During the spring of 1998, while planning for Bag 21, Ken Tobin, from Mulcahy's, looked at me with that devilish grin of his. "Let's make a radio commercial for the Bag." Sounded like a good idea to me. He booked time for the next week in a studio near Mulcahy's. He left the content entirely up to me. Oh yeah.
I immediately called Scott Savitt and enlisted his assistance in this endeavor. He responded with his trademark enthusiasm. Scott told me to write down the text that had to be spoken (who, what, when, where etc.), he would take care of the rest.
On the afternoon of the recording session I met Kenny at a watering hole near Mulcahy's. We enjoyed some refreshment and small talk while waiting for Big Scotto. Naturally, he's late. Really late. I have the text for the commercial, but no idea about the creative part. Scotto was in charge of that.
He finally comes in huffing and puffing and wearing a wrap-around scarf even thought it is a beautiful spring day. After proper preperation, we went out the back of the bar, across a parking lot and down a spooky staircase into a really nice recording studio in the basement of the row of stores. It was just Big Scotto, Bob the sound engineer, Ken Tobin and me. I gave Bob the Disappearing Bag Tape (recorded at Bag #5, 1982) to use for background music.
The studio had a control room at one end with a window that looked into the studio room. Bob set up a microphone and music stand facing the window to the booth. The commercial is to be one minute and he tells me he will show me a countdown of the last 5 seconds with his fingers (you know, 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - stop). There is also a clock with a second hand hanging right in front of me over the window to the control booth.
I still have no idea what we are going to do. Scotto has told Bob that he doesn't need a microphone. He tells Bob to just start the tape with the background music and me to read my copy, pausing in between phrases. He will take care of the rest. Ooooooo-kay.
I am standing at the mic, facing the booth, my back to the room. Ken and Bob are in the booth looking at me through the window. Scotto is somewhere behind me. Bob comes over the talkback system "Mulcahy's Paper Bag commercial, take one . . . rolling." He starts the Disappearing Band tape. When the music starts I say "Hello everybody, I'm Mike Guido" and then it starts. From behind me in the room I hear "and I'm Scottoooooooooo." I continue to read my copy while I hear this ruckus and whooping behind me.
I am watching the clock to time my one minute and don't want to take my eyes off my copy so that I don't screw up. At about the 22 second mark you can hear me giggle. As I glanced at the clock I saw through the window Ken and Bob. Mouths dropped open, eyes wide, watching Scotto behind me. I was afraid to look back there. I kept my focus on my copy and the clock. Bob forgot all about timing the take. Scotto was running around the room, arms in the air, scarf flying, whooping and hollering, jumping up and down, probably breaking into his signature helicopter move.
With five seconds to go I ad-libbed and told the radio audience to make sure they took the next day off. Somewhere behind me Scotto yelled "GA GOO" and it was over. Ken and Bob were stunned. We did it in one take.