Avalanche of “Pull-Up” Requests for Cuban Cohiba’s ‘Born On Third Base’ Runs Out The Clock
On Capsicum CEO’s Live Interview with reggaeairways/kronikradio DJ Raven on November 20
(Manchester, U.K.) “I’ve been in this business for 34 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever had an interview come to an end quite like this one,” says Capsicum CEO and Director of A&R Roger Meltzer, “and certainly not in an international forum.”
DJ Raven and Meltzer had discussed her interest in doing a set devoted to Capsicum Records LLC songs and artists for Sunday November 20 on her weekly broadcast. The show is carried on www.reggaeairways.co.uk and www.kronikradio.com and is now also simulcast on 100.7-FM in Manchester U.K. and UFDV 87.9-FM in Kingston, Jamaica.
“Raven told me that like many other DJs, she gets tired of playing the same artists year in and year out, and what she enjoys most is the opportunity to introduce her listeners to new talent. We arranged for a ‘skype’ link so she could conduct a live interview with me during the set, so I could fill in the backstory behind the various selections she wanted to play.
“Earlier she had asked me if there was anything I especially wanted to focus on, but with all the talented artists who have worked so hard to put product on our label I told her to just play her favorites from the inaugural “Reggae In-Fusion Album #1″ or from the singles we have released since then,and I would ad lib my commentary. I had no idea which songs she would play, so it was like going to a pot luck dinner where you don’t what they’re serving but you know the food’s all good,” Meltzer explained. “I’d hear the first few bars of a song playing in the background and introduce the song and the artist on the fly.”
As the broadcast began, Raven told her listeners to call in on a special number, let the phone ring once and then hang up if they wanted her to “pull up” (replay) the song currently being played.
“Raven’s choice of Cuban Cohiba’s “Born On Third Base” – surprised me, as I would have expected her to play Cuban’s other song on the album – “Enuf Is Enough” – an indictment of gun violence that features bits of commentary from world-renowned Shabba Ranks, and which became very popular during the social unrest in Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston in 2010,” explained Meltzer.
“Several other reggae artists had declined to record ‘Third Base’, a fusion of folk, funk and reggae, insisting that reggae fans were passionate about cricket and soccer, and wouldn’t understand or relate to the central baseball metaphor – “born on third base and swore he hit a triple”. While it was actually football coach Barry Switzer who coined the phrase to describe one of his own self-centered players, the song really has nothing to do with baseball or football or any other sport; I used it to depict how wealth and privilege perpetuate themselves with social capital, and the arrogance that engenders. I had W. Bush in mind when I co-wrote it with Anthony and co-produced it with Joseph and was always grateful for and delighted by Cuban’s enthusiasm for the song and the ‘attitude’ he brought to it.
“As Raven is British, I was thrilled when she started playing it during her show while I was on-air with her. Then, midway through the song, the one-ring pull-up calls started, and just kept coming. At first Raven would patiently play out the song and then re-start it. After a while, she’d just stop whenever a one ring call came in, and would re-start the song right there. She finally had to tell her listeners she was out of time, and promised to dedicate another show to Capsicum Records with Meltzer online very soon.”
“Of course I’ve heard of someone ‘stopping the show,’ and I’ve been to stage shows where the audience just won’t let a performer end his set without endless encores, but I’ve never heard this happen on a radio program before — certainly not to me. I called Cuban afterwards and he said it was first for him, too. We were as dumbfounded as we were flattered. He told me the song is always a big hit at his concerts.