Offbeats Old School Website

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(well almost, maybe)


(This page was written just after our 1st CD was pressed and we were soliciting reviews.)

We recently got a request from ‘Eddie’, a freelance DJ at Latvian
radio to send him a CD.The following are quotes from his very
entertaining letter. (We hope the KGB doesn’t check out our page!)

Eddie has been broadcasting Western music on his show at Latvian Radio
since the days of their Communist government. “In those days, anyone
receiving music from the west were in KGB files. Music was checked in
customs by the KGB for black-listed bands that ‘promoted violence,fascism,
or homosexualism.’ Confiscations were actually rare because the KGB guys
wanted to take the records home and copy them for their own use! Some of
the DJ’s had their own “intellegence” girls at Customs who told them they
had gotten a package but it had been ‘borrowed’. In fact, the KGB guys
usually had good turntables. It took them some time to switch to CD players
but then it was already too late and the system went to shambles.”

“The Staff DJ’s didn’t want to lose their jobs, and never made contacts with
foreigners. The Freelancers were less controlimages/led by the Party because they
were not in staff and were not afraid of being fired for ‘mistakes’. They
were tolerated because the music they supplied was more attractive than the
Russian stuff. Programs with western music were scheduimages/led to as to
compete with the ‘Voice of America’ broadcasts to Latvia. Rock was still a
four letter word until 1987. In the famous Perestroika year of 1988 in
the Middle Asian republic of Uzbekistan the DJs still had to write an
‘explanation of necessity’ for airing a single ABBA(!) song. Under the
Russian rule only the news were broadcast direct and live, all other
programs were taped and double checked before airing. I still remember a
case when one of my shows was rejected because of the word BLIND (in
Latvian translation) as my ‘editor’ insisted that BLIND is rude and the
right word must be SIGHTLESS. Sightless Lemon Jefferson, SIR!”

Eddie recently received two of our tunes in a cassette from his DJ friend
in Los Angeles. He enjoyed them, and feels his listeners would like
OFFBEATS music too, so we are sending him some CD’s to play.

What a tale! Thanks for hanging in there Eddie, keeping Rock alive even when
with the KGB breathing down your neck. And we thought we had hard lives
when we played those weird gigs in the Tenderloin.