Aerial View was WFMU’s first regularly-scheduled phone-in talk show. Hosted by Chris T. and on the air since 1989, the show features topical conversation, interviews and many trips down the rabbit hole. Until further notice, Aerial View is only available as a podcast, available every Tuesday morning. Subscribe to the newsletter “See You Next Tuesday!” and find tons of archives at aerialview.me.
On the first Aerial View podcast of 2016, Keith Hartel (below) returns to administer another guitar lesson, this one built around the riff from the Queen song Tie Your Mother Down. Brian - who wrote the song - has stated, BTW, that this is his favorite Queen riff to play. Listen and hear how I may or (Brian) May not be able to grasp just how it's done. Hint: it's MUCH harder than it sounds.
Queen and their Astrophysicist guitarist Dr. Brian May have long fascinated me, from the time Bohemian Rhapsody took over FM radio in 1975 and I - like the rest of the world - ran out and bought a copy of A Night At The Opera. I loved every cut on that record (some more than others, admittedly) and subsequently worked my way backwards to their first album (and hung in there until News Of The World). I remember Jimmy Page himself saying Brian May was his new favorite guitarist in a Guitar World article from around that time, 1975 or 1976. It was in that same magazine that I first read about Brian and his father building the Red Special, the singular guitar with which Brian made his fortune. There's even been an entire book devoted to the story of this amazing instrument (below).
Brian's sound also owes much to the Deacy Amp, the overdrive/amp that John Deacon, Queen's bassist, built from parts he rummaged from the trash and scrounged from his own supply of spare parts. Here it is:
My sound owes much to my inability to find time to actually sit down and practice. Among the other things I've trained our cat Roger to do is to cry every time I pick up a guitar. Either he hates the guitar, my playing, both... or he wishes he could play. Here's Roger, distracted just long enough to allow me to sneak down to the basement and get in some scales:
Thanks again to Keith for hanging in there with me on these guitar lessons. I've heard from a few of you who say you enjoy them, so there's bound to be more in 2016. You can find Keith at the Guitar Bar in Hoboken.
I'll leave you with Freddie Mercury's Christmas toast and the song Keep Yourself Alive from the newly-released Queen video A Night At The Odeon. FYI: Freddie and I share a birthday.
Check out our new upstairs sink plumbing!
Last Week: Drain You
On the last Aerial View podcast of 2015 I spoke of clogs, metaphorical and actual. I was trying to unclog our upstairs sink and my life. I eventually had to call a plumber for the sink. My life remains clogged up. I resolve to begin to unclog it in 2016.
I also asked for some feedback on the show because I have no idea who's listening. Here's some of the comments I received, edited for length:
Dropping a line to say Happy New Year and thanks for all your efforts. I have been enjoying your podcasts very much. The episode you talk about your first date driving around Hoboken and the audio of the night you met your future wife was fucking brilliant. Do what you gotta do as far as continuing or discontinuing the podcast, but know that I'll be here listening to whatever you put out on FMU. - Mike East
I wanted to reach out and let you know that I really enjoy the show. I just moved to Pittsburgh after living in NYC for the past six years (and) the Aerial View podcast has helped fill a NYC-sized radio void, and kept me company while I try to figure this new city out. I've been listening to the podcast over the past few months whenever I'm driving, and I think that the show (in its new format) is really just starting to take off. Although I do miss the call-in format (which was humorous and sounded more like entertainment) the show's subject is evolving, becoming more honest and direct, and is currently doing a great job at constructing a larger image of your world in Jersey. I don't know if you see it this way, but the show's focus has shifted to YOU - and it's getting good. The story in the Xmas episode was one of the best radio stories I heard in a while. I didn't mean to write this long-winded of an email but I hope my message is clear: keep going. Podcasts like Serial or StartUp have this diary quality that keeps listeners coming back for more every week as the story unfolds. Your show is starting to hint at that, and I just wanted to say I really enjoy it and I'm always looking forward to next Tuesday. - Sean Stewart
Thanks for the feedback! Send more by clicking the pic above.
Here's some poetry of mine to start the year. It's a short one.
Red Dream #2
Chris Queen T.
Tie Your Aerial View Mother Down
Found a book of matches;
burned them one by one.
Battened down the hatches,
pretended I was done.
Wandered drugged in deepest night,
spent daylit hours alone.
Slept in rooms shuttered tight,
killed evening-time on the phone.
Looking for a way to quell the fear,
trying to calm a fevered brain.
Thinking "If only next year..."
searched for something yet unnamed.
Obligatory Throwback Pic
Playing in Rich's Backyard with Cobra, circa 1977.
L - R: Tom, Rich, Me, Billy
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ON DEMAND ARCHIVES: The Aerial View Archive page features archives going back to nearly the beginning of the show in RealAudio and MP3 format.ON THE WEB:Listen from the playlist page aeriaview.me.OVER THE AIR: Aerial View is currently off the airwaves of WFMU until further notice.PODCAST: Aerial View is available on iTunes as a podcast.