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A few lifetimes ago. I sit listening to the local college radio station. I've heard of Human Skab but never heard him. I phone in a request. The DJ with the confident, sexy voice tells me she'll try and put him on. I've been let down by DJs before -- and will be many times again -- but I keep listening.

A prepubescent kid with a growly edge to his voice comes on, saying John Wayne is dead. "You think/You think think think think think think think/John Wayne is dead..." He eventually tails off into a tangent. The non-vocal noise sounds mostly like pebbles plopping into mud.

The voice tails off once again and the DJ comes on: "Human Skab there on KCMU." I think the kid came back for one more round before the DJ faded him. The album was released on cassette, and so she had no reliable way to figure out the end of a piece.

I'd think of the Skab, and the DJ who brought him to me, over the years as I grew up and out and got on with being ground down by the system. I'll never know the DJ's name. But a few years back came wind of this Human Skab CD reissue.

I waited, and waited, and more time went by and at times I gave up hope. Skab, incidentally, was out in the world being a solider, a pimp, a sojourner for peace in the Middle East, a few other things -- all according to this reissue's promo literature. I'd love to talk with him although it hasn't happened yet.

Finally I hold this thing in my hands. The Skab rants, attempts piano and "git-ar," ropes family and friends into the act. I'm happier than I've been in a long life.

Album: Thunder Hips & Saddle Bags (2010)
Artist: Human Skab
Label: Family Vine

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Russ Lewis Feb. 24, 2010 @ 9:09 p.m.

That's the great thing about college radio: there's nothing too weird or too stupid for it.


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