Chronic Review - "The Amazing Giwbewt"
by AK - July 26, 2013
Friday Midday Story: Chronic Review - “The Amazing Giwbewt” - Waaahahaha
Part Rainman, Part Jim Ignatowski, Part “Who Knows What.” And I knew him better than most.
So this one is gonna be a long bedtime story. Sorry.
(NOTE: I will speak of him in past tense because I haven’t seen nor spoken to him in well over a decade…not because I know he died or anything)
Ok. Let’s get this out of the way first. Gilbert had been a long time chronic even before I got there. He’s been around since the invention of the pencil. And he was a part of Neil’s show long before I got to WIOD. He was a guest, and a regular caller and chronic. Somewhere along the line, either because Neil grew tired of him, or Jorge or some other producer grew tired of him, or Neil told Jorge to stop putting him on the air cuz he calls every day, or the PD said no more, or whatever, he was banned.
Because Jorge was the first line of defense, and knowing Jorge as I did, my guess was that at first, Jorge (or for that matter, whomever was the producer before him) nicely told him thanks and goodbye. But my guess is Gilbert would continue to call multiple times a day, over and over to talk to Neil, and they grew fed up with him, and just started hanging up when he called.
By the time I got there, Jorge had a pretty detailed distaste for Gilbert because he was such a pain in the ass, and for the kind of show neil was doing by then, didn’t really fit in…and because Jorge just kept hanging up on him as soon as he heard his voice, or because Jorge told him to “stop calling, don’t ever call again”, Gilbert had this deep hatred of Jorge. At some point I think Gilbert even tried to call the PD and get Jorge fired. But this is stuff Jorge would have to answer.
So ok, then I arrive at WIOD, and work promotions. And Gilbert is always there.. ALWAYS. So at every live appearance, you could count on 5 things: Neil, The Guy with the Eyes, The Fanny Pack Guy, Al Rogers, and Gilbert.
I thought Gilbert was funny, weird, a kook. But not in any way as frightening as the other chronics. He was simply, just Gilbert.
He listened non-stop to talk radio… ALL of it. And could recite things said 30 years ago from stations that didn’t exist anymore by people who died 28 years ago. It didn’t matter that you never heard of them or that he’d lived in NY when he’d listened.. he would talk to you like you knew them. “Hey, wemembew when Fwed said dat? Wemembew?” Uh, no?
By the time I started doing producing, especially after joining Rick and Suds, I had to frequently call Gilbert at home on the phone. Rick and Suds would come up with some idea they wanted to have Gilbert in on, and I’d have to make contact. And occasionally, I’d have to leave a number to have him call me back. So Gilbert had my phone number. Sometimes it led to great stories for on the air, and great bits of info to use for future bits, but often it lead to both insane hilarity at home, or insane headaches, or insane tedium.
RING! “Hey adam, it’s Giwbewt. Wanna pawty?” Sorry Gilbert, I have some friends over right now (click speakerphone on for all to hear) “Oh yeaw? Got any giwls over thewe?” Yeah dude.. we’re partying, drinking beers, having fun “O I wike giwls and beew. I wike to pawty”
RING! “I dont wike that Gowge. He’s awwayz hanging up on me. I dont know what I did, but he he shood be fiyewed. I’m gonna call Boy Gawy”
RING! “Hey wemembew when Bob Grant was tawking abouwt taxi dwivews”
He was a HUGE Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes fan. HUGE. Didn’t matter if they’d lost by 200.. he was always cheering for them, and always considered the next game to be potentially their gweatest win ever.
He drove a car (something even Al Rogers didn’t do). He’d worked in a pencil factory (something The Guy With The Eyes never learned to use). He dressed in Tshirts and sansabelt pants (which was still better fashion sense than the Fanny Pack Guy).
I don’t have any really great stories about Gilbert other than the ones I’ve previously shared here, or you’ve heard on the best of clips I’ve posted here before. Happy to re-share them again here for anyone interested.
This is what I remember him looking like: (photo missing)
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