Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who Gave Gibby Hayes a Radio Show?

You just can't say it started out "innocently enough". It started out with Gibby Hayes, lead singer of the Butthole Surfers. Someone gave him a radio show and that someone was programming 101.5 KROX in Austin, TX. You can argue the point that Hayes is a local celebrity... but he's Gibby Hayes, lead singer of the Butthole Surfers... eventually someone was going to get offended.

It began in 1995 with a morning show, The Gibby and Robbie Show, co-hosted by Robbie Jacks, an  Austinite of local renown.These shows were a tad dirty I'm told, and Robbie is a male falsetto... an uncommon voice in radio-land. They gave Robbie the boot and moved Gibby to overnights where late night lunacy and Gibby might find each-other at some kind of equilibrium. More here.

While KROX was a modern rock/Alternative station Hayes ignored the station playlist and just brought more beer to the studio. He played whatever he wanted: Eno, the Undertones, Flipper, Snoop Dog, Beat Happening... When forced to play something from the playlist he'd spin Alanis Morissette then make inappropriate comments. In 1995 the Austin Chronicle described the program:
"Irreverent, profane, insightful, profound, obscene, cynical, ridiculous, rude, obnoxious, maniacally energetic: the single most entertaining voice in Austin media these days belongs to Gibby Haynes, the late-night deejay at KROX-FM. Of course, Gibby is better known to most readers of this newspaper as a musician, but if you need to be told the name of the alternative band that he fronts, you probably won't appreciate his brand of humor. Then again, if you've never heard of the Butthole Surfers, you're probably not the type of person who is scanning the airwaves from 10pm to 2am. Too bad."
When the ButtholeSurfers began recording Electriclarryland Hayes tried to continue the show remotely.  Generally fans admit the quality fell off in that period. But in 1996 He won a Billboard award for Best Air Personality in a small market. But later that year Billboard was to note his departure from KROX as poredating the bands commercial success.
They were referring to the single "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland which dropped in May of that year. It made it to number one on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and number 29 on Billboard's Hot 100. It was a level they would never again achieve.. but also one that surely made Gibby's radio gig seem less important. In 1997 bandmate King Coffey has launched a web radio station called Brainwash which was even more short-lived.