arguments, dancing, birthdays, bad jokes, inside jokes, more dancing and tons of free food!

Thank you to all the djs for letting me crash your workplace for always making me feel welcome, for always letting me chip in and help. It is and was an honour. To be able to participate and make things better is awesome. (Barry…thanks for our Nerd It Up segments I had an utter blast with those).

Thanks to all the promo staff you all laughed at 60% or more of my jokes and always gave me a high five or a hug when I’d run into you at shows. The station doesn’t give you folks enough credit or respect.

Thanks to all the security guys! Nelly especially you never treated me like riff raff, I had so much fun irritating you.

Thanks to all the bands who dropped by…I met so many crazy and wonderful musicians, got exposed to so much amazing music. Even got to help friends who are in bands, give them a leg up. Anything that makes the rivers of music flow more smoothly I’ll gladly do. I only wish I’d fought for more bands, gotten more bands on the radio.

Thanks to my fans! Strangely (considering this is radio) I did get recognized and I did have to sign autographs. Bizarre. Shame more fans were not ladies. Hopefully my poetry book will draw female fans.

Thanks to all the industry folks you keep me well stocked and hip so I’m like one of the cool kids. I promise to continue being your thorn in the side:  pushing for more innovation and to take bigger risks on the bands you sign.

Thank you for all the concerts, movies, t-shirts, cds, dvds, books and so much more. I in turn took your blessings and rained them on the people in my life. I was able to be a better friend, a better person. There’s a precise love in generosity. Just one of the many things I learned at the Edge.

Thank you to all these people and more. You will always be included in my greatest hits package. This isn’t good-bye it’s hello.

Monday comes with a new dawn.

(Radiohead never realised a video for Lucky so the video is just Ok Computer’s cover but it’s the music that counts):


Also published on Medium.

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