Monday, March 06, 2006

And that was that...

And that, as they say, was that...

Funny old day. A quiet Sunday morning began with an early phone call to the Lloyd household from our own Mr Reece, who casually said "You know Steve, I think I'll finish off the 365 thing by going 'Live' tonight for a couple of hours".
Eh ? You said what ? Oh, ok then.
It took me by surprise. But then again, thinking about it, best to go out with a bang, not a whimper. Johnny didn't see the point in just letting a few songs go round and round for a while then switching it off.
That's not The Album Zone way of things at all, is it ? So, a frantic last minute newsletter was drafted out to AZ Subscribers, a quick note on the Blog, and away we go...
There was little time to prepare. Very little time indeed.
Johnny insisted I didn't come in to help, but to just enjoy a day with the family, and tune in later. So, I did.
Lots of vintage out-takes and bits and pieces were found (though not nearly as many as he wanted to have time to find, he admitted later). 10pm duly arrived, and everything sprung into action. A new email address for one night only, and the music flowed. Or should that be the Wine ? Oh, naturally, Cabernet Shiraz for company, too. A few favourites aired, chit-chat back and forth with the regulars who were emailing in from various parts of the globe, and all was well. A few (well, a lot) of cheeky comments suddenly appearing on the player window from time to time too. Naughty ! (but nice, and very amusing, too). Well, what the hell. If you're going to close 1 of your 4 broadcast outlets, yet one which has been going for 5 years, you might as well have a lot of fun at the same time.
One listener emailed promptly in and offered to pay to keep the channel open if we could do the occasional 'live' thing instead, once or twice per week. A very kind offer, but naturally he didn't realise that the AZ crew is spread around various geographical locations. Not that easy to nip down to AZ Towers to do a Live Programme if you are based in Nottingham, Copenhagen, or even New Jersey. But it did strike a chord with Johnny, who thanked him for the offer, but promised there was no need, as we'd be back with another server, around late April 2006, enabling the 24/7 'AZ to the World' ideal to flourish once again. But the occasional Live thing may be something we will look into, for the odd special event. Where would you hear news on that ?
Well, right here on this AZ Blog, that's where. So, keep those eyes peeled, folks.
It was strange for me, listening back to AZ 'Live', yet knowing it was only for 2 hours, but knowing it would go suddenly horribly silent.
Johnny said afterwards, no matter how many broadcasts, special events etc have to close down, each one has it's own feeling. He'd experienced all this some years before of course, on many of those special 28 day licences that Radio Caroline had in the 90s. But yes, this was different. He was completely alone in the Studio for a start, he insisted on that. I could almost feel the mood change, never mind hear it. All good fun for an hour and a half, with the odd 'defiant' song thrown in. Then it changed a little, with some angry lyrics no doubt aimed directly at the hearts and consciences of the powers that be, and an absolutely blasting defiant 3 minutes which really got to me if I'm honest, then suddenly this was rather wonderfully counter balanced by complete melancholy for the final 3 minutes, all ending with the sound of a lilting childs musical box, fading, slowly, ever so slowly, into the background, to be replaced by total and complete silence. Now, that's the way to finish.
Afterwards, friends, spouses, romans and countrymen, all gathered round at AZ Towers for a noisy and rousing final 'Cheers' !!!
I asked Johnny afterwards, how it felt to close that particular outlet down.
"A roller-coaster", he said. "Great fun to begin with, and quite a laugh, then a bit of anger, but I was actually very sad at the end. Yet it's another beginning too, these things always are. We've got a lot to look forward to, with the broadcasting outlets we have".

It may have been goodbye 365, but it's still Hello World, as ever.

Steve Lloyd PR The Album Zone