Chapter 6: Duvol And The Flaming Tongues
The original name of the program was supposed to be The Hot Box. It was the perfect name for what the program was about. It had that simplistic, multiple interpretation hook to it. For me, it conjured up images of burning televisions, of the bombastic tidal wave that erupted from the speakers of the listener‘s computer, and of course, the XXX connotations applied when the words hot and box appear in the same sentence. Also, it abused the quirks of search engines of the time. You know, like when you type in dirty cat, looking for resources about cleaning a pet feline that has managed to fall in a bucket of used motor oil, and instead you get page after page of links to the smuttiest smut available on the web. Well, I was planning to reverse that, and get page hits from folks who were on the search for….well…. Dirty things.
The Dynamic Duo that were in charge at the time, however, found the name to be too provocative, too salacious to be approved. After much fighting, debating, and intense doublespeak, the name was put aside. My partners (Nic and Hank) and I were not at all pleased.
And so I set out to devise a new name. And since Harry and Lloyd were so against our simple, “ink-blot test”, of a name; I figured I’d come up with the most obscure, nonsensical, pretentious name I could imagine…
Duvol and the Flaming Tongues.
Not even a decent band name, let alone the name of a radio program. It was a total fuck you of a name. I explained it as a sort of spectrum chart of what the show was about… I told the duo that duvol was Belgium for devil. Which is somewhat true. It is a misspelling of “Duvel” which does mean devil, but more importantly it’s the name of a Belgium beer. The flaming tongues was a reference to the new testament, Acts 2:1-6:
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the holy ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.”
Put in those terms, the Duo were too confused and befuddled to attempt to table a coherent argument against using the name. so we went with it. As bad as it was.
Like I said, I had two partners, or co-hosts, on the program. Nic and Hank. At first, it was a simple format: talk, music, talk, music, music, talk, music. We aired once a week, and always had a theme, or topic for the week, with music selected to accompany it. We discussed religious, political, and philosophical ideas and ideals in a shoot-from-the-hip, humorously satiric manner. It was good fun.
At some point, Hank and myself started experimenting with adding audio cut-up’s as a background soundtrack to our on-air discussions.
As the shows rolled on, we began using these cut-up’s more and more. Splicing them directly into the music. Eventually the entire show became one giant cut-up experiment.
Naked Lunch, in stereo.
It was at that point when Nic decided that the show had morphed into something completely alien from what she had sighed on for, and decided to end her run as co-host of the Duvol show. Really, it had morphed into something none of us had started out to create. Hank and I were just too dumb to know when to jump the fence and let the beast tire itself out. We were both fixated on capturing those fleeting moments when we had those spliced beats beneath us, in an adrenaline soaked battle for control; those brief moments of out-of-body harmony with all that was and is…
Picture 99 radios in a room tuned into 99 different stations.
The AM is crackling, my toes are tapping…