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Did El Rushbo Miss the Golden Age?

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Folks, I firmly believe that one of the fundamental elements of remaining young at heart is a never-ending quest for knowledge, an insatiable curiosity.  It keeps you going.  It keeps you engaged.  I speak for myself.  Keeps me engaged, keeps me going, wondering how something happens or happened, wondering how something works, wanting to know that. 

For me, anything that engages my brain keeps me young, keeps me from thinking about me.  A lot of people spend way too much time thinking about themselves.  It's not productive and it doesn't help anything 'cause mostly when you think about yourself you're not thinking good things, it's just the way we're wired.  One exception's Obama.  He probably sits around and worships himself.  But most people don't do that. 

I said I was gonna take phone calls here, but the brain started up again, folks.  I'm sorry.  I'll shut up here in just a second.  I just want to try to tell one story here. I could spend an hour trying to develop this, but I'll try to do this quickly. All through my life, every success I've had I feel like I missed out on the real fun. For example, I started as a deejay in 1967 and moved to Pittsburgh when I was 20. So four years after I started as a deejay at age 16, I left home, and all during the ensuing years I got fired all those seven times and went through the rigors. I look back on those years now, I ask, "Could I do that again?" The things I actually went through are no different than anybody else's; no harder. They were no more difficult. But I think back, and it was simply my pure passion and love for radio that helped me endure and a constant belief (I don't know where it came from) that everybody who told me I had no talent and fired me, whatever, was wrong.

And that someday I was gonna be the best who ever did this, just kept propelling me. And all the while there's a golden age going on. At ABC, there's Howard Cosell. There's Monday Night Football -- and it's rare. Back then, media on-air talent was rare. There were only three networks. There was no cable. There wasn't 250 channels; there were three, and those people who were on those three channels (I'm talking about the network level), those were stars. Those were actually stars. They might have been "commie bastards," but they were good. They were good, and that was a golden era. Success in that era was unique. It was rare, and it had to be rarefied air those people are breathing and I so much wanted to be a part of it, but I wasn't. It passed me by. Now, a friend of mine says, "You know, you don't understand. You've created your own golden age."

I don't look at it that way. I still have to struggle with whatever success I've had. I wish it had happened 20 years ago or 30 years ago when I coulda worked with all my idols. I know this is hard... (interruption) I know. I know I helped bring down the three networks, that's not the point. I'm not talking about content here. I'm not talking about content. That's why to really do this story justice, I would have to spend an hour on it, which I'm not gonna do. Like I said, I don't have the time. There's too much other stuff here to do, but... (interruption) Well... (sigh) Well, okay. Open Line Friday, tomorrow maybe spend some more time on it. It's a quirk, and it's probably not entirely healthy, but every element of my success there's a part of it that says, "Damn it, I wish it woulda happened then so I coulda been a part of that, 'cause that was so rare."

Now everybody's got a freaking radio show! Big deal. Everybody. I mean, everybody has a blog. (interruption) No, no... (interruption) Yeah. I know. I know. I know. "Everybody has a radio show and how many number ones are there?" and, "Everybody has a radio show and why do they have them?" I understand all that, don't misunderstand. I am not unhappy. I'm trying to explain the allure of greatness to me, and I have a yearning. (sigh) I would love to have been a part of what happened at Apple. I want to be a part of greatness. It just is a fascinating thing to me. I would loved to have been inside those buildings when all this was going on and see how it was done. Just be a consumer? Anybody can do that, except if you don't have money and you're protesting on Wall Street.

END TRANSCRIPT

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