I had a chance to listen to Coast to Coast AM last night, something I rarely do anymore since I’m usually busy spending time with my fiancée, absorbing other media, creating other media, or sleeping. It’s long been a favorite of mine ever since driving home from a friend’s late one night and stopping at a 7-Eleven for a Red Bull or something. The clerk there had a radio on, tuned to the local AM talk radio station, which played (and still does, to my knowledge) Coast to Coast incredibly late at night. The show that night featured people frantically discussing police eyewitness reports of a cigar-shaped UFO’s slow (and most likely uneventful) voyage across some rural county where it did nothing and bothered no one. I could only listen for a few minutes, but I was hooked and found the show later, spending quite a few nights up late listening to people telling stories about the most ridiculous things while the hosts credulously listen and comment. For a while Art Bell would keep me company on the half-hour drive home from work and then join me as a guest in my otherwise quiet apartment. I won’t deny that I occasionally spooked myself listening to this in the small hours of the morning.
When I was much younger I was very interested in the paranormal and eagerly digested tons of nonsense information about UFOs, black helicopters, Bigfoot, and countless other unbelievable things, accepting many of them as fact. I read Mysteries of the Unexplained, watched shows like Sightings and Unsolved Mysteries (but only for the UFO segments) and was a devoted fan of the X-Files for its good seasons. I’ve since grown out of this, but still find some of it fascinating and gladly put on Coast to Coast when I get the chance, hoping that the UFO nuts call in, or for a repeat of the infamous Mel’s Hole episode.
One of the greatest things about the show, aside from the hilarious guests and callers, is the bumper music used before and after commercial segments. A surprisingly wide array of great (and some not so great) songs are chosen, from the Doors to U2 to Bowie and more. The best, however, is used as the show’s theme song: Giorgio Moroder’s Chase:
To this day, the song still sounds amazing to me. It was released in 1978, is still catchy as hell, and still finds its way into DJ sets and remixes. Driving miles down a darkened highway at night with only headlights and the occasional streetlamp to keep you company, Moroder’s pulsing synths emanating from the speakers, is an experience everyone should have at least once in their lives. Again, I spooked myself more than once with a late night that began with Chase and a loud thundercrack.