Annotation of Shockwave Silver

A companion to the commemorative CD

Shockwave Silver annotation v2.0 written by David E Romm, who is solely responsible for any errors or omissions. He tries to talk about himself in the third person but occasionally I fail. Please send any corrections or emendations to Baron Dave Romm. This Shockwave Silver annotation file, with any updates and errata, is mirrored on the romm.org site. Version 2.0 adds Not-Anokon picture and minor edits in text.

Shockwave Silver comprises Shockwave broadcasts, productions and live stage shows. The selection was chosen to represent 25 years of Shockwave Radio Theater, Year of our Moon Landing 10-35. Other people's productions and our vast but weird music library are not represented. Files were converted from cassette, reel-to-reel and DAT to mp3s at 128kbps. If there is sufficient interest I'll distribute more Shockwave material as higher fidelity .aiff CD quality files. Please read the disclaimer.

The Unusual Suspects
(writers/engineers/performers frequently mentioned by first name only):
Dave = David E Romm aka Baron Dave
 Pictures: with Jesse, with mayor, wearing Dr. Demento's tophat, thinking
Jerry = Jerry Stearns. Picture
Brian = Brian Westley. Picture
Doug =Doug Friauf. Picture
Kara = Kara Dalkey
Chris = Chris Dronen, Chief Engineer of KFAI-FM
Everett = Everett Forte, Station Manager of KFAI-FM
Emma = Emma Bull
Jane = Jane Yolen
The Shockwave Riders = Anyone who has been part of or listens to Shockwave. Used here to designate a synergistic group effort and/or when I don't know the individuals involved.

Reminder: You can always listen to the two most recent Shockwave Radio Theater broadcasts at the Fresh Air Radio Archive site. KFAI has streaming audio so you can listen to Shockwave from 3:30-4:00pm (or any of Fresh Air's great programs)

If you're not listening, please turn on your mp3 player now.

Related files are grouped, and longer sketches are broken into two parts. Otherwise, the ordering is semi-arbitrary and files may be played in any order.
No.TimeDescription
01.120:23Spindizzy (Möbius remix), the soundsheet recorded for Minicon in 1981. Designed as a möbius strip, a continuous loop of sound, remixed as such here. You don't have to flip the record! Written mostly By: Kara Dalkey, Dave Romm, Kate Worley and Jerry Stearns. Performed By: Kate Worley, Jerry Stearns, Dave Romm, Jean Messer, Rob Hunter, Kara Dalkey, David Cummer and Emma Bull. Engineered By: Chris Dronen and Everett Forte at Chris' house. Digitally remastered by Dave. Sponsored by MN-STF for our upcoming stint at Minicon, it was our first big project and we had loads of fun. Spindizzy was not a commercial success and I have some left. Let me know if you want one of these rare collectable items. Read the liner notes. See some pictures taken during taping sessions.
 
02.128:57You're Riding the Shockwave, the Minicon Live Stage Show for Minicon 30, April 14, 1995, in two parts. I put it here after Spindizzy to fulfill the future history of the Shockwave universe (cf The St. Paul Spaceport Story) and because it's the third in the Time Travellers sequence, a mÖbius strip of a sorts over the stage shows of 1993, 94, 95. Written and Produced by: David E Romm. Engineered by: Chris Dronen and Everett Forte. Performed by: Kara Dalkey, Jane Yolen, Dave Romm, Ruth Anderson, Ed Eastman, Brian Westley, Denny Lien, Terry A. Garey, Hillary Posner & John Houghton, Mike McKinnon, Sharyl Lies, Shiela Campbell, and Jeff McNair with Jerry doing sound effects. Music by: Rox Productions, Communique Multimedia USA, Zimmerman/Lenander. Engineering by: Ulf Higgenbothem and the Great Hall Crew. Audio Playback: Janet L. Moe. Digitally remastered By: Dave. You can follow along and read the script of You're Riding The Shockwave, including the deleted scenes.
02.228:36
 
03.11:33Promo for the Lunatennial Milk Carton Satellite Race. Written by The Shockwave Riders, read (and probably engineered) by Everett Forte. Summer, 1980. An homage to the Aquatennial Milk Carton Boat Race, a major yearly event in Mpls. The MN-STF entry won a couple of times, if memory serves.
03.22:12On the launch pad of the Viper Class of the Milk Carton Satellite Race. Everett and Jerry, with Kara Dalkey and Dave Romm (playing balloon and a cat in heat). Live from the air.
03.31:33Everett interviews Gidney and Cloyd Ward (played by three people...), in the race. Jerry, Kara, Laramie Sasseville. Live from the air. One of many obscure references.
03.42:37The Nostromo Class of the race. Everett, Jerry. Laramie reads a Zelazny prayer. Live from the air.
03.52:24The Winners. Jerry reads. Live from the air.
 
04.130:26Amongst the Best of Shockwave Live! Vol. 3 in two parts. The 10th Minicon Live Stage Show, from Minicon 25, April 13, 1990. I was Fan Guest of Honor and wanted to do something a little different, such as learn from experience. We repeated and rewrote our favorite skits from the previous Live Stage Shows. Produced By: Jerry. Script Editor: Dave. Engineered By: Chris and Everett with help from the KFAI crew. Original music By: Brian Anderson; PBS Liavek theme By: Nate Bucklin. Digitally remastered by Jerry, twice. Note the studio production at the very beginning that segues seamlessly into the live show. We did this break down the fifth wall between taped and live performance and to provide a conceptual intro reminiscent of the black and white opening of The Wizard of Oz. And not because the engineers forgot to push the Record button on time, nope.
Individual writing credits:
Introduction by David E Romm (with many lines from many Shockwave Riders)
Pete Moss, Space Detective by Brian Westley (cf 31.1 for another Pete Moss adventure)
Time In A Spray Can by David E Romm
His Master's Voice by Will Shetterly and Emma Bull
Alistair Crowley School of Speed Chanting by the Shockwave Riders
PBS Liavek (excerpt) by Kara Dalkey, David E Romm, Jerry Stearns (cf 27.1 for the whole play)
The Landing at Davis Corners, IA by Kate Worley and Jerry Stearns, additional material by David E Romm
Westley's Improbably Advertising by Brian Westley (cf Shockwave CD The Fall of the House of Usherette)
Interview with a Crackpot by Kara Dalkey (cf 05.1 for another Ellen Gone Interview)
Jews For Elvis by David E Romm
When The Chips Are Down by David E Romm
Star Trek Programming by David E Romm and Brian Westley (cf 30.1)
Generic Movies (excerpt) by Jerry Stearns, Mark Rotzien, Brian Westley (cf 19.1 for the whole play)
Ending by David E Romm
04.228:57
 
05.17:07Ellen Gone Interviews Haile Dubious. Written by Kara, performed by Kara and Jerry. Recorded off the air, probably around 1981. Shockwave's Interviewer Laureate talked with many characters. An earlier Ellen Gone interview was rewritten by Kara and is part of 04.2 Amongst the Best.
 
06.128:16Goblin Tax. Written by Allen Varney, directed by Dave, engineered by Jerry. Cast, in order of appearance: David E Romm, Jerry Stearns, Ed Eastman, Beth Eastman, Kara Dalkey, Steven Brust, Suzanne Nistar, Jeffrey McNair. 1987.
 
07.16:46Shockwaves: A History of the Ryder Family Emboldened by our early success, we decided to try for an NPR grant circa 1981. After much discussion, writing and rewriting and Limited Radiomation production, we submitted this introduction to a future history. We never heard from them. Several of the concepts were used later (especially in the Keep It Moving Show, 1993). Written By: Kara Dalkey, Kate Worley, David E Romm, Jerry Stearns and the Shockwave Riders. Performed by: Kara Dalkey, Kate Worley, Brian Westley, Rob Hunter, Everett Forte, David E Romm, Jerry Stearns. Engineered in Limited Radiomation By: Jerry Stearns with Everett and Dave looking over his shoulder. You might have to listen more than once to appreciate all the time folding.
 
08.12:57Mary Hartman Dude Condominiums, recorded off the air from a live broadcast, either late 1979 or early 1980. Written By: Dave. Performed By: Dave, Jerry and Kara.
08.22:24Mary Hartman Dude Condominiums, live. The first Live Stage Show was performed to a packed room at Not-Anokon 1 in 1980. Written By: Dave Romm. Performed By: Kara Dalkey, Emma Bull and John Bartelt. Picture. Engineered By: Chris and Everett.
Both versions are included here to show just how things got changed and reformed when adapting aired sketches to live performances. The two scripts are the same, but the readings are quite different. Dave wrote the script, inspired by the Planet Dude episode of The Jetsons where Jane gets tired of pushing buttons and goes to a dude ranch. And, of course, by Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, one of the great tv shows no one talks about anymore. In the aired performance, I really wanted to play with gender roles, smashing expectations to little bits. For the live performance, I went with more traditional casting. I think the latter version works better, largely because Kara and Emma are better actors than me or Jerry. This is also one of the few times John Bartelt is captured on tape. He was a major contributor in the heady first few months of the show.
 
09.129:54Interview with Douglas Adams 11/9/93. Dave, Jerry and Brian bantered on air with the creator of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy as he came through town on a book promotion for the fourth book in the trilogy. Engineered by Jerry.
 
10.11:57Take Us To Your Poets, written and read by Tom Digby. Recorded 1983 0r 1984 (I caught up with him at two Minicon parties).
10.21:18Idea Crisis, by Tom Digby.
10.30:20Rain, by Tom Digby.
 
11.135:581st Anniversary of the St. Paul Spaceport. Live broadcast 8/5/86.
11.222:08100th Anniversary of the St. Paul Spaceport. Live broadcast 8/12/86.
11.321:0317th Anniversary of the St. Paul Spaceport. Live broadcast 8/19/86.
11.426:0050th Anniversary of the St. Paul Spaceport. Live broadcast 8/26/86.
Yes, we broadcast these in this order. Conceptual Humor, arr arr. Shockwave uses the St. Paul Spaceport as background to our future history, and these four shows are a deeper exploration into the region's development. You can find references to the Spaceport throughout Spindizzy (cf 01.1), Cable Radio In the Spaceport (cf. 12.1), The Adventures of Jason Reignboughs, the Capt. Audio sketches (cf 01.1, 02.2). Dave and Jerry hashed out the future history of the upper midwest, or what was going to be the future history until we caught up with it. We dropped some of the sf references as we came closer to and passed by the actual years mentioned, eg. Cordwainer Smith's underpeople and Robert Heinlein's roadcities. Still, it was (and is) loads of fun constructing the future. Dave wrote all the Noah Ward and Jason Reighboughs parts, as well as the stuff about Cheesehenge, ELFLand and the construction of the canals. I fulfilled a goal set when I moved to Minneapolis by setting a story on the Minnesota-Michigan border. The argument between the Scientific Creationists and the Heuristic Turtlists (in 50th) was especially fun to write. Jerry wrote the Walter Mumble and Leif Styles parts and the stuff about the Native American Nation State and the Russian Invasion of the Dakotas (boy, are we glad we didn't say Soviet Invasion) and came up with naming the East-West canals after scientists and the North-South canals after science fiction authors, though we sometimes forgot which direction was which. Events happened at the intersection of Hoyle & Hoyle. We tried to be consistent with our use of the concourses, but continuity suffered. Follow the names of the people and the timeline of Owatanna St. Cloud; catch the Mall of America references. Dave, Jerry, Kij Johnson and Everett Forte (who engineered) did all the parts for the 1st and 100th, with Brian, Dave, Kij and Jerry (who engineered) doing the 50th and all five of us there for the 17th. Whee! Digital remastering from air tapes by Dave. Beginning Shockwave theme and some internal filler music removed, which is why they are different lengths.
Music credits, incomplete from memory: 1st: Urban Spaceman. 100th: Starship Jingle. 17th: Sounds like Tom Chapin. The end of the show preserves two special bits. Shockwave's first theme was Crown of Creation by Jefferson Starship and its second theme was an original by local group Men With Hats. Their juxtiposition is uncommon. Also preserved at the end of the show, one of my many fun introductions to Tuesday's Spoken Word, the next show on the KFAI schedule. While these weren't necessarily the introductions Charles and Beryl would have preferred, they took my good natured ribbing in stride and remain friends. Their show, currently called Wednesday's Spoken Word, is one of the few radio programs that has been on the air longer than Shockwave.
 
12.126:55Cable Video in the Spaceport. Live broadcast 10/10/89, with produced segments. Studio bits: Jerry, Dave & Brian riff off a TV Glide; mostly ad lib as we tried to make each other laugh. Produced bits: Written and engineered by Jerry with Jerry, Dave, Charlie Meitzner, Rob Hunter. Digitized by Jerry, tweak of studio segments by Dave.
 
13.15:35Hands Across Anoka, live 7/29/86. Written by Dave, performed by Dave and Kij Johnson. Everett Engineered, Dave remastered. I had fun calling Anoka County (just North of Mpls) and explaining to the County Engineer just why I wanted the physical dimensions.
 
14.113:55The first Shockwave after Y2K: January 8, 1900 (13:55). The first half, anyway. Dave wrote the introduction and The Top 11 Predictions of the 20th Century Based on Events of the 1890s. Doug Friauf wrote the film reviews, discussing Edison's preoccupation with bodily functions. Brian Westley and Terry Garey added their comments. Remastered from wax cylinders.
 
15.129:25Colorized Radio. The Minicon Live Stage Show from Minicon 23, April 1, 1988 in two parts. Another fun show to do and one of our most technically challenging since we were live on the air as well as live on stage (cf 27.1). Produced by Jerry, Directed by Dave. Broadcast Engineering by a crew from KFAI including Chris Dronen, Everett Forte, Snake Jones, John Brower, Jerry Modjesky with assistance from John Sprugatis at the station. We had to take the signal, wire it to the microwave antenna on top of the Radisson South Hotel, beam it to the KFAI studios, and have someone at the station handle the incoming transmission. Written by Kara Dalkey (North by Northworst), David E Romm (Baby Boom Generation), Brian Westley (with Dave, wrote most of the segues and Star Trek Programming) and Jerry Stearns (Dead Tribble Sketch, Vince Washburn) with valuable assistance from John M. Ford, Mark Rotzien and Steve Glennon. To fill the hour time slot for the radio broadcast we had to work the timing exactly right and so cut off the punchline to Brian's sequence of dating scenarios near the end. For the first time we can reveal with last line was supposed to be: "When temperature[hell] < 0".
15.218:38
 
16.11:14Promotion for the 20th Anniversary of Shockwave 9/25/99. Aired promo spot for the special anniversary show, a full hour (Jerry lending his timeslot; thanks again!), featuring the exclusive interview with Jesse Ventura.
16.217:37 Dave Romm interview of Governor Jesse Ventura, 9/9/99. Dave went to the state capitol, had a one-on-one chat and gave him a KFAI mug. Picture of Dave and Jesse.
 
17.117:47Death's Dark Tread. An adaption of Cerebus the Aardvark #4. Written by Kara Dalkey with permission from Cerebus creator Dave Sim. Kara adapted the first seven Cerebus comic books for the radio. The early versions were produced in Limited Radiomation by Jerry. Dave Sim was Artist Guest of Honor at Minicon 19 in 1983 where we performed Cerebus #6 in front of a live audience, and he was so taken with us that he commissioned a more professional production. You can hear the entire live stage show "The Fall of the House of Usherette" (aka "Closing Ceremonies"), including Cerebus #6, and the produced Cerebus #3 "Song of Red Sophia", on the Shockwave Distribution CD The Fall of the House of Usherette. Cerebus #4 was adaped by Kara Dalkey and performed by Rob Hunter, Curtis Hoffman (Cerebus in all the episodes), Denny Lien, Lee Pelton and Kara Dalkey. Produced and Engineered by Chris Dronen. Music selection by Matthew Tepper. The planned distrubution by Aardvark-Vanahiem Press never happened and a discouraged Chris never finished #7, for which we had taped the voice parts. Ah well.
 
18.16:20The Waiting On Line Show, 1980. Written and performed by the Shockwave Riders for the premier of The Empire Strikes Back. The crowds were very large for second (or fifth) installment of the Star Wars movies so we knew we'd have to leave the studio early to get a seat. (Remember when Star Wars movies were good?) Done in Limited Radiomation (ie the music and effects were done at the same time as the voice parts) at Jerry's apartment.
 
19.13:54Dick Space, Space Dick. Written by Will Shetterly, performed by Emma Bull and Jerry Stearns with the opening announcer line done by Chris. Circa 1980. Done in Limited Radiomation at Jerry's apartment, I think.
 
20.15:07Interview with Dr. John Cagey. A very early bit of business from October 17, 1979, while we were still in the belfrey of the Walker Church. Dave, playing interviewer Justin Blake Zarathustra, grilled Howard Harrison as Dr. John Cagey. While I set up the scenario and we discussed some of the questions beforehand, this is completely ad lib. Oh, those were the days. Introduced and Engineered by a bemused Everett, if I recall.
 
21.10:44Mission Constitution. An early example of Dave experimenting with Fresh Air Radio's production studio while writing slightly askew political commentary. (If I remember what they are, maybe I'll list all our Presidential endorsements from 1980-present). Produced in 1979 or early 1980. Music by Lalo Shifrin, of course.
 
22.12:05Richard Tsimmis Pledge Rap. KFAI-FM, Fresh Air Radio, is a non-profit, volunteer-run, community-sponsored radio station. We have pledge drives several times a year. Dave wrote many pledge raps over the years. This one, from 1982, was produced and engineered by Chris Dronen at his house and performed by KFAI volunteers at one of our long recording sessions. Note: Membership rates have gone up.
22.20:33Rates and Laugh. A maniacal Dave Romm reads the membership rates of KFAI circa 1984. Engineered by Chris Dronen at his house, playing with an sfx mixer. It was this recording session that led to Dave being tapped as co-writer and co-star for the documentary on KFAI, "The Little City In Space". Note: Membership rates have gone up.
 
23.125:25Baron Dave interview with Minneapolis mayor RT Ryback, conducted 11/18/03, edited and aired 1/10/04. His honor didn't read much sf but I left him Cities In Flight, since the hero is the mayor of a big city. Ryback is a big fan of the station, and is pleased that I can be weird on the radio. Picture of Dave and RT.
 
24.114:04The Secret Life of Wally Mitter. From the Minicon Live Stage Show at Minicon 32, March 28, 1997. Written by Dave. Rewritten from an earlier version recorded in Dave's apartment, this time with David E Romm, Jane Yolen, Dave Ossman, Kara Dalkey, Brian Westley, Jerry Stearns and Richard Fish. Music by: Ryan Alexander and David Emerson. The sketch is an homage to James Thurber, but I couldn't fit in the ta-pocketa machine.
 
25.121:16Live interview with Rev. Billy C. Wirtz 5/31/03 (editing out the last part about his performance at Famous Dave's that night). Dave, Brian and Doug, engineered by Dave. Slightly remastered so I could bleep the Bad Word better.
 
26.114:36Loki 7281, written and read by Roger Zelazny, from Fourth Street Fantasy Convention: A Video Tome. This is an extremely obscure item. First, because it's not, technically, a Shockwave production. I videotaped the first Fourth Street Fantasy Convention in 1986, where Zelazny was Guest of Honor, and made it into a series of videos that was seen on local cable access. Second, because the sound quality is not up to our usual standards. The sound feed is adequate for video, barely, and you can hear some feeback where I swung the camera around to get audience shots. The story itself was first published in a small market (if I recall Zelazny's introduction at the reading) and has since been in at least one of his collections. Mild language warning.
 
27.133:33PBS Liavek. The Minicon Live Stage Show from MInicon 22 April 17, 1987. The first of the three shows that were live on the air as well as live onstage (cf 15.1,15.2). Written by Kara, Dave and Jerry (including the lyrics to the theme) with permission from Liavek editors Emma Bull and Will Shetterly. Performed by: John M. Ford (E'Murro), David E Romm (Markoni), Nate Bucklin (minstrel), Kara Dalkey and Emma Bull (Green Shadow and fashion accessories), Jane Yolen (Ardent), Steven Brust (Cat Street Crier and Ropewalker), Jerry Stearns (Bernard Capuccino, Sleepwalker and Rusty), Pamela Dyer-Bennet (Lilamont), and Patricia C. Wrede (Alieth). All performers are writers from the Liavek shared world anthologies except Dave and Jerry. Nate Bucklin wrote the music and performed the theme live, with Kara and Emma doing backup. Digitally remastered by Dave.
 
28.119:44Where No Goon Has Gone Before. A Goon Show episode of Star Trek. An Australian script adapted by Lee Pelton. One of the few Shockwave productions without Dave, Jerry, Chris or Everett. An extremely obscure item, probably using the KFAI production studio in the Belfrey of the Walker Church circa 1980.
 
29.115:02Dave interview with Peter Woodward (Babylon 5) March 2, 2002 at Marscon 2002.
 
30.127:43Generic Movies. The Minicon Live Stage Show from Minicon 21, March 28, 1986. Written by: Jerry Stearns, Brian Westley and Mark Rotzien. Produced and digitized by Jerry. Performed by: Brian Westley, Richard Stieffer, Jerry Stearns, Jon Singer, David E Romm, Val Lies, Ed Eastman, Beth Eastman and Kara Dalkey. The tenor of the Live Stage Shows was often determined by the audience warm-up. Diane Duane's introduction is noted but not included here.
 
31.135:33Pete Moss, Spaced Detective. From The Minicon Live Stage Show at Minicon 33, April 10, 1998. Written By: Brian Westley, Phil Proctor, Melinda Peterson, Dave Romm and Jerry Stearns. Commercials by the Firesign Theatre from Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death. (Basically, Brian wrote the play then others added stuff.) Performed By: Brian Westley, Steve Perry, Dave Romm, Phil Proctor Melinda Peterson, David Ossman and Jane Yolen. Music by: Thomas O'Neill Engineering By: Brian Price. A filmed version is included in another Distribution CD. An earlier Pete Moss episode can be found in Amongst The Best (04.1).
 
32.136:06The very first Shockwave with fans, September 19, 1979. Chris Dronen engineered and interviewed Dave Romm, Rick Gellman, Joyce Scrivener, David Emerson and Ben Lessinger. This was not the first Shockwave broadcast, as Chris, Everett Forte and Charles E. Hamilton III had started the show some weeks earlier. Chris and Everett came to Anokon II, the fallcon that screwed up MInicon's numbering for a long time, and asked for some volunteers to help them with this new science fiction show. Little did they know. Shockwave went from just playing sf music to the many incarnations represented in this compilation. Note the time for the half-hour show. Even after editing, it came out as more than 36 minutes. Yes, in our very first experience with Fresh Air Radio, the next show arrived late. Like the troopers we were quick to become, the Shockwave Riders just kept going. We have kept going for 25 years.
 

Acknowledgements: Shockwave Radio Theater would not exist without KFAI-FM, Fresh Air Radio, and we thank all the staff and volunteers who have made the radio station and our program possible. Special thanks to Chris Dronen and Everett Forte for teaching us how to be engineers, producers and hosts. Thanks to all the Shockwave Riders, people who have written for or been on the program, too numerous to mention but we tried to give credit for the projects included here. Thanks to Frank Herbert for the novel Shockwave Rider, from which the program's name is descended. This collection would not have been possible without fans of the show taping our early efforts off the air: Mitch Thornhill and Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet. Thanks to Kara Dalkey for being a brilliant writer and actor -- Buy Kara Dalkey books! Thanks to Brian Westley for sticking with Shockwave these 25 years in a flurry of Firesign Theatre references, obscure factoids, witty reparte and a sense of humor that may be stranger than mine. Thanks to Doug Friauf for bringing his vast knowledge of movies and television to the show, and for reading all the Hugo nominees so we don't have to. Thanks to Jerry Stearns for digitizing much of the material used here from master tapes or as close to first generation as still exists. Thanks to everyone in KFAI Studio 1 who let us sneak in Saturday afternoons before Shockwave to digitize a few tapes even though we hadn't signed up for the time. And thanks to everyone who purchased this commemorative CD.


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