Has Anybody Seen Me Lately? The True Story of What Happened to Outskirts’ Host Iaan Hughes

In the last couple of weeks all six of you, the faithful, have noticed my absence on the KBCS afternoon airwaves. It is true, my last live show of The Outskirts was broadcast on November 11th, 2010.

So, here’s what happened: after the dismal democrat (ic) showing during the recent mid-term elections, the five co-hosts of The Outskirts, along with station management, and an anonymous KBCS benefactor, met in a undisclosed location (seedy bar) and held a secret (didn’t tell anyone) summit on how to uphold our mission of diversity on the airwaves and properly reflect the world around us. The biggest problem being we were all registered democrats. Really, how embarrassing? Now, it must be said that it was pointed out, eyes deep into a pitcher of Mannies, that all of us were white, and furthermore being 4/5 male- all over the age of 35, we in fact more than ever reflected the new ruling change. Huzah! But, no, a shallow and short lived beer goggled moment. Clearly, this would not be so simple.

What to do? Over a ill-fated game of darts, in which Tuesday’s host Marty Bisch dominated in equal parts of throwing wizardry and intimidation¬† (still sorry about that eye Gator, but as Christine said, “ya got another”), it was determined. We would become five islands unto ourselves, push each other to the brink of our musical knowledge and finally, vote off a host to make room for a Republican. And, so it began.

Our first mistake, from this old boy’s point of view, was to nominate an out of work and aged fisherman as questionnaire. It quickly became apparent that he had begun listening to the radio in 1967 with the release of “Are You Experienced” and stopped listening to new music in 1976 immediately after the release of “Frampton Comes Alive!” Who could blame him I suppose? This instantly gave Monday’s host, Scott Farely – who is a rock-n-roll god – the early upper hand. Take a look at some of the transcript:

Aged Fisherman: “What album in 1971…”

Scott Farley: “The Allman Brothers Live At Filmore East.”

A.F. : “Correct.”

Marty Bisch: “Damnit, I knew that.”

A.F. : “What was the B side to Queen’s 1975 hit single “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a bonus point for naming who wrote it?

S.F. : “I’m In Love With My Car” and Brian May!”

M.B. : “Noooo, it was Roger Taylor’s song!”

A.F. : “Correct! Both of you get a point.”

At this point Friday’s host, Sean Donovan, came back from the restroom and said “hey guys, have we thought of a way to sort things out yet?” There ensued a brief, awkward silence. After awarding the Gator a charity point for starting without him the score was Scott 2, Marty and Sean 1, Christine and Iaan 0.

A.F. : “Now, one for you country fans, What band opened for The Who during their Quadrophenia tour?”

Christine Linde: “Lynyrd Skynrd.”

A.F. : “Correct.”

Seeing my puzzled face she then said, “don’t ask.”

I then griped that not only was Lynyrd Skynrd not a country band, but that contrary to popular opinion music did not begin and end during that shaggy ear muff decade. The aged fisherman turned to me and said “disqualified.” And just like that I was out. The decision had been made. Unable to score points and with the rest of the hosts all at least sporting a score of 1, gave us no choice but to immediately strip me of my Thursday hosting duties. Who am I to complain? I did after all, disparage the single greatest ten year stretch of musical achievement known to man. Or, so I’ve been told. Countless times. Again and again. Was given the soundtrack. Then the special bonus disc edition in the cardboard VW bus packaging complete with brown acid. And also, saw the movie. Twice.

As a consolation prize I’m allowed to remain on the airwaves Sunday mornings from 6am-9am playing country music. Dino Rossi, who I understand is free on Thursdays, has been offered the position to help balance the scales of power. I hear he is a big Americana music booster and especially loves the Eagles.

I leave you with a thought about Harlan Howard’s wonderful song, “Has Anybody Seen Me Lately.” I first heard Hank Cochran sing this minor Harlan classic on the album “The Heart of Hank Cochran.” It was part of a small, unsuccessful series from Monument Records where country songwriters sang their own songs and songs they admired from peers. Harlan Howard did one. So did Cindy Walker and Boudleaux Bryant. They’re pretty great if you can find them.

“Has Anybody Seen Me Lately” sits next to “I Never Go Around Mirrors,” as the bar for sad sack, drinking alone weepers. While both are about men unable to get over a lost love, they could easily be about a writer unable to get anything but a drink at Tootsie’s Orchard Lounge. Maybe it could also be about the state of roots music in a media fractured world.

Was I looking sad

was I looking bad

as I feel

Lord I hope not

A man alone and wishing he weren’t. Three chords and the truth.

Postscript ~ Stay tuned for further hijinks, possibly in the form of a hip-ish (not to be confused with hippie) variety show coming soon to a Seattle-ish spot near you. If, of course, you’re in Seattle.

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About Iaan Hughes

Iaan Hughes is a deejay on 91.3 KBCS in Seattle. He plays country & western music.
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