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Surfin’: Analog Ham

06/01/2012

By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor

This week, Surfin’ dusts off the Victrola to spin some platters (or queues up the MP3 player to play some tunes).

Normally, I only mention music in passing here, although music was what first attracted me to ham radio.

Back in the late 1950s or early 1960s, I saw a demonstration of ham radio on one of Sonny Fox’s kid shows on television; it was probably on Wonderama, but it could have been Just For Fun.

No matter -- that was my introduction to ham radio and it piqued my interest because among other things, I wanted to be a disc jockey and spin records on the air when I grew up. If I got my ham license, I didn’t have to wait to grow up; I could spin records as a kid.

After consulting the family encyclopedia and reading up on ham radio, I discovered the error of my ways and shelved ham radio for a few years. But my interest in music never waned and I listened to AM radio stations playing all kinds of music with my transistor radio throughout the 1960s (WABC and WKBW were my favorite rock stations).

I still love music. Would you believe I have 13,326 recordings stored in iTunes on my MacBook Pro and in my 160-Gbyte 6th generation iPod Classic in my car? And it has come to my attention that Joe Walsh, WB6ACU, has a new CD coming out in a few days -- his first solo record in 20 years.

Analog Man is the name of the new CD and also the name of the first track on the album. That song tells the story of a frustrated guy who prefers analog, but is stuck in our digital world.

The lyrics of the chorus go like this: 

Yeah I’m an analog man in a digital world.
I’m gonna get me an analog girl
Who loves me for what I am.
I’m an analog man.

The song never mentions ham radio, but considering that it’s a Joe Walsh song, the subject of the song -- analog vs digital -- will put a smile on the face of hams everywhere. The song is great as is the whole album, which you can listen to here.

By the way, I forgot to mention that I saw The Beach Boys in concert three weeks ago, so until next time, keep on surfin’!

Editor’s note: Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, seeks the unusual in radio. To contact Stan, send e-mail or add comments to the WA1LOU blog.



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