Metanoia

Good morning, you're listening to RNJ and coming up right now is the daily interview.

Few of us will have heard of this week's guest, Proctor Digal but as Digal Kayne of the notorious Skin Basher rock band he was a household name back in the 60s. His raucous singing and audacious lyrics as well as his dissolute lifestyle meant he was never out of the headlines for long. Then, in the summer of 69 he stunned the world with an about turn few even believed possible. So what has become of Digal Kayne since he left the public eye, and what does he think about his former life as public idol n° 1?

Proctor Digal, welcome to the interview. Back in 1969 the first change you made was to your name. Why was it so important to you?

Well, actually I didn't change anything. Proctor Digal is my true name. After my about turn my friends started calling me Pro and that kind of stuck because it fitted in so nicely with what was going on in my life. What I didn't want was to keep my stage name. I really wanted to get out of the public eye and begin anew. I could never have done that as Digal Kayne.

But why, I keep asking myself, would someone want to give up a life as a public celebrity and turn into a virtual recluse? What could possibly motivated you to do such a thing?

Well, there were a number of reasons, some of which I don't want to elaborate on here. But the overriding pattern was that things were slipping slowly out of control. At first, it was all so exciting, the parties, the fame, the women, the money. I was in the driving seat. But that soon changed. I can't say when or how, but I soon found myself being driven and I didn't like where I was going.

There were rumours that the money was not going to last much longer. Is that true?

Yes, indeed. That was one of the small kindnesses of providence for which I am eternally grateful. It was that more than anything else which opened my eyes. I had everything. Money, friends, success, popularity, women by the dozen, fame and fortune. But little did I realise how this house was built on such a shaky foundation. The moment the finances showed signs of drying up, my latest conquest found another source of champagne and diamonds. That may have been to be expected. But worse was that some of my best friends suddenly began disowning me. I became a pariah to them. That's when I first started to question where I was going.

So you have no regrets?

None whatsoever. Why should I?

Well, you were the idol of a whole generation of young rebels, including myself I might add. You showed us how exciting life was. You helped break free from the shackles of convention. We adored you. We gave you everything.

Yes, and I took it. I had a new girl every night. What we got up to doesn't bear mentioning. It was better than any drug. But you see, what happens, the next morning? The girl left. I didn't take anyone twice. And then, there was loneliness. Only I didn't notice it, because I had other friends: drink, drugs, fame and more girls that night. Sometimes, even two or three together. But I was still alone. I just never realised it.

But now, you must be more lonely than ever? You live in a small village far from the limelight where you... to be honest I don't even know what you do? Are you telling me this a better way of living?

Well, better is a moral word isn't it? I'm not trying to hand down my morals on a plate. I'm not saying to you, this is the way you ought to live. But look at it like this. I now have friends, I can trust; people who will go with me through thick and thin. I know, they've been there with me. I have a wife who - since that's what you seem most interested in - doesn't get me high on sex like some of the girls I knew back then. But in the morning she's still there. She's chosen to be with me. And that one smile and that one caress on the cheek first thing in the morning mean more to me than all the frenzied climaxes others used to give me. I have a job running a small town library and community education centre. It fills my life with purpose. I can give something to others. And I get far more in return when I see people prospering and making sense of their lives.

So, you've turned your back on rebellion to become a small town do-gooder. Is that your way of trying to sooth your conscience?

That's probably the best question you've asked today. It's one I've often asked myself. It's true, I've a lot to be ashamed of. I used people shamelessly and dumped them at will. I'm not proud of that. I have in the past met some of these people and been able to ask forgiveness. Some refused. Others accepted this with grace. Some have even become friends. In one or two cases, I have been able to help people get a life back on track. But my work is not a bid to pay for past wrongs. It's something far deeper. It springs out of a conviction of the personal dignity of every being that walks on this earth. That includes their potential. What I want is to help people realise what they can really aspire to. I guess that's how I achieve my potential. And it's far more rewarding than anything I knew in my previous life.

Well, you obviously seem satisfied with your life away from the limelight. Thank you very much for coming to speak to us at radio RNJ and I wish you all the best for the future.

6 comments:

excellent take on the prompt.. oh how i would love all the sordid details tho!!!!!!!

28 September 2007 at 14:29  

That was one good interview. It left me wanting more...

28 September 2007 at 14:49  

I liked this character so much.

28 September 2007 at 16:59  

Paul,
Somewhere in the middle, I felt, it is good to be true.

29 September 2007 at 04:15  

I like that the interviewer becomes almost a hostile voice towards the end, as if the life Procal lives now is somehow worse than the life he left behind.

And yet you just know that if he was still living it the coverage would be critical, and discussing "aging rocker growing old disgracefully" - seek true happiness over transient pleasure!

29 September 2007 at 23:39  

I loved this story Paul. It personifies everything that I have come to believe. Your interview format worked perfectly as a vehicle.

30 September 2007 at 01:49  

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