It is with a sad heart that KISL presents this week’s Meet the Voice article forever incomplete. Friend and disc jockey Steve Shawver passed away on Saturday, Aug. 4, after a battle with cancer. Even though it was difficult for him to muster the strength for our phone interview and each time he said, “No, lets do the interview next time,” he would ask questions about the community and the station for the next 10 minutes. Steve was like that, always putting the interests of others ahead of himself. Steve played a role in developing the voice of KISL over the last year, as he played a role in developing the community KISL serves. KISL will all have to work a little harder to fill the void left by Steve, and to honor his patriotic spirit of service.
Steve Shawver, Mark and Gayle Tasca, Paul Thetreau and Jeff McKinion make up the core of the Radio Free Catalina gang. Saturday night from 9 p.m. to midnight, RFC (as it is often shortened to) makes space for all the other things that need to be said during the show—which covers a concoction of contentions concerning Catalina. If that was a lot to take in, so is RFC—but in such a good way. KISL caught up with the gang to get a look inside the world of Radio Free Catalina.
KISL: Can you introduce us to the gang?
Mark: Barney Moped is something I conjured up one night with some friends, and I was looking for a name in the phone book, I wanted to be anonymous, and I took the moniker of Barney Moped, that was in the early ’70s, he vanished for a while, and then he came back for the show.
Gayle: Deeumthka the gypsy healer from Pooristan, the reason I picked that was so many people don’t take holistic health information seriously unless it is coming from someone from a distant land, as distant and different as some of the holistic ideas seem.
Paul: My stage name is Rambo, it came from being in the Marines, and it all comes out in the show, like in grunts. I also do the fish report, weather and local news.
Jeff: I’m just me on the show. I just do the commentary and news, whatever Steve wants me to do.
KISL: What is your favorite part about doing a group show?
Mark: I think the fact that we all let our hair down, we’re among real close friends, just like a band that’s playing for 30 years, we can almost guess what the person is going to do, it is a great chemistry.
Gayle: The spontaneity, never knowing when you are going to get thrown to the wolves. There was never any rehearsal, depending on how long-winded everyone was dictated how much time you got. It keeps you on your toes, sometimes you get a task you were totally unprepared to do.
Paul: It is great camaraderie, we’re all volunteers having a good time and sharing the good information with the public.
Jeff: It is relaxing, I work a lot and it is nice to do something different and something people will enjoy.
KISL: Between your group, you have involvement in many parts of the community, what are some of the things your do besides a radio show?
Mark: I think Freakdog put it the best, I want to give back to the community. It is great to have no constraints for RFC, so I feel we have a duty to put on the best show. When I operate the movie projector in the theater I can’t control the content, but I can on our show!
Gayle: I volunteer for the humane society, and now I volunteer for the Hospital auxiliary, the Unloved Gift Shop.
Paul: I’m with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and work with Junior Lifeguards for the county. I help the Boy Scouts with some merit badges, too.
Jeff: I’m on the water a lot, that’s why I do harbor reports for the show, driving a shore boat I get a lot of exposure to the boating community.
KISL: What is a highlight for you from one of your shows?
Mark: The repartee between Steve and Deeumthka is great, and the 11-12 o’clock spot with Steve, when we have our sign off and reflections, that is of real personal nature for me that I enjoy.
Gayle: Haha, oh gosh, the night I tried to teach my cast members how to do yoga breathing.
Paul: I think the best thing is when Steve plays the national anthem to start, shares his military background and his pride, and then shares what is going on in the community, he is really involved and it is great to hear and be a part of.
Jeff: Well, it is usually Rambo (Paul) he’s a pretty funny guy. His weather report, he’s a great guy but he messes up words all the time, it is funny on the radio.
KISL: What advice would you give to someone considering doing a “group show?”
Mark: Pick your friends wisely. Make sure that you have a real good chemistry before you step behind the mic. Pick as though you were inviting friends over for an intimate dinner.
Gayle: Just to jump in feet first and go with the flow. You never know where the current is going to take you.
Paul: You have to be able to interact, you start a sentence and someone else finishes, you think about what you can do to add, it is not a one person show. No one has the golden mic, you have to be flexible.
Jeff: I would say to try and plan it out. Who is going to do what, and review the material. We didn’t do that, and it still worked out, but it is probably a good idea.
KISL: If you were in a white room with no windows or doors, and the walls were of an infinite height, what song would you listen to in order to lift you out of the room?
Mark: “Hollywood Nights” by Bob Sieger.
Gayle: “The Sesame Street” theme song, first thing that came to mind, it’s about blue skys and sunshine.
Paul: “White Room” by Eric Clapton.
Jeff: “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd.
Radio Free Catalina will have a special broadcast in the near future remembering a friend who did so much, and who over the last month ended each of our phone calls with the same thing: “I can’t wait to get back on the air.”
On the next Meet the Voice: Ben Vaughn. To get involved with KISL or the learn more about getting your own show on the air call (424) 226-2837 (HAHA-BOATER) or contact Jordan Monroe the Community Outreach Director- firstname.lastname@example.org.