Meeting The Nearly Famous Barry Young – Almost

Post Urban Culture

The first year of my 2 ½ – 3 ½ year sentence in the Valley of the Sun away from my beloved dog shit laden streets of Manhattan has been rather uneventful. With the exception a few Mexican drug cartel beheadings and the fight surrounding Arizona’s SB 1070 – also known as the infamous immigration bill – not much has come to pass in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metropolitan area.

Excluding the roller derby, there isn’t much culture to speak of in this burg. As far as I’m concerned five things make life here livable: the good (not great but good) food. The easy access to baseball 365 24/7, day drinking well into the night, the funky alleys that zig and zag throughout the Central Phoenix Corridor and the Nearly Famous Barry Young Show on KFYI 550 AM Monday-Friday 7-10am.

Outside of Phoenix, few have heard of Barry Young and such is the pity. Young is one of the few true libertarian voices on talk radio and is hysterical to boot. He is the satirist Rush Limbaugh wants to and Al Franken wanted be. Or, for the terminally New York radio inclined, an elegantly pissed off Don Imus with real debating chops. Barry Young along with his cohorts Michele Larson and Andrew Babinski glory in making the lukewarm, mealy-mouthed callers pay for the mortal sin of abstention from any issue brought up during the course of an on air conversation. Not exactly the cure for a hangover or the AM lethargy of a night person but it sure gets my mind working at 7:30 in the morning.

A few days back while at the St. Francis, a central Phoenix eatery specializing in seasonal fare, I spotted Barry Young at the outside bar chatting with away with a companion. For some reason, Barry reminded me of my old regular James Carville.  Jim was always engaging to his public but never relished the interruptions while eating his Rib-Eye and drinking his Maker’s on the rocks.  My personal misgivings aside, I felt the need to thank the man for giving me a sign of intelligence amidst the mountain preserves, day drunks, dyed blondes, Scottsdale BoBo’s and meth heads.

I fixed my mint green shirt, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Brevity, economy were to be the hallmarks of my quick monologue, a handshake and then off to my faux ‘07 Candy Apple red muscle car. As I looked out at the traffic on Camelback, thinking about how I could impress my mother with my meeting Barry Young (she was unimpressed when I met Bob Dylan. Maybe this one would work.) I walked smack into the heavy glass door. Only my looking out at the corner of Camelback and Central saved my nose from its 10th break.

I am not the Fonz. Much like Phil Seymour Hoffman said, while playing one of my literary hero’s in the 2000 film Almost Famous, I am uncool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Every Friday, get 2 for 1 movie tickets when you use your Visa Signature card.

Recent Comments