For my 13th birthday, my father gave me a job as a DJ on the radio. He was the manager of KAZZ, an Austin radio station and the first FM station in the United States to play rock music on a regular basis. I was “Swinging Jack” — a name that today would get me unwanted email from kinky couples everywhere. But back in the 60s, it was an acceptable term to use if you thought you were cool — which, of course, I thought I was. After all, I was a lucky thirteen-year-old that got sudden notoriety at my junior high school. My father worked the control board for me that first day. I’m amazed that he didn’t laugh at all the silly things I said. Instead, he sat next to me and gave me the support I needed to succeed as “the youngest DJ in Texas” (that’s the way they promoted my new show).
My father died when he was 54. I thought my father looked old when he died. But then, cancer does that to you I suppose. After I got out of the shower today, I looked long and hard into the mirror. I really looked closely at the bit of gray coming into my wavy hair. I noticed the wrinkles under my eyes and the droopy skin around my jowls. Damn, I’m not 13 anymore.
Yesterday before heading out to a restaurant with my wife, I put on a new short sleeve Hawaiian-looking Perry Ellis shirt I bought on a sale rack at Dillard’s in Austin. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought I looked like Brian Wilson in that big, short sleeve shirt. I said the words out loud, “I’m Brian Wilson.” However, to add to the quirkiness of my proclamation, I repeated it over and over, “I’m Brian Wilson. I’m Brian Wilson.” My wife walked by and rolled her eyes. After a few more minutes of walking around the house and talking like a … um … thirteen-year-old, I went and changed my shirt to an old favorite of mine that I bought at Kohl’s two years ago for $9.
There is no real audio point to this little post today. It’s just therapy you understand.
P.S. — If you want to hear what I sounded like back then, here’s a brief audio clip of me signing off for the day, followed by my brother (“Rim Kelley”):