David Bridie, Ben Birchall and myself performed this tribute to Fee at her final show last Friday morning. Apologies to Queen, The Pixies, and Paul. (spoiler alert, the walrus actually wasn’t Paul)
There’s an ache in my heart. Fee B Squared is leaving Breakfasters. Maybe the world will go on, maybe water is still water if you cleave off the oxygen and kick about for a while with a couple of hydrogens. I wouldn’t know. I’m not a chemist.
I am a music lover, however, and I have Fee to thank for that. Yes, I liked music beforehand, but my years of listening to Fee’s selections, and especially those six years sitting opposite her, changed my tastes from Tip Top footy loaf to Pumpernickel Challah. It’s a lifelong gift, and there are tens of thousands of listeners who feel just as grateful.
It’s such a hard job. ‘Why don’t you play more rap?’, ‘I hate heavy guitar in the morning’, ‘That Joanna Newsome can effing well shriek off’, ‘Hey Fee, how come you never play that terrific Joanna Newsome?’ Balancing old and new. Local and international. Established and emerging. The impossibility of being all things to all people. ‘You know who I used to love?’ we’d tease. ‘Chris Hatzis. That Chris Hatzis was amazing.’
How can she be leaving? For thirteen years, Fee’s has been the first shoe across the threshold, marking morning at the station, just as she marks morning across the city. The queen of multitasking, she cued up tracks, welcomed guests, wound up interviews, took callers, shared her life and opinions. A comedy and pop culture sponge (she made it her mission for me to experience the dog-got-nuts-frozen-to-the-porch scene in Joe Dirt) nobody makes me laugh harder. Sometimes we’d hear it on air. Sometimes we’d marvel at how hilarious we all were between nine and nine thirty. It was such a fun time.
She’s actually leaving. I’m writing it down so I can try to believe it. A new person will be in Fee’s chair. And they will get calls. And people will voice their opinions. And the new person will need extra arms for all the things that need doing. And if they are like us, the layabouts on the other side of the desk will lean back and say, ‘You know who I used to love? Fee B Squared. That Fee B Squared was amazing.’
Because she was. She absolutely was.