Skip Alan Smith
At first glance, to look at Skip you might think he's a little crazy, unpredictable, eccentric or "over the top." To talk to him for a while you'll find he's a little crazy, unpredictable, eccentric, and "over the top."
"When I was growing up I wanted to be a professional drummer. My Dad told me if I wanted to be employed as a professional drummer, I better learn how to play as good or better than Buddy Rich or Gene Krupa, that is, if I didn't want to starve. He told me to get a 'real' job."
So after 25+ years in an Engineering career, that includes experiences like the International Space Station, Stanford Linear Accelerator, Cold Fusion, Telecommunication and Spy Satellites, Nuclear Power and Weapons and the Alaskan Pipeline, he stopped.
“It was time to go back to what I loved doing, music, film and voice acting. In the fall of 1997, I quit engineering to pursue careers that are more fun. When I talk to people about what I did for gainful employment I say, 'I have proudly helped to spend billions of your taxpayer dollars.' But, when I really thought about it, some of the stuff I naively worked on wasn't helping anyone. When I was involved, I honestly believed it was cool and the right thing to do. Now that I realize what my government has done with those 'toys’, not all, but some have been used to mess with the lives of millions of people around the world."
How and why did you come to KVMR?
"I looked at it as being a good way to 'keep up my chops' for the voice work and acting I was doing in San Francisco. Then, a conversation with Steve Baker in 1998 changed all that. He said, 'You know there's no American Indian music on KVMR...' So to quote Jimmy Accardi 'my head caved in.' Wow, what a great way to fix some of my karmic mistakes. Do a program that honors the music, history and culture of Indigenous People. Even better, do it in the same region of California that was most directly responsible for their destruction.” "The Native peoples got it right, 'Honor Mother Earth.' America's way of life is clearly unsustainable. If we kill our planet, we as a species go with it. People might think the 'oil wars are bad, wait until we have 'water wars.' I’m not suggesting we step back 10,000 years, but things better change quickly. Indigenous people all over the world are facing the same things that started here in 1492. It's time we honor the wisdom and knowledge of these cultures".
Is Skip eccentric, unpredictable and over the top? “Sometimes”.
“Dreamwalk has been on the air for 15 years now. I never plan out a program. I like the spontaneity of the listener's input. They direct the program while I'm on the air. That makes good radio, in my opinion. I've started with the music and keep adding in small doses of the culture, history and politics and just enough controversy to keep it interesting. I just try to do what I think the listeners