About ten years ago I first learned about the world of podcasts and immediately started searching for shows focused on my off-kilter interests. Vince Rotolo's B-MovieCast was one of the first shows I subscribed to and not long after that time I realized that I wanted to put in my two cents worth. Vince made that easy by having a phone number set up for fans to call and so - after screwing up my courage - I called, left a message and thus began a long series of sometimes crazy contributions to that show. If truth is to be told I was trying to do a couple of things with those dozens (?) of phone calls. Sure, I wanted to add some information about the movies being covered on the podcast BUT - I was also trying to make Vince laugh. I really, really wanted to make Vince laugh. I knew that if he was amused he'd surely include me in his show. That's how it works, right? If you put a smile on the boss' face he lets you stick around.
Well, he did include my calls in the B-MovieCast and I could hear him laughing so I knew I was cool. B-MovieCast cool. And even when he wasn't audibly laughing you could hear the grin that was plastered on his face. That's right. Vince was the kind of host that could not keep the sound of his voice from telling you how much fun he was having making his show. He was enjoying himself the entire time, even when he was wrestling with Skype problems that made recording with his distant co-hosts a start and stop pain. Of course, I should have figured out long before I actually did that I didn't have to work so hard to make Vince laugh. He wanted people to join the conversation and as long as I added to the show he was happy to have me. Indeed, he seemed to be happy to include everyone that took the effort to be a part of the B-Movie love that he started the show to foster. I was far from the only listener to add my voice to the party and Vince weaved us all in no matter how nutty we got. Hell! I used his show to jokingly call another podcasting legend a heretic for not watching more Godzilla movies! (Sorry about that, Derek!) But Vince took it all in stride and juggled us lunatics like a professional. He made us all feel welcome in his place even when we acted like crazy people. He created the gold standard for this kind of podcast because he treated us all as friends - even those of us he had never met.
I only met Vince and Mary once several years ago at the Monster Bash convention in
I was so thrilled to be able to shake his hand and he was very gracious but
also kind of shy. He smiled a lot and as soon as we all started hunting the
dealer's room for goodies it was like kid's in a candy store. He might have
seemed standoffish but as soon as the conversation turned to our common
interests we were cool! I know he talked me into at least one purchase and I
think I was able to point some cool pieces out to him as we searched too. It
was magical and I can still see him holding a British Blu-Ray of WITCHFINDER
GENERAL in his hand and pondering the price.
I'm planning to be at this summer's Monster Bash for the first time since I met Vince there. A big part of why I was excited to go was to talk face to face with him. I had plans to email him in the next few weeks to ask if he would be willing to sit down at the show and record a little for my own podcast. I wanted to dig into his childhood and ask him about his memories. I had visions of getting inside the head of a first generation Monster Kid. What was his first monster film? When did he realize how important movies were for him? What were his thoughts on how the movies of his youth formed his adult tastes? I wanted to know about his job and how he ended up living in the southern US. I wanted to pick his brain about Ray Harryhausen and the day he spent at his house. But mostly I wanted to spend some time with Vince. Some more time. Two or three hours a week for most weeks of the year just didn't seem to be enough. Not for me. And probably not for a lot of other people either. I started missing Vince Wednesday night and I'm going to be missing him every day for the rest of my life. He was a long distance friend; a podcasting mentor; a movie fan and an incredibly nice guy. A light went off this week and, unfortunately, we aren't waiting for the movie to begin on the screen in front of us - we're saying goodbye to that light forever.