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In Real Life is a weekly show hosted by Emily and Kimzilla on WFMU. In each episode, Kim and Emily follow their own curiosity to interview people on about a variety of themes, getting the real scoop and learning about the real people behind each topic. Previous WFMU aired episodes include topics such as circus performers, taxicab drivers, bartender therapy, alien abductions, nudism and so much more.

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Options February 13, 2019: X-Ray is away on assignment and boy is it a doozy

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Tonight on In Real Life:

We pay tribute to the late, great X-Ray Burns, sidekick extraordinaire to Glen Jones of the Glen Jones Radio Programme. It was a ritual for many on a Sunday to wait for those bagpipes to begin to sit back and hear these two effortlessly converse on topics that spanned our imagination. From impeding monkey invasions, to the history and geography lessons surrounding the NJ area, the connective tissue was always heart and camaraderie.

We’ll be sharing some choice segments from their show as well as sharing some tributes from former WFMU DJ Chris T., Guest of the station and show- Wheeler Antabanez and IBJ member and friend of Burns- Nicole Imthurn. If you'd like to call in with a story or tribute about X-Ray, then call us at 201-536-9368 between 7-8pm EST tonight.





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X-Ray Tribute  0:00:00 (MP3 | )

Listener comments!

Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:00pm Asheville Jon:

RIP X. RAY!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:00pm Folsom:

This will be a good show.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:00pm Linda Lee:

IBJ Forever!!!
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:00pm ultradamno:

Salutations and condolences all.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:01pm cosmic matrix:

Fuck yeah! We love you, X-RAY
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:02pm Rusty Tiki:

Why did I decide to start cutting onions now?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:02pm Linda Lee:

wow, look at that handsome SOB in the leather. not who i have in mind when i think of our man X Ray!
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:02pm cosmic matrix:

Wow what a picture!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:02pm melinda:

I was not too familiar with X Ray or the Glen Jones show but I love that he quoted Free to Be You and Me.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:02pm Linda Lee:

beautiful idea, ladies! thank you!
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:04pm st Joe:

the Tammys back!

missing you XRB
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:04pm Linda Lee:

just remember: those we love are part of who we are. the man's still with us all.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:06pm Richard S:

Just because the story has ended, it doesn't mean the book goes away.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:06pm dale:

melinda - i think he was more well read than the persona he portrayed.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:07pm JakeGould:

Good article on the Glen Jones 100 hour broadcast. current.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:07pm Linda Lee:

he wasn't shy about sharing his knowledge though! shared it freely.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:09pm coelacanth∅:

dale i think you're right.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:09pm melinda:

I'm going out in a bit but will check the archive later.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:09pm JakeGould:

I say with no irony, the endless discussions about potatoes really stay with me. What’s not to like about potatoes?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:10pm Linda Lee:

one nice thing about Glen not getting the morning gig, though it did hurt: we were able to keep hearing X Ray & Glen together.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:10pm dez:

X.Ray Burns is dead. Long live X.Ray Burns!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:11pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Many times, I'd be busy grocery shopping or other mundane tasks on a Sunday afternoon, but I'd have their show playing on my phone just to hear their voices, even though I wasn't able to pay full attention. It gave me comfort knowing that they were on the air.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:12pm dale:

i had a baked potato last night. i only ate half. i could feel him frowning down on me from up there.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:12pm L W Rhino:

Thanks to Burns and Glen we all are citizens of Kearny ,NJ. We all had great Jersey experiences through the recounting of their escapades. Broadcasting GOLD!!!
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:13pm Kbeach:

X RAY FOREVER
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:14pm ChrisVB:

I miss the shit out of this already. These shows will be syndicated some day. For all us jerk offs.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:14pm Folsom:

I thought it was funny they didn't approve of mustard on pretzels.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:15pm Linda Lee:

there's always the archives, Chris!
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:15pm DeepCreep:

Oh my favorite voice/personality and a friend - in a world of ego trippers and ungreatful people.

X-Ray Burns is Forever Baby!
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:15pm JakeGould:

I hope those jerk-offs in Rockland County show some respect.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:15pm Rusty Tiki:

What’s the number to call in?
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:15pm dale:

love monica lynch's tribute on fb. she referred to him as "a jerkoff nonpareil" and i know he would have loved that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:16pm ChrisVB:

Current events and topical ephemera at the highest levels.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:16pm JakeGould:

{\__/}
( • . •)
/ > 201-536-9368
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:17pm Ken From Hyde Park:

News write up on X.Ray: www.northjersey.com...
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:17pm herb.nyc:

Thx for the funnies, X.Ray. Funny, I was watching Sanford and Son last night, on VHS. I like to imagine X.Ray as having a vcr as well.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:21pm dale:

so WHO put the crusty the clown doll there that had KILL X-RAY BURNS written on it there?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:21pm listener 126464:

spilled some beer out in front of 30 webster on Sunday
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:22pm Linda Lee:

there's a true picture of the man's heart: his feeling for animals.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:22pm steveL:

I live in Indiana, grew up mostly in Colorado after living in three other places well west of Jersey City. However, I have everything in common with Jones and X-ray, except for location and their vigorous testing of the reasonable limits of society.

When they talked together, they were captivating. They included me, somehow, in their nearby conversation. My Sunday afternoon garage buddies.

I'll listen to Jones until he croaks. I'll forever miss my buddies. Thanks, Ken.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:24pm dale:

THAT was my wake up moment when he told that story about shooting something off jones' head. i was mowing the lawn and i had to shut the mower down and just listen.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:27pm queems:

this guy is fascinating and i want to read his book
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:27pm Jeff Moore:

Most of y'all have probably seen all of these, but in case not – here's a little collection I put together with some of the pictures I've taken of X. Ray over the years:


www.flickr.com...
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:28pm Listener Robert:

I was just thinking a few days ago in connection with that story. We think, how crazy to be pointing a gun THAT CLOSE to a friend's head. But how about all the times you're driving down the highway? You take an angle that's off by THAT MUCH and you could be just as dead as from a gunshot.

I did have a friend tell me of taking bullets to a helmet he was wearing, on a dare. This was someone known to Prof. Dum-Dum too.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:28pm Linda Lee:

thanks Jeff! beautiful!
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:30pm dale:

just a couple of jamooks. loveable, funny jamooks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:31pm Linda Lee:

www.flickr.com...
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:32pm dale:

young jones looked like tim curry.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:32pm PMD:

@Jeff, very nice.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:32pm throwback_vernacular:

I don't have a lot of friends and family. but on sundays there was always Jonesy and xray…they've become my friends over the years even tho ive never met em. I felt a little less like an outsider whenever I heard my 2 best dudes talk. I missed too many kill the holidays until it was too late. gotta keep my face planted on the floor and keep reaching for my keys don't take this for granted anymore
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:33pm Linda Lee:

those are beautiful photos Jeff! amazing!
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:33pm cosmic matrix:

@Jeff those pictures are AMAZING thank u
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:33pm Listener Robert:

I thought everyone knew he was sick -- but from heart disease, not cancer.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:34pm common:

Sucks. R I p.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:34pm Jeff Moore:

www.instagram.com...
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:35pm Rusty Tiki:

If you weren’t drinking during their show, you weren’t listening.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:36pm Linda Lee:

a certain kind of guy won't let on to anyone that he's dying. my dad was the same. same disease as well.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:37pm Rusty Tiki:

Silver bell is gone.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:37pm dale:

ooh - saturday night mystery theme. is it mcmillan and wife or columbo?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:37pm listener 126464:

pizzaland is hanging in there
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:40pm Davee:

Where did he get the name X-Ray Burns?
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:40pm steveL:

Great bits! Listening encourages me. I rarely listened on the archives, but I'm thinking I might revisit.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:40pm JakeGould:

@LindaLee: My thoughts on disease and privacy… I think if universal healthcare existed people would be more open about ailments. There’s the perceived stigma about being ill, and then the real fear of—frankly—being bankrupted by illness. That’s what most sickens me about America: One of the few countries on earth where you can be sick and then be bankrupted in the process of getting well.

Strength to X-Ray’s family.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:41pm joe:

HA! i was just thinking how pissed Ruth must be getting LOL
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:41pm MelindafromAustin:

So glad you ladies are doing this show!
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:43pm thedunkel:

We will be missing X-ray on Sunday’s over here - god speed X-ray...
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:44pm MelindafromAustin:

OMG thanks for sharing those photos!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:44pm Linda Lee:

@Jake Gould ~ it's inhumane & disgraceful. obscenely, pointlessly brutal. in fact you're bankrupted regardless. if you don't survive your illness your loved ones are left to deal. & apparently intelligent people will argue that this is acceptable. it's willful ignorance combined with basic cold-heartedness.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:46pm Linda Lee:

i'm not sure how certain men reveal their illness has to do with the situation, though. that may be part of it, but it also may have to do with the way they'd like to be remembered.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:47pm steveL:

Jake/Linda Lee. All truth. I've had male and female friends shut down contact as they fought for their health. It hurts, because you hope you could have offered some comfort. I think that hurt is also selfish, because I really just wanted to see them again. Dying is a very personal thing, to make an understatement.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:49pm JakeGould:

@LindaLee: Well, two levels of weakness exist. The disease itself and the stigma of having to burn savings to survive which also impacts loved ones who now—honestly—don’t have a way to provide for their family any more.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:49pm Linda Lee:

Any circumstance that will drive people apart when they need most to join together is just brutal. Absolutely insane.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:49pm Rusty Tiki:

John Taylor, creator of Taylor Ham, died 100 years earlier, to the day as XRay. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Taylor_(Taylor_Ham)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:50pm Linda Lee:

Yes. That's right.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:50pm Rob j/o from colonia:

Abbott and Costello, laurel and hardy jonsie and x ray .......perfect together ......gods speed X-RAY.....
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:50pm JakeGould:

@RustyTiki: OMFG! 110 years to be exact. But still… Wow! en.wikipedia.org...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:51pm Linda Lee:

Won't it be nice if the station offers the Glen Jones/X Ray shirts for marathon?
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:51pm cosmic matrix:

WHAT?! the taylor ham connection. whoa.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:52pm steveL:

Rusty: Holy shit! That's providential shit!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:52pm maestroso:

@Linda Lee: that's a great idea.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:52pm Rusty Tiki:

@jakegould yes. The tears got in the way of my math.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:52pm cosmic matrix:

timesmachine.nytimes.com...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:53pm Linda Lee:

You ladies should have beers with this, really. :-)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:53pm Jeff Moore:

“Inconvenienced by Tragedy”

X.Ray always had that way of giving things a sardonic twist with a little wake-up punch of boundary-crossing casual outrage.

I remember one time years ago (must’ve been the single-digit 2000s) Kathryn and I were listening to Jonesey and X Ray.

Most of this is paraphrased and therefore not as good as X ray’s original tale would have been, but X Ray mentioned that he’d run late getting to the radio station that day because on a road along his route, somebody on a motorcycle had flown off the road, slammed into a tree and gotten splattered. Because of that human misery, there were lots of emergency vehicles stopped on that road – the road X Ray was taking to get in – doing recovery and cleanup operations and therefore X Ray had been “inconvenienced by tragedy”.

The particular way he intoned that phrase has continued to echo in Kathryn’s and my heads, and become a perpetual catchphrase used on occasions it seemed to fit.

Just a few weeks ago, I happened to mention this to X Ray; he had absolutely no recollection of that anecdote of his. Because of course – memorable stuff like that came out of his mouth every damn week.

But this week we have all been…

inconvenienced by tragedy.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:54pm cosmic matrix:

yaay so glad glenn is continuing on!!!!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:54pm Fox:

Jeff Moore: Well, goddamn.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:54pm steveL:

Again, thank you for the work that went into this show! Radio is life shot into the void. It connects us. Long live X-Ray, long live Radio!
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:54pm MelindafromAustin:

Maybe another show is in order ...?
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:55pm gregory:

Wow Ken .
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:55pm BOODS:

hi! Is everyone getting along ok? *grandmotherly tone* Just checking....blessingsx
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:55pm Dropof Goldensun:

LL, the beer idea is perfect.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:55pm cosmic matrix:

i mean glen. i mean jonesy. anyway
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:56pm Rob j/o from colonia:

Inappropriate but x- ray made ed McMahon look like retard
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:56pm ChrisVB:

I'm hopeful that Xray is now with one of my closest friends Mike M. wherever jerk offs go when they die. I'm sure they're giggling together in fact. I'm sticking to it.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:56pm pcnyc:

Great stories; thank you all. Long life X.Ray Burns!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:56pm maestroso:

Thank you Kimzilla and Emily. This was a great tribute.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 7:56pm dale:

i like this girls cartoon network voice.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:56pm joe:

Thanks for the Photos @Jeff
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:57pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I noticed that his sign-off shifted from "Straight ahead!" to "Our time together has ended." I wonder if that was a message.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:58pm Linda Lee:

oh darlin, i'm afraid it's true that listening to recited emails is a little slow. it's the headings & dates!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 7:59pm ChrisVB:

My friend Mike M was a big fan and lived in Kearny for a time in the early aughts. Good times.
  Wed. 2/13/19 7:59pm MelindafromAustin:

I’m talking to you ladies: Kim & Emily.
  Wed. 2/13/19 8:00pm steveL:

Beautiful.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:00pm listener 126464:

Thanks ladies
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:00pm ChrisVB:

Thanks gals!
  Wed. 2/13/19 8:00pm Rusty Tiki:

I tried not to cry till you played the pipes.
  Wed. 2/13/19 8:00pm mike east:

Thanks for doing that guys
  Wed. 2/13/19 8:00pm MelindafromAustin:

Thank you ladies!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm Jeff Moore:

Goddamn. I held it together until the bagpipes.
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm coelacanth∅:

Thanks Emily + Kimzilla & all
  Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm walt:

thanks.... RIP XRAY
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm maestroso:

Yeah, the pipes did it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm Linda Lee:

live now, is the lesson. don't dwell!
Avatar Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm ultradamno:

And now for tearjerking music.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm joe:

Same here
  Wed. 2/13/19 8:01pm J. Lee Harold:

I will continue to fight the good fight as a rock soldier, just as you once told me, X-ray!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:02pm Rob j/o from colonia:

Any one will carry x -ray in our minds and our hearts ..... JONSE........the most painful call on radio
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:03pm Linda Lee:

yeah, that had to be mighty tough.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Wed. 2/13/19 8:04pm Linda Lee:

all that chat about what one would do if the other died .. really funny! alas, i doubt any cannibalism will take place.
  Thu. 2/14/19 10:42pm Fatherflot:

I loved that magnificent sonofabitch. THE GREAT ONE!
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