Back in 1982, I was a part of a radio troupe called Purely Coincidental. We had a twice weekly spot in morning drive we pre-taped at WAER-FM – usually a bunch of small segments or a multipart comedy script. But a recent trip to Syracuse reminded me of a story of when Ozzy Osborne was supposed to call the station, and we were kicked out of the studios.
Ozzy was slated to call in to WAER for an interview. The PC crew was scheduled to do our show taping, but were basically kicked out of the room while someone readied the main interview room. We were very pissed because the 7 of us were tossed out of our scheduled session on just the chance Ozzy would call…
We ended up watching through the window and Ozzy calls in, and see frantic scrambling beacuse the crew was having technical difficulties taping the interview – the reels wouldn’t sit right on the decks, the phone patch was off… so they kept stalling Ozzy while they tried everything to get the damn interview recorded… we see them pleading on the phone, and then he obviously hung up. Definitely not happy with losing the interview, but not needing the studio any longer, we are allowed back in so we can record our show in the main room.
As we get our scripts together to start again in the main studio, Mike Drucker and Dave Sartory come in quickly, shut the door, and try to hold in some major snickering. Mike says.. you have to never tell anyone this… and checks to see if Master Control has our mic up listening.
Without us knowing, Mike and Dave had found another phone on the 4th floor and called the station as Ozzy – and the mayhem began.
The answers to the serious questions they gave were hilarious… They asked how Black Sabbath got it’s name.. and Mike said – we were in the South.. on a Sunday.. and we saw a bunch of people leaving church… so that’s how we got our name.
After a while, they were having a tough time keeping a straight face… but in the studio, they bought it totally, and since they were having the tech problems would do ANYTHING to keep him on the line.
Finally, Mike said.. “I’m sorry, I have to go rehearse for my concert.. I find it all Purely Coincidental you had trouble with the tapes”… and hangs up. They still didn’t have a clue it wasn’t the real Ozzy.
We’re all rolling on the floor by now, but Master Control thinks it’s just our usual script reading… so we finally get set to tape that week’s show when.. the door bursts open and we’re frantically kicked out again.
The real Ozzy called in – and the station crew is thanking him for calling back and apologizing profusely for the first bad interview… and Ozzy has no clue what the hell they’re talking about.
So – we didn’t get anything taped that day.. but damn.. that still makes me snicker.