It was in the spring, 1987, Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento, California. At lunch time I go to the gym, don running gear and go for a run. I run a couple of miles, come back in and hit the steam room, my AM/FM Walkman still clipped to my shorts, ear plugs in my ear.
I sit in the steam room, switch from FM to AM and I hear this guy talking politics. And he's saying exactly what's been up in my own head for several years. The station is KFBK and the guy talking is a guy I never heard of...a guy name Rush Limbaugh.
Now, in those years there really weren't many conservative spokesmen in the media. Aside from a couple of newspaper columnists, and Pat Buchanan over on CNN Crossfire, there were no really major voices for conservatism. William F. Buckley was busy writing mysteries and showing up on The Firing Line when he felt like it.
Back there in Sacramento, before Rush went national, he was pretty much doing what he's doing now...articulating conservatism and blowing away liberals who dare to call in and face his wrath.
Rush has had his ups and downs, including completely losing his hearing, until he got coclear transplants, had a bout of prescription drug addiction, but, for 35 years now, Rush has been making liberals look silly. And he's made hundreds of millions of dollars doing it, even in the face of massive pressure on advertisers by liberals to take Rush out. Each year the liberals predict Rush's demise...and yet he's still trucking.....rousing us with that signature program music intro.
For those who don't know, the instrumental version of that Rush intro comes from The Pretenders hit, "My City Is Gone", the lyrics from that song bemoaning the devastation of small town America and written by band member Chrissie Hynde. Limbaugh had been using that song as a program intro since the early 80's. ...and no one seemed to care. But when Limbaugh went national, and began roping in tens of millions of listeners, EMI, The Pretenders music label, sent Limbaugh a "Cease and Desist" letter, claiming Hynde did not want her song used by a conservative thug like Limbaugh. Well, for the next few weeks, Limbaugh had to use some different intro music. Except that Chrissie Hynde, while doing an interview on National Public Radio, said she had no problem with Rush using the music...because her parents were regular Limbaugh listeners and loved him. So Rush got his music intro back, and Chrissie Hynde collects her royalties...as the liberal lamb lies down with the conservative lion.
And when I hear that heavy base string coming through the radio, I'm simply got to stop and hear who Rush is going to skew this morning.