Seymour Rants: Drive Time With Ratso

An entertaining tale from Mark Seymour about John Archer and driving in Northern America.

Author: Mark Seymour.

Date: Put online April 2004.

Original URL:


Article Text

There is a plaque on the lobby wall at Radio KROQ 101.5 North Adelaide. It reads:
“We are passionately committed to excellence in radio by creating winning partnerships with our listeners, our clients, and each other. We positively embrace change”.

Ratso McGuire is on the air. He has graciously found time to pre-record an interview with Mark Seymour while the station broadcasts it’s top five singles automatically. It’s drive time:
“Heeey….It’s the legend.”
“Come right in…. MAAAATTEE. Something to drink? Tea, coffee?”
“No thanks.”
“Too eassssyyy! Let’s chat. Well, ahhh, you must be flat out. Heavy
“Oh, no. We’ve just driven from Orange.”
“Wow. Too easy. You sit there”.

Ratso attends to the control board. Starts punching buttons.
“Now, what the fuck has she done now?”
He fiddles some more; punches buttons, randomly runs up sliders along the board chasing a signal….
“Test, test.”
(into his mic, muttering sarcastically)…
“It’s an interview, so it’s mono Julia.”
Punches the appropriate button.
“Chicks mate. Can’t live with em’, can’t work with ’em, and ya definitely aren’t allowed to shoot ’em.”
Turns to look at me. Dead pans.
“Management oughtta give ’em their own little room where they can go and twiddle their own knobs and leave us to get on with the real work, ha, ha, ha….hey? No, I’m kiddin. So, how are ya?”
“Good? What, just good? Ha ha. Gee, for a legend you don’t say much.
No. I’m kiddin. So…What do you wanna talk about?…. Do you mind talkin’ about the old days?”
“You mean, Hunters and Collectors?”
“Whaddaya think I mean, you funny bastard? … You must get a lot of that. It must get pretty annoying.”
“How do you mean?”
“People coming up to you all the time askin’ you stuff about the band. No? Come on. You must get that. You are a FUCKING LEGEND MATE!”
“Say something into that mic will ya?… Hang on a sec, what’s she done to this friggin’ board?” (Punches buttons.)”Test, test.” (into the mic) “Get up nice and close there….they’re really directional. Otherwise you’ll sound like your speaking from a dunny in Baghdad. Ha Ha.”
“Hello, hello. Test, 1…2…”
“Hey, what a pro…! Done this before hey? Ha ha.”
Fiddles a bit more.
Now….I think we’re ready. Now…”
‘Sorry, can I just say something?”
“Can you JUST SAY SOMETHING?! Ha ha ha. Come on. You’re the legend. Talk away!”
“Has the record company sent you a copy of the single? 43 in the Shade?”
“Hey? Oh… actually I don’t know”.
(looks frantically around the room.)
“Look, I had a quick scout around the place this morning. It’s a nightmare in here at the moment. Can’t find anything anywhere. We’re renovating as you can see. Anyway, SIMMO is supposed to be doing this interview and he called in sick this morning so they dumped it on me. But hey, that’s cool. It’s not as though you run into a genuine Aussie rock legend every day of the week, now is it, hey? Now look, I’ve been a fan of yours FOREVER. Do you know that…you were the first band I ever saw? I remember getting into the Tiv underage and got absolutely bat faced. Yoooz guys WENT AWF! But Simmo’s very kindly left this blurb lying around…about you it looks like, and it says here you’re 47! NOW WHAT’S THAT ABOUT? You mean to tell me that Mark Seymour the legend, the dooood I used to cheat my way in to see when I was 17, is 47 years old? That’s terrible! Ha ha ha!….So…. What’s that about?”
“I’m 47.”
Oh….RIGHT! TOO EASY! So…what do you want to talk about?”
“Actually I’ve got my new album coming out.”
“Right. What’s that called?”
“Don’t you have a copy of that either?”
“Look, it’s cool. The record company’s bound to send one sooner or later hey ….and, hang on,….test test. What the fuck has she done to this thing?…There. That sounds like it’s doing what it was designed for. Ha Ha…..No. It’s cool. I’ll mention it later….What was it again?”
“What was what?”
“You’re new album”.
” ‘Embedded.’….What is it, a bunch of bed-time stories hey? Ha Ha. Only kiddin ya….. See, we can do anything in here. Just chop it all up every which way! Make you sound like you know what you’re talking about…make ME sound like I know what I’m talking about too, ha ha ha…. You look worried.”
“Not really. I look like this all the time, they tell me.”
“Is that right? Hell, what would a rock legend have to worry about?… So, aaahhggg, test test, seems to be working. Right then. Let’s get into it. You cool?”
“Too eassyyy!”
Deep breath. He winds up….eyes closed, leans back from the mic ever so slightly and then moves in…

“OOOKAYYY. And it’s a fantastically sunny afternoooooonnnaaa… here on your very own KROQ 101.5…and your with RATSO the Rock Rat McGuire, and it is my truly GREAT PRIVILEGE to welcome to our North Adelaide studio Mr. None other than THEEE ROCK LEGEND, the guy who told you you didn’t make him feel like he was a woman anymore, Mr. Holy Grail himself…… MAARRRRKKK SEYYYYMOURRR…”
“So, mate, aahh, how does it feel to be a true rock legend.”
“Ah, yeah, its okay.”
“What? Only OKAY? Hell, you’re gonna have to do better than that mate. No. Only kiddin. So, you’re out on your own now….”
“Doing this solo thing.”
“Now it’s been a while….How long?”
“Eight years.”
“Right, so, do you get a lot a questions about….aahh…. THAT BAND?”
“You mean “Hunters and Collectors?”
“A bit. Sometimes.”
“So, do you mind people coming up to you in the street and askin’ you
stuff about ‘yooz guys’? The Hunnas?”
“Oh, not really. Maybe a bit. Sometimes. Why do you ask?”
“Well why not ask? Ha ha ha. You know, you’re out on your own, and well, it’s been a while. You must get sick of it.”
“Sick of what?”
“Sick of people asking you questions about the Hunnas.”
“So, do you see those guys much anymore?”
“What? You don’t get together for a bit of a chin wag…swap old war stories…Sorry, only kiddin’…he’s pretty serious for a…. ROCK LEGEND”…so Where’d you get the name?”
“You mean “Embedded?”
“Yeah.””Shit. We’ll have to stop it there….Actually I was talking about the Hunnas….okay?”.

.Makes a few adjustments to screen. Looks at the clock on the wall to his right. It’s a huge digital job that glows a kind of dull blood red.
“SOOOO, where’d the band get it’s name?”
“It’s from an album by this really obscure German band from the early seventies called CAN.”
“So, you’ve met Eddie Vedder.”
“What’s he like?”
“He’s alright.”
“Just alright?”
“He’s got a good voice.”
“Yeah…and it just so happens that we have that very version of the classic wedding song recorded live at the Perth Globe by two of THHEEE BIGGEST LEGENDS EVVERR…ha ha ha….This is Eddie Vedder and SOME OTHER DUDE ….ha ha ha, singing THAT SONG….”
Robbo attends to computer screen.
“Wow. Two legends. One stage. Okay I’m gonna cut it there”…See?
I’ve been doing my homework.”
Ratso squints at the clock.
“Look, I’m gonna have to switch back to live broadcast now, so give us a tick and I’ll deal with that…”
Looks at clock again and then clicks on screen…then back to the mic…

“and that was “Blink ONE EIGHT TWOOOO” with “I Miss YOOOOOUUU.” Now this NEXT guy is going ABSOLUTELY BALLISTIC here on ‘THE ROCK” and yours truly was lucky enough to catch him last Friday night at the Tiv and I can tell you now, it was wall to wall chicks and they were GOING OFF. This is “So Beautiful” byyy… PETE MURRAY”
Re-programmes the screen….back to pre-record mode.
“Could we mention my new record?”
Quickly attends to screen again.
“Could you mention my new record?”
“Sure. You ready?”

“Too easy…..WELCOME BACK TO THE ROCK and with me this afternoon here in sunny north Adelaide is THAT GUY…Tell me Mr. Holy Grail, ha ha, when did the band first get together?”
“Wow and, what was it like being the front man of one of the greatest bands ever?”
“Oh, you know, it had its moments.”
“Ha ha ha. IT HAD ITS MOMENTS. This guy’s got a sense of humour. Aaahh, you know….a lot of our listeners are pretty keen to find out who you wrote that song about..”
“Which song would that be?”
“HA HA HA, there he goes again…Which song was that? WRAP YOUR
“Actually it’s ‘Throw your arms’…”
“Ha ha ha, bit of a slip from the rat…so, who’s it about?”
“Oh, this girl I went out with once.”
“Yeah right. An ‘ex’ hey? So why don’t you let us in on the identity of the MYSTERY WOMAN?”
“Well it was a long time ago”….
“Was she a HORN BAG?”
“Still see her?”
“Not for a while”…
“What….. last week? Only kiddin’ ya…Ha ha ha”
Clicks on screen.
“Now we’ll stop there for a sec….ALLRIGHT….The rock rat is back with a vengeance here on your Rock 101.5 and before we give you even more of your favourite five at five we’re going to have a little quiz…a little quiz to test your lissssterrnnnning skkkillls….. but before that here’s a quick message from Julia”

Sound of sirens…
“Thanks Ratso. There is a three car pile up on PORT road. It’s absolute chaos down here. There are four ambulances in attendance. It looks pretty serious from where I’m standing although the police are not letting us in for a closer look to see if anybody has actually been killed or seriously injured. So if your heading home right now I’d be avoiding all roads to the immediate north of the CBD. Back to you Ratso”…

“Thanking you Juuullliiaaa. It looks like there’ll be quite a few KROQ listeners who’ll be a little late getting home tonight. So if your sitting in your car, with nothing better to do than listen to yours truly, see if you can recognize this voice. The first three correct callers will receive a copy of Pete Murray’s new album, “Feeler” courtesy of Sony Records…”

“…..mention my new record?”
Dead air…
“OKKAAAAY I’ll be a really nice rat and give you another blast…”
“….Mention my new record?”
“OKAAAAYY….The lines are open….And remember, the first three callers will receive the new Pete Murray album… and yes the phone is lighting up. It’s Robbo….yes, Robbo is mobile…”
“Hi….is that the rock rat?…”
“The very one maaatteeeee-boy. Can you identify the mystery voice Robbo?”
“Sure. Is it Pete Murray?”
“It is not Pete Murray. (Cuts off Robbo)…Hello Kylie….Yes Kylie…any idea? By the way, it’s not THE KYLIE is it?”
Sound of several girls giggling….
“Nah. It’s Kylie from Port Adelaide….hey…Is it Pete Murray?”
“No. I’m afraid not”. (Cuts off Kylie). “Alright…before we take the next caller, we’ll make it really easy for you. The mystery voice IS NOT PETE MURRAY. I repeat, the following voice is not PETE MURRAY”….(plays it again).
“….Mention my new record?”
“And we have Bazza from Kensington on the line….Hi Bazza”
“Is it Pete Murray?”
“NOOOO! IT IS NOT PETE MURRAY. OKAAAY….nobody has been able to identify the mystery guest….but the give-aways continue here on THE ROCK in precisely 24 hours during THE DRIVE with THE RAT, so BE LISTENING…and now the news….”
Re assigns programme…
“Okay Mr. SEEYYMOUR…how was that? Bet you didn’t know that was
“Okay. One last question….Here we go…
“HIIIII, and you’re back with the Rat. I have with me Mr.MAAARRRK SEYYYMOURR in the studio….So you have a new album out…”
“Alright. Can you give me one good reason WHY I SHOULD GO OUT AND BUY THIS RECORD?”
“Aaah…. because it’s good.”
“Yes…. well….Good luck with the new record Mr. HOLY GRAIL…”

Turns back to screen. Re- programmes back to live broadcast. Stands up, leans over, proffers hand.
I shake it.
“Thank you Mr.Seymour. It has been an absolute pleasure. Now I’ve only got 30 seconds until we’re back on the air…. You know your way out…yeah?”
“Too easy. I’d see you out but I’m ‘a one thing at a time kinda guy’ as they say. Ha ha. Just kiddin'”.
“Yeah. Bye.”