In February, 1982, Stereo 101’s Chris Edmonds did a multi-part feature on “backwards records.” It received huge ratings and is still talked about today. One of the songs he featured was actually uncovered more than 2 years earlier by Dave Dworkin on KQ92.
The song in question is Pink Floyd’s “Empty Spaces.” If you’re old enough to remember “albums”, you know this was the second song on Side 2 of Record 1 of “The Wall.” As “Goodbye Blue Sky” (the previous song) segues into “Empty Spaces”, you can hear jibberish in the left channel. Played backwards, a secret message is revealed:
“Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message. Please send your answer to Old Pink in care of the Funny Farm…” This refers to founding member Syd Barrett who left Pink Floyd in 1968. He suffered from mental illness and spent time in an insane asylum.
The quality of this is not as good as most of my other recordings. It was not recorded in stereo or on high grade tape. Basically, I was sitting in my basement, talking on the CB and listening to KQ. Dave Dworkin announced he had been getting calls about a backwards message on the new Pink Floyd album and that he would be playing it next. Quickly, I grabbed what was available and pressed “record.” In this case, it was a Panasonic mono AM/FM/cassette portable unit and a Radio Shack Concertape 90 minute cassette. Fortunately, KQ had relocated their transmitter to the IDS Tower a few months earlier. Before that, I couldn’t even get KQ from my basement bedroom in Apple Valley.
Dave Dworkin was a great jock. He had a very wry sense of humor which I loved. After KQ, he did afternoons on “Hot Rockin’ 104” (KJJO) which was KQ’s primary competitor during the late 1980s. As Dave was doing the weather on a hot summer’s day, he announced the temperature as 93. Then, he quipped “An interesting thing just happened. The temperature last time I checked was 91. Now, it’s 93. We went from 91 to 93…(short pause)…with absolutely NOTHING in between!” Then, cold into the Joe Kelly-voiced “We’re Hot Rockin’ 104 and we’re gonna KICK SOME ASS” liner. Classic!