Tuesday, September 09, 2008

How Facebook brought me and Howard Stern back together.

I recently joined Facebook.

I'd been hanging out at Friendster (over on the empty side of the internet), minding my own business, when the wave of 30-somethings who've begun infiltrating Facebook's social networking site swept me onto the shores of the 21st century.


I've been catching up with long lost friends I thought I'd never talk to again. I've also had a couple of surprises from people who've "friend-ed" me. One of these was from a guy named Dan Blatt.

Dan and I went to University of Buffalo together, though we didn't know each other well. At some point, I mentioned I had been a guest on the Howard Stern show...Okay, let me explain that one:
Before I went to U.B, I had to bring my abysmal grades from high school up by going to Nassau Community College. I wanted to work at a college radio station ever since I was in the 10th grade, so I jumped at the chance to work at WHPC (We Help People Communicate), the community college's poorly acronym-ed radio station. Shortly after I arrived, they changed the format to an EZ listening station. I also received a letter in the mail telling me things I could not discuss on the air.
To me, this was the antithesis of college radio - music which did not represent the sensibilities of the students, and a clamping down on open expression. I was removed from the station after reading the letter on the air. Shortly after, some other students and I formed a protest against the station. Howard caught wind of this, and invited me on to the show to try and get the word out. What followed was a 20-minute public humiliation.

So, this Dan Blatt guy contacts me via Facebook. He explains he is a HUGE Stern fan, and has archived practically all of his shows. A few hours later, digital audio files of me on the show arrive in my inbox. Incredible. Facebook made it possible for me to get a copy of what I thought I had lost forever. Somewhere, a friend had a cassette tape of it, but he couldn't find it. Even if he could, where the hell would we play a cassette tape?

Even though it was at my expense, I think his take on things was pretty funny, and in retrospect, pretty smart. As I recall, when they went to commercial at the end of our segment, he explained that if he agreed with me on the air, there would be no show. So in a way, he really helped. We had a good showing at the protest, and the school administration made concessions we were happy with.
What follows, in three parts, is my 1989 guest spot on the Howard Stern Show. Keep in mind, I was only 19, and he didn't give me much opportunity to talk. Even though I didn't get to say much, he had me pretty pegged; I still think the world revolves around me. But, I did my best, hoping the whole time that my mom wouldn't pick up the other line to yell at me for being on the phone so long.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would be funny to go back on his show 20 years later. Think he'd remember you? He did give you 20 minutes of airtime....

gspan said...

Thanks Mike, I mean "anonymous."

Annmarie said...

i remember this! i was very proud of you. Even now, Howard was just having fun w/ you. You sounded great.

Sean said...

Hey Jeff, I just heard the Howard Stern Shows. Great Job handling all the shit Howard threw at you. Hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

This is really great! You held your own against the King of All Media. Big Fan of both you guys!

Jon T said...

Holy flashback! For what it's worth I started there I think about a year after you had left and still heard about this incident, so your place in history was assured! This subject came up every so often, and the clips sometimes got played for the newbies who came to WHPC. ;-) This is the first time in years I've heard this. I really have to give you credit for being such a good sport and sharing the audio.

Marianne said...

I totally remember that! Or am I crazy?! I think you did relatively well. Of course, England has only 2 'colleges'. Oxford and Cambridge.