I love the passionate mavericks. Ever since I was a kid I've been drawn to the people - the characters mostly - who fly in the face of the uptight, scowling establishment. It's probably the legacy of my evangelical upbringing, where scowling establishments were just part of the game. And man, were there lines to toe and cross in those days. I wonder what Howard Stern would have done in that environment, and how much risk he would have been willing to take.
That's the thing with passionate mavericks: they have to be willing to risk the consequences of staying true to who they are and what matters to them. It's what makes them heroes. Or anti-heroes. It's the willingness to risk that separates them from posers like me. Howard Stern. Hawkeye Pierce. Cyrano. And, of course, Adrian Cronauer, the inspiration for this week's episode (or, should I say, Adrian Cronauer as presented in the mostly fictionalized movie Good Morning, Vietnam). I watched the move for the first time in a long time last weekend and was struck again by how engaging and poignant it is. I was also struck again by what a mind Robin Williams had. Most of his on-air scenes in the movie are improvised. I don't know how many takes he had to do to nail what they used in the film, but my goodness, he really was something.
So this week I'm talking about that movie and the real Cronauer and my fascination with passionate mavericks. There is also a foray into how our hobbies and interests as kids can inform our purpose and direction as adults. I used to make little radio programs on my tape recorder as a kid. I also used to do what were essentially proto-blogs on my Vic-20 computer back in the day. And I wrote little books and pretended to be a rock star on stage (which I still pretend to be, though at least now I'm actually on real stages). All of the stuff I used to do as a kid still shows up in my adult life and as I try to figure out what to do with what remains of that adult life, those lines to the past are important clues. I'm also drawn to broadcasting in a way. Your Cronauers. Your Sterns. Something about those voices in the ether that provide comfort and entertainment and a cure, however superficial, for loneliness.
Also this week I'm talking about the excellent new album by Queensryche, Digital Noise Alliance. It sounds old school and absolutely bursts with some really powerful choruses. Great record, even for those of us who kind of lost Queensryche after the Promised Land album and were reluctant to come back after Geoff Tate and Chris DeGarmo left the band. I'll include a new song/video below, along with some footage from the fictional Adrian Cronauer and the real Adrian Cronauer.
Thanks as ever for listening. Contact me here with thoughts, questions, music recommendations, or episode ideas. Cheers!
Referenced on the podcast:
The wonderful first Cronauer broadcast from Good Morning, Vietnam:
The real Adrian Cronauer does the extended sign-on in this little clip:
Behind The Walls by Queensryche. That chorus!