Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lauren's Sundays

I've written about *Lauren a few times. 

Anyway, in one of my last blogs ('Packing up memories') I spoke of her Sunday morning DJ radio spots- and it's special meaning for me.  She was a young girl who at the age of 17-18 approached a local community radio station  and said that she wanted to have a radio spot, and would they give her air time.  It was a radio station which usually focused on soft music, leaning towards old rock and easy listening.  In fact, it often played more classical music--depending upon the DJ's focus.  Most of the volunteer DJ's were middle-aged and in a very different zone from Lauren's world.

Lauren was a punk musician in the making, and was a different breath of wind to this radio station.  For some reason, they said yes.  She started out with an easy listening Wednesday, late afternoon drive time radio program.: 4:00-7:00 pm.  Sometimes I would bring pizza to her into the studio, or phone in requests in the beginning--then suddenly she had an audience.

 By the age of 18, she had added the Sunday morning easy listening time slot to her radio program schedule. In this time slot, from 9:00 to 11:00 am, she played my music--music from the 70's.  Often she would dedicate songs to me.  But my best memories of Sundays would be after the radio program- she would stop at the local markets in town and buy 'stuff' from the pensioner's stands, with her meagre savings (She loved the pensioners and the stories they would tell her.  She often sat with them and found out how their week had been)  Then she would buy a 20 cent ring to give to someone.  She loved 20 cent rings!

She would then come home, grab her little sister Madison, who was 5-6 years old, and they would go skate-boarding in the closed parking lots of the local shopping centres.  Madison adored her, and vice-versa.  They had quite a bond!

Lauren was heavily involved in the underground music/punk music movement in the local community, and as she had two bands, she performed in a lot of venues and local night-time events.  Sometimes she would DJ a wedding or party, anything she could do to keep involved with music and people. 

Then out of the blue, one day the radio station decided to have a leap of faith, and gave Lauren her own radio spot--'The Smelly Show'--which aired on Thursday nights from 9:00 - 11:00 pm.  In this time slot Lauren aired her preference for punk music, and promoted young local talent, with pre-recorded interviews, and introduced new up-coming talent in the area.  She also interviewed travelling music legends prior to their concert performances, faking an intro to them with her 'Smelly bags" - airplane sick bags which contained our local city's promotional material and always a tape of someone's music! 

She never stopped--she was hosting three radio spots, studying full-time at university, was involved in two bands, held down a part-time job, and still did photography and wrote music. 

But most of all, on Sundays she was mine.  During her Sunday morning radio program, while she played my kind of  music, she would occasionally drop a one-liner to tell the local radio listeners how much her Mum meant to her--she always referred to it as unconditional love.  Sundays were days for Lauren and I- but others were always invited to come along!.

*(Lauren died in a tragic car accident at the age of 19, on her way to a rock concert festival. She died one day after Madison's 7th birthday.)

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