This is a recent photo of Roger Davis, who took on the persona of Roger Ramjet at SIU during the 70's. (And at times sounded surprisingly like WLS's Larry Lujack) The character of Ronald Ramjet is based on this persona, and is the only character taken from real life in the novel.
In Saluki Marooned, WRRP (Ronald's tape-casting radio station) and Gut Bombing It (a review of fast food restaurants) are explored.
Q: Roger, how did you acquire the name: "Ramjet"?
A: As you might expect, it came from the cartoon character. I picked it up in high school and hated it. Figured once I got to college where nobody knew me, it would go away. Wrong. So, I finally made peace with it. You know, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
Q: What was your most unusual Gut Bombing-it experience?
A: Hmm. Don't have a good answer for that one. (Editors Note: Probably with the author in Cedar Rapids IA. circa 1978)
Q: Do you still patronize gut bombs?"
A: Oh yeah. I'm still primarily an Arch guy. People that used to work there often become life long customers and I'm no exception. The manager, supervisor and owner of my local Arch all know me by name - as does a good percentage of the crew. It's kind of like Cheers in that way. I have a special burger - everybody just calls it "the Roger burger."
Q: Is the RRP still in operation, and what kind of music does it play?
A: RRP as it was operated in the 70's ceased production in 1988 due to time constraints and budgetary restraints (i.e. failing equipment). Some subscribers discussed the possibility of producing another tape in the new millennium, but it never came to be.
These days RRP is a music station for my own listening in the van. I use OtsAV to play the music to the hard drive. From there it is burned to CD for my listening. The playlist is around 6,000 songs ranging mostly from 1957 to 2003. (There are a small handful of songs from before 1957 and after 2003.) Jingles and liners come for a variety of sources making it sound like a real radio station running without DJs. All the scheduling and playing of the "station" is automated, (run by computer) which is the only way I can do this and still workfull-time and everything else I do.
Putting a format label on it is tough because it's a variety station. The bulk of the library is a combination Adult Contemporary and oldies. But, there's the occasional country tune, some classic rock, contemporary Christian, and a small handful of things from other formats that I happen to like.
Click on this photo of Roger Ramjet circa 1971 to read about the character he inspired in Saluki Marooned.
More on "Gut Bombing It" the RRP, and the Jet's literary equivalent--Ronald Ramjet--in Saluki Marooned.