[Admin] An Explanation for Delays… And What I’m Going to Do About It

A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs
[Admin] An Explanation for Delays... And What I'm Going to Do About It
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 Hi,

This is not a proper episode of the podcast. Rather, this is an explanation, at least in part, of why there have been fewer episodes than normal this year, and what I plan to do about that.

One of the things I promised myself when I started this podcast was that I would not do the thing that many podcasters do of waffling on for fifteen minutes at the beginning about their lives, in an attempt to build up a parasocial relationship with the listeners. I pride myself on the work I do, and part of that is making the podcast about the work, rather than about me. I do enjoy the friendships I have made through this podcast, but I don’t want the podcast to be about anything other than the history and the music.

But that does mean that you haven’t all had an explanation why, after two years of me getting the podcast out weekly on the dot, the podcast has averaged an episode every ten days or so this year, including some gaps of two weeks.

A small part of that is that the episodes have been getting longer. It takes more time to write, record, and edit a ninety-minute episode than a half-hour one, and while I keep promising I’ll try to get the episodes back to the shorter length I prefer, there’s just a lot of material to cover in some of these. 

But a much larger part is that this last year has been the worst year of my life, without exception. There have been a whole series of stressful events, most of which I’m not at liberty to talk about because they involve other people, but the year started with one of those awful life-changing events that only happen once or twice in your life, and astonishingly managed to throw a couple of other curveballs almost that bad.

And that’s on top of the stuff that everyone has been having to deal with, with the political situation in the world and with covid.

But there’s also my health, and I can talk about that because it only affects me. I have multiple chronic illnesses and disabilities, which among other things meant that I had to spend the first five months of this year totally isolated, not seeing another human being, until I could get fully vaccinated. And it turns out that being totally isolated from the world for months, while multiple catastrophes happen in your life and the lives of those around you, is not great for chronic illnesses.

I have had a number of flare-ups this year, and to give you some idea, yesterday my blood pressure read as 196/120.

Getting all five hundred episodes of this podcast done is my highest priority, but in order to do that I have to live to see episode five hundred. And sadly, making sure I live to see episode five hundred means not working on days when any kind of extra stress could give me a stroke. Which has been the case on several days this year.

I am working out some new things with my doctor, which I hope and believe will make my chronic illnesses more like they were in 2018 through 2020 — just annoyances rather than anything more worrying. I am fairly certain that 2022 will be much better.

So my plan is to get two more episodes out before Christmas — episodes on the Byrds and Frank Zappa, both of which are mostly written and should be able to get out in fairly short order. Those two are again going to be very long ones.

I’m then going to take a few days off between Christmas Eve and New Year, and not do any new work for that week. I’m going to try to relax, get used to my new medication regime, and get my blood pressure down to normal.

And then, all being well, we’ll start the new year as I mean to go on, with episodes coming out once a week on a regular schedule.

Thank you all for your patience and support during what has not been an easy year for anyone.

And I don’t want to leave this without a quick acknowledgement of the sad death yesterday of Michael Nesmith. He was one of my personal musical heroes, and you can be sure that when the podcast gets to the Monkees, they’ll be treated with the respect they deserve.

5 thoughts on “[Admin] An Explanation for Delays… And What I’m Going to Do About It

  1. Bruce James

    I am sorry you have been so poorly at this time of pandemic and political madness. I can sympathise inasmuch that my wife has developed a life threatening illness which makes her immunosuppressed. Your podcasts chronicling the evolution of the music, important to many who are older than you, are fascinating and entertaining – but ultimately not that important. Get well, by any means possible.

  2. Jeff

    Sorry to hear of the difficulties you faced this past year. Though there has been so much pain in your life you have provided me with so much joy. I have steadily listened to your podcasts these past few months upon discovering them on Spotify and am up to Episode 80. I have spread the word among my friends and on a couple of Rock &Roll groups on Facebook. I hope all who have spent time listening have supported your work as I have. May 2022 be a breakout year in your personal life as well as your health. Thanks

  3. Tony Greenhalgh

    Your podcast has brought me great joy and entertainment during some very challenging times. What feels like an endless number of evenings have been brightened up and filled with your podcast. Take care of yourself. Please do not stress. You and all of us deserve a little patience and compassion more than ever. Tony

  4. Bill Hyde

    Andrew, you’ve provided an extraordinary amount of joy to more people than you could ever imagine. You’ve given life to the beautiful music lying dormant in all my generation. Stay strong; “And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” -stealing & sharing, as deserved.

  5. For goodness sake don’t beat yourself up, Andrew. Those of us who follow you aren’t going away if you don’t deliver an episode a week. Your health comes first. Get better, take your time and remember there are lots of us out there wishing you well

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